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Marriott comes to Canberra.

MiLK_MaN

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So that's one of my work destinations finally sorted. Now they also need one in Wellington.
 

sudoer

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I'm about half way through a five night stay at Midnight Hotel. I found traveller reviews and photos to be quite lacking so I thought I'd give a bit of detail on what's been a very positive experience so far.

For context, I am Sydney based and usually travel to Canberra 6-8 times a year for work. I tend to stay at Accor properties due to holding ALL Gold and there being so bloody many Accor properties in Canberra. This trip was in the works for a while and I'd have most likely stayed at the Sebel again, but after stumbling on the Bonvoy Platinum status match/challenge a few weeks ago I gave Marriott a look and found out this hotel exists! So I applied for the match from HH Gold, and after it came through I booked five nights towards 15 needed (in 90 days) to retain through to Feb 2022. I paid $160 per night for the Midnight Classic (base) room category.

One day prior I checked the Bonvoy app and noticed I'd been upgraded to the next category up - Midnight Lounge. I was hoping for a suite but both Junior and Midnight Suites categories were fully booked for the Fri/Sat nights so no complaints. On arrival a song and dance was made about being Platinum and I was given a form to select my welcome gift and a choice between complimentary breakfast or 750 points. Without me asking the staff member clarified that the breakfast offering was daily, but I didn't ask whether the 750 points were also.

The welcome gifts on offer were:
  • 2018 Motley Cru Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2015 Tumblong Hills Cab Sav
  • 2 x Deschutes Da Shootz Pilsner
  • Braddon Merchant cocktail
  • Fresh juice
  • Mocktail
  • House marinated olives with fresh bread
  • Single cheese plate with quince and fresh bread
  • Salumi tasting plate with pickles and fresh bread
  • Fresh fruit platter
  • Handmade chocolates
  • 1000 Marriott Bonvoy points
I was just dropping my bags before heading to the office, and had read a Tripadvisor review mentioning the room minibar was complimentary, so I took the 1000 points and daily breakfast. The service at check-in was very friendly and upbeat - I couldn't fault it. This was a stark contrast to some of my recent experiences at the Sebel. They gave a quick intro to hotel facilities such as the gym, pool, sauna, breakfast in the cafe/restaurant on the ground floor, etc. I was also offered a late check-out anytime until 4pm, I opted for 2pm as I want to ensure I get back to Sydney before dinner!

Having read earlier in the week that Marriott properties don't have to honour status benefits at the moment I was very happy with the service so far.

After arriving in the room I snapped a few photos:

PXL_20200917_040553484.jpg PXL_20200917_040601616.jpg PXL_20200917_040625682.jpg PXL_20200917_040636172.jpg PXL_20200917_040641318.jpg PXL_20200917_040647746.jpg PXL_20200917_040735136.jpg PXL_20200917_040744856.jpg PXL_20200917_040752243.jpg PXL_20200917_040755775.jpg

The room itself was nice and felt very new - the carpet was still very soft and there were no blemishes/marks on any walls or furniture. The booklet confirmed what I'd read online - the minibar was complimentary and it was very well stocked with:

1 x 375mL Nick O'Leary Riesling 2019
1 x 375mL Long Rail Gully Shiraz 2017
1 x BentSpoke Easy 'Cleansing Ale'
1 x BentSpoke Barley Griffin Pale Ale
2 x San Pellegrino Aranciata Rossa
1 x 375mL Voss Still Water
1 x 375mL Voss Sparkling Water
 
Last edited:

sudoer

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(new post due to picture limit)

The following morning I popped down to the cafe for breakfast. The included breakfast is your choice of a main, side and drink from the same menu available to the public. I went for the halloumi, egg, peas and beetroot main with a side of smoked salmon. This was one of the best hotel breakfasts I've had - free or paid - the eggs were perfectly cooked, the slab of halloumi very generous and tasty, and the salmon, peas and beetroot puree all very fresh. The coffee was great too.

PXL_20200917_212552518.jpg PXL_20200917_213100903.jpg PXL_20200918_235406876.jpg

Someone walking in off the street would have paid $31.50 for this, and as such the cafe does seem to hold itself to a higher standard than breakfast buffets/lounges at other properties. There were some non-guests arriving as I left - the complex is shared with some commercial offices and residential units so the cafe does get a bit of foot traffic.

Earlier today I decided to hit the gym and take a quick look at the pool. There are apparently two gyms which guests can access. The hotel gym is pictured below - it had three treadmills, two bikes, a rowing machine, some benches, free weights, and a pulldown machine. The equipment was practically brand new, and the gym itself was well airconditioned. There was a also fridge full of complimentary water bottles. (Voss, again)

PXL_20200918_220402995.jpg PXL_20200918_220405327.jpg

I popped by the pool to check it out and may actually use it later in my stay. The second gym is accessible to both guests and other tenants in the complex and apparently somewhere near the pool .. but I couldn't find it!

