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“Things That Go Bump In The Night!”

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Hyatt Hotel Canberra
Ranked #4 of 57 Hotels in Canberra
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 September 2011

It is at least fifteen years since we last stayed at this hotel. We have just spent the weekend there, arriving Friday night, and checking out today, Sunday.

We chose the hotel as we love the old world feel it has and because it is well positioned for access to galleries and the city centre. The reception rooms are stylish, warm and comfortable. Sadly, however, there is such an emphasis on making money out of them, with high teas and such, that it is not possible to find a sofa to curl up and read the paper and most times of day.

We stayed in the old section of the hotel. This was much more expensive than the rooms in the modern additions, but I am unsure what we were paying for, unless it was the noise of plumbing when those in neighbouring rooms showered. When the people next door filled their spa bath the sound was if the spa was in our room - it was so loud!

The room had been refurbished, but was a little bland. However, it was of a good size, and the fittings and furniture were stylish and reflected the thirties feel of the hotel, especially the unit that contained the 'fridge, minibar, and Nespresso machine.

The bathroom was, like the bedroom, very clean. It was also large, and marble covered every surface. It has an art deco feel, complimenting the era the hotel was orginially established. The soaps and toiletries provided were of a high quality, as one would hope, as this hotel is expensive.

On our first night we ate in the hotel dining room. The Pavilion, I believe it is called. We chose the à la carte menu, as I find buffets appear great value, but only if you stuff yourself silly. Many in the dining room appeared to be doing this, and if you liked prawns, it would be possible to get good value for money dining this way!

The waitress was very bright and keen to help. This was true of almost all the staff who served us during our stay. She knew nothing about the wines on the dining rooms wine list. Eventually we were offerred a Lucinda Estate 2005 Shiraz, which wasn't even on the wine list. The poor waitress removed the cork but had no idea about smelling it. It might sound a bit wanky to expect this, but when you are having a $78 bottle of wine it is not pleasant to taste it if it is 'corked'.

The scallops I started with were excellent, and well cooked. My beef cheeks were overseasons and made me gag. The accompanying vegetables, eventually taken off the bill by the Maitre d', were adequate except that they were missing key ingredients, promised on the menu. The brocolli was supposed to be with slivered almonds, which would have offerred texture and a taste lift. The mashed potato was supposed to contain garlic, but did not (admitted by the staff), and was bland.

Our desserts were very good, but one took a while to make, which meant we were the last to leave the dining room, and we did feel as though the staff felt that we had outstayed our welcome (I think it was 10 pm).

The bed was comfortable, but the pillows gave me a stiff neck. In the morning, the shutters did help to keep the morning light out, but if greater darkness is required, there are screens that can be rolled down, using an articulated rod.

We met friends for brunch and also went to the Fred Williams exhibition at the National Gallery. We left the hotel around 9.30 am. We arrived back around 3 pm, and our room had still not been cleaned. The maid came about the time we arrived back, so we left her to do her work, taking coffee and cake in the main lobby. Great staff in elegant black 1920 style dresses, great cakes and coffee, too, but all we really had wanted to do was to go back to our room and crash, exhausted by our day.

The girl at reception was very helpful in ascertaining that our room had finally been clean. I do not wish to blame the maid, but one wonders if the hotel has enough cleaning staff. On our return, our room looked good, but for what we were paying this did not seem an unrealistic expectation!

We ate out in Canberra with friends at Mezzelira, which was very good, on the Saturday night. Our sleep was again affected by noises from other rooms. Our room was on the ground floor, at one stage it sounded like someone upstairs was tap dancing!

We had breakfast at the hotel on Sunday morning in the pavilion area where we had had dinner on the Friday night. Again the staff were very willing to please and were very efficient at taking used plates and utensils away when they were finished with. The buffet breakfast that we had had a good selection of different foods : cereals, sweet cakes, fresh and stewed fruits, hot foods, such as sausages and hash browns in bain marie style heating vessels, but the best point was it was possible to have your eggs made fresh when required. The coffee was also good.

We would not stay at the hotel again because of the noise in the room. Also, although the staff were keen to help and really did seem to have a good spirit of service, I felt several did not seem well trained. I worked at the Sydney Hilton in the 1970's, and we had compulsory training sessions on matters such as serving wine. I am unsure if the Hyatt has such a policy.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank kurrajong16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,249 - 2,255 of 2,464 reviews

Reviewed 4 September 2011

This place appeared fine on arrival. Snappily dressed bellboys were the only highlight. Firstly the room: Our $655 per night suite should have been special - yet the mould in the shower would have been unacceptable in a 4 star establishment. The bed was comfortable yet the unmarked air-con switch meant that our children froze for the night. There is no view to speak of - we pretty much looked into the health club next door.

The Dining: we booked into the hotel restaurant, and when seated found that our section was really part of the main corridor. Bright lights and freezing draughts make it an unpleasant place to sit. The wait staff were pushing 20 years old at most and looked like they should have completed an apprenticeship at McDonalds’ at least. Some of them tried hard but for the menu prices it was really amateur hour. The food quality was horrible. I had the gnocchi and I’d have been better off with a burger (assuming an American style joint like this would get a burger right).

