Mercure Canberra is one of the capital’s first hotels, but its facilities are modern thus ensuring a pleasant and comfortable stay.
My room included all the `mod cons’ however, fortunately, the hotel’s old world charms are still evident.
The hotel originally opened in 1927 as the Hotel Ainslie, mostly accommodating house members of Parliament and public servants. It then traded as Olims for a number of years before becoming the Mercure Canberra.
Built in English deco style, the hotel is located around a picturesque internal courtyard. Like many hotels of the time, it’s easy to get lost as corridors seemingly appear and disappear, but this adds to the hotel’s charm. There are also surprising discoveries to be made including fishponds!
The hotel also well located – by foot it’s a 10 minute walk to Canberra’s major shopping precinct and a similar distance to the Australian War Memorial.
What: Room 604, a superior King room, Mercure Canberra
Why: Researching stories on Canberra including the Tom Roberts exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia.
When: 14 to 17 February, 2016
How Did It Rate
The location. As I didn’t have a car I needed to be close to public transport and the city centre. The hotel provided easy and quick access to both, however if you’re not a keen walker a car might be useful!
The room was large and stylishly decorated although a few areas, including the bathroom door, could benefit from a coat of paint.
The balcony. Sadly it overlooked the carpark but enjoying an early morning coffee outdoors was very pleasant.
The large well laid out bathroom. There was plenty of bench space which is always most welcome.
The light by the bed – a small strong reading light combined with a larger light was great, especially given my imperfect eyesight and my enjoyment of reading in bed! Other useful in-room facilities included a clock radio and iPad charger.
The Olms Bistro. On my first night at the hotel the dining room was closed. The adjoining Olms Bistro was the only dining option easily accessed by foot. As it turned out, sitting outside listening to the cockatoos and enjoying a good and reasonably priced meal was most enjoyable.
I could hear my neighbours turning on the water in their bathroom, but apart from that the room was relatively quiet.
There is a charge for the internet, however it is free to all Le Club AccorHotels members and membership is free.
Disappointing bathroom amenities – only shampoo, soap and body wash was on offer. There was no conditioner or body lotion, which I have come to expect from a four star hotel.
The hotel is large and spacious and certain rooms, including the sitting areas, are very impressive. But some areas do look as if they need a coat of paint.
A requested early morning call for 7.15 did not eventuate.
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