PXL_20200919_001423018.jpg

The property is in a great part of town with some excellent bars, restaurants, takeaway joints and even a brewery just across the road. It's a lively part of Canberra at night and on weekends which I found very lacking at the Sebel.

So, onto what I've found to be negatives so far:

- The TV entertainment system in the room has multiple issues. The system takes 3-4 seconds to change channels, and all FTA channels (there are no pay TV channels) cut out for 10-15 seconds every 3-5 minutes. Frustrating to the point that I just turned it off. The TV is also supposed to support casting from devices by joining the hotel wifi and browsing to getstreaming.tv to enter a unique code. Both Chrome on my laptop and my Pixel 3 appear to connect successfully, but they don't give the option to cast on Youtube or Netflix. To top it off, there is a HDMI port but it's recessed about 15cm from the bezel, and the TV is mounted with virtually no gap behind it to connect a cable. So in short, the TV is practically useless - in this room anyway.

- No cutlery or plates/bowls in the room yet there are 10 (!) different glasses/cups. Reception happily grabbed whatever I wanted from the cafe, but even a single bowl, fork and knife would be very handy.

- Parking at the property is a whopping $30 per night - significantly higher than many other properties around Braddon. Luckily there is ample street parking nearby which is $3 per hour 8:30am-5:30pm weekdays and untimed outside that.

- The fridge is a little noisy and just 2m from the bed. It is possible to turn it off though.

Those are my only complaints. For a $160 per night property (cheaper midweek) I am staying here again without question. The minibar, breakfast and facilities make this amazing value, and the service is faultless too. It does seem more oriented towards leisure trips and romantic weekends, but if the lack of kitchen facilities isn't an issue for you it's perfectly fine for business stays too.

If anyone has any questions feel free to ask - I'm here for another couple of nights!
 

Daver6

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Proximity to Bent Spoke is enough of a selling point for me! I might have to check it out on my next work trip to Canberra....if that ever happens.
 

sudoer

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Proximity to Bent Spoke is enough of a selling point for me! I might have to check it out on my next work trip to Canberra....if that ever happens.
Definitely recommend it for a boozy night in Braddon! Even comes with complimentary BentSpoke in the minibar.. hard to argue with that
 

sudoer

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Some updates from the last few days starting with some of the other breakfast options:

- Two poached eggs with sourdough and Pepe Saya / side of pork sausage
- Belgian waffles with rosemary, maple and whipped butter / side of bacon
- Two scrambled eggs with sourdough and Pepe Saya / side of field mushrooms

1600915429036.png 1600915491128.png 1600915532773.png

Admittedly not as visually appealing as the halloumi & eggs dish, but they were all quite tasty - the waffles especially - and I wanted to try as many combinations as I could (although the granola in cashew milk was a hard pass)

The TV issue was mostly resolved in the second half of the stay with help from the support phone number on the Chromecast screen. It was routed to a Sonifi call centre based in the USA who reset the entire system remotely. I was on hold for a couple of minutes and they had some initial issues locating the hotel by phone number, but worked it out by street address. The reset resolved the TV stuttering issue, and the casting feature then worked correctly on my phone, although I still couldn't get it working in Chrome on macOS. Slightly worrying my phone would sometimes show other rooms as options to cast to.. but luckily no one ever decided to cast to my screen.

One more tip if anyone's planning to stay here. All the room windows face into an atrium, so there isn't a heap of natural light or anything by way of views unfortunately. The outwards facing rooms are residential/commercial spaces which use a separate elevator shaft.

I'd suggest requesting a high floor to maximise the amount of daylight your room gets - here's the view from the 7th floor (out of 8) showing the lack of natural light at the bottom of the atrium albeit on a rather overcast day.

1600918284904.png

Check out was a breeze. Reception were more than happy to hold a parcel for me for a courier to collect later in the day. Points and nights credited to my account 24-36 hours later.

Have already booked my next stay in two weeks time!
 
Last edited:

mel1

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(new post due to picture limit)

The following morning I popped down to the cafe for breakfast. The included breakfast is your choice of a main, side and drink from the same menu available to the public. I went for the halloumi, egg, peas and beetroot main with a side of smoked salmon. This was one of the best hotel breakfasts I've had - free or paid - the eggs were perfectly cooked, the slab of halloumi very generous and tasty, and the salmon, peas and beetroot puree all very fresh. The coffee was great too.

