Fans of QT’s quirky aesthetic will appreciate the political spin its Canberra offshoot puts on things. From the postcards in the room (featuring pastel-tinted photos of prime ministers past) to a slightly alarming picture in the foyer of the Liberal cabinet way back when Malcolm Turnbull was in charge, there’s no escaping the fact that you’re in the national capital.
But the Event group’s Canberra representative offers the same seamless service as its other hotels around Australia. Corporates will love the excellent food and drink options within and even the most jaded traveller will lap up the lavish breakfast buffet. Work wrapped up early? The hotel is within striking distance of Lake Burley Griffin and the museum mile.
With more mod cons than you can push a public servant at, you'll get your “fair shake of the sauce bottle” here, “mate”, as former PM Kevin Rudd would have it. From the spacious State Suite down, all rooms include a flat-screen HD TV, streaming entertainment, free wi-fi, workspace with multi-function technology board, Nespresso machine and a pleasingly well-stocked minibar.
Eclectic designer décor is at the forefront of styling (eg. Pony Rider pillows and glasses from NYC’s Museum of Modern Art) along with a striking black, white and yellow colour scheme.
Even the smallest rooms have a Tardis-like quality with balcony views of the city or the lake and surrounds and the comfort factor is high, while noise levels are low. In short, everything is set up here to facilitate refined relaxation and a good night's rest.
There's no better position for a hotel in this city than by its geographical heart – the lake. QT Canberra is near the centre of the northern shore, on the outskirts of Civic, which is the city's CBD and major retail shopping area. More specifically, it's in the thick of NewActon, a relatively new residential and commercial precinct not far from the Australian National University and Black Mountain, with its looming, iconic communications tower. The compact but thriving area is a magnet for creative small businesses and has a fantastic café, bar and restaurant culture minutes away from the QT’s doorstep.
Food and drink
You don't need to venture far from your room to enjoy one of the ACT's most satisfying dining experiences. The ground-floor Capitol Bar & Grill is an attractive, open-plan Italian-cuisine restaurant created by restaurateur Robert Marchetti with a kitchen helmed by executive chef Michael Box.
Its food and wine menus are extensive, with many an Italian classic as well as prime cuts of dry-aged steak from Cape Grim, Tasmania. It's a smart-casual dining affair but if you've brought kids along, entice their best behaviour with the promise of a finale of bite-sized cinnamon doughnuts, which they can literally inject with jam and vanilla custard using plastic syringes.
Not to be missed, also, is the breakfast buffet with its wide selection of bain-marie delights, cooked-to-order eggs, boulangerie, charcuterie and fresh juices and yoghurts.
For business travellers
QT Canberra has a dedicated meeting and events floor boasting the largest hotel conference facilities in the territory. Its ballroom alone can cater for up to 1500 delegates and space can be easily converted into a vast exhibition area.
For wellness travellers
Book a hotel bicycle for a ride around the lake following one of various map-marked routes and take in cultural highlights such as the National Gallery of Australia, Questacon and National Museum of Australia. It’s one of the best ways to experience the beauty of the Bush Capital.
If you approve of the hotel staff's well-groomed appearance, chances are the male contingent have recently been to the old-fashioned barber shop on the ground floor and sat in an antique chair for a cut, beard trim or traditional shave.
For the thirsty, each room also contains a “QT Old Fashioned” cocktail-making kit complete with instructions and using straight bourbon whiskey from the master distiller at Buffalo Trace in Kentucky, USA. Unwinding never tasted so good.
Address: 1 London Circuit, Canberra; (02) 6247 6244
Style: Boutique designer hotel
Perfect for: Business travellers, couples and families
Price: Rooms from $216