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“Pleasantly Surprised”
Review of Mercure Canberra

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Mercure Canberra
Ranked #24 of 59 Hotels in Canberra
Reviewed September 6, 2009

I find myself in Canberra a lot these days, so I thought it was time to cut loose and try a different hotel. Having read the mixed reviews for Olims I booked a room and braced myself for the worst. The young fellow at check in was very pleasant and helpful and was pleased to announce that I would be staying in one of the Hotel’s newly renovated 'Heritage' rooms. My room was located above the reception area, it looks like they're still renovating the 'over bar' Heritage rooms which was a relief given the reviews on the ‘over the bar’ rooms. The room itself was smallish but beautifully renovated to include a substantial wall mounted plasma screen and a very comfortable queen sized bed. The ensuite was fresh 'n' new but very poky with the door getting in the way most of the time and the louvred glass window was extremely drafty and allowed all the chilly CBR air in. Given that the ensuite has no heating (that I could find) the hotel needs to consider either replacing these windows or sealing them somehow.

The hotel has an appealing bar area, so after a few quite beers I proceeded to the adjacent dining room for dinner. As you would expect, the menu is less than comprehensive but seemed to cater for most tastes & budgets. The food I sampled was as good as I’ve had anywhere in Canberra (great lamb shanks) and very reasonably priced, so much so I found myself there for dinner again for the following evening, despite not staying at Olims that night. Well done Olims! I’ll be staying with you again soon.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank Groeneveld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,767 - 1,773 of 1,825 reviews

Reviewed August 30, 2009

I stayed at the Olims hotel over the weekend in July and have to comment on this fabulous old world hotel! My partner and I were coming to canberra for the weekend for a special romatic getaway, but wanted to be near the city centre. A friend recommended the Olims so we called direct and made a booking directly through hotel staff.
This is where the Olims shines through. All staff are friendly and greet you with a smile, however there are three Jess's working in this hotel who really make this hotel what it is. The first Jess we dealt with was on reservations when we called, she explained each room type in detail and provided us with honest information about renovations and whether we would be affected. She gave a great room and breakfast rate and was polite, funny and personable, not the robot clones you get at other major chains.
On check in we were greeted with a welcoming smile and greetings from Jess and Jessica the manager on duty who checked us in efficiently. During the check-in conversation, Jessica enquired what brought us to canberra, offered a map, information and local knowledge. When we mentioned we were coming down for a romantic weekend, she upgraded us to a room with a view over looking the courtyard.
We went up to our Superior Room which has a queen bed and all the standard hotel room stuff, nothing fancy. We did have few issues getting the tv to work, but again Jessica solved the problem quickly and with a smile.
That night Jessica booked us a table at Anise restaurant which was a recommendation of hers which was AMAZING! Best soft shell crab ever!
After dinner we returned to the hotel and went down to the bar. It was quite late, so we were not sure if the bar would be open, or willing to serve us. Jess the bar supervisor organised drinks for us, even though they had already called last drinks, and then she organised a bottle of champagne and an ice bucket so we could take our drinks back to our rooms.
Breakfast was good, there was confusion with some people's breakfasts, but our room had breakfast included, so we just walked in and were seated straight away.
Check out was efficient, but far less friendly, and the taxi took a while to come. All in all the hotel is quaint and small and the renovations can be slightly annoying, but the staff make it an amazing stay, and they deserve praise!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Banditofez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_OLIMS, General Manager at Mercure Canberra, responded to this reviewResponded September 2, 2009

Dear Banditofez

Thank you for your comments regarding your stay with us. We have been working diligently to deliver excellent service to all our guests. I passed on your comments to the Jess's, who were all very happy to hear such positive comments. On behalf of the team thank you and we are looking forward to welcoming you back to the Olims soon.

Kind Regards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2009

This week I spent three nights at the Olims for a conference. I had room 303 at the rear of the hotel away from the restaurant/bar so didn't experience any of the noise that others posters have referred to. The room was clean, tidy and spacious. It was cleaned regularly and to a high standard. The only fault would be that the plasma screen (it was large) was difficult to change channels on - maybe a problem with the battery - and other colleagues also noted this.

Conference food and venue was very good. There is a bar, with bistro attached which is friendly atmosphere. There are also several lounge chairs around log fires. Hotel within easy walking distance of shops and the war memorial. Great conference facility as it catered for everyones needs.

I had previously stayed here last year (for a conference) in a Heritage room which was awful - these are currently being renovated. On this previous trip my pre-booked taxi didn't appear and I was in danger of missing my flight - receptionist rang taxi company twice and ended up drivng me to the airport on her way home from work - great service!

Lou

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled on business
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2  Thank Lou_and_Paul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_OLIMS, General Manager at Mercure Canberra, responded to this reviewResponded July 19, 2009

Dear Lou_and_Paul

Thank you for taking the time to pass on your comments regarding your recent stay with us. I was delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay with us. I will pass on your positive comments to the team. I will also discuss the issues you had experienced with the remote for the TV with maintenance. We are indeed refurbishing the heritage rooms and they are starting to take shape with completion date of 10 August 2009.. On behalf of the team thank you once again and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Olims soon.

