The latest addition to Newcastle’s accommodation game is upping the ante in this beachside location. Bringing QT’s signature style to the NSW Central Coast.
Traveller: Cathy Wagstaff
Room: QT Deluxe King
Address: 185 Hunter Street, Newcastle NSW 2300
Date: August 2022
Price range from $259
Best for a business trip or a weekend with the girls, this stylish stay over is the chicest place to sleep in Newcastle
Having opened in June in the revitalised East End precinct, QT Newcastle is the centrepiece of this revived location, all part of a $700 million overhaul. It’s the first regional New South Wales hotel for the designer collection bringing QT’s signature style to 104 guest rooms and suites, each with unique industrial textures and furnishings, a nod to the city’s coal heritage.
Within a short walk, you can find…
Queens Wharf and the ferry over to Griffith Park. Fort Scratchley, a historic coastal fortification from WWII that is now a tourist destination, as is Convict Lumberyard. Horseshoe Beach and Nobbys Lighthouse are strolling distance. While the rock pools include Bogey Hole and the stunning Newcastle Memorial Walk towards Gilmore Beach are a few minutes by car.
Claim to fame
Housed within the heritage-listed 113-year-old former Scott’s Limited and David Jones building on Hunter Mall, the building’s original facade dates back to 1890 and has been revived to blend the old with stunning new interiors. QT Newcastle also boasts the city’s first rooftop bar with uninterrupted views over the working harbour for the best sunset views in town.
The interior decor. From the spectacular lobby with art curated by Curatorial+Co gallery director Sophie Vander, to the running theme of the moon that features throughout the hotel in all manner of curves by interior designer Nic Graham. The many references to the moon and lunar eclipses are a design element that playfully reflects the regeneration of the building. While QT’s typical touches of modern luxury draw inspiration from Newcastle’s rich history and natural environment. From repurposed materials to the rich reds throughout the hotel, that reflect the coal and mining era. To the aquamarine ceramic tiles in bathrooms that are inspired by the nearby marina.
I stayed in a QT Deluxe King with stunning views of the harbour framed by floor-to-ceiling heritage windows. QT’s famous Dream Bed is a custom mattress that’s so sumptuous, dressed in earthy tones and leather throw cushions that add a retro flair. In keeping with the moon theme, the design has a lot of circles that flows throughout the room. While industrial textures – metal wardrobe, rust red minibar and furniture casters and brushed brass accents – are a nod to a city built on the coal industry.
By contrast, luxurious textured furnishings, vibrant bed throws, cocktail shakers and crystal coupes with bottled cocktails from Melbourne’s Everleigh Bottling Co are a nice touch. Yet the bathroom was the highlight, with its aquamarine bathroom tiles and brass fixtures set against black tiled floors. The bathroom had a sliding door that reveals a large bathtub that opens to look over the king bed and out the art deco window towards the harbour. While the addition of a sleek Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer with designer styling products make bathtime even more fun.
Kevin Murphy products brighten the bathroom in bold pinks with its D&AD design-winning packaging. Known as the go-to guy for the iconic ‘Beach Hair’ look, it seems only apt to have his products in this beachside abode.
Beyond the rooms
It’s all about food and drink. From Jana Restaurant & Bar to Rooftop at QT, you don’t have the leave the hotel to revel in the best of Newcastle’s nightlight offerings. Jana is led by acclaimed Michelin star chef Massimo Speroni from multi-award-winning Brisbane restaurant, Bacchus, and two Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy. He’s brought his talents to the NSW coast with a menu focused on local Hunter Valley region produce cooked in a modern Australian grill style from an open kitchen. Fresh pasta also features. An extensive label list from Tyrell, Australia’s oldest wine region, keeps the local product focus on par.
Dish to dine for
Jana – Goddess of the Moon – is the main dining space that had just opened during my stay. Yet sadly, this was not open while I was there. It is closed on Sunday and Monday. I did enjoy a hearty breakfast the following day in the restaurant. The Cardamon Spiced Tart from Uprising Bakery was delicious. Enjoyed with a Ruby Tuesday juice of watermelon, rhubarb, Pink Lady apple, pear and lime.
Rooftop at QT bar is fantastic at sunset and has a great Japanese-inspired menu I really enjoyed. Plates of Gyoza dumplings, tempura prawns and fresh salmon sashimi are enhanced with gin cocktails and Japanese whiskey. The bar becomes very busy being one of Newcastle’s newest hot spots as the only open-air rooftop (set on the hotel’s ninth floor) with sweeping views at every vantage point. However, take note: QT Newcastle guests have exclusive access from 3 to 4pm daily. Offering another reason to book a room downstairs.
The concierge team, known as the Directors of Chaos, have all the local knowledge to guide you beyond the QT’s F&B offerings. Should you choose to leave the hotel.
Request the Clock Tower Suite built into the building’s iconic dome and clock face for a simply stunning stay. Its views over the harbour and a huge designer bathroom with arguably QT’s best tub. It would make the perfect romantic getaway.
The family factor
QT Connecting Two Bedroom works perfectly for a family getaway or a weekend with friends wanting to share more space. Linking a QT King with a second room featuring two QT King Single beds.
Book direct for the best rates and extra special surprises. Like an extra Negroni in the minibar to free choc tops and other tasty treats. Dog lovers, ask for a pet-friendly room with a poochie mini bar packed with goodies and in-room doggy dinner menus. If driving, valet parking is available to ensure 5-star service from the minute of your arrival.
I wish I could take home…
Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer (available in all suites) and the Dyson Corrale™ straightener (by request) ensures your freshly washed mane smells not only divine from those Kevin Murphy products but is perfectly coiffed for cocktail hour.
Jana Restaurant & Bar was open and serving dinner on a Sunday. I would have loved to have tried Chef Speroni’s Michelin-starred pasta talents.
V&T expert rating
8 out of 10 – Newcastle is known as unique and eclectic, and the new QT is flawless in its design and styling. However, there were a few hiccups on check in and check out. Staff are new and need more training – a common occurrence across most hotels. Which I am sure will improve over time.
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