After a major makeover, the Bli Bli Hotel threw the doors open again this week, introducing a modern fit-out, terrace and tropical gardens, and a rebrand for Sunshine Coast specialists to Maeva Hospitality.
The venue spans three levels, each sporting a distinct identity intended to cater for people “from all walks of life”.
Inside is a sports bar designed as the prime destination for sports enthusiasts, dedicated gaming lounge and bar, bistro, kids’ play area, and private function room ‘Parakeet’, with 200-pax capacity and curated to host all manner of events.
Crowning it all is the rooftop terrace, with retractable covering, providing a relaxed, greenery-laden atmosphere serving share plates and signature cocktails.
“We are most proud of this venue’s ability to service individuals from all walks of life,” says Maeva director Scott Armstrong.
Designer Diana Challinor, who does all of the group’s venues, went for a palette of terracotta, limewash, sage blues, pinks and peaches, with nods to the Australian bush, the Mediterranean and the Sonoran Desert (a 260k sqm kilometre region deemed the hottest desert in both Mexico and the USA).
This is seen in the glazed tiles, hand-blown glass chandeliers and hand-printed Australian bush wallpaper, and in the heart of the Bli Bli is a four-meter pink blossom tree, amid private dining tables. Boasting bespoke furnishings and fittings, described as a symphony of natural textures, there is “no sterile stainless steel and chrome in sight”.
Monday, 30 October saw the highly anticipated reopening, at 10am, with immediate response from the local community.
“They have been waiting for this venue for a long time and they have been delighted with the result,” reports Armstrong.
“As one customer said to me ‘It has been well and truly worth the wait’.”
The overhaul comes in partnership with the Deery family, which own Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge Hotel and the Woodford Hotel, and Armstrong says its inspiration comes from the collective support of the Sunshine Coast community.
A hot new menu has been curated by group executive chef Damien Grimes, using quality ingredients sourced from local suppliers and drawing inspiration from the diversity of Australian flavours. Centrepiece of the kitchen is a live-fire grill, adding a smoky, elevated twist to the selection, putting out the likes of wood-roasted local prawns and chicken shish, as well as premium steaks.
Beside the grill offerings comes a wide selection of pub classics, including woodfired pizzas and schnitzels, plus a comprehensive kids’ menu.
Sunshine Coast Hotels has a longstanding history of hospitality in the region, with venues such as Parklands Tavern, Brightwater Hotel, Baringa Tavern and The Lakehouse Sunshine Coast, but the group name was really more of a corporate entity that became a brand.
They came to find the name limiting, in terms of both geography and breadth in hospitality, and so the relaunch of the Bli Bli also brings a pivot to a title of French-Polynesian origin that better fits with the modus operandi.
“Maeva is a name that means ‘welcome’,” explains Armstrong.
“And that resonated with our management and staff, as this is something that we try and make our customers feel every time they visit one of our venues.”