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“Huge well appointed rooms”
Review of Hotel Realm

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Hotel Realm
Ranked #11 of 57 Hotels in Canberra
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney
Level Contributor
59 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“Huge well appointed rooms”
Reviewed October 1, 2009

First time staying at this new hotel. Very large room with extras like a separate kitchen, spa and balcony. In fact, the room was so large that I felt like I was playing a game of hide and seek to find things in it. It took me a long time to find out how to order room service.
Bed was particularly comfortable

Only downsides: Nothing much in walking distance of hotel and coffee was dreadful. If I stay again, I'll take my own coffee and hire a car.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MacDave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,061 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (212)
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English first
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2009

Stayed here several times over the last year, in standard room, and 2 bedroom suite with colleagues - both for work and for a conference. Location is great, especially if you are not wanting to be in Civic.

Overall the hotel represents good value by Canberra standards but won't be for everyone's tastes - particular if you like the personal touch or a place that 'feels like home'. They have gone for a modern feel but it is a bit sterile - staff are also hard to find if you need them.

*Rooms in general*
First thing to say is that all the rooms are VERY spacious, no combined bath/shower here. Kitchen in the 2-bedroom apartment had everything you could possibly need, including a full oven, cooktop, half a dozen frypans, loads of cutlery and glasses.
Rooms have great air-conditioning but you still feel a little 'cold' because there's no much tile and granite in the place, the carpet isn't thick. Certainly has good airflow so might be better in the summer months.

*Dining options*
It is about 1km-1.5kms to the dining of Kingston and Manuka, which is just walkable if you know where you are going. Huge selection of restaurants to all tastes and price points. Otherwise there are no eating options except at the hotel.
The restaurants and bar at Hotel Realm itself are very good and too not expensive by hotel standards, but my favourite is actually the casual cafe on the corner serving mainly turkish cuisine.
I've only ever had room service for breakfast (once paid for, other time for free). I wouldn't pay what they were asking for a continental breakfast, better off going downstairs, or buying a loaf of bread and keeping it in your room!

*Conference facilities*
Staff seem very attentive compared to events I've been to at other 5-star hotels. They seem to have good quality projectors, fibre link and AV gear in-house. No idea what the rates are like but conference registration was a little cheaper than I would have expected, especially given discount on room rate.

*Technology, entertainment and internet*
All rooms seem to have 32" or thereabouts plasma TVs with pay television, running the usual sports, news, movies and documentaries. Wifi in the hotel is ridiculously expensive though, and charged on a per day basis irrespective of usage. Did not check to see if rooms were wired. For a place that's trying to be modern this could be better - still can't understand the rationale of 5-star hotels not providing free 'net when they are probably paying more for TV that many won't have time to watch!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank drinky_canberra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
122 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2009

While in a fabulous location, Hotel Realm is let down by several little things which, as noted by other reviewers, detracts from its "5 star" claim, plus some things which I found frustrating/annoying. First the positives from a 2 night stay in a "Realm Room":
* The hotel's location is excellent,
* The room was very spacious and the bed comfortable,
* The toiletries provided are great, and
* The hot breakfast was excellent - I really liked the cherry tomatoes (first time I have seen them served with a hot breakfast) and I really liked the mushrooms.

Next the annoying/frustrating things:
* Calls between hotel rooms were charged as local calls. The room information book was silent on this issue - under the telephone section it only indicated charges for local and STD calls,
* Internet access can only be purchased as "blocks" with a minimun purchase of one hour - i.e. if you purchase one hour of interent access then it is a continuous hour rather than one hour logged in to their system. While this is well publicised when you purchase the internet access, it is annoying if you are staying for more than one day and would like to spend a few minutes each day checking e-mails,
* The hot and cold shower taps rotate in different directions. This is potentially dangerous as someone could easily be scalded thinking they are turning the cold tap up/hot water tap down and are actually doing the opposite, and
* The lifts were very slow in arriving and, at times, it seemed like only one lift was serving each wing. This led to what I consider lengthy delays waiting for a lift.

The disappointing things were:
* My arrival after a long drive was well after midnight. I was looking forward to a cup of coffee in my room before bed, but there was no milk in the fridge. While this probably could have been rectified with a call to reception, I just couldn't be bothered.
* When the room was serviced the bins in the room were not emptied (but they did leave me milk),
* The breakfast room is small for the number of guests and, as a consequence, the staff are continually clearing and resetting tables almost as soon as you stand up. Getting cereal, the hot breakfast and toast/coffee, my table was cleared and reset each time, and
* There were several incorrect items on the room invoice (e.g. room service which I hadn't used). While these were corrected without issue when I questioned them, I noticed that the reception staff had to continually ask the supervisor how to enter changes into the system, which made for a rather lengthy checkout for several people.

Several people in our party commented on the somewhat sombre look of the interior which is generally in dark greys and blacks.

