Monday, September 22, 2008

The Griffin Hotel, Canberra

This is an interesting hotel actually located in Kingston, ACT. The Griffin Hotel is a very nice place to stay. The rooms are suites and are very upscale. The inclusion of a kitchen allows for ease of preparing breakfasts or other meals--and there is a grocery store right across the street which enhances the whole food preparation aspect of the hotel.

The hotel is located in a residential area which has nice trees and is very quiet. It is a short ride to the capital area of Canberra, like about 7 minutes--so it is very convenient. When finding the hotel on Googlemaps--there is a street view but it is hard to distinguish the hotel as it blends well into the surrounding area.

The suite consists of a living room, dining area, kitchen, bed room (some suites have multiple bedrooms), and large bathroom. The digital TVs are a very nice touch and add to the experience. The suites generally have a nice balcony to overlook the surrounding region and there is a laundry facility and parking garage attached to the hotel.

The front desk is not staffed 24 hours and this is not a full service hotel--although the desk personnel were very efficient in calling for taxis and providing information on the area. There is a restaurant associated with the hotel (Vie) but given the number of other choices in the immediate area I did not sample the menu at Vie. It looked very upscale--and I was interested in sampling the great Australian Pub in the shopping plaza across the street and also the Thai restaurant.

The bed was soft and probably one of the nicest I have every stayed in. The suite was large and had everything expected--including ironing board and iron. It was comfortable.

The one negative: Internet service is expensive and the 50MB download limit is a joke. After 50 MB the internet provided charges $.10 AUD per MB but the provider severely limits the upload which makes video conferencing almost impossible.

Recommendation: This is a great place to stay. /there are a large number of restaurants and pubs within a very short walk--like across the street. The neighborhood is quiet and very pleasant. If you don't want that "hotel in the middle of the action" feel and really want a place to become a base for exploring and doing business in Canberra--I highly recommend the Griffin Hotel.

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