The Fantauzzo is Brisbane’s second Art Series property after The Johnson in Spring Hill. Art Series properties are designed to showcase the work of an Australian artist – in this case painter Vincent Fantauzzo, best known for his celebrity portraits of Heath Ledger, Baz Luhrmann and Asher Keddie (who is Fantauzzo’s wife).
The $100 million hotel has over 500 artworks either made by its namesake or replicated from an original. Everywhere you turn there is art. Guests are encouraged to take art tours of the venue run by the on-site art advocates who share titbits passed on from Fantauzzo himself.
The 166-room hotel sits beneath the Story Bridge and hugs the cliff face behind Howard Smith Wharves. The jutting, angular architecture from SJB is designed to make the surroundings seem like an extension of the design. Interiors are modern and earthy with granite, concrete and timber flooring and headboards. Fixtures are brass or black metal, and soft furnishings are an emerald or navy velvet.
On the ground floor sits Polpetta, an approachable Italian-style restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner to guests and passers-by. Serving house-made pastas and sauces, its menu slots neatly between the casual Felons Brewing Co and the gussied-up Greek of Greca. At the other end of the hotel is a recently opened Betty’s Burgers.
Level three is home to the hotel’s bar – Fumé – a slick, open-air space with impressive city views that’s open to the public (via an external elevator) and hosts DJ sets on Fridays and Saturdays.