Hotel Canberra

For the former Canberra Hotel in Brisbane, see Canberra Hotel, Brisbane.
Hotel Canberra
General information
Location 120 Commonwealth Avenue
Coordinates 35°17′56″N 149°07′30″E / 35.299°N 149.125°E / 35.299; 149.125
Opening 1924
Management Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Technical details
Floor count 2
Design and construction
Architect John Smith Murdoch
Developer Federal Capital Commission
Other information
Number of rooms 230
Number of restaurants 2

The Hotel Canberra, also known as Hyatt Hotel Canberra is a major hotel in the Australian national capital, Canberra. It is located in the suburb of Yarralumla, near Lake Burley Griffin and Parliament House. It was built to house politicians when the Federal Parliament moved to Canberra from Melbourne in 1927. It was constructed by the contractor John Howie between 1922-1925. Originally opened in 1924 as Hostel No. 1, in 1927 it became known as the Hotel Canberra.

Other early hotels in Canberra include the Hotel Kurrajong,[1] opened in 1925. A number of other hotels opened in 1927. It was unlicensed until 1928 owing to King O'Malley's decision to keep Canberra free of alcohol as it was being constructed.[2]

When James Scullin became Prime Minister in 1929, he refused to live in The Lodge, the official residence of the Prime Minister, and he and his wife lived at the Hotel Canberra during parliamentary sessions, and at their home in Melbourne at other times.[3]

In 1950 the government gave up the management of the hotel and the lease was taken over by "Hotel Canberra Ltd" a subsidiary of Tooheys, a Sydney-based brewery. In 1974 the lease was not renewed and the hotel was shut down. Between 1976 and 1984 it was used as an annexe for Parliament House, providing office space for parliamentary staff.

A project was begun in 1982 to restore and extend the hotel to its former glory. After several years of troubles with the backers, Hyatt Hotels re-opened Hotel Canberra on 23 July 1988 as the new "Hyatt Hotel Canberra", at the time the only international five star hotel in Canberra.


  1. Hotel Kurrajong
    • Exploring the ACT and Southeast New South Wales, J. Kay McDonald, Kangaroo Press, Sydney, 1985, p41 ISBN 0-86417-049-1
  2. Australia's Prime Ministers - Meet a PM - Scullin - Sarah Scullin

External links

Coordinates: 35°17′56″S 149°07′30″E / 35.299°S 149.125°E / -35.299; 149.125

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