When a hotel is as comfortable and well located as East Hotel is, it’s easy to return again and again. On our recent visit to Canberra (October 2017) we had the opportunity to return to East Hotel for a two night stay. As we stayed in a different apartment I thought I’d update this post from 2014 – boy have the kids grown.
Walking into East Hotel I wondered if it could live up to the glowing reviews I had read about it, especially with our additional requirements.
Being BJ’s birthday weekend we wanted a hotel which would appeal to the kids, plus meet our accessibility needs. Looking at the East Hotel website I was encouraged by the fact there’s a tab under “rooms” which says “Luxe Easy Access Studios” with photos of their accessible rooms, including the all important bathroom features. Easy to find information on access is always a good sign.
East Hotel is located in Kingston which is our suburb of choice when we visit Canberra. We discovered this suburb many years ago and have continued to return to it because of its close proximity to all the major attractions of Canberra and the short, level walk to shopping, cafes and restaurants.
Walking into the East Hotel foyer I was immediately won over. We have stayed in many hotels over the years and they are all a bit same same after a while. It was pleasing and exciting to find a hotel that is different. East has done a wonderful job of pairing sophistication with a quirky modern theme which will satisfy guests with and without children.
We stayed in a two bedroom apartment because we need extra room, however we did take a peek at two of the accessible studios (see photo above) plus the Kid’s cubby rooms which are unique to this hotel.
The easy access studios are spacious, bright and have plenty of room around the bed for transferring. The light switches and appliances are at a lower height, including the microwave and safe.
The bathroom has a sliding door entry, room under the sink for easy access for a wheelchair user and grab rails around the toilet and shower. The shower is a true roll-in shower with a flip down seat and hand-held shower head.
The rooms have a well equipped kitchen with kettle, toaster and a good range of utensils. I was really impressed with the kitchen in our apartment because although I don’t want to spend a significant amount of time in it, I do find it handy to have good facilities to make breakfast and snacks.
There were wows all round when we walked into our spacious two bedroom apartment. We value space when we travel and the two bedroom apartments give families plenty of room to spread out. We can manage in a non-accessible apartment and felt at home as soon as we walked in the door.
Given that BJ is up before the birds we are always grateful to have a large lounge area with somewhere for him to stretch out and watch television.
A full kitchen is always a bonus for us, though there is a lovely café, Muse, in the foyer of East Hotel serving breakfast if you prefer.
The two-bedroom apartment is a combination of an East one bedroom apartment with an interconnecting East studio, giving guests two bathrooms, two kitchens and laundry facilities. A total of 90 square metres of space!
A sliding glass door separates the bedroom from the lounge area.
The bathroom works as an ensuite for the main bedroom but can also be accessed from the kitchen.
The toilet and shower are both located in a separate glass cubicle.
The second bedroom is self-contained with television, kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Once again this apartment has a separate cubicle for the toilet and shower (as seen in photos above).
We are always busy sightseeing during the day, but while staying at East Hotel on both trips, there were frequent, unscheduled stops in the foyer. I would like to say it was for the extensive reading matter that was available, or the comfy sofas but there was another reason.
It appears the lolly jars were attractive to both adults and children and it was a popular spot to stop when entering and leaving the hotel. There was utter devastation in our family when the freckles ran out on Saturday night. It was probably just as well.
AJ is not a huge gaming person at home but on our first trip to East Hotel she was delighted beyond words when she realised she could have an Xbox Kinect brought to the room (additional charge). Being on holiday and having an Xbox really was a novelty for her. She picked a whole range of games and had a great evening jumping around the room. I know this is something parents are often keen to get kids away from on holidays but it is optional and could be a game changer (pardon the pun) in wet weather or when you want some down time as a parent. BJ appreciated the option of having a DVD player sent to the room (additional charge) so he could watch his favourite DVDs.
Showing the difference a few years can make and the versatility of East Hotel, on our most recent trip AJ was impressed by the magazine selection in the foyer, the movie choices on the in-room entertainment guide and the free WI-FI for all guests.
East Hotel has a range of bikes for adults and children to borrow to use while staying at the hotel.
KIDS CUBBY ROOMS
I was a little hesitant to show our kids the Kid’s cubby room at East Hotel knowing that it would be such a desirable room, but we did so we could share it with our readers. The Kid’s cubby is the ultimate in a child’s hotel room. Bean bags, games, a drawing table and Xbox kinect make it an absolute delight. An interconnecting room provides parents with a lovely place to retreat and enjoy some peace and quiet while the kids are enthralled with all the inclusions. I loved the Star Wars Lego picture on the wall and the attention to detail, like the melamine star design cups in the bathroom rather than plain glasses. The Kid’s cubby rooms are not accessible but I know some of you with children do not need a fully accessible room.
There were many details that made for a wonderful stay at East. I am a fan of the Appelles range of bathroom products which East supplies in the rooms. I particularly like the skin lotion which smells divine. Who knew the combination of mandarin peel, rosemary and cinnamon bark could be such a winner?
East Hotel’s common areas are all accessible with automatic opening doors and lift access to rooms.
A plastic shower chair with arms can be borrowed to use in the room.
Disabled parking is available in an undercover secure car park under the hotel. Access to the hotel is via lift (fast lifts too).
There is an onsite restaurant, Agostinis , which we didn’t have time to visit, but judging by the crowds it is popular with hotel guests and locals.
Joe’s Bar is in the foyer of the hotel and again, popular.
Muse Café is open for breakfast each day.
As you may have guessed from my own glowing review of East Hotel, I can happily report it did live up to the reviews.
For more information about East Hotel check their website.
We stayed as guests of East Hotel but as always, our opinions are our own. Please be assured that our effusive blog is based on the absolute joy it was to stay at this hotel. It was fun for all the family on both occasions.
If you are wondering what to do when you decided to leave the delightful East Hotel, here’s a list of wheelchair accessible attractions nearby –
Questacon – our review can be read here.
Australian Institute of Sport accessible tour – read our review here.
Cockington Green – read about our love of Cockington Green here.
Further afield –
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve – read about the lovely walks and wildlife you can spot here.
Canberra Space Centre – for any budding astronauts this is a fabulous wheelchair accessible activity which is free. Read more here.
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