View attachment 227816 View attachment 227817 View attachment 227818

Someone walking in off the street would have paid $31.50 for this, and as such the cafe does seem to hold itself to a higher standard than breakfast buffets/lounges at other properties. There were some non-guests arriving as I left - the complex is shared with some commercial offices and residential units so the cafe does get a bit of foot traffic.

Earlier today I decided to hit the gym and take a quick look at the pool. There are apparently two gyms which guests can access. The hotel gym is pictured below - it had three treadmills, two bikes, a rowing machine, some benches, free weights, and a pulldown machine. The equipment was practically brand new, and the gym itself was well airconditioned. There was a also fridge full of complimentary water bottles. (Voss, again)

View attachment 227819 View attachment 227820

I popped by the pool to check it out and may actually use it later in my stay. The second gym is accessible to both guests and other tenants in the complex and apparently somewhere near the pool .. but I couldn't find it!

View attachment 227821

The property is in a great part of town with some excellent bars, restaurants, takeaway joints and even a brewery just across the road. It's a lively part of Canberra at night and on weekends which I found very lacking at the Sebel.

So, onto what I've found to be negatives so far:

- The TV entertainment system in the room has multiple issues. The system takes 3-4 seconds to change channels, and all FTA channels (there are no pay TV channels) cut out for 10-15 seconds every 3-5 minutes. Frustrating to the point that I just turned it off. The TV is also supposed to support casting from devices by joining the hotel wifi and browsing to getstreaming.tv to enter a unique code. Both Chrome on my laptop and my Pixel 3 appear to connect successfully, but they don't give the option to cast on Youtube or Netflix. To top it off, there is a HDMI port but it's recessed about 15cm from the bezel, and the TV is mounted with virtually no gap behind it to connect a cable. So in short, the TV is practically useless - in this room anyway.

- No cutlery or plates/bowls in the room yet there are 10 (!) different glasses/cups. Reception happily grabbed whatever I wanted from the cafe, but even a single bowl, fork and knife would be very handy.

- Parking at the property is a whopping $30 per night - significantly higher than many other properties around Braddon. Luckily there is ample street parking nearby which is $3 per hour 8:30am-5:30pm weekdays and untimed outside that.

- The fridge is a little noisy and just 2m from the bed. It is possible to turn it off though.

Those are my only complaints. For a $160 per night property (cheaper midweek) I am staying here again without question. The minibar, breakfast and facilities make this amazing value, and the service is faultless too. It does seem more oriented towards leisure trips and romantic weekends, but if the lack of kitchen facilities isn't an issue for you it's perfectly fine for business stays too.

If anyone has any questions feel free to ask - I'm here for another couple of nights!
(new post due to picture limit)

The following morning I popped down to the cafe for breakfast. The included breakfast is your choice of a main, side and drink from the same menu available to the public. I went for the halloumi, egg, peas and beetroot main with a side of smoked salmon. This was one of the best hotel breakfasts I've had - free or paid - the eggs were perfectly cooked, the slab of halloumi very generous and tasty, and the salmon, peas and beetroot puree all very fresh. The coffee was great too.

View attachment 227816 View attachment 227817 View attachment 227818

Someone walking in off the street would have paid $31.50 for this, and as such the cafe does seem to hold itself to a higher standard than breakfast buffets/lounges at other properties. There were some non-guests arriving as I left - the complex is shared with some commercial offices and residential units so the cafe does get a bit of foot traffic.

Earlier today I decided to hit the gym and take a quick look at the pool. There are apparently two gyms which guests can access. The hotel gym is pictured below - it had three treadmills, two bikes, a rowing machine, some benches, free weights, and a pulldown machine. The equipment was practically brand new, and the gym itself was well airconditioned. There was a also fridge full of complimentary water bottles. (Voss, again)

View attachment 227819 View attachment 227820

I popped by the pool to check it out and may actually use it later in my stay. The second gym is accessible to both guests and other tenants in the complex and apparently somewhere near the pool .. but I couldn't find it!

View attachment 227821

The property is in a great part of town with some excellent bars, restaurants, takeaway joints and even a brewery just across the road. It's a lively part of Canberra at night and on weekends which I found very lacking at the Sebel.

So, onto what I've found to be negatives so far:

- The TV entertainment system in the room has multiple issues. The system takes 3-4 seconds to change channels, and all FTA channels (there are no pay TV channels) cut out for 10-15 seconds every 3-5 minutes. Frustrating to the point that I just turned it off. The TV is also supposed to support casting from devices by joining the hotel wifi and browsing to getstreaming.tv to enter a unique code. Both Chrome on my laptop and my Pixel 3 appear to connect successfully, but they don't give the option to cast on Youtube or Netflix. To top it off, there is a HDMI port but it's recessed about 15cm from the bezel, and the TV is mounted with virtually no gap behind it to connect a cable. So in short, the TV is practically useless - in this room anyway.

