Let’s be honest, Canberra isn’t usually the first place that comes to mind when you think of a weekend trip. A one hour flight from Melbourne, two hour flight from Brisbane or three hour drive from Sydney, it’s not the hardest place to get to but unless you’re an avid viewer of question time, you’d probably rather spend the weekend at the local crochet club with your nan.
That may have been the case in 2012 but Canberra’s vibe has definitely changed in the past few years. Whilst I was there, I found myself doing mental reality checks every few hours to make sure I was actually in-fact, in Canberra and not Melbourne.
The first place that changed my mind was the hotel that I chose to stay in, Hotel Hotel. It sits in the pineapple shaped Nishi building in the arts and culture precinct of NewActon. Even from the outside, you get a sense that sustainability was a huge consideration in the design of the building.
Walking into the foyer you immediately notice that it’s mostly occupied by the hotel restaurant. The reception desk is small and subtle, making it feel more intimate than other hotel check-ins that I’ve been to. I was quickly greeted by the staff, checked-in and shown to my room.
The rooms are stunning. I’ve stayed in many cold and sterile hotel rooms and this is not one of them. The earthy tones warm up the room, making it feel very homely. Here, you won’t find small disposable plastic bottles of cheap soap that gets half used and thrown away, adding to our landfill problems. In lieu of that are generous supplies of Aesop’s aromatic hand wash, body wash, shampoo, conditioner and mandarin rind body balm.
Great things I liked about the room were the easy to use light switches, automatic blinds, in-room iPad for information and free drinking water. If I had one gripe, it was the power points that were awkwardly positioned right down low underneath the protruding bedside table.
If you’re staying here with a partner, book yourself into one of the Meandering Rooms… huge bathtub, two shower heads, and lots of room… for um… washing.
The Monster Kitchen & Bar
Everyone in Canberra comes to dine in this restaurant, although it’s very much a part of the hotel, it’s run independently from Hotel Hotel. Naturally I had dine here, also because I was too lazy to go out. As we’re not a food blog, I won’t go on too much about how much I enjoyed my Stone & Wood Pacific Ale with freshly shucked rusty wire oysters, duck breast with pickled cherries and figs on fig leaf ice cream. The service was impeccable.
All in all, a great hotel in a great location. So, the next time you have to go to Canberra for any reason at all, do yourself a favour and book into Hotel Hotel.