OZ Hotels and Lamington

Mar 3rd, 2005, 08:38 AM
  #1  
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OZ Hotels and Lamington

Please comment on these hotel choices for our trip in May. We're mainly interested in clean accommodations near (with the exception of the Savoy) the main tourist attractions in each city. Also, what is the easiest and cheapest way to do a day trip to Lamington from Brisbane without having to rent a car? Is public transportation available to Lamington?

In Sydney - The Savoy in Double Bay (It's my backup hotel in case wotif.com does not pay off for the Rocks area at the last minute)

In Hobart - The Salamanca Inn

In Canberra - The Olims Hotel

In Brisbane - The Royal Albert
PatRemB is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 12:09 PM
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Hi, PatRemB.

CANBERRA: Olims is 10 minutes' walk from the city centre ("Civic") and close to the Australian War Memorial, which you shouldn't miss. Civic also houses the Canberra theatre complex and city gallery plus teh usual department stores, restaurants, cafes etc. I haven't stayed in Olims (penalty of living here) but I believe the quality should be at least acceptable. By Canberra's very youthful standards it's an older building, so it isn't your standard cookie-cutter glass box, and I'm sure they employ cleaners .

No hotel could be described as being very close to ALL the major tourist attractions, though. Civic is on the north side of Lake Burley Griffin, as is the nearby National Museum, National Botanic Gardens and Telstra Tower on Black Mountain. On the south side of the lake, in and around the area known as the Parliamentary Triangle bounded by Commonwealth and Kings Avenues, are Parliament House, Old Parliament House and the National Portrait Gallery, the National Archives, National Library and National Gallery. Not to mention the best restaurant area, Manuka. Canberra's Chinatown (Dickson) though, is about 3 km north of Olims Hotel.

There's an endless-loop tourist bus which I think would stop at Olims - the typical roofless double-decker thing - but I'm not 100% sure of its route and pricing. It doesn't seem to do a roaring trade, but I don't know if that means it's inconvenient, overpriced or just not a great idea in Canberra. There are also public buses, cabs, or if you're feeling especially energetic you can walk. If the weather is suitable, by the way, Commonwealth Park, on the north shore of the lake, is a great place to walk or cycle.

There are hotels closer to the Parliamentary Triangle - I'd need to come back to you with names, but for the moment Olims I think is reasonable choice.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 12:56 PM
  #3  
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Neil, thank you so much for all your helpful comments on Canberra and for such a prompt reply! Looks like we will be fine staying at the Olims Hotel. We'd like to do some biking, so if the weather is okay I think we'll take your suggestion and rent bikes to use around Commonwealth Park and see a bit of the city that way. We are looking forward to our first trip to Australia.

Pat
PatRemB is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 01:02 PM
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Hi, PatRemB!

The Savoy in Double Bay has a good reputation, and Double Bay is a beautiful suburb. It's not particularly close to any of the attractions; you'd need to hop a bus, which will take you twenty minutes to get into the city. There are ferries also, but I don't know the area well enough to comment on how close the Savoy is to the ferry.

I hope that www.wotif.com comes good with a hotel around the Rocks... which one are you looking at, the Russell?
Alan is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 01:27 PM
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Hi,
The Savoy at Double Bay is a very nice boutique hotel - ask for a back or inside room as the streetfront can be noisy at weekends.
It is only 2 blocks from the Ferry and a block from the bus - or alternatively up a steep hill to the train!
The staff are extremely nice and knowledgeable about the local area.
As Alan says is not close to any of the tourist areas but Double Bay is a very nice, affluent shopping area.
prue is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 02:28 PM
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Thanks so very much to Alan and Prue for comments on the Savoy at Double Bay in Sydney. Just wanted to make sure that it is in a decent part of town - though distant from the center - and,in answer to your question, Alan, yes, I am hoping to get a good deal on a room at The Russell (on wotif.com) a couple of weeks before our departure on May 1.
PatRemB is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 01:14 AM
  #7  
 
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Hi PatRemB,

Regarding Lamington National Park - you will find various day tours to Lamington that will do pick ups from city hotels. I'm sure the tour desk at The Royal Albert can book such a trip for you.

I'm heading out there for a bushwalking weekend myself in May - hope you enjoy it.
claret is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 08:40 AM
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Claret,I thought that day tours just might be the only option since I couldn't find out anything about public transportation from Brisbane to Lamington. Thanks for confirming that. We'll just wait and see what is offered when we get to the Royal Albert. Have a great weekend at Lamington!!
PatRemB is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 10:24 AM
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Pat, if you like biking Canberra is the place for you, as the city has an extensive network of bicycle paths. You can rent bikes near the north end of the Commonwealth Ave bridge and do a short loop east to the Kings Ave bridge and back - that's a very easy 5 km (3 mi)or so, and takes you right past the National Gallery of Australia, the High Court, the annexe to the National Portrait Gallery, the National Library and Questacon (the National Science & Technology Museum), also a short distance from the Old Parliament House which houses the main portrait gallery. You can take informative guided tours of the OPH which will tell you something of Australia's political history. The NGA has a nice outdoor sculpture garden and nearby outdoor cafe if you feel like a break - but the main gallery deserves at least a couple of hours.
You could also extend your ride to take in the National Museum of Australia.

There's a visitor's centre 2-3 km north of Civic on Northbourne Avenue (the main drag into town from Sydney) which among much else has maps of the bike paths. If that's inconvenient I'm sure the hotel will be able to help out. Come to think of it, there's a nice bike path through parkland that will take you pretty close. From memory it runs from the Australian National University (ANU) north to the suburb of Dickson.

Dickson is a good place to go if you like Asian food - my favourites are the Ruby (Cantonese) and Pho Phu Quoc (Vietnamese).

While I have some time to kill, it's worth mentioning that tipping isn't expected in eateries, hotels, bars, taxis etc in Australia & NZ - staff are reasonably paid by their employer. You may choose to reward service above and beyond the call of duty if you wish, and in recent years staff in coffee shops have started putting out spare change jars (which you can ignore if you like without being treated as a miser).

Most of the restaurants you'll find have a liquor licence but many allow you to bring your own (wine only).

BTW, out of curiosity I checked Olims on wotif.com and they're advertising rooms at AU$84-89, which seems like a pretty good deal. Another reasonably priced place in a nice setting is University House, on the ANU campus. However, I haven't any reports from people who've stayed there.

No guarantees of course, but if it runs true to form the autumn weather in Canberra in May should be great with sunny days and crisp nights.

Canberra isn't only national institutions, of course - you can check out the full what-to-do range at www.canberratourism.com.au. Enjoy your visit.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Mar 5th, 2005, 05:24 AM
  #10  
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To Neil and Alan and Prue and Claret - Many thanks for being so generous with your time and suggestions! I'm going to print out your tips - as well as those from others on the Fodor's OZ forum -to take along with me. It's been a good introduction to your country - to the tourist attractions, of course, but also to the people! What a terrific start to our visit!
PatRemB is offline  

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