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When you stay in the center of a city there are certain things you come to accept. Sacrifices you make for the luxury of staying in the most central location. Like the idea that you’ll likely wake up in the morning to the sound of an urban landscape. And potentially land a room with a carpark view.

But when we saw photos of Crowne Plaza Canberra, it painted a completely different picture of what we had come to expect. Like falling asleep in the heart of the CBD, but waking up to breathtaking parkland views. And cracking your window to welcome the morning song of King parrots and Sulphur crested cockatoos.

And while Australia’s capital largely caters to politicians and business travel, leisure travel in Canberra is on the verge of a supersonic boom.

Crowne Plaza Canberra Hotel Review

Situated in the heart of the city, overlooking the impressive gardens of Glebe Park, Crowne Plaza Canberra is a truly impressive property, well suited for either a business or leisure stay.

The lobby entrance is on the second level of a stunning atrium (large open-air covered space), and with floor to ceiling windows which stretch from the ground level to the sixth floor, natural light floods throughout the building, whether you’re walking one of the hotel corridors, or relaxing among the plush furniture and plants of the lobby.

A truly modern and sophisticated theme dictates the decor with comfortable and stylish amenities which are consistent throughout the hotel facilities (pool, gymnasium, function rooms) and into each guestroom.

Lobby & Reception

Crowne Plaza Canberra Hotel Review

Crowne Plaza Canberra Hotel Review

Crowne Plaza Canberra Hotel Review

The Rooms

With 296 rooms, guests have the choice between deluxe, superior, premium King rooms, or suites. Though each room type has been designed with space and comfort in mind, so regardless of your budget at the time, you’re always going to have a beautiful space to relax at the end of the night.

We entered room 430, a standard deluxe, and forgot to turn on the lights. The window at the other end of the long room spanned the full length of the wall, and let in a large amount of natural light.

We dropped our bags and made a beeline for the view; Glebe Park was spectacular, and we could see flashes of red and green; King parrots dancing through the autumn trees.

Those at the opposite side of the hotel have views over the city (request which view you would prefer when you make a booking). Onsite parking is in the basement so no-one gets stuck with the dreaded car park view!

The View

Crowne Plaza Canberra Hotel Review

King Parrot Australia

Deluxe Room

We were impressed and incredibly comfortable for the hotel’s standard room. It offered modern amenities, including a flat screen TV with movies on demand, comfortable lounge chair, and private ensuite.

It was quipped with a spacious workstation with data ports and power boards, designed to keep business travellers connected and in touch with what they need whilst working away from the office.

WiFi was fast, and the room, in line with the rest of the hotel, was so clean it was pristine. While we were traveling alone, several rooms also have the option to be joined by a private entryway (on request), creating a two room, two bathroom suite-type accommodation. This is an ideal solution for families and groups.

Room 430

Crowne Plaza Canberra Hotel Review

Crowne Plaza Canberra Hotel Review

Crowne Plaza Canberra Hotel Review

Crowne Plaza Canberra Hotel Review

The Food

Canberra’s food scene has well and truly boomed, and barely a week has gone by in the past year without a new venue springing up.

But for the central location of Crowne Plaza to restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs, some of the city’s most sophisticated dining and bar venues are located onsite, in Redsalt Restaurant and Binara One.

Redsalt Restaurant

Not willing to miss out on an evening at Redsalt, Crowne’s signature restaurant came highly recommended and didn’t disappoint. Serving mouth-watering modern Australian dishes and a succulent grill selection, our sincerest apologies to the diligent waiter who had to come back three times before we ordered because we couldn’t make up our minds!

Locally sourced in-season produce meant the menu offered free range chicken breast, Tasmanian salmon, and Flinders Island lamb loin, though we ended up opting for pinnacle beef sirloin, and without a doubt the best potato gnocchi I’ve ever had in my mouth (Baked ricotta, potato gnocchi, spinach puree, crispy sage, pine nuts, rice crisp and aged parmesan).

But if I was salivating over my well presented gnocchi, dessert came in the form of blackforest mousse with passionfruit puree and seasonal berries.

Redsalt Restaurant

Redsalt Restaurant

Redsalt Restaurant

Redsalt Resturant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (from 6pm – 10pm) and offers an impressive menu selection for those vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free. The staff are attentive, friendly, and knowledgeable about the menu. Nothing beats their extensive buffet breakfast as a way to start your day. 

If you’re after evening drinks and a light meal instead of a full course menu, Binara One is Crowne Plaza’s signature bar, offering the same sophisticated atmopshere, with a select menu of light snack and tapas. 

If you like knowing your food options ahead of time you can download your menu of choice from the hotel website. 

