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QT Newcastle

  • Hotels
  • Newcastle
  1. QT Newcastle room interior
    Photograph: Mark Lane
  2. QT Newcastle King Room detail
    Photograph: Mark Lane
  3. Clock Tower Suite QT Newcastle
    Photograph: Mark Lane
  4. QT Newcastle, Jana Restaurant
    Photograph: Mark Lane
  5. QT Rooftop Newcastle
    Photograph: Mark Lane

Time Out says

Five-star luxury with a quirky twinkle in its eye has landed in the heart of Newcastle

Newcastle might not have ranked highly on many people’s list of dream getaways in the past, but don’t be too quick to count out NSW’s much-maligned second city. Sydney’s cousin to the north is in the midst of a major tourism renaissance, and you don’t have to just take our word for it. The arrival of one of Australia’s best luxury boutique hotel brands clearly signals that Newie’s stock is on the rise.

This is the first addition to QT’s five-star portfolio since opening its Perth outpost in 2018. Breathing new life into the 113-year-old, heritage-listed former David Jones building, QT Newcastle is one of the centrepieces of the $700 million revitalisation of Newcastle’s city centre around the main drag of Hunter Street.

The vibe of the 104-key hotel is luxury but with QT’s trademark whimsy, clearly pitched at a clientele who value the attention to detail and refinement of five-star service but without the stuffy formality and cookie-cutter style of larger hotel chains. Designer Nic Graham has created a joyously maximalist aesthetic that celebrates the elements that are so much a part of Newcastle’s identity: the water of its marina; the fire of its once-thriving steel industry; the earth of the city’s rugged coastline; and the air of the wide-open skies where the Hunter River meets the Pacific. 

Throughout its rooms and suites, you’ll find just the slightest of industrial winks to the Steel City’s past in the brushed copper side tables and metal cage wardrobes, but this is counterpointed by a palette of hyper-saturated organic tones in bold blocks and dreamy ombrés, like the deep emerald green of the bathroom’s subway tiles, the rich red ochre of the minibar and vanity, and the technicolour bloom of the round area rugs. And of course, every room boasts QT’s famed Dream Bed – a custom mattress so darn comfy that many guests who stay at a QT end up purchasing their own so they can enjoy that luxury hotel sleep experience at home.

While each of its hotels is styled to have its own distinctive personality, one common thread across QT properties is the intricate intimacies of its finishes, and Newcastle is no different. There’s a dynamic mix of textures and an artful lighting design to catch the glint of a ceramic tile or the touchable caress of a leather throw cushion. And it’s not just the decor that invites closer inspection. The entire hotel is packed with art selected by Curatorial+Co gallery director Sophie Vander, who took her inspiration from the showstopping lobby design, which features a huge moon sailing serenely overhead. Vander describes her approach to curating this extensive collection as “pushing the boundaries of ‘hotel art’”, adding, “It connects with community, draws from Newcastle's rich history and natural environment and showcases Australian artists at their best.”

But to truly rank as one of the state’s best hotels, it’s not enough to merely look the part. QT Newcastle also has the amenities and services to back that status up. Rooms are stocked with a range of premium libations including bottled cocktails from Melbourne’s famed Everleigh Bottling Co and wine from, where else, the Hunter Valley, and in the bathrooms, guests can find top-of-the-line appliances by Dyson. A seamless guest experience is underpinned by the latest tech. Concierge info and room service can be accessed via the in-room tablet and because the modern traveller is usually in a hurry, check-in and check-out can both be completed via a self-serve touch screen, although there are friendly reception staff ready to step in if you'd rather leave that to the pros. As is fast becoming the norm among Australian luxury hotels, pets are also welcome, and dog beds and water bowls can be provided upon request.

The QT brand has made a robust hospitality offering a trademark of its properties, and in Newcastle, that comes courtesy of two distinct venues. The hotel’s main 60-seat restaurant, Jana, features a menu created by executive chef Massimo Speroni, the award-winning gastronome behind Brisbane’s Bacchus, and is open for breakfast and dinner. Given the proximity to one of Australia’s most vibrant culinary destinations, the menu is a celebration of the Hunter Valley and its rural NSW surrounds. Steak is the star, with six different aged cuts available, including a tri-tip and a scotch fillet Wagyu, both with 8-9+ marble scores. Speroni has also infused plenty of his Italian heritage into the menu, including an indulgent gnocchetti of squid ink, cuttlefish, Champagne lobster and mussels in a sweet yet briny bisque.

If luxury is one of QT’s driving forces, hedonism would surely be another, and that spirit has very much been channelled into the small yet perfectly formed rooftop bar. Guests can watch the sun setting over the marina while they enjoy a bar offering underpinned with Japanese flourishes. Sake and chicken yakitori in hand, uninterrupted views of the Nobbys Lighthouse in the distance, and just a short stumble to one of NSW’s trendiest guestrooms? That’s Newcastle in 2022, and it's a new normal we're very much here for.

Maxim Boon
Written by
Maxim Boon


185 Hunter St
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