“1970s, but not in a retro-chic way. Just in a rubbish way.”
Through a special offer, I paid A$ 180 per night for my room. So that was A$ 360 for two nights. For American readers, that's about US$ 370 for two nights. My expectations weren't high - you don't get a lot for A$ 180 in Canberra - but I thought it would be decent. Oooh, I was wrong.
Check-in was OK. Then I went to my room. It was a "Family Spa Suite". You walk into the living room, I suppose: there were four hard chairs and a small dining table, a mini-kitchen, two fridges (no, I don't know why either), a bunk bed, and a pull-down bed thing. No sofa - nowhere to sit and relax if you were a family. And no window. Just flourescent lighting. Mmm... fluorescent. And there was a tiny TV above the cooker. Quite where you'd sit to watch this TV I don't know, but there you go.
Then, the bedroom. There was a bed, and a TV, and a nasty leatherette chair. There was a clock-radio with a broken volume control, plugged into a broken powerpoint that had one socket that worked, one that didn't, one that sparked disconcertingly, and one that you couldn't reach without pulling the bed out. The bed itself was incredibly soft, and not in a good way. The sheets were not tucked in properly; there was a scratchy old blanket and a horrible bedspread. The whole bed / bedroom smelt of urine.
There were no curtains in the bedroom, just some very gappy venetian blinds; as the room was opposite a servo (petrol station / gas station), this meant that the bedroom was flooded with light when you were trying to sleep. Still, I suppose that makes up for the completely dark, windowless living room: if you average out the light levels, they're sort of OK: it's just that the light is in the wrong places at the wrong time.
The bathroom had hot water that was dangerously hot. I believe that in Canberra, hotel water is supposed to be limited to 50C: this supply did not seem to comply with that regulation. This wouldn't be such a problem if the shower water pressure didn't fluctuate so wildly that you'd be alternately frozen and scalded as you tried to shower. Also, if you're tall, you can't get in the shower: I'm 5'7", and my head was about 6 inches from the ceiling when I stood in the shower.
Neither the living room nor the bedroom has been decorated since the 70s: the furniture is old, scuffed, and extremely ugly. It really was a depressing room to be in.
The location is interesting. It's about 5 minutes' walk from the Canberra Centre, and about A$ 15-20 by taxi from Parliament. It's also ideally located if you like going onto a street where mad people shout at lampposts.
So... horrible decor, no curtains, terrible bed, windowless cell, dangerous electricity and dangerous water...
And then, the really astonishing bit. A$ 180, the word "executive" in its name, and there's no Internet in the room. Yes, you read that right: no Internet. Now that's 70s retro! I can only assume that these "executives" after whom the hotel is named are too important to check their e-mail. It is possible to use the very weak Wi-Fi signal from the lobby: this does not reach any rooms, but you can sit in the breakfast room to use that Wi-Fi while other people eat their breakfast and stare at you. And that weak Wi-Fi signal and slow connection costs another A$ 5 per half hour! Yes, really. Not satisfied with charging you A$ 180 for an ugly, depressing, dangerous, smelly room, they charge you A$ 5 for the privilege of perching in a cafe to use the Internet.
I have very low expectations of Australian hotels. But even by Australian standards, this was appalling. I have no objection to paying A$ 180 per night, but for that I want a clean, pleasant, safe room and an Internet connection. I don't think that's too much to ask. For the money, I'd say that this was the worst hotel I've ever stayed in.
Oooh, I've got a tip for choosing a good room. Stay somewhere else. Seriously.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC