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Since its inception as Hostel Number 1 in 1924, Hotel Canberra and more recently Hyatt Hotel Canberra – A Park Hyatt Hotel, has been synonymous with elegance and splendor in the nation’s capital.

A home-away-from-home to rock stars, royalty, presidents and politicians, it has catered to high profile guests from around the globe for the past 100 years.

Designed by John Murdoch Smith, with influences from Beaux-Arts, Frank Lloyd Wright and Walt Burley Griffin, the hotel was officially opened as a government hostel on 10 December 1924. Its first lease of life was to provide suitable accommodation to parliamentarians and visitors to the new capital before Parliament House was completed in 1927.

It is said that history has been shaped within the walls of Hotel Canberra. Lobbyists cornered ministers, economic decisions decided at the bar and politicians confronted each other in corridors.

Since opening, the hotel has witnessed the glory days of the roaring 20s, the Great Depression, the halcyon era of the 1950s and 60s, and even a short closure in the 70s where it was used as office space.

In 1988 it was resurrected under the Park Hyatt brand and was among the world’s first Park Hyatt hotels. Created to provide discerning, global travelers with a refined home-away-from-home, the Park Hyatt brand has since expanded to over 40 premier destinations around the world including in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.

Today, the grand old dame of Australian hotels remains a love story to old-world charm and timeless elegance. Its classic architecture, 5 acres of parklands and stately suites are testament to a bygone era built to last.

Hyatt Hotel Canberra – A Park Hyatt Hotel General Manager, Adam Myott believes the