East Hotel, Canberra’s highly anticipated four and a half star contemporary design and lifestyle hotel is now open. With its focus on providing a memorable Canberra experience and its premium location between the fashionable retail and restaurant hubs of Manuka and Kingston, East Hotel ups the ante for local guests and visitors to the nation’s capital.
East Hotel will provide a contemporary, cool and vibrant option for visitors to Canberra, whether overnighters, business guests, long stay guests or families. The six-story hotel has 140 rooms in various studio and apartment-style combinations, recognizing the challenges families can face with hotel accommodation by providing specially designated suites, cleverly designed in a modular, fun way specifically to cater for both adults and kids. The hotel has standalone dining and bar facilities, with Ox Eatery and it’s associated Bar and Delicatessen sure to become an instant classic.
“We are bringing something fresh to the Canberra market at East Hotel, with great, memorable service and an atmosphere that ensures our visitors and guests feel comfortable, relaxed and inspired,” said Dan Bisa, owner of East Hotel and Director of Bisa Hotels. “We are passionate about creating a happy, happening precinct that showcases the personality representing a side to Canberra that many may not have experienced.”
When the site came up for sale in 2009, Dan recognized that the opportunity was there to realize a long held dream and the East Hotel project began to take shape. As an established Canberra businessman, Dan was uniquely placed, both in terms of local knowledge and the ability to assemble a team of professionals with both local and international expertise, many originally from Canberra or based in Canberra, to work on the project. Renowned architect, Rodney Moss from Cox Architects has worked closely with Dan to realize the building that was envisioned.
“I believe in Canberra having more of a ‘city’ feel, so we have created what we hope will become a hub for travelers to Canberra as well as locals”, said Moss. “We designed a real building – city-style, built boundary to boundary. The public areas on the ground floor have a generous sense of intimacy and sophistication. The aim was for excellence, formal in its composition but carefully articulated and detailed. Polished pre-cast concrete and metal pans provide distinction to the exterior facades while very refined glazing and recycled timber add character, warmth and intimacy to the interiors.“
The first thing you notice about East Hotel is a spacious, soaring central atrium, cleverly utilizing both natural and installed light to provide a warm atmosphere with areas to relax and meet in front of a large, open fireplace. The most striking aspect upon entering the hotel is of overall textured, contemporary design. This has been achieved using recycled timber and a black ceiling with small holes for a ‘limitless sky’ effect. Balancing the rich, dark materials are bright, modern furnishings, artistic and quirky touches and a video installation artfully projected on a towering wall. Art is a central feature of the hotel with works from local artists on display in common areas.
Designed as a hotel with more, rooms at East Hotel are generous with a flexible layout,
designed to suit all types of guest, from single business travelers to couples and families. Each room boasts a gourmet kitchen with appliances, and the hotel has a plethora of great facilities including a free newsagency area in the lobby and superb business conference facilities.
Families are well catered for, and the hotel offers two-bedroom suites with a ‘Kid’s Cubby’, which has bunk beds, child-friendly furnishings, X-Box Kinect and other little kiddy touches. Local babysitting services are available at short notice, and the Hotel’s restaurant Ox Eatery can arrange a special ‘kid’s room’ with a big screen, activities and snacks.
General Manager Todd Handy believes that exemplary service will be the cornerstone to the success of East Hotel. “We want to come back to personal service. Once guests come through our doors we want people to connect with people,” he said.
“Our staff are passionate locals who can not only escort you to your room but also advise you on places to go and how to get the most out of your stay.”
The Hotel also has a vibrant food precinct in the main atrium. Ox Eatery, owned and managed by highly successful local restaurateurs, Chris Hansen and Steve Rockmann, features a delicatessen and an authentic imported French rotisserie with intimate booths, long bar tables and private dining areas. Ox Eatery draws on vintage 1950s style, with a thoughtfully considered ‘soulful jazz’ feel designed by Matt Darwon in conjunction with Copeland Capezio, featuring recycled timber, smooth surfaces and booths.
The French rotisserie, the first of its kind in Canberra, is front and centre. Guests are able to pre-order items, including bespoke hampers from the delicatessen using the hotel website upon booking, or wander down to peruse the large selection of carefully selected delicacies, produce and wines. The large bar area, complete with outdoor fireplace, is a standalone destination to enjoy the vibrant neighborhood it inhabits.
East Hotel has been developed by Bisa Hotels and is the first of many future projects for the hotel group.
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