East Hotel, Canberra
Contemporary, comfortable, well-located and with delicious dining options to boot, what more could you want from a hotel? Canberra’s East Hotel ticks all those boxes, and then some, whether you’re travelling for business or leisure.
Located between the popular retail and dining precincts of Manuka and Kingston, East Hotel features 140 rooms across six floors, including self-contained studio and apartment options, East Hotel offers a range of accommodation options.
Modern and sophisticated, our spacious Luxe One Bedroom Apartment offers plenty of space, making it ideal for couples or two friends staying together.
Offering 57 square meters of space, it has a separate living room, kitchen and laundry, spacious bathroom complete with soaking tub, and a bedroom with large built-ins offering plenty of storage and hanging space. The bedroom can easily accommodate one king size bed or two singles, and features plush bedding with extra blankets for the wintery nights. There’s also a 32-inch LED TV, perfect for watching movies in bed.
The apartment is thoughtfully appointed with spaces for working, relaxing, and eating. The open plan living room offers a pleasant place to spend time in, featuring a comfortable sofa and lounge setting, 42-inch LED TV complete with Foxtel and pay-per-view movies, dining table and chairs, and work desk, with modern artworks and pops of colour adding a playful edge. The lounge opens up onto a large balcony, overlooking the leafy Manuka precinct.
While we didn’t need to do any cooking during our fleeting visit, the kitchen is fully-equipped with everything you need to make a five-star gourmet feast if you wanted to, featuring a state-of-the-art SMEG oven and extensive cooking utensils. There’s also a dishwasher, microwave, and Nespresso machine.
If you’re not planning on spending any time in the kitchen, you can rest assured knowing that East Hotel has two fantastic restaurants on site, as well as a popular cocktail bar.
Lovers of good food, good wine and good books, will be in their element at Muse, a restaurant and book shop all in one. Open for breakfast (don’t go past their signature cheddar and smoked ham baked soufflé), lunch and dinner, they also sell a range of new and second-hand books as well as host a range of interesting events with some of Australia’s top writers, thinkers, politicians, artists and winemakers.
For a perfect pre-dinner spot, Joe’s Bar is a small and intimate cocktail bar that packs a punch with its range of freshly crafted cocktails, gin and tonics, carefully curated wine list and Italian-style aperitivi. We kick off our night here with a smoky Old Fashioned, then head straight to Agostinis for authentic Italian.
Its packed out with locals, which is always a good sign, the smell of freshly baked pizza filling the air. We share starters of lightly-fried, melt-in-your-mouth calamari friti served simply with lemon and aioli, and a beautifully creamy whopping of fresh burrata, served with roasted cherry tomatoes, and topped with local truffles – the taste of the season.
Canberra is known for its abundant truffle season, so when in Rome…we stick to the theme, ordering truffle dishes for mains. I cave in to the fettuccine al tartufo, consisting of silky ribbons of house made fettuccine pasta, tossed with white wine, truffle paste, shavings of fresh truffles and Montasio cheese, while my dining partner opts for the steak, cooked perfectly medium-rare, with a side of crispy frites and a dollop of truffle butter, glistening as its melts into the peppery steak. A side of fresh, zesty green leaf salad adds balance, and both meals are decadent, delicious and deeply satisfying. We end the night on a sweet note, sharing a very pretty dessert by the name of Mousse al Cioccolato – an almond meringue served with chocolate mousse, gold strawberries and jewels. Its as delicious as it looks, and quite fitting given we’re in town for the much talked about Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia. La dolce vita indeed! •
• Don’t miss the incredibly popular Cartier: The Exhibition at Canberra’s NGA, on until 22 July. Make a weekend of it and take advantage of East Hotel’s generous Cartier stay packages, which include two nights’ accommodation in East Apartment, two tickets to the exhibition, cocktails at Joe’s Bar, dinner at Agostinis and the indulgent Mousse el Cioccolato. There are also family options available.
• Snow season is in full swing, so if you’re driving down to the snow from Sydney, consider breaking up your trip with a night at East Hotel. They are currently offering a couple of great ‘Ski Bunnies’ stay packages with added treats such as complimentary parking and WiFi, mulled wine at check in, and a $100 food and beverage voucher for Joe’s Bar and / or Agostinis.
• Truffles fever has hit Australia and there’s no better place than to experience them than in Canberra, which has a dedicated truffle festival, celebrating all things truffle! East Hotel’s Revive Package is the perfect accompaniment for a relaxing and indulgent escape, offering chocolates, a bottle of local wine, and bath salts and gift pack from Appelles Apothecary so you can pamper yourself to your heart’s content after a day out truffle hunting.