Redsalt Restaurant

Redsalt Restaurant

The Verdict

Crowne Plaza Canberra is a shining star in the portfolio of IHG properties. During our stay the service was excellent, and the staff welcoming, friendly and always willing to help. The property itself is sophisticated and stylish throughout, with modern technology and decor in public spaces, restaurants and guest rooms.

The focus on natural light throughout the hotel creates an upbeat atmosphere, and it’s a genuine pleasure to relax anywhere throughout. They don’t skimp on space, and were generous when planning the reception areas and rooms.

You can’t beat the location. Being in the heart of the city you’re within walking distance of city attractions, Lake Burley Griffin, the Canberra Visitors Center, and a short drive from the National Galleries and Parliamentary Triangle. The views over Glebe park are fantastic, and they receive 5 stars for their food.

For more information, to get in touch with the hotel, or make a booking 

Click to visit the hotel website



Booking.com

Crowne Plaza Canberra Hotel Review

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photos are copyright of Mappingmegan.com. Crowne Plaza Canberra were kind enough to host us in exchange for an honest review. 

    20 Comments

  1. You are totally right that when we travel for a city break, we will sacrifice some of the aspects we might normally look for in order to secure a really central location that makes sightseeing and eating out that bit easier. So it’s great to read about a hotel that’s centrally located and yet offers some of that peace and calm of a more rural property. I’m loving that you can see parrots from your room window!

    • Absolutely – it’s so rare to find a property which offers a combination of both – definitely the best of all worlds! The King parrots were my favorite – so many of them flying around the trees!

  2. Wow! I can’t even imagine waking up in a big city and seeing parrots out of a hotel room window! haha… Thanks for reviewing this hotel. We’ve never been to Canberra (or anywhere else in Australia in fact), but we’ll certainly consider staying at this hotel the day we stop by Canberra.

    • Hope you have the chance to visit Australia (and Canberra) soon!

  3. What a great recommendation. I do know what you mean about city hotels without a view – It can be so depressing. But this is lovely. I’d be parkside with the king parrots for sure!

    • Have stayed in far too many city hotels which haven’t been anything special. But Crowne Plaza really blew us away :) Can’t beat the view!

  4. So true that in city hotels you need to sacrifice some things but this hotel looks amazing! I love the idea of waking up to hearing King parrots !

    • One of the prettiest views from the room we’ve had from a city hotel to date!

  5. I actually went to the gym here and loved the walking through the lobby (albeit, feeling very underdressed in my gym gear!). Crowne Plaza looks like the perfect place for a ‘staycation’ for us and in such a good location to the shops and restaurants around Canberra’s city centre. Your photos and descriptions of the gnocchi and the black-forest mousse from Redsalt are literally making my mouth water! Yum!

    • Awesome spot for a staycation if you’re a Canberra local … or even a date night if you feel like sharing a romantic meal :)

      Glad you enjoyed the gym! Their facilities are excellent!

  6. You got me thinking about some of my favorite city center hotels, and something that stands out with the luxury brands I like to frequent is that even though they are in the heart of things there is always a peaceful escape like a rooftop terrace or garden that makes you forget the bustling city is outside. So I don’t think you always have to sacrifice if you’re willing to pay a little bit more.

    • I agree with you there – I think the luxury brands have realized that people want a combination of the central location, modern conveniences and an ability to enjoy a peaceful escape. Definitely something I’m willing to pay more for :)

  7. Sounds great guys, will put it on our list for next time

    • Awesome Trevor – hope you enjoy Canberra!

  8. Awesome review! :-) I love Crowne Plaza hotel chain. Looks like you really had a wonderful stay (especially with that glass of bubbly!)

    • Glad you enjoyed it Ryazan! Yes, Crowne Plaza hotels always live up to their reputation. We did indeed have a wonderful stay – bubbly is always welcome on a holiday :D!

  9. I don’t know Canberra but I would not mind exploring it if I can have a HQ like the Crowne Plaza. The room looks very comfortable and I would like to try the modern Australian cuisine proposed at Redsalt. Nice room views by the way!

    • Hope you have the chance to visit Canberra soon – a beautiful city, and tourism is really starting to boom :)

  10. Crowne Plaza Canberra looks lovely. I really love the views. Crowne Plaza is a brand that always lived up to its brand promise. Have seen that in various places where we have stayed. I always love the huge spread they have for breakfast, a great start when you are traveling.

    • Agreed that the Crowne Plaza brand never disappoints – we love IHG and they’ve always provided an exceptional accommodation experience where-ever in the world we stay.

      Nothing beats a hotel breakfast spread :D!

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