When it first opened in 1926, the hotel provided Canberra’s burgeoning public servant population with comfortable sleeping quarters and elegant spaces for socialising. Today, visitors can choose between 147 guest rooms, either in the faithfully maintained heritage wing or in the sleek and sympathetically designed contemporary section. The lobby and the manicured terrace gardens have been restored to their 1920s’ glory and Chifley’s Bar & Grill boasts a beautifully refurbished formal dining room and glassed in terrace with garden views. There are also plenty of modern conveniences on site, including free wifi, a sleek gym, ample conference facilities (including a private dining room) and guest parking.
Hotel Kurrajong’s wonderfully atmospheric Heritage Rooms are located inside the original building, while the classic and terrace rooms offer extra space and comfort within the contemporary section of the hotel. All rooms include work desks, individually controlled air conditioning, USB charging points, free wifi and flat screen TVs. The spacious bathrooms feature premium Zambelli amenities and there are bathtubs in a selection of the heritage rooms. Well stocked minibars and Vittoria coffee pod machines are standard in all rooms. Upgrade to an executive suite for a spacious living area with garden views and oversized bathrooms with bathtubs, luxurious bathrobes and fluffy slippers.
The hotel founders chose a site in the suburb of Barton so guests could easily walk to Canberra’s first parliament building, now known as Old Parliament House. These days, the building is home to the Museum of Australian Democracy, a must for political junkies and inquisitive families (there are special areas for kids). From the museum, it’s a short stroll to the more modern Parliament House, where you can take a tour or watch politicians spar. The hotel is also moments away from the heavy hitting National Gallery; the engaging National Portrait Gallery, which often features temporary video exhibitions; and everyone’s favourite science museum, Questacon. The Parliamentary Triangle is home to an increasing number of great places to eat and drink. In Barton, try the moodily lit Vincent – a wine bar with inventive dishes. And visit the sophisticated, family friendly suburb of Manuka for brunch and coffee at ONA, which roasts its own beans, then sample perfectly made pasta at local institution Belluci’s.