- No cutlery or plates/bowls in the room yet there are 10 (!) different glasses/cups. Reception happily grabbed whatever I wanted from the cafe, but even a single bowl, fork and knife would be very handy.

- Parking at the property is a whopping $30 per night - significantly higher than many other properties around Braddon. Luckily there is ample street parking nearby which is $3 per hour 8:30am-5:30pm weekdays and untimed outside that.

- The fridge is a little noisy and just 2m from the bed. It is possible to turn it off though.

Those are my only complaints. For a $160 per night property (cheaper midweek) I am staying here again without question. The minibar, breakfast and facilities make this amazing value, and the service is faultless too. It does seem more oriented towards leisure trips and romantic weekends, but if the lack of kitchen facilities isn't an issue for you it's perfectly fine for business stays too.

If anyone has any questions feel free to ask - I'm here for another couple of nights!
Thanks for the review. We usually stay at The Avenue next door every 2 months or so as our daughter lives round the corner. We wondered about Midnight. Was the room quite small? We do like the one bedders with kitchen at The Avenue, but chance to earn Marriott points may sway now and then
 

sudoer

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Was the room quite small? We do like the one bedders with kitchen at The Avenue, but chance to earn Marriott points may sway now and then
The 'Classic' room at the Midnight (30sqm) seems to be about the same size as a Superior room at Avenue (31sqm), but Avenue's 1br is more than double their size at 65.8sqm.

I suspect you may find Midnight Hotel rooms quite small in comparison unless you go for a suite (Junior Suite 48sqm, Midnight Suite 79sqm), but even then I don't know what sort of kitchen facilities those categories offer. I suspect none.
 
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jakeseven7

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Thank you very much for the thorough review, have been looking for new Canberra options.
Looks a bit dreary and grey monotone.
 

sudoer

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Just spent another two nights here. Upgraded to Midnight Lounge again before arrival (highest category available to book)

On arrival, the front desk mentioned "We don't have any Junior Suites available to upgrade you to for this stay, but we have still upgraded you to a Midnight Lounge". Given it was unprompted I guess they will give Plats a Junior Suite when available, and probably reserve the Midnight Suite for Titaniums.

Everything was consistent with my first stay, both good and bad. Service, breakfast, minibar all exactly the same. The fridge was loud again (enough to warrant turning it off) and the TV would stutter on FTA channels, although the Chromecast worked fine this time.

All in all a good stay, I'll probably keep coming back.
 

Alyopsis

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Am currently at Midnight for a week-long stay. Plat and same deal as Sudoer, upgraded to Midnight Lounge and decent breakfasts. Loving the free minibar but the minibar man had run out of booze by the time he hit my room today so offered extra juice and water. Luckily, unlike Sudoer I opted for a free bottle of Sauv Blan when checking in, so saved.

Two additional points: (i) There's a microwave and kitchenette on the mezzanine level so it's possible to reheat food. (ii) mobile phone coverage is low to non-existent on lower floors so request a high floor. After a room change, I am still having to leave the hotel to make phone calls.

I usually stay at either Crowne Plaza or Little National in CBR, depending on which side I'm working on. Prefer both those hotels but other than mobile issue, the Midnight is basically ok
 

sudoer

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(i) There's a microwave and kitchenette on the mezzanine level so it's possible to reheat food
Oh?! How do you get to the mezzanine level? I tried following signs to get to the Autograph Lounge which I believe is also on the mezzanine, but it was blocked off due to construction back in September. Would you mind snapping a pic or two if you are still there?
 

Alyopsis

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To access the lounge, you need to go to the lobby and find the standalone lift (up the bar end of the lobby), that will take you to the mezzanine level. The lounge is nothing special but it's quiet and a good place to work. You can't see it in the photos but there are a couple of good-sized workspaces there, powerpoints, and the WiFi works


IMG_20201014_082014_389.jpg IMG_20201013_074019_267.jpg IMG_20201014_081926_226.jpg
 

sudoer

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To access the lounge, you need to go to the lobby and find the standalone lift (up the bar end of the lobby), that will take you to the mezzanine level. The lounge is nothing special but it's quiet and a good place to work. You can't see it in the photos but there are a couple of good-sized workspaces there, powerpoints, and the WiFi works


View attachment 230435 View attachment 230436 View attachment 230441
Thanks! I'll be sure to check it out when I'm next in town
 

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