Canberra’s East Hotel, located between the fashionable retail and restaurant hubs of Manuka and Kingston, is the perfect balance of contemporary savvy mixed into a lifestyle hotel.
The moment you walk into the property there is a sense of fun, and I couldn’t help but notice the retro bicycles sat in the foyer calling my name to hope on and explore the area. The spacious central atrium is warm and inviting, feeling like you are in a funky art gallery or museum. I had an urge to touch everything, look around more and read the wall art but I settled for grabbing a few lollies from the jars by the reception.
Checking in was just as breezy as the staff greeted me with such a friendly helpful attitude. I got the impression she actually loved coming to work. My stay was in a Luxe One Bedroom Apartment on the top floor, overlooking Parliament House to the left and Canberra city as far as I could see. The room was just that, ‘Luxe’, a feeling of hip and cool luxury. The textured contemporary design continued from the atrium to the room, balancing the dark materials with bright colourful furnishings. The central feature of art in the hotel is also evident throughout the room with fresh and unique photographs displayed on the walls.
There was a sense of inner city apartment living in this room and I instantly felt I could live here full-time. A separate living room leads onto a balcony and a kitchen lines the wall, fully equipped with cooking facilities with hot plate, dishwasher and crockery. A hidden laundry also has a washing machine and clothes dryer. Leading off the lounge room is the bedroom and a bathroom with an executive spa-tub. Little extras like a Nespresso coffee machine, organic toiletries, Wi-Fi and flat-screen TV’s in both bedroom and lounge offer those little creature comforts of home.
Whether overnighter visitors, business guests, long stay guests or families, The East Hotel has a room type to suit everyone. With 140 rooms in various studio and apartment-style combinations, the hotel must be commended on recognizing the challenges families can face with hotel accommodation by providing specially designated suites for families, cleverly designed in a modular, fun way specifically to cater for both adults and kids. The kids will be happy to find their space equipped with games, Xbox, TV and activities to keep them entertained.
Room types include: East Studios, Kids Studios, Luxe Studios, One Bedroom Luxe Apartments and Two Bedroom Luxe Apartments.
The range of facilities and services are just as wide as the room types at East Hotel. There is a professional and full service business centre to complement the various meeting and conference rooms and spaces. If you want to do a workout at 3am then the 24 hour gym facility and complementary access to a local gym for a full range of exercise classes can cater for that.
Most entertaining and original is the East Hotel ‘Free Range’ news agency service offered in the lobby, where guests can pick up a daily newspaper, books or current and back issue of magazines to enjoy anywhere in the hotel, as long as they come home to ‘roost’ at night. The friendly and locally knowledgeable front desk team can advise guests where they can see the sights and explore locally with a leisurely cruise on one of the Hotel’s retro bicycles or hire an electric bike. The hotel has standalone dining and bar facilities – the Ox Eatery.
Conference and Meetings
A range of conference and meeting rooms and spaces give corporate clients the flexibility to meet their business needs. There is choice from seven modern and professional conference rooms, boardrooms and an all-day meeting lounge, complete with air hockey table, to foster the creative environment that leads to the success of any meeting. These themed rooms create an entertaining atmosphere that complements the hotels overall ‘funkyness’ with the concept to provide business areas with a bit of flair, to inspire and get the creative juices flowing. This is probably most evident in the Vinyl Room, with eye catching record-player wallpaper and a large record player featured on the back wall.
Conference/Meeting Rooms include: Chronicle Room, Vinyl Room, Aviator Room, Boxcar Room, Daily Room, HQ Room and the Cubicle.
East Hotel has been developed by Bisa Hotels and is the first of many future projects for the hotel group. Owner and Director Dan Bisa told KarryOn that East Hotel is first and foremost a lifestyle hotel that over delivers on the 4.5 star standard and caters well for both weekday business travellers, and weekend families.
“We have created an environment that is welcoming and energetic, and gives our guests the same local and inspired experience they would have in any boutique hotel in any global city. Today’s traveller wants more space, great targeted service for things that matter, and a design thoughtfulness and edge that surprises”.
When KarryOn asked Dan Bisa what his highlight is owning and operating the East Hotel, he said hotels are living beings with many angles to them and a constantly evolving landscape.
“I love the brand aspect of opening and operating an independent hotel. You start with a clean slate and have the great task of moulding the hotel’s brand and culture from scratch. It’s not an easy prospect but hugely challenging as it starts with the actual hotel design and fit out and never really finishes, everything has to be on brand”.
Dan Bisa said he was most inspired by the boutique hotels he stayed in throughout Europe and the US, and returned with a dream to create something that achieved that same authenticity experienced during his travels.
“I hope we have, and continue to achieve that. It is has been incredibly rewarding to hear that positive feedback again and again from our guests. Those moments make us all love what we do here every day”.
East Hotel has won four local awards and a national award as Best Suite/Apartment Hotel at the 2013 Australian Hotels Association (AHA) National Awards for Excellence, and all in the first year of opening.
Packages and Deals
Family Fun – Questacon Pack – 2 bedroom rates from $430 Enjoy the weekend to explore Canberra and spend a day at Questacon!
This great offer includes: – 2 Bedroom East Apartment with Kids Cubby – XBOX 360 in kids room – Admission for 2 adults, 2 kids @ Questacon – 1/2 Bottle of Wine for Mum and Dad – Breakfast for the 2 adults & 2 kids – Free in-room movie – Free popcorn and cookies for the kids – Free parking at the hotel
(Kids Cubby on availability, 2 Bedroom East Apartment my be substituted)
A Day at the Pool – 2 bedroom rates from $450 Enjoy a day at the historic Manuka Swimming Pool with for you and the family! Stay in the East Two Bedroom Apartment, enjoy a full hot buffet breakfast for 2 adults and 2 children under the age of 15, wander over to Manuka Swimming Pool to enjoy an afternoon lounging on the lawns at Canberra’s original public swimming baths.
A Bunch of Animals – 2 bedroom rates from $520 There’s plenty to do but you’ll be amazed by Canberra’s National Zoo & Aquarium.
Be looked after at EAST: – 2 Bedroom East Apartment with Kids Cubby – XBOX 360 in kids room – Family admission at the National Zoo & Aquarium – 1/2 Bottle of Wine for mum and dad – Breakfast for 2 adults and 2 kids – Free in-room movie – Free popcorn and cookies for the kids – Free parking at the hotel
(Kids Cubby on availability, 2 Bedroom East Apartment may be substituted.)
Revive Packages rates from $300 Let EAST look after you when you’ve had a busy week!
One night in a Luxe Studio, a bottle of local Australian wine on arrival, an Appelles Apothecary Gift Pack, an extra pack of bath salts and some delicious chocolate treats. We’ll even throw in parking, 100MB free internet and a movie.
Package can be upgraded to a Luxe Apartment for only $50 more per night.
Business Package rates from $330 Let EAST look after you when you know it’s going to be one of those long work days.
Accommodation in an East Studio, 100MB bonus data pack for those extra emails, 2 extra Nespresso coffee pods to keep you fuelled into the night, a hot buffet breakfast for 1, parking for 1 car and your first drink at Ox!