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“Better than last time but still only 4 stars” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Realm

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Hotel Realm
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   18 National Circuit | Barton, Canberra 2600, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #12 of 53 Hotels in Canberra
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Better than last time but still only 4 stars”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013 via mobile

No concierge, no doorman, more like a serviced apartment. Good location and easy walk from Manuka. This Hotel will need regular refurbishment. $200 a night would be the right rate for this hotel in Canberra.

Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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576 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (118)
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English first
Melbourne
Level Contributor
29 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

I recently stayed 3 nights on a business trip. Hotel was booked for me mostly because of its location. First impressions were positive: open, spacious, clean, easy check-in, etc. but very hot. The large atrium would make it very difficult to cool and as a result, after a run of hot Canberra days, it was stiffling. The building is relatively new and there was some construction going on. Dissapointingly it seems to have been done on the cheap with finishes looking a bit the worse for wear, carpets stained and cracks in the polished concrete floor (3rd floor to the left of lift landing).

The standard room (3rd floor) was clean and well equiped but air conditioning did not cope with the heat: it was 27 degrees when I arrived, and after turning it down to minimum, was still 26 degrees 3 hours later - opened the window and got better result. Seems like the air conditioner had no return outlet so blowing air out of the window allowed some cool air to enter. Down to a pleasant 21 degrees by the morning. Cupboards followed the cheaply built theme with doors that were loose and would not close properly; bar fridge was full of accumulated ice.

I had breakfast, dinner, drinks and coffee at various stages in the dining room and bar(s). Service was minimalist, friendly & efficient and food, coffee and drinks ok.

Lap pool and gym attract a $15 fee per use.

In summary - expectations are built up by the 5 star rating claim and found wanting. More like an average 3 to 4 star hotel in a cheaply built sort of way.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
36 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for the Australia Day long weekend and booked the Toulouse Lautrec package which included breakfast, parking and a morning paper in a standard room. We had high hopes having read the recent reviews! The location is excellent being a 10 minute walk from Manuka with many restaurants and bars to take your pick from. As to the hotel, our nav system informed us that we had reached our destination but I peered out of the window at what looked like an office block. Not so, the hotel signage above the rotating door was minimal! I hopped out of the car and entered the hotel, no doorman, no concierge and no welcome to speak of. Went to the small reception desk which was minimally manned but got through the process in a painless fashion. The foyer is very large with plenty of seating but there was no vibe and if honest it was lifeless. We proceeded to the room which was large by some standards,had a lovely king sized bed and soft pillows and was nice and clean bit oh so bland! No artwork or mirrors(one above the desk would be perfect as there's only the bathroom mirror and no full length mirror at all!) which would improve the room immensely! We ate in Ostani restaurant, I had the wagyu burger and my husband had the massaman curry. Both were lovely and the service was fine. As to the breakfast, it was a bit of a fiasco on both mornings. The dining area wasn't large enough to cater for the guests, tables weren't being cleaned away quickly and there were people waiting to be seated. The buffet kept running out and it was difficult to actually get what you wanted. I ended up both days with half a plate of cold breakfast whilst I waited for the other items to be replenished. When it was bought out there was a mad rush for it, obviously !! There were also lines for the toaster and lining up for a coffee or a cup of tea was poor too..on the 2nd morning the coffee machine decided to just stop working altogether! We used the spa and pool which was very nice but we were told it closed at 6pm which we thought very odd. Overall the staff members were friendly. This most definitely is NOT a 5 star hotel. I don't think it actually knows what it is itself. It is part of a residential complex and it all feels a bit confused! I probably won't return...

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

I chose this hotel based on its 5 star rating because I then expect quality and top notch service. I would like to know how it gets this rating. Unfortunately, from check in to check out this wasn't what I would expect from a 5 star hotel. The staff at the check in were average - no offer to help with bags, all information had to be asked of them. We stayed in a Realm room. The furniture had definitely seen better days, particularly the cupboard with the tea/coffee and the writing desk, were heavily scratched. The doors on the cupboard barely hanging on and difficult to open. It looked like it had been salvaged from an old hotel. The walls had many scuff marks and need a clean/fresh coat of paint. The windows needed a clean. The lighting in the bathroom was not sufficient for doing your make up. In the evening we thought we'd head down to the bar for a drink. There was nothing classy about the bar area so we left. Breakfast was a real let down. On arrival, we were asked our room number and then the guy just turned around and walked away. The breakfast room is really small and could not fit many people. There was an outdoor area but the tables were not set with cutlery, etc. There was bird poo on some of the outdoor furniture and empty beer bottles from the night before. Went to make some toast. The toaster was in a corner and the room so cramped that I was standing right next to a couple at their table. Sections of the buffet stood empty of food. Just basic breakfast foods - tomatoes, bacon, eggs, etc. Nothing special at all. Worlds apart from the 5 star hotels in Sydney like the Four Seasons or the Westin. The Hyatt in Canberra is better than Hotel Realm.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
130 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

