Canberra isn’t typically known as a getaway destination but the short three-hour drive from Sydney makes Canberra sufficiently far away to give you that ‘going away’ feeling yet still close enough that a quick 24-hour stay is more than achievable. Also a plus are the pockets of luxury that you’ll find at our nation’s capital with Hotel Realm and the surrounding classy dining venues being one of them. We were invited to sample the hotel’s Buvette Bliss package (see our dinner review of Hotel Realm’s Buvette here), which also includes overnight accommodation.
The website cites a ‘a mini Moët & Chandon on arrival’ which we didn’t get but we’re more than happy for their substitute of some nice sparkling wine and a plate of petit fours. They were surprisingly tasty (not just an eat with your eyes thing), and even though there’s enough for one each, we were fighting for mouthfuls of the mini tiramisu.
We’ve been put up in the Upper House Penthouse and the room itself is gorgeous. Opening your front door first leads you to a flight of staircases that then takes you to your rooms. To the right is the main bedroom and to the left is a separate kitchenette area. The kitchenette is rather small but has all the furnishings you need including a Nespresso machine with complimentary pods and a well-stocked mini bar and fridge.
Size was more than made up for in the main bedroom. Behind the blinds is a long balcony with a 180 degree view of Parliament House. It was a super chilly and windy weekend so we didn’t venture out there but it was definitely an incredible sight to behold first thing in the morning, set against the Canberra blue skies with not a cloud in sight. My favourite feature of the room was of course the gas fireplace which was made to look like a wood-fuelled fire for that added cosy feel. The couch was comfy and perfect for our weekend of staying in and binging on the hotel’s collection of movies on demand.
The bed felt as majestic as it looked and it is the perfect specimen to bounce on while practicing your air guitar. For me personally though, it wasn’t very good to sleep on as the mattress itself is very soft which meant my body was sinking into it a lot. This created a lot of back and neck problems for me the next day. I’d previously also requested for semi-hard pillows but the ones provided were again on the soft side. This is purely a personal preference, my travel partner did not have as much of a problem as I did.
The bathroom is a work of art with the toilet and shower area separated by a large bathtub. We had minor issues with working the shower as there seemed to only be two settings for the water temperature, Antarctica and hell. This could probably have been easily rectified if we called the concierge but in the interest of time, we just had a quick shower and got out of there. I did love the fluffy robes and slippers waiting for me though. Another great feature was the heated towel racks which meant you got warm towels each time, not damp ones.
A lovely selection of amenities. I loved the scent of each one and for someone who usually has sensitive hair, the shampoo and conditioner actually really agreed with me. There’s also a mini pot of scrub and some sachets of bath salts if you feel like treating yourself.
Photo sourced from the Hotel Realm website
As a Hotel Realm guest, you’re given complimentary entry to Evo Health Club which is situated within the hotel. My inner gym junkie was incredibly pleased with the fit-out, having some of the best equipment I’ve ever used. There’s also an indoor heated pool which I would have loved to use but it was busy on both trips to the gym.
The next morning was a buffet breakfast also at Buvette. A selection of hot food, pastries, cereal and cold cuts mean you’re absolutely spoilt for choice. The website doesn’t cite this as part of the Buvette Bliss package so it’s worth calling up beforehand just to check.
A delicious and healthy end to an overall great stay at Hotel Realm. We left feeling pretty recharged and ready to tackle the big city once again.
Hotel Realm is located at 18 National Circuit, Canberra. More information on the Buvette Bliss package here
The writer stayed as a guest of Hotel Realm. All photos unless otherwise stated by Samantha Low.