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“Tranquility, Beauty and Good Food” 4 of 5 stars
Review of University House

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University House
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Cnr Balmain Cr & Liversidge St | Australian National University, Canberra 2601, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #20 of 53 Hotels in Canberra
Carnegie, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Tranquility, Beauty and Good Food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2011

This is not for everyone but it will suit anyone understanding that this is a spacious refurbished student accommodation complex of quite elegant 1950s design. A tranquil garden with beautiful trees and pond occupies the central quadrangle which is surrounded by the accommodation buildings on three sides and the conference/administration/library and restaurants on the fourth side. There are two first class eating establishments Fellows (cafe/bar) and Boffins within.

The location is convenient to the city, the lake, the National Gallery and obviously the university all within walking distance. We walked across to the National Portrait gallery in about 45 minutes following the bike trails to escape the traffic which is surprisingly heavy on the main roads.

The main disadvantage is that there are no lifts so you need to be able to lug your suitcases up to the third level if you score a room there.

The price is probably a bit high but everything is dear in Canberra. It was better through Wotif.com

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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216 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    50
    118
    32
    14
    2
See reviews for
30
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (79)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2011

This is a lovely peaceful spot to stay in Canberra. It used to be home to academics in the 1950's, and the rooms are preserved in the decor of the time. They are big and comfortable, most with little balconies and set around glorious gardens with large trees, benches, birds, a paved colonnade with a large fishpond alongside. We stayed in a double room but family members stayed in a 2 bedroom apartment which was huge - its own large kitchen, dining and lounge rooms. Buses from outside the door go to most of the Canberra sites. It's a bargain for the city - and has the added attraction of Boffins restaurant, where you can have a first class meal, and another large cafe and bar, Fellows. After a long day of sightseeing, it was lovely to sit under the trees and enjoy a drink. Only possible complaint would be I don't think there were any lifts in any of the buildings.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2011

For some reason I thought this was going to be like staying in student digs. However, the rooms turned out to be bright and clean and quite large. I paid £60 for a room with shared bath and for some reason got upgraded to an en suite room (they must have been short of guests). Check in staff were helpful and pleasant. The setting was quiet and pretty in the University grounds within walking distance of the city. The only downside was that the room I was in had no aircon (I'm not sure whether this applies to all rooms) and Canberra was suffering a heatwave at the time! I just about slept okay with the fan on.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queensland, Australia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2011

University House is a great place to stay in Canberra. And I thought it was a bargain - a 2 bedroom spacious apartment for 2 adults and 2 children at $190 per night including a full buffet breakfast. I'd like to find that in other cities. This also included parking and the apartment was serviced daily. University House is set in pleasant gardens, and we had a nice little balcony with a view. Sure the rooms aren't super modern, but they are super clean, functional and have lovely pieces of solid wooden 1950s (I guess) quality furniture. Dining options are specifically aimed at adults, but the staff at Boffins happily cooked up plain dishes for our children. There are also reasonably priced meals at the bar.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2010

A nice retreat, just a little too far for a casual walk into the city.

The hotel bar closes at 9:30pm, I was told this was to encourage people to go out into the city.

Wifi is charged on a daily basis.

Overall I thought it was a little on the pricey side for somewhere that hadn't done any serious renovation since the 1950s. At very lease breakfast should have been included.


Very much a hotel for academics, not for people who expect the standards of modern day commercial hotels.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2010

In a word, civilised. The ANU is my home university so I feel qualified to comment; although my husband remarked that I was taking my Visiting status a bit far when he found out we were staying at University House overnight. We took a Spring Break Package which is excellent value: a spacious room overlooking the serene manicured grounds, a generous voucher for the restaurant Boffins, free WIFI, and a 'fully-cooked' breakfast. The continental breakfast, if you choose it, is less than ordinary (decent coffee would be a vast improvement), and you will probably have to put up with some academic enjoying the sound of his own voice, but the outdoor setting in fine weather can make the difference. Go on a Friday and have a drink in the gorgeous garden, along with the noisy end-of-week uni. crowd and live music, before you saunter into Boffins for a candle-lit meal - parking, if you can get it, is free. The period rooms (we stayed in a North Wing Queen room which had a large lounge area) have been recently refurbished to a high degree. Classic 'fifties custom-designed furniture by Fred Ward has been carefully restored and is a treat in itself. The separate bedroom was mostly taken up by the queen-size bed (in the old days it would have been a double) but it was comfortable and quiet, and the modernised ensuite bathroom with authentic retro. fittings was fine. The solar-powered hot water system (I assume) is noisy in the morning but since you have to get out by 10am maybe that's not too bad a thing. If you're into art, check out the priceless Leonard French paintings in the Hall next to Boffins before you leave. University House is in the west end of town, close to other places for coffee. It's a nice walk into Civic Centre, or a short drive to the National Museum.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2010

We were delighted with our superior twin room. We were expecting to share one large bedroom with two beds but were pleasantly surprised to discover the extra bedroom in our very spacious suite. The lovely grounds of the ANU, the architecture, tranquil green gardens and handy location to the city were other unexpected pleasures. Excellent value for money. Would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about University House

Address: Cnr Balmain Cr & Liversidge St | Australian National University, Canberra 2601, Australia
Location: Australia > Australian Capital Territory > Greater Canberra > Canberra
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
#13 Family Hotel in Canberra
#16 Business Hotel in Canberra
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — University House 3.5*
Number of rooms: 105
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
University House Hotel Canberra
University Hotel Canberra
University House Canberra

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