Quite expensive so was reluctant,is a little way out from anywhere but Manuka is a five minute walk.Check in efficient without being that friendly.Room was first class with large Lounge area,balcony,king sized bed,bath and shower plus kitchen - a really great room with Apple IPTV system&docking stations.
I ventured down to the Gym and Pool - $15 to use Gym and free for the 25 metre lap pool.Please even if the Gym is operated privatey don't charge Guests a fee it is just rude.The Gym has great Cardio equipment and the pool is good.There is a nice bar/restaurant area so I decidedto have the thai Chicken curry and a few glasses of Pinot in bar area - quite good although I did complain about the wine being above 20 degrees - For Canberra this is a great Hotel

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

But I'm undecided... Booked the toulouse lautrec package on the hotel website which included one night accommodation, breakfast and exhibition tickets for two. At $276 I thought it was pretty reasonable.

I'd read a few of the reviews so kind of knew what to expect. The lobby and reception area is spacious and you could appreciate the modern design elements. Check in was fast and easy but there was nothing special about the service.

The room on the third floor overlooking parliament was a decent size with big king bed. Personally, I think they've mistaken minimalist modern with beige and boring. No statement pieces like in the lobby makes the grey walls and beige furniture blend in on itself. The white armchair was so stained and dirty I wouldn't sit on it. The cabinet housing the tv/fridge had also seen better days with the doors just hanging on. I did enjoy the bed and pillows and the bathroom with big rain head shower.

There's no concierge desk which I thought was pretty odd given their self-rated 5 star billing. But hey, I can make my own dinner reservations. Tried to book a table at the Ostani restaurant however the gentleman on the phone informed me they were fully booked (after asking how many the reservation was for). Knowing this was complete rubbish I turned up at the restaurant at 7pm and got a table for two in the half empty restaurant no problems. That aside, the tapas menu was excellent and the service pretty good.

The included buffet breakfast was fairly good, no complaints.

The gym is an extra $15 to use and had I been staying for more than one night that would have really bothered me.

I can't decide if I'd stay again. Between the dull and slightly shabby room and the bizarre restaurant experience it doesn't leave the best first impression.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
victoria, australia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

We decided a trip to Canberra was needed if only to see the Toulouse Lautrec exhibition, so with bookings in hand we checked out Canberra hotels. They are all expensive and from the Trip Advisor comments some are tricky.

The Realm looked good - and when you remember to add in the parking and the buffet breakfast it looked even better. With discounts via Wotif it seemed to be too good to be true.

But sure enough the room was as good as the photos, the shower was great (if depressingly architectural cinder block grey and no lighting to speak of) the bed was really comfortable, the pillows sensational. The buffet was equally good and the staff...any problems (we couldn't work the computer controlled tv nor the ghastly nespresso machine) were attended to quickly and with a genuine smile. Check-out...a breeze.

With Wotif discount this place is really good value at $225.

Add to this the great food spots around the corner at Manuka Place and its really a great spot. Forget Toulouse Lautrec, there's better stuff to see.

Room Tip: Wake up to a view of Parliament House spire
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 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
    • 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 Hotel Realm

Address: 18 National Circuit | Barton, Canberra 2600, Australia
Location: Australia > Australian Capital Territory > Greater Canberra > Canberra
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Canberra
#8 Business Hotel in Canberra
#11 Family Hotel in Canberra
#12 Luxury Hotel in Canberra
#13 Romantic Hotel in Canberra
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Realm 5*
Number of rooms: 158
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located at the footsteps of Parliament House in Canberra, the multi-award winning 5 Star Hotel Realm is part of a truly mixed-use precinct next to the Parliamentary Triangle. Hotel Realm offers 163 hotel and suite style accommodation rooms each with Malin+Goetz amenities, Apple(R) Mac-Mini in-room system and Nespresso coffee machines. Complimented by an in house day spa, state of the art health club, fine dining, casual dining, lounge bars, wholefoods cafe and onsite pharmacy. Combining contemporary elegance with avant-garde design, Hotel Realm is Canberra's only AAA rated 5 Star hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Realm Canberra

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