Staycation Canberra: the Realm Hotel in Barton

Don't fly until you've really seen the city.

Hotel Realm is a 5 star and award winning hotel in Barton, just outside the parliamentary triangle.

If you want to play tourist, Hotel Realm is a great base to explore all of the national monuments. Once your car is locked up safely underneath the building, you can explore an exciting part of the city without the hassle of parking.

Nothing quite says holiday like playing tourist in your own city, and Hotel Realm is a great base to see a different side of Canberra. All within a 15 minute walk from the hotel, you can explore Parliament House, the Museum of Democracy, National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery of Australia, the High Court and the National Library.

It’s also a similar walking distance to the Old Bus Depot for the markets on Sunday, or take the opportunity to explore the Kingston Foreshore, with new venues popping up on almost a weekly basis.

Otherwise, if you really want to feel like you’ve escaped, once you’ve checked in there’s no reason to ever leave Hotel Realm.

The rooms are like a breath of fresh air – spacious and comfortable with light and airy furnishings. There are lots of added bonuses included to keep you amused like unlimited wifi, an Apple TV system, Nespresso coffee machine, plus complimentary access to a range of newspapers and magazines when you download an app onto any smart device. In true staycation style, it’s worth spending a couple of extra minutes under the giant shower head, and lathering up with the Loccitane toiletries. Like most hotel rooms, there seem to be a ridiculous amount of lights in the room, but there are switches next to the bed that control  them all, so there’s no unnecessary trips out of bed to turn any off.

Hidden underground, just off the carpark is Mudd The Spa – truly one of the most indulgent day spas the city has to offer. The dimly lit treatment rooms, combined with the carefully-selected products and talented therapists equal a luxurious experience – just what a staycation calls for. The facials in particular are worth splashing out for – especially when teamed with a relaxing post-treatment glass of sparkling.

Next door is Evo Health Club, and while hotel gyms are usually something to keep well away from, this one is worth poking your head in. It’s been recently voted one of the top hotel gyms in the country and it’s not hard to see why. It’s less sweat and metal, and more workout chic, with state-of-the-art technology and all of the trimmings. If holidays are your time to keep away from the gym, it’s at least worth visiting to take a dip in the spa and sauna – all complimentary for guests of the hotel.

When it comes to eating you’re spoilt for choice – you would have to stay the better part of a week to fit everything in. Straight down the lift from your room is Konoba, Mavi Turkish and Ostani Bar and Restaurant which is also a great spot for a casual drink.

If you can manage to drag yourself the few extra steps across the road, there’s also Chairman Group venture Malamay and healthy cafe Maple and Clove Wholefoods.

Hotel Realm is offering a Staycation package for Canberra locals. On July 18-20, for $199 you can get overnight accommodation in a Realm Room, free parking, unlimited wifi, access to Evo Health Club plus $100 credit to be used within the Realm precinct at a number of venues. Visit

This article Staycation Canberra: the Realm Hotel in Barton was originally published in Brisbane Times.