Kind Regards

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Reviewed June 22, 2009

Had a lovely stay here. Room very clean & roomy. Tastefully decorated. Hotel facilities were quite good. We booked a deal on line that included a breakfast each morning. Buffet had a great selection and was lovely on the first morning. The second morning though the food was cold, but was rectified after it was brought to their attention. The front desk staff were lovely and were very helpful. We did find though that the breakfast dining room staff lacked a little in the English department. A lot of customers were having trouble understanding them and the staff also were having trouble understanding customer requests. Overall a great stay.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank rileyinc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2009

We paid $199 for a loft room with dinner and breakfast, that was for 3.
Spare bed made with toiletries and towels etc already there, no problems with check in ..they even let me pay on check in so that we could get an early start.
Bistro is just a bar, good food and cheap beer..suited us fine
Breakfast had plenty of choice and very clean.
I have no complaints about this hotel it was clean and was good value for money.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank NickySydneySydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2009

The Olims Hotel, historically born as the Hotel Ainslie in the nation’s capital is an Accor-affiliated hotel built in English-Deco style from the late 1920’s but seems more like an RSL run by the restaurant staff from a Chinese, confused & noisy

Like all classic-style buildings with some sort of heritage, the Olims Hotel has that one room with a grand piano & old colonial style furnishings that give you a first impression of elegance & charm but really this is a smoke screen for lazy staff & incompetent service as the previous reviews have stated, however don’t be upset at them because they are probably lead by some yob in a back room too busy to take much notice of basic aspects of hotel management & hospitality. Its amazing that the staff didn’t even realise that the Olims Hotel fell under the Accor Group when I tried to get my A-Club Reward points credited to my account until I pointed to the sign in front of them, 2 weeks later & after 3 attempts it still hasn’t been done.

The Olims Hotel seems to be popular for wedding receptions which the reception staff didn’t mention which resulted in me walking thru a wedding party in the garden/courtyard area in shorts & a shirt saying ‘I LOVE STRIPPERS’ much to the raised eyebrows of 50 posh-looking guests hahahaa. I noticed on old woman’s deathly stare at my girlfriend who was scantily dressed in tight tank top & ultra short shorts. Our blushes were only hidden by our redness from the beers we had at the bar.

The wedding functions & their usual large groups of guests make for an uncomfortable showdown with hotel guests who dont really have access to the garden.

I had reserved a ‘Superior Room’ on the second floor overlooking the garden & courtyard but instead got a room in the far corner next to the stairwell facing the fenced car park. Yes it must have been April Fool’s Day a couple of weeks early silly me, I shouldn’t have worn my clown costume, my bad.

Our $160 Superior room that incl breakfast was quite spacious & very modern obviously recently refurbished which had nothing in common with the lure of the actual hotel which was the whole colonial historical thing, it was sort of bland lacking any life but looked neat enough. We had a decent sized plasma TV neatly mounted on the wall without a DVD player or stereo & the usual hotel furnishings such as mini fridge, writing tables & tea/coffee making facilities. Some positives were the tub, limited cable TV with FOX sports, free Wi-Fi in the restaurant & free internet in rooms for laptops.

The buffet breakfast was simple & limited in choice but plentiful. There was bacon strips, fried/scrambled egg, baked beans, 4 types of cereal, yogurt, toast, assorted fruits & tea/coffee. There was no egg chef which is disappointing for a $16 breakfast & for such a well-known & historic hotel. There is a typical Australian pub/bistro on-site which serves your normal bistro type foods on the cheap as well as a bottle shop.

Overall, the Olims Hotel is badly managed by under trained staff lacking any real professional service standards, mind you wearing a I LOVE STRIPPERS t-shirt probably didn’t help. Sadly once the pride of Canberra, housing members of Parliament & being the social centre of Canberra, it has slipped to become a cheap 3 star rating hotel. Enough said.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank The_Pale_Ridah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2009

Booked a Degas package.
Checked in, hotel looks clean from outside, nice green bushes etc.
Room as per package was a 'Queen Superior' but was quite disappointing.
Website says we should have had a 42" plasma..wasn't a plasma.
Ironing board was bent with cover fallen off, etc
The looks of the room was tired....
DID WE GET THE QUEEN SUPERIOR or just a normal room?

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank ArunmSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mercure Canberra

Address: Corner of Ainslie and Limestone Avenue, Canberra 2612, Australia (Formerly Olims Hotel Canberra An All Seasons Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Australian Capital Territory > Canberra
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in Canberra
#10 Business Hotel in Canberra
#21 Luxury Hotel in Canberra
Price Range: $87 - $215 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Mercure Canberra 4*
Number of rooms: 129
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Mercure Canberra, a part of Canberra's history Originally known as the Hotel Ainslie, Mercure Canberra was built to provide accommodation for public servants relocating to Canberra to support the transfer of the Commonwealth Parliament. It is one of eight remaining government built hotels or hostels from Canberra's first stage of development in the 1920s and is listed in the Register of the National Estate. Mercure Canberra is historically significant for its important role in the development of North Canberra and the forging of its community identity. While maintaining many original features, the hotel embraces the need for 21st century comforts to ensure you feel welcome and have an enjoyable stay. Our 129 guest rooms are well appointed and have been decorated in keeping with the heritage style of the building. Our Standard rooms are located in the Heritage wing, with the layout and style of room not changing from the hotels' original days. For those looking for a more modern layout, you may wish to select one of our Superior or Deluxe Loft rooms in the newer part of the building. Our guests have the option to dine at our onsite Courtyard Restaurant serving modern Australian cuisine in the evening and a choice of Continental or Buffet breakfast in the morning. Those looking for a more casual dining experience can enjoy Bistro style meals from our Olims Bar & Bistro, a favourite spot for hotel guests and locals to mingle, serving Craft Beers & Cider from our very own Lovedale Brewery Our location is ideal. 600m from the Australian War Memorial commemorating those who serve our country, both past and present. Most of Canberra's National Attractions are within 10 minutes' drive from the hotel and the CBD is and easy 10 minute walk away and offers a wide range of cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as shops and a Dendy Movie Cinema. Our team at Mercure Canberra look forward to making you feel welcome when you plan your next stay in beautiful Canberra, Australia ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mercure Canberra Hotel Canberra
All Seasons Canberra
Canberra All Seasons

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