Last updated: July 2020
A hotel sets the mood for your stay. You want comfort, a fabulous location, and personally, that little je ne sais quoi that turns a good experience into a great one, and a brilliant price always helps!
While there are dozens of nice hotels in Canberra to choose from why not add a level of chic-ness to your stay by staying in one of the coolest boutique hotels in Canberra.
With unique designs, personal guest service, great locations, and one with what may be Australia’s best minibar; maybe one of these boutique hotels will be the perfect setting for your next holiday!
My Favourite Boutique Hotels in Canberra
QT Hotel Canberra
When you look for a boutique hotel in Australia, you can’t go pass QT Hotels & Resorts. Their Canberra property brings cool and quirky to the table with their luxe politique and pop-chic theme.
In the lobby, you’ll be met with off-beat portraits of world leaders lit with neon tubes. Follow the wall to Capitol Grill (recommended!) and Lucky’s Speakeasy, the entrance concealed behind the on-site barber shop. Before you step into the elevator to your room, check out the wallpaper and see how many world leaders you can name!
Rooms are furnished simply in a monochromatic palette with pops of colour, but with attention to the quality of details: soft linens, beds you’ll sink into and never want to leave, free WiFi, complimentary in-house movies and a signature cocktail station.
They are also home to, in my opinion, Australia’s best mini bars – something that runs true across all QT properties in Australia – decked out with locally-sourced snacks, a solar-powered waving Queen Elizabeth, and an emergency bow tie should MI6 call you up for a black-tie event unexpectedly.
I recommend booking the QT Queen room as the room space is larger than others and afford views across either the city or Lake Burley Griffin.
Hot tip: to save on your QT Canberra stay, sign up to their Priority Rewards program. They offer Members Rates of around $10+ off your stay per night!
QT Canberra, 1 London Circuit, Canberra | Read my full review here
There’s a lot to love about Canberra’s Ovolo Nishi, formally known as Hotel Hotel. The striking building, located centrally in NewActon, is a 68 room boutique hotel is filled with unique or antiquated pieces, many of the commissioned works completed by local artists (some whose work you’ll find in the pop-up shop!)
Ovolo Nishi does accommodation differently. Half of the rooms are flooded with natural light and views overlooking the surrounding cityscape, the other half is dark and moody facing the internal rainforest courtyard. If you have a preference, be sure to request it when booking as the property fills up quickly!
If I had to give the rooms a personality it would be that of a moody ocker Aussie artist. Australian made and sourced meets eclectic mixes of furniture which work together seamlessly, all paired with dark woods, concrete and fluffy woollen chairs. Sustainability and environmentally friendly is a key theme running throughout the Nishi building the property is located in.
Large Aesop toiletries are dispensed, rather than coming in a single-use, and complements a stellar shower experience. If you have time, indulge in a soak in the large concrete bathtubs.
While I am yet to make the pilgrimage, my Canberra friends rave about Monster Kitchen & Bar both come breakfast and dinner.
Ovolo Nishi, NewActon Nishi, 25 Edinburgh Avenue, Canberra
While its hotel by name, it’s an apartment by nature. With serviced apartments tending to be rather stuffy and bleak, East Hotel breaks that mould. Comprised of studio, 1- or 2- bedroom serviced apartments, the rooms have a 1960’s feel with plush and vibrant finishes. The perfect fit for a hotel located near the trendy suburbs of Kingston and Manuka.
Whether you are there for a day or a few weeks, East Hotel gives you hotel vibes with apartment convenience. Rooms come with king beds with feather pillow tops, fully equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, free WiFi, and a large selection of TV channels, perfect for the cooler months!
For those travelling with the family, there kids rooms – called ‘Kid’s Cubby’s’ – available with interconnecting rooms for the parents. Kid’s Cubby’s have bunk beds, bean bags, and an Xbox.
While you are at East Hotel, be sure to have breakfast at Muse. Located adjacent to the lobby, the cafe is set alongside (and inside!) a bookshop.
My other favourite things to do in the area is to take a walk down the Old Bus Depot Market held each weekend. There you can browse the stalls, head into the Canberra Glassworks for a glass blowing lessons (or spectate!) and try Canberra’s famous Brodburger!
East Hotel, 69 Canberra Ave, Kingston
Originally opened in 1926, the modern Hotel Kurrajong celebrates its grand history and modern 21st-century comforts.
Everything about Hotel Kurrajong says comfort and quality. From the richly coloured and plush furnishing, a staple of the Art Deco design, to the host of complimentary amenities: free WiFi, a 24-hour gym, Vittoria Coffee machine, and Foxtel TV.
Upgrade your stay by staying in the Turnbull Suite. To honour the hotel’s 90th birthday, and as a nod to election winner in the same year, Hotel Kurrajong named one of their rooms the after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Located just a short stroll from some of the nation’s most important and notable buildings (the War Memorial, Royal Australian Mint and National Gallery), whether you are visiting Canberra for business or pleasure, there’ll be something for you to discover.
If you are a gourmand, make a visit to Chiefly’s Bar & Grill where hatted chef Michael Chatto serves up modern Australian with flair, and quite the impressive local and international wine list to match.
Hotel Kurrajong, 8 National Circuit, Barton
Dark timber floorboards, earth tones and a palate of muted greys may sound dull but they come together at Little National to create something dreamy, alluring and slightly futuristic. The whole property has simple design aesthetics encompassing space and minimalism.
One of the cities newest hotels, when you walk into your room, you’ll find that the far wall is a floor to ceiling window. As the bed is docked against this window – maximum privacy is ensured with a sheer curtain and a blackout curtain – if you are sharing with a partner, one person will need to get in and ‘scootch’ to the other side of the huge king sized bed or clamber over if you wish to exit.
Nespresso machines, free WiFi, cable TV, free in-hour movies, and free local calls are all included. There’s also a lovely common area, with views of Parliament House, open 24/7. Serving as a place to work or meet friends, there is free T2 tea and coffee available, as well as a selection of magazines and newspapers.
With its location in Barton, so close to National Gallery of Australia, National Portrait Gallery and the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, a stay at this zen hotel is the perfect way to compliment your visit to Canberra.
Little National Hotel, 21 National Circuit, Barton
Peppers Gallery Hotel
So much has happened in the last few years at Canberra’s Peppers Gallery Hotel. The historical hotel had a fire, devastating much of the property; they rebuilt, changed names from the Diamant Hotel (where I stayed on my first trip to Canberra) to a Peppers Gallery Hotel, and like a phoenix from the ashes, it has been rejuvenated to become one of the premier hotels in Canberra.
Slightly more conservative than the in-your-face Hotel Hotel, the rooms at Peppers Gallery still are a little moody, monochromatic with pops of colour and marble bathrooms. Each room features Band and Olufsen TV’s, Nespresso machines, and rainforest bathrooms.
Located in the heart of New Acton, near the city’s Business District, you’re never far away from a good meal or something to do. Be sure to enjoy a meal at all-day Italian restaurant Bicicletta or Mocan & Green Grout, one of the city’s top-rated cafes.
Hot tip: if you join Mantra+, the brand’s loyalty program, you can get free WiFi access and complimentary late check-out. Be sure to ask how to sign up when you check-in!
Peppers Gallery Hotel, 15 Edinburgh Ave, Canberra
Let me know in the comments:
Which of these boutique hotels would you like to stay in?
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