For those seeking a CBD escape it doesn't get any better than this. Plonked at the top end of the Queen Street Mall, NEXT snatches pole position when it comes to retail, dining, bar and sightseeing therapy. An escalator from Level 2 deposits guests directly into the heart of all the action, including Australia's first Forever 21 store, which leases its retail space from the hotel. All the mainstream retailers are within spitting distance of the entrance and a short stroll down towards the bottom of the Mall takes guests to Queens Plaza and high-end retailers such as Tiffany & Co and Paspaley Pearls. In between, there's plenty of alfresco cafes in which to grab a cold beer and enjoy Brisbane's balmy weather. It's also only a few steps away from the Treasury Casino and a short stroll across Victoria Bridge to South Bank and the city's cultural precinct.
While high-tech on one hand, this hotel is also infused with a long history. The former iconic Lennons Hotel, it was built in the 19th century by architect John Lennon, and once boasted a ladies' drawing room and just nine bathrooms for its 62 bedrooms. Almost every Brisbane resident has an association with Lennons, whether it was where they held their wedding reception or attended a school formal. The exterior of the hotel remains, but inside was completely gutted for its reincarnation as NEXT. If these walls could talk, they'd speak of famous guests such as former US President Lyndon Johnson, US General Douglas MacArthur, telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell and the Beatles. One wonders what they'd make of the sleek modern bathrooms which flow into generous-sized bedrooms.