Neale Whi­taker re­veals his un­ri­valled joy at a night in a top ho­tel.


Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Joe Hildebrand - By Neale Whi­taker Neale Whi­taker is ed­i­tor-in-chiefe of

As jobs go, mine’s a good one, but if I could trade places for just one day it would be with Alex Polizzi. You know Alex, she’s the Lifestyle Chan­nel’s ho­tel in­spec­tor. All nasal vow­els and dan­gly ear­rings, but she knows her stuff (as you’d ex­pect from the grand­daugh­ter of Bri­tish ho­tel baron Lord Forte) and in my opin­ion she’s one of the best things on TV. Where other peo­ple ob­sess about House Of Cards, I have The Ho­tel In­spec­tor.

I know I’d be re­ally good at that job. Or if not quite an in­spec­tor, I’d def­i­nitely make ho­tel con­sta­ble. For me, check­ing in to a ho­tel room can be an out-of-body ex­pe­ri­ence. I find the tem­po­rary sense of dis­place­ment thrilling and my ho­tel rou­tine is my yoga. Check out the view, draw back the cur­tains (call me odd, but I can’t sleep with closed cur­tains), stake out the bath­room, test the light­ing, air­con, mini-bar (rarely par­take but like to stock­take in case I wake in the night with a Nobby’s crav­ing) and then em­bark on the rit­ual of un­pack­ing. Woe be­tide the ho­tel that gives me hang­ers at­tached to fixed hooks. They never, ever, face the right way. Did I men­tion the ho­tel in Perth that opted out of wardrobes? Just hooks on the wall and hang­ers by spe­cial re­quest? I’ve never been back.

Of course I un­der­stand that in ho­tels, as with ev­ery­thing in life, you get what you pay for, but my gen­eral re­quire­ment is gilt-edged reality. I like the lux­ury dial set to warm. I don’t need cham­pagne or a trouser press, but I want it to feel like a treat.

Re­cently I checked out of a Mel­bourne ho­tel room that only of­fered de­caf­feinated cof­fee (use­less at 5am), had water in the dish­wash­ing drawer caus­ing a jus­taudi­ble-enough-to-be-ex­cru­ci­at­ing bleep (and dis­prov­ing my the­ory that no one washes up in ho­tel rooms), and blinds that could on­lyy be raised by a side­ways limbo ma­noeu­vre be­tween the couch and an off-kil­ter stan­dard lamp.

But by evening I was float­ing 15 floors above Bris­bane at The John­son, the new jewel in the crown of the Art Se­ries ho­tel group. I’ve lived in apart­ments smaller than my room. Late af­ter­noon sun washed across the bal­cony and from 10 floors below came the gen­tle splash, not of a blocked dish drawer, but a lap pool. Enough cof­fee to jus­tify a barista and kom­bucha in the fridge. In­spec­tor Alex would love it, dar­lin’.

Vogue Liv­ing.

1. Country Road ta­ble light, $179, coun­try­ 2. Com­mis­sioned Edi­tions/ Evie Group lug­gage rack, $1474, cri­te­ri­acol­lec­ 3. Cu­rio chair, $595, click­on­fur­ni­

PACK YOUR BAGS Re­lax in style at The John­son ho­tel in in­ner-city Bris­bane; (top right) The Ho­tel In­spec­tor’s Alex Polizzi.

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