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“Peaceful and reasonably priced” 3 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
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Peaceful and reasonably priced”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

We chose this hotel to be in a central location for Floriade and this proved to be a good choice in that we could easily walk to Commonwealth Park where Floriade is held. Onsite parking was very good. The room (marketed as a "superior Suite") was very large, of average comfort (bed was great, sofa was terrible); average for cleanliness (bathroom excellent, sofa and carpets rather stained and unattractive); plenty of heating/cooling options (air con, fan-assisted portable oil column heater and lovely warm bathroom floor!); plenty of blankets and pillows. We had read that the Boffins restaurant was overly expensive so walked to a nearby cafe which served early breakfast. This had a great variety of very good food at very reasonable prices.

Room Tip: As there are no lifts, a ground level room is preferable. Note that even these have half a dozen ste...
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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216 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    50
    118
    32
    14
    2
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

We have stayed here about 4 times and think this is a hidden treasure only to be found in Canberra. The breakfast is a great spread of bacon, eggs, hash brown,mushrooms, tomatoes, a variety of cereals, yoghurt, fruit salad, melons, a great selection of croissants and pastries, juices, tea, coffee. The furniture in the room reminds me of my grandmother's place - sturdy and purposeful. Love it. The bathroom is always spanking clean. The hand soap/shower gel has a lovely fragrant. I googled it and found that we can only purchase it via a German website. Howzat! Our rooms have all faced into the large court yard with its lovely trees.
The only thing to be aware of - once, we hung a sign requesting for our room to be cleaned but unfortunately the other side of the sign had the words 'do not disturb', some how it swiveled around on the door handle and the housekeepers thought they were not to disturb us. We came back in the evening and were advised that all the housekeepers had left for the day so no one was available to clean the room. Not a big deal - just something to note. There is a library there too. Check it out.

Room Tip: We prefer the rooms on the top floor as they seem quieter.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vientiane, Laos
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

In a city brimming with bland accommodation, University House is one of a kind. Make no mistake, this is not a five star hotel and nor does it try to be. It's comfortable, affordable, has great character (especially for fans of Fred Ward furniture) and is close to everything. Highly recommended.

I stayed in a room with share bath - sometimes a little noisy. Bedding could do with an overhaul.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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
36 reviews 36 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

I have read the reviews of University House and, conflict of interest warning, I am a member of that establishment. It is not a privilege to be so as there is an annual subscription that gives you a discount on the normal accommodation price.
If you are visiting Canberra, there would be little reason to stay in University House as it is some walking distance from the attractions of Australia's capitol. It is an old property built for short- and long-term stayers who are doing something at The Australian National University (ANU), itself some distance from the rest of Canberra.
All that people wrote in their reviews is true: it is old fashioned, it is not disability friendly - no lifts - and the food service is expensive, but very good.
However, if your business is at the ANU, then you could not do better as you are on the campus itself, across the road from the Coombs (research schools) building and the Menzies (research) library. The restaurant no longer is the best in Canberra, but amongst the good ones.
Most Canberra properties - indeed, Canberra itself - relies on the motor car. The artificial city was designed around the motor car, seen as the saviour of human kind in the early 20th century. Unless you have several days and are a keen walker on empty footpaths, you need a car in Canberra.
But, if you are attending a conference or have other ANU centred activities, University House is your best bet.
A Canberra taxi ride from your ANU meeting to distant (but cheaper) accommodation will remove the savings in most cases with just one journey a day.
If you have a long-term stay in Canberra that is ANU related, the place has long-term rates that are attractive and many rooms have food preparation areas of various sorts.

Room Tip: All rooms are set up for study and some are really apartments, even for a family. Staying on the gro...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

I have stayed here twice, and aside from the fact that the rooms retain a faint whiff of old-person (slightly acrid, faintest hint of cat pee and meringues!), I love this place.

I have only stayed in the north-facing Queen rooms, which have spacious living areas. These are wonderful, especially when the sun is shining.A glass of wine on the balcony in the afternoon spring sunshine is blissful!

I recommend this accommodation for price and quality. They are rated as 3.5 stars, but I would say they are equivalent to 4 stars because of the high standard of service, cleanliness, and amenities.

Room Tip: While many have suggested a lower room, if you can handle the stairs and prefer not to be woken by l...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

Room is quite spacious.
Stay at the lowest floors if possible as there are no lifts and the staircase is quite narrow.
Do not stay at the corner above the restaurant as it can be noisy in the evenings.
Clean but has a bad odor near toilet.
Location in middle of Australian National University.
Serves good breakfast.
Full of greenery gardens and quite lovely walks.
Transportation quite convenient and car park is always available.

Room Tip: Get the lowest floor and far from the restaurant.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

Over the years I've stayed here many times - I love the character, the atmosphere and general comfort. But now I consider it has become quite overpriced for what it is. Perhaps it would not seem so overpriced if breakfast were included - but after paying for breakfast ($25 full/ $18 continental - very ordinary food, ordinary coffee and in pretty ordinary cafeteria surroundings) meant our room for the night was over $200. I'd rather stay somewhere else - Canberra is not lacking in comfortable hotels for less than that.

They used to serve breakfast in Boffins which was SO much nicer and worth paying for. Now you just have a depressing ripped-off feeling start to the day. Won't stay there again, sadly .

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the ground floor. Although we booked a "superior room" at the highest pr...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UniHouse, Manager at University House, responded to this review, August 12, 2013
Thank you for your comments which are always helpful and we use these as a guide to improve our services where we can.

Boffins ceased to be our breakfast venue in 2008 when the Fellows Cafe was opened after extensive renovations. To date we have been receiving compliments on the freshness and ambience of the Fellows Cafe especially for the breakfast trade. Wanting to take nothing away from Boffins which is our treasure and signature restaurant, it suits its' purpose for fine dining rather than for the busy morning breakfast trade. In regards to breakfast prices, they were only increased last month after having remained the same for the past 5 years. On a price analysis we conducted recently, we found that our prices were below what is being charged in other establishments hence the increase which even so, is still below what is being charged elsewhere. In respect to the quality and quantity, in our view and the majority of our guests, we have a huge range that caters to our diverse range of guests

We understand that your most recent visit may not have been what you expected but we hope that it will not deter you from visiting University House which you have visited frequently in the past and enjoyed.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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