Hotels in Canberra from international brands are hard to find, let alone good ones. There are no Hilton, Starwood or Marriott properties. Hyatt have a property, as do IHG. The Crowne Plaza Canberra is perfectly acceptable, but it is a pretty ordinary hotel.
With occasion to go to Canberra, and the calendar year (and therefore the end of the qualifying dates for the IHG Into the Nights promotion rapidly approaching), we decided to stay at the Crowne Plaza Canberra.
The revolving door at the hotel’s entrance moves extremely slowly and often comes to a complete stop when too many people are using it at once. There is an accessibility entrance on the right.
The hotel has a casino attached, but I suspect it is only used by the desperate (or the drunk) as it seems to leave much to be desired. Even the sign out front is off-putting.
We had a suite on the first floor of the hotel, so while the elevators require a hotel key card to operate, it was possible to walk straight into the hotel and come right up to the suite’s front door.
The suite was spacious and reasonably appointed (for a Crowne Plaza). The suite was peculiar in that it had a food preparation area (including four hot plates, a microwave and a full set of steak knifes!). I haven’t seen this at any other Crowne Plaza properties.
The suite had a nice terrace and one can look out from this deck on the hotel’s outdoor pool (which is presumably not open in winter).
The suite’s bathroom was very tired looking and contained the usual Crowne Plaza / Holiday Inn bathroom amenities, which are uninspiring.
The bedroom was serviceable and the bed comfortable.
Breakfast in the restaurant
We decided to eat breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant. All Crowne Plaza hotels in Australia seem to have a restaurant called Red Salt). The buffet breakfast wasn’t exactly anything to write home about. A number of items weren’t at the ideal temperature (dairy products should be cold and cooked items should be hot). There is a chef to make eggs to order, although not waffles or pancakes. The buffet has a pancake machine, as appears in a number of airline lounges in Australia, but it is not quite the same as having them made fresh right before your eyes.
It is worth noting that the eggs made to order were delicious. However, we would suggest walking a few blocks to the Canberra Centre, which has a number of very pleasant cafes for breakfast.
Unlike previous stays at this property we did not receive any welcome drink vouchers at check-in. Perhaps we should have asked.
It is strange that IHG’s flagship InterContinental brand isn’t represented in Canberra, the Australian federal capital. Crowne Plaza properties outside North America tend to feel like a Holiday Inn with some meeting space. This one is no different.