Your reviewer stayed at the Novotel Canberra one Friday night early in March. Some of the experience was good, some not so good. First the good.
The hotel is in an excellent location on Northbourne Avenue, the main drag heading North out of Canberra. It's almost directly across the street from the Civic shopping and restaurant strip, which is the traditional centre of Canberra. This meant there was no shortage of places to get dinner or find a bar or take whatever entertainment took one's fancy. Check-in and check-out were painless and fast, and the staff unfailingly pleasant. There were several internet PCs in the lobby that were free for guests, though there was a time-limit of 20 minutes, after which usage was chargeable. However, no-one seemed to monitor usage so it was possible to log-off then login again immediately. The room was typical Novotel - a good size with more than adequate furnishings, very comfortable bed, good bathroom, decent selection of TV channels, free newspaper in the morning. Your reviewer had a very good night's sleep after the bus station at the rear of the hotel had slowed down for the night - more on this below. Breakfast was included in the rate, and the selection and quality of food was excellent, though at 7:30am there was no bread out for toasting. This was rectified soon after.
The not so good. The charge for the parking parking under the hotel for guests seemed to be very high for what is essentially a large country town (sorry Canberra!!), and the parking spaces were very small. It was necessary to leave the car keys with the attendants in case the carpark became over-full and they had to move cars to an off-site location - this is not very reassuring! The hotel was trialling free wifi in the room, but the rate was throttled down to 256kbit/sec. The full-speed connection was very expensive. It's hard to see why they wouldn't just provide unrestricted wi-fi. Many country motels in NSW are currently providing, or installing, such a facility.
The room your reviewer had was at the rear of the hotel and had a not very inspiring view over a large parking area, which is used as a long-distance bus terminal, and the back of an office building. The bus terminal was noisy early in the evening, but became quieter as the night progressed. Actually, the noise wouldn't have been nearly so bad had all bus drivers turned off their engines, but a few kept them running. At breakfast a few of the guests with front-of-house rooms were complaining about traffic and music noise, so maybe the back of the hotel is the place to be.
In summary, given the excellent rate for bed and breakfast the hotel was more than adequate. The shortcomings were relatively insignificant compared with the plus points.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Redeveloped in 2009, Novotel Canberra offers premium hotel accommodation in the heart of the Nations Capital and close to the retail, entertainment and business district.Ideal for the discerning traveller, Novotel Canberra features 286 rooms, suites and apartments, all with a comfortable yet modern design connecting the hotel with the spirit of the Canberra region. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Novotel Canberra Hotel Canberra
- Accor Canberra
- Canberra Novotel