We ate in the ambassador lounge for breakfast, and fed out 2 year old yoghurt from the buffet - after he had eaten it we noticed the expiry date was 7 days earlier. I checked all the other yoghurts and all were off of the same date. I advised the chef, the waiter and they thoughtfully threw the rest out....

The Front Desk: I asked the girl on the desk if I could buy swimmers from the health club - her response "I think sooo, however actually I don't really remember and am not so sure". Am I old fashioned but what happened to making a call to find out if you don't know? Needless to say I did not get to swim.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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7  Thank EMCBalmain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2011

This is a nice hotel and the foyer and main bar have a real sense of history. The new wings which extend out beyond the old hotel lack character and the corridors are a bland labyrinth. The rooms are standard motel rooms and don't really imbue a sense of luxury. Unfortunately, Canberra lacks quality hotels and even poor ones are often booked out, so the Hyatt Hotel in Canberra can charge high prices without improving their offering.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled on business
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2  Thank Rayleggott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2011

We stayed at the Hyatt Canberra hotel for a 2 nights at the end of July 2011. We were extremely disappointed with our experience having stayed at other Hyatt properties.
1. When we check into the hotel, the reception staff was not helpful. I have to ask him how the wireless internet work in the room (he only told me the password when I asked). I asked him where we should parked and he pointed outside. So we parked where he pointed to and then realised our room was right at the end of the building. It would have been nice if he told us that there is a car park at the back of the building which is 2 mins walk from our room (instead of 10 mins walk)
2. No one offer us ANY help to take our luggages to our room. I was carrying 2 huge bags and at the same time holding my 4 years old son's hand and NO ONE offer any help.
3. When we turned on the TV, the remoto control didn't seems to work. I thought it ran out of batteries so we called housekeeping. Then we found out the sensor cable was hidden at the back of the TV and hence the remote didn't work
4. In room safe did not work coz it ran out of batteries/ power
5. Hairdryer was making a loud noise and giving out a burnt smell so had to ring housekeeping again to have it changed. I waited 15 mins with wet hair before they turned up.
6. When I called to book the room, the reservation lady was very nice. She asked me why we are travelling to Canberra and I told her that we are celebrating my husband's birthday. She said she will put a comment in our reservation saying that we have a celebration. During our stay at the hotel, we didn't even get a "Happy Birthday" from anyone.
7. It took me a while to post this on tripadvisor as I filled in the feedback form from the room and handed to the reception when I check out. I think it's fair to give the hotel some time to respond to my feedback. It has now been a month since I stayed there and I haven't heard from ANYONE in regards to my comments.

Only good thing about this hotel is the beds are comfortable and restaurant staff were very nice. That's all. I will not be back again and this is not the usual 5 stars Hyatt standards. We were extremely disappointed. We will definitely look at staying in other hotels next time when we visit Canberra.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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8  Thank Pasta0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2011

Just stayed for one night- but really liked the sprawl of this hotel. Built in a way that its looks like an old, traditional hotel, had the staff in different dresses, which made it really nice.
Didn't get to order much except a bowl of muesli- but it was excellent - as was the tea.
Really loved the black stone and marble combination in the bathroom- which was really big and probably had more style than the bedroom. No great view from the room - but then it was night anyway when I got there.
A very elegant hotel in a very pretty city. Would I visit - certainly !

Room Tip: Try eating at their restaurant - it's a lot of fun
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank Vikrant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2011

The central 'lobby' area (The Tea Lounge) is the perfect spot for afternoon tea or coffee and feels as though it has not changed in the last 40 or 50 years. Very neat and tidy, clean lines and great Art Deco features all through the hotel. The food in the main dining room (Promenade Cafe) was functional rather than exciting with the a la carte priced to make sure you aimed at the buffet. Having said that the cold buffet in the evening was very good...the hot buffet pretty bland and uninteresting. The wine list stood up well...I wish there was a larger choice by the glass. Breakfast a good spread. The rooms were perfectly good (2 singles in ours) and the bathroom was large and well stocked. TV a touch small for the size of the room but perfectly adequate. Staff were friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank DiverDanSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2011

beautiful low level hotel, spacious bedroom, awesome bathroom and toiletries. On site parking, surrounding greenery.
Potentially excellent - only criticism is that staff (other than porter) lacked warmth
But a nice place, espeially for couples. Fabulous calorie laden afternoon tea a speciality. Better deals for weekends than mon-thursday.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled on business
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    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank squeezing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hyatt Hotel Canberra

Address: Commonwealth Avenue | Yarralumla, Canberra 2600, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > Australian Capital Territory > Canberra
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Canberra
#2 Romantic Hotel in Canberra
#3 Family Hotel in Canberra
#4 Luxury Hotel in Canberra
Price Range: £146 - £397 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Hyatt Hotel Canberra 5*
Number of rooms: 249
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Heritage Listed Hotel which retains many of the classic Art Deco design elements of the original building built in 1924. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hyatt Canberra
Canberra Hyatt

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