Looking for stylish accommodation in Canberra? A wave of impressive design hotels have sprung up around the city in recent years, and you’ll find some of the coolest ones along National Circuit, which partially encircles Parliament House, as well as in or around the award-winning NewActon cultural precinct. For a memorable stay in Canberra, book a room in one of these trendy hotels.
The Original Room at Hotel Hotel is as chic as it is comfortable
The avant-garde Hotel Hotel is located within the futuristic NewActon Nishi apartment complex; Australia's only building with a six star green rating. Inside, every piece of furniture or decoration is sustainable, recycled or simply a work of art. Expect chipboard cabinetry, clay walls, heated concrete floors and original paintings by local artists. Eschew the onsite gym for a complimentary hire bicycle, or spend your time browsing the many nooks of NewActon precinct. If you think green is the new black, then Hotel Hotel is for you.
Hotel Hotel is located just 10 minutes from the airport. Enter via Phillip Law Street and leave your Canberra car rental at the public Wilson car park beneath the hotel. As a guest, you may be eligible to receive 50% off standard parking rates so don’t forget to ask the concierge for a discount. Alternatively, drop your Canberra rental car off with the valet.
QT Canberra’s tongue-in-cheek pollie portraits
This sleek hotel, a stone’s throw from the NewActon Nishi, embodies Canberra to a tee – with signature QT attitude and style. The theme? Politics, of course! Live tweets run down the wall by reception, while cheeky portraits of politicians and heads of state line another. The dimly lit restaurant is perfect for power lunches and dinner deals and there’s an invite-only lounge full of private alcoves for discussing top-secret business. The masculine palette of this decidedly urban QT hotel carries up to guest rooms, with cheery red or bright yellow ‘pops’ of colour to break up the black, white and metallic scheme. Need a shave? There’s an old-school barber shop that conceals the entrance to a bar where you can quaff a Prohibition-era cocktail away from prying eyes.
Stay where former Prime Minister Ben Chifley once did
First opened in 1926, this classic hotel on National Circuit once hosted Australia’s most influential politicians including Prime Minister Ben Chifley who preferred living here to The Lodge. A renovation completed in 2015 brought the property into the 21st century while carefully preserving its charm and history. The Hotel Kurrajong's Art Deco exterior was left almost untouched, while its interiors are distinctly contemporary with carefully curated books and framed photos of past leaders. Stay here if you have any interest at all in Australian political history.
With only limited off-street parking available within close vicinity of this hotel, you may want to consider leaving your Canberra car rental a few streets away to avoid having to purchase a ticket.
Little National Hotel
Good things come in small packages at the Little National Hotel
Small is beautiful in the case of the Little National Hotel. Sitting atop a multi-storey carpark built to alleviate vehicle congestion around Parliament House, what matters here is how many luxuries you get per square metre. The answer: a lot. Oversized king beds are positioned ingeniously against floor-length windows for super-sized views (and to maximise space), while guests enjoy a whole heap of freebies from car parking, Wi-Fi and in-house movies to Nespresso coffee and T2 gourmet teas. There’s no restaurant but who cares, when Canberra’s top restaurants are just a short walk or drive away?
Recommended Day Trips from Canberra
Most visitors to Canberra don’t venture outside of the ‘bush capital’ which is a shame, because the city is surrounded by captivating unspoilt wilderness. Namadgi National Park is just 45 minutes’ by car hire from the capital, and shelters a large number of Australian native species, from swamp wallabies to wombats and echidnas. It also has a rich Aboriginal history, with archaeological sites dating back tens of thousands of years.
Day trippers should pack a picnic and hit some of the many walking trails that thread this gorgeous park. There are tracks to scenic lookouts, ones that take you through centuries-old homesteads and others still that explore a large swamp. Mountain biking and horseback riding are also permitted along designated trails. Hire a Personal Locator Beacon from the visitor centre if you plan to explore more remote sections of the reserve.
Another option is Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, which is well set up for families. There are ranger-guided walks here as well as a sprawling Discovery Playground. Tidbinbilla lies 40 minutes southwest of Canberra so bringing your rental car is essential. Keep your eyes peeled for koalas, kangaroos, and emus in the wild. You might even spot an elusive platypus if you’re lucky!
Also in this area is the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, which provides visitors with a chance to learn about Australia’s role in space exploration. Inspect spacecraft models, see what astronauts eat, and check out a piece of the Moon that’s over 3.8 billion years old.