ACT News


New East Hotel adds to ACT 'room boom'

A baby grand in the corner, an open fireplace and a $40 breakfast delivered to your door - not all Canberrans can afford the experience but it seems a growing number of our visitors can.

The number of 5 and 4½ star hotels in Canberra has been steadily increasing over the past decade, with more than 850 additional luxury rooms coming on to the market in the past six years.

Champagne suite numbers have been boosted not only by the opening of new hotels such as Burbury and Hotel Realm, but also the refurbishment and extension of some existing facilities.

Canberra's newest indulgent accommodation, the East Hotel in Kingston, opened on Thursday. And while the 4½ star facility is still receiving its finishing touches - the lift to the ''opulent suites'' featured a smattering of cement dust - the extensive flower arrangements, plush pillows and in-room Nespresso coffee machines were all in place.

But despite the impressive foyer and gourmet kitchens, owner Dan Bisa said the hotel didn't offer typical luxury accommodation comprising layers of unnecessary services.

''What we're really trying to give is personalised service and things that guests need only when they want it,'' Mr Bisa said.


''It's a different take and it's our interpretation of what our business travellers and others want these days.''

Guests won't be able to indulge in $120 makeup ''tutorials'' available to Realm visitors and in lieu of a room service menu offering berry compote or saffron linguini - which the peckish traveller can order at the Hyatt - Mr Bisa said that guests can choose from a number of platters or pre-made meals from the hotel's deli downstairs.

East Hotel has added another 140 rooms to the Canberra market, bringing the total across the capital to about 5000.

Australian Hotels Association ACT branch general manager Brad Watts described this growth in hotel room numbers as a ''serious shot-in-the-arm'' for the local economy.

''This new room boom is the latest example of the recent regeneration of the ACT accommodation industry,'' Mr Watts said.

''There is demand for this in Canberra.''

Mr Watts said hotels such as Mercure Canberra and Rydges Lakeside Canberra had also undergone extensive, multi-million-dollar upgrades, adding to the luxury accommodation options available to the expected Floriade and centenary celebration visitors.

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