At $245 per night (room only) plus $28 per day for breakfast I did expect a bit more from the Hotel Realm and, while I would be happy to stay here again, consider it to offer only fair value for money.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ThinController
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level Contributor
34 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2009

They just don't get simple things right like having a light on in your room for those (like myself) who check in late at night. The door to the room is so heavy and it is difficult to hold open the door while trying to find a light switch at the same time. Staff are really young and not able to deliver a five star level of service. Went for breakfast and it has a weird entrance so I asked the two staff if I was entering the right way ... they just looked at me and laughed. I stayed in a standard room which was clean, although a little small. Nice open area in the foyer that needs some music to give it atmosphere. Room service food was great.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank tat76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NSW, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2009

This hotel has inspired me to actually join tripadvisor as opposed to just reading others reviews. This is NOT a five star hotel and is extremely overpriced for the services provided. Upon checking in (it took us two laps of the block to find the entrance, no trolleys, no porters) we made our own way to a very cold two bedroom suite. The rooms are fine, (if that is all you are looking for when paying $415 per night). The first discovery was the remote didn't work. We called and were visited some 30 minutes later where the staff member questioned our ability to use the television and then seemed incredulous that there was no remote in the kids room. Thankfully she did come as I asked her about the heating. She looked at it and then announced it hadn't been turned on! She rang reception and it did indeed start working (30 minutes later although another staff member did come to check it had started). The noise was like being in an aircraft and the fan would not switch to low which meant not much sleep that night. The pool and sauna were nice although we were told they had run out of towels and the staff did not seem concerned about obtaining more. When we returned to the room I put the bath on - it took 40 minutes to fill 20cm. THe shower pressure was so low that you literally had to back up to the wall to get wet. Room service quality was very poor, breakfast buffet terrible. For less money you could get 2 interconnecting rooms at the hyatt where you are comfortable, have good service and have facilities which work. Oh and we discovered (two hours from leaving) that the door did not lock!!!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank tamalicat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
192 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2009

We returned for our second stay and found the Realm had lost none of its WoW factor since our last visit 6 months earlier. Service and staff attention continue to be of a high standard. The splendid undercover parking for guests is a big bonus in Canberra's winter.
We had dinner in the restaurant. This was excellent, food produce, flavour and presentation were of a very high standard. Each dish was special and for the beef lover the steak was unbeatable. Veal cutlets proved to be big winners too. The house wine from Robert Oatley too was a very pleasant surprise and can be thoroughly recommended.
We will return...

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Barratt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
79 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2009

The Hotel Realm is very well situated, near to some of the cultural sites of Canberra. Its also very modern and very comfortable. We stayed as part of a "Kingdom" package which offered dinner with a bottle of wine, bed and breakfast, which we felt offered very good value. The room we were provided with was a two room suite with kitchenette (Room E12), and a good view towards New Parliament House. Decorated in a very modern style, it was also very comfortable, including the bed. Another reviewer comments upon the lack of a mini bar - that was true also in our case - but not an issue for me as mini bar prices are so ridiculously expensive the world over that I never use them. On the other hand, the bathroom was extremely well stocked with complimentary personal items, including a very good loofah sponge.

Service is commented on by several other reviews - and although I agree that there don't seem to be a lot of staff "on deck", I dont feel this matters or makes it other than a five star hotel. Front desk service was excellent, restaurant staff - good. True, there was a silly but not very serious event when the waiter tried to bill us for the wine that was specifically included in the package - but I put this down to his inexperience.

A very good lunch is offered by this hotel, and the buffet breakfast is also excellent.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NickMurphy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Realm

Property: Hotel Realm
Address: 18 National Cct | Barton, Canberra 2600, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Australian Capital Territory > 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:
#1 Spa Hotel in Canberra
#7 Business Hotel in Canberra
#9 Family Hotel in Canberra
#11 Luxury Hotel in Canberra
#11 Romantic Hotel in Canberra
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Realm 5*
Number of rooms: 163
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Realm is a 5 Star hotel on National Circuit Barton, located next to the Parliamentary Triangle in Canberra. The hotel is located within walking distance to national icons including Parliament House, the National Gallery of Australia and the National Library of Australia. The 5 Star hotel provides 163 rooms and suites, each containing luxurious beds, complimentary WiFi, complimentary on-demand movies and Nespresso coffee machines. The Realm Precinct offers a range of dining options, including the award-winning French restaurant Buvette Bistro & Wine Bar, the casual Ostani Lounge, Bar & Restaurant, chef-hatted Japanese restaurant LiloTang, chef-hatted Cantonese fine-dining restaurant, The Chairman & Yip, and casual cafes Maple + Clove and Ritual, as well as a gym, spa, indoor pool, hairdresser and conferencing facilities, all with complimentary Wi-FI. The precinct also offers a state-of-the-art gym and day spa, opened in 2017. Hale Gym + Spa has the latest Technogym equipment and casual yoga, Pilates, spin and boxing classes. Hale Spa is Canberra's latest wellness destination, offering a sanctuary for the body and mind. 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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