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All reviews boffins restaurant australian national university fellows bar north wing third floor chest of drawers a superior queen room small balcony separate bedroom a great place to stay lake burley griffin electric blankets shower over the bath city centre rooms are spacious old world charm visiting canberra
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Reviewed 20 March 2012

University House is still far more like the student accommodation it started out as than a real hotel. It benefits from the lush green surroundings of the university, but lacks the comfort and polish even cheap hotels manage.

We stayed in a Queen Suite, which was a very generous size and looked over the courtyard on one side and had a balcony facing out over the university grounds on the other side. The decor is retro, but everything was clean and functional, and the bed was better than I expected. The only room feature I could fault was the couch. This extremely uncomfortable piece of furniture was intended for sipping tea in polite company, not for sprawling out and watching TV, and after standing up all day I really needed somewhere comfortable to relax.

If you are even mildly mobility impaired, I would recommend mentioning this when booking. Ramps connect the common areas, but there are no lifts and even our 'ground floor' room required a half-flight of stairs. Staff were efficient and did what was needed, but I got the feeling that they didn't really care.

Like other reviewers, we did notice the noise. For a place which should be quiet, it isn't. Noise travels easily between rooms and from the stairwell. We also noticed a lot of events, including a wedding, which meant noise from the courtyard until quite late at night. Thankfully it doesn't seem to attract a rowdy crowd, so other than the wedding it was quiet at night.

It feels like a long walk to get anywhere, but this is Canberra and everything is spread out anyway. There are some nice cafes nearby in Acton, and it's still close enough to walk to Civic or Parliamentary Triangle.

We only ate at the cafe for breakfast, but its $20 for a fairly average buffet and we didn't think it was worth it. Walk to Urbanfood and get breakfast for half that price. Internet prices are also extremely steep at $10/day.

Despite the negatives I would still stay here again, mostly because it was clean, the bed was comfortable, I felt safe even at night, and it's really, really cheap.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Shona K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2012

although dated and no lift to 3rd floor of our north wing suite, service was friendly and nice grounds. the bar and restaurant were next door and great for travel with babies as the outdoor part of the bar/cafe had lots of space and close toilets (no baby change though). walkable to anywhere in the city

Room Tip: the suite was worth the extra room especially with an infant
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank angienilsson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2012

I love University House. the renovated rooms are clean conformable spacious and straight out of the 50s, but new. When you first walk into the room you think "this is a funny old room" and then you start to realise that it is a funny new old room. I am amazed that they could re-furbish a 50s room so thoroughly without changing its character at all. The whole hotel is a really excellent piece of design and architecture. It is very very calm, serenely set in particularly leafy and quiet bit of the Australian National University. The breakfast is excellent value - I think it is $15 for a full hot and cold spread (that a normal hotel would probably ask 20 or 25 for).

I have stayed in some of the un-furbished rooms as well and they are not as special nor as good value overall. The un-renovated 'family' rooms are a cheap option if you are sharing as it you get 2 separate bedrooms but you wouldn't want to spend too much time hanging around in your room. I once stayed in a single room with outside facilities and I thought that just too rough - the room wasn't very clean, the bed was old and too short and communal bathroom was pretty rough. I think that was $90 versus $160 for a renovated suite, but it was all that was available that night. The renovated rooms are worth the money though. A family of 4, or even 5, could happily live in a 2 bedroom suite for a protracted period of time.

It is a short pleasant walk into civic from the hotel, or an even shorter one to the Uni Bar.

Room Tip: The re-furbished rooms are worth the extra money
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank blindjoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2012

This is my second visit to University House. I like the memories it brings of university, the large rooms, the lovely lawn and shady trees, and the convenience to the city and the lake. The breakfasts are pretty good.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Luckenbooth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2012

My wife and I stayed here in a Queen Superior Suite in Jan 2012. The accomodation was very good, if somewhat dated. The location is excellent and was keenly priced. Breakfast in the Cafe Bar was also good value. Would certainly go back.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank John T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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