The Hubs and I recently spent a long weekend in Canberra. Why Canberra? Well, The Hubs had a rare weekend off from his grueling roster and he wanted to escape on his beloved BMW two wheeler (more about that in my Biker Chick post here). The maximum amount of time that I can stand sitting on the back of the bike is 2 ½ hours so we stuck a compass in Sydney and looked at every place within the allotted radius. We discovered we had been to the vast majority of places within our search area and nothing appealed quite as much as Canberra for a return visit. It’s been more than a decade since we have been to Australia’s capital so we made sure we did our research on Expedia before choosing the Novotel Canberra as our home away from home for the two nights. Read on for all the details …
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Novotel is a network of 4 star hotels located in cities and tourist destinations spanning 59 countries. Novotel prides itself on being the first choice for both business and leisure travellers by offering a consistent level of service. I’ve stayed at a number of Novotels around the globe and one of the things that impresses me is their commitment to reducing their impact on the planet. Did you know that 80% of their hotels recycle their waste, 89% use energy efficient lighting and 80% use eco-labeled welcome products? 100% would be better but this is a great start!
Novotel Canberra At A Glance
Location, Value & Service
Canberra is compact and Novotel Canberra is in the heart of it all. You are literally steps away from the interstate bus station and local buses are just around the corner. A late opening convenience store, chemist, cocktail bar and wine bar are on the same block as the Novotel. The Canberra Centre is a mere stroll away and the surrounding streets are littered with bars and restaurants. We had a fantastic meal at Blu Ginger (what I wore here). Lake Burley Griffin is about a kilometre away and the perfect place for an early morning walk. Parliament, the Australian War Memorial and Questacon are only a short drive away. For such a central location you would expect to feel the pinch in the hip pocket but the Novotel Canberra rates are great value. We scored a discount on Expedia and paid about $160 a night for an Executive King Room, while this was a discounted deal the rack racks are also very reasonable. I could not fault Novotel on their service. Our check-in was fast, efficient and pleasant. We were offered maps of the local area (yes please!) and our server even informed us of the Canberra Balloon Spectacular that was on that weekend (read about our visit here). The car park attendants were wonderful despite some very busy periods when we were entering and exiting and we were allowed to park the bike for free as long as we were not taking up a full car space which was a very nice surprise. We managed to find a spot near a pylon that we could squeeze the bike into without affecting any other guests. Bonus! I also loved the fact that our bar server remembered us when we returned on the second night. The icing on the cake was a complimentary late check out on our day of departure 🙂
The room at Novotel Canberra are contemporary in design and very spacious. I love the fact that there is room for a comfy sofa so you are not constantly sitting on the bed. Business travellers are taken care of with a functional desk but don’t expect free wi-fi. This irks me no end. I travel around the globe fairly often and I honestly don’t believe that in this day and age properties should slug guests for wi-fi. I often solely choose hotels based on if they are giving me a free connection but in Canberra free wi-fi does not appear the norm. The bathroom was a little dated and I was not a fan of the plastic floor in the shower base that kinda reminded me of being in a cabin in a caravan park. The bed was king sized and comfy, just the way I like it. The pillow menu was a treat for my fussy husband who usually brings his own but the luggage restrictions on the bike meant this was not possible. This, plus the black out curtains ensured we had a great nights sleep both nights. I always choose a balcony room when I travel but at the Novotel Canberra none are available which was a small disappointment. Our room was located at the front of the hotel overlooking a rather busy road but with the windows closed this did not bother us at all. All the little niggles I had about the room faded when I noticed a complimentary bottle of wine waiting for us in the room. Nice one Novotel!
Wining & Dining
We visited the Novotel’s onsite One Restaurant & Bar twice for drinks but we didn’t sample the food. Don’t judge me! My “Ladykiller” cocktail was delicious and I also sampled a glass of the local wine. The decor of the bar was modern and it was a thoroughly enjoyable space to while away an hour or so. How cute are the lights over the stairs! Of course a 24 hour room service menu is available for those who don’t have the inclination to venture out.
All the facilities that were would expect from a four star hotel such as a pool, conference rooms and a gym were present and accounted for. We headed down to the pool for a sticky beak but decided not to take a dip. In addition there are surprising extras like car and pushbike hire available on site. Everything you need and nothing you don’t!
All in all we really enjoyed our stay at the Canberra Novotel and I would recommend you check it out when you are next in town. If you have visited yourself I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Until Next Time …
Disclaimer: My stay at the Canberra Novotel was not sponsored and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links for which a small commission may be paid.
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