by: Kate Atkinson
An adventure to Australia’s controversial capital city to investigate the NewActon cultural precinct (a new fangled melting pot of creative talent) and check out some galleries.
Just little old me.
Local bric a brac a plenty.
Hotel from outside – with complimentary ray of light.
Entrance – ‘A Place for People People,’ apparently.
Buzz off – for late arrivals. Couldn’t have put it better myself.
As the saying goes – TIM-BER… lobby staircase, incredible.
Hotel nerd - a geek of monumental proportions. Living room light – design tastic.
Suitcases – feel like packing it in here, and becoming a lady of leisure forever. TIM-BER take 2.
Corridor – it’s like the labyrinth – I’m doing Bowie proud. Bikes – free to hire and hit one of many excellent local galleries, all aboard!
Bedroom – mood lighting, ding ding!
Gallery style bedroom – art choice off the hook.
Room light: spot the lamp
The bath – rub a dub dub, check out that dang tub.
Aesop – one word… WIN.
Bath salt (in a neat little arrangement) - get involved.
Toilet bag – tailor made and super stylin’.
Oysters, tick. Wine, tick.
Library – boasting a healthy collection of cerebral Canberra
The incredible Hotel façade – geometric to boot.
Highs + Lows
The eye for detail – from the Aesop products in the rooms to the ecologically considered toilet bags and hotel stamp stationary at reception, there is NOTHING that this hotel hasn’t thought of. This place gives the word ‘considered’ a whole new destination to dance.
Art and the creative vibe – from the Lucy McRae mirror in the lobby to the tiles turned into a mosaic in the lobby (an age old collection belonging to Saskia Havekes of Grandiflora’s grandfather) to the gazillion books in the lobby library, this place is a mecca for art and culture enthusiasts.
The design with local artisan touches – it’s rare to find a hotel that manages to marry design genius with a low key and comfortable vibe. It’s a mish mash of design genius that is somehow entirely ingenious and works in a day-to-day setting. Best of all, it’s ecologically sound and sustainable. So much so that the Australian Department of Climate Change is based within the Nishi building, of which Hotel Hotel is a part.
Everything everywhere here is made by artisans and handmade. Bath salt containers, hotel glasses (one Amos Enders-Moje created the glassware from recycled bottles locally and exclusively for the hotel).
The bikes – my ride around town was smooth as silk. I wanted to fly this baby home and ride it round the streets of Redfern.
Nothing to fault. Nada. Nothing.
- Mini Bar
- Life Changing
- Environmental Consciousness
- Overall Value
- Night's Sleep
- Stealable Stuff
- Refer a Friend
Two words. Design. Hotel. It doesn’t get more design nerd than this.
Relaxed design hotel meets melting pot of artisans and creative luminaries.
In the heart of Canberra’s NewActon cultural precinct, which is a mecca for art and culture enthusiasts. This place boasts a Palace movie cinema, a bike shop and regularly plays host to local art exhibitions and collective gatherings. Just a short walk over the bridge is Lake Burley Griffin, which is the focal point for all things Canberra culture. The National Museum, Library, Parliament House, The Gallery of Australian Design, and The National Gallery are all within a short cycle away.
99 rooms including 33 apartments, with collaborations by 56 (and counting) artists, designers and makers.
Of the now, but not annoyingly so. One of the hero tracks from the Trainspotting album was playing while I sipped my glass of local Shiraz (it may or may not have been Underworld, but I was enjoying it so much I forgot to ask). Perfection.
- Year Opened
- Designed By
If only this were a straightforward question. Hotel Hotel is a jigsaw puzzle of perfectly connected creatives. It occupies 3 floors of the newly constructed Nishi residential building. Designed by Australian architectural firm (the masterminds behind Australia’s acclaimed Museum of New and Old in Tasmania), in close collaboration with Japan’s Suppose Design Office. The foyer and grand stair lobby are designed by March Studio in collaboration with Oculus, NewActon’s landscape Within that space, new fangled pieces from Broached Commissions reflect Canberra’s design history while complementing the hotel architecture.
No pool and no gym, but plenty of Lake Burley Griffin to run around + free super duper bikes to borrow.
In and around this hotel, there are lots of different dining spots. The bar and lounge on the hotel’s ground floor serves an impressive list of local wines from around Canberra (try the Riesling), paired with a lazy lounge room with adapted Danish furniture and a fireplace to boot. Chef Sean McConnell serves up a carefully selected array of dishes in both the hotel restaurant (yet to open) and bar.
Yes – with a wine and cocktail list to die for. Pair some wine with the oysters topped with lychee. It’s a winning combination.
I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. Most of the time when it comes to design hotel protocol, leave them at home.
From $285 – an absolute bargain for what you can get room-wise.
In the Area
Gold and the Inca’s at National Gallery
National Gallery, Canberra
There’s no doubt about it. One
of Australia’s best and most prestigious galleries is in
Mocan and Green Grout
Mocan and Green Grout, 1/19 Marcus Clarke St, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
A menu to die for, locally sourced and produced food - I know it’s embarrassing, but their bacon and egg roll was killer.
Get a bike
Lake Burley Griffin
Borrow a bike from the hotel and ride it around the city and Lake Burley Griffin, it’s mandatory.
Hotel Hotel, NewActon Nishi, 25 Edinburgh Avenue, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
Hotel Location: NewActon Nishi, 25 Edinburgh Avenue, Canberra