Art Series’ new flagship Brisbane hotel finally has a name. In March, The Fantauzzo will open beneath the Story Bridge at Howard Smith Wharves. As is customary for Art Series hotels, The Fantauzzo will showcase the work of an acclaimed Australian artist. This time around it’s Vincent Fantauzzo, the painter best known for his portraits of celebrities such as Heath Ledger, Baz Luhrmann and his wife, actress Asher Keddie.
“The Art Series concept [positions] these hotels as cultural hotels,” says Accor Hotels chief operating officer Simon McGrath. “They showcase the best of Australian artists. They bring together the whole experience of Australian art with tourism [and] they create a story for the hotel. They create a sense of place … It's quite unique.”
The Fantauzzo will feature original Vincent Fantauzzo works as well as 500 reproductions of his best known paintings in the hotel’s rooms and public areas.
“Vince Fantauzzo has been fantastic in terms of reflecting a fresh, vibrant, dynamic approach,” McGrath says. “[We are] very delighted to be partnered with him.”
The Fantauzzo will be the first Art Series hotel under the direction of the Accor Group, which acquired the hotel brand as part of its takeover of the Mantra Group in May this year. McGrath says he’s excited to see the Art Series portfolio benefit from joining the international hotel chain.
“Art Series [will] now receive an international hotel platform [with] all the strength of international practice, the strength of loyalty and distribution on a world stage,” McGrath says.
The six-storey hotel will have 166 guest rooms, a rooftop pool with views of the Brisbane River and CBD, a hotel bar, gym and conference rooms. Architecture firm SJB has designed the hotel with inspiration from its riverside environment. A patterned exterior mimics the surrounding cliff-face with the completed build set to include plenty of greenery on and around the structure. The Fantauzzo will be the second Art Series property in Brisbane after The Johnson, which opened in Spring Hill in September 2016.
The Fantauzzo will open to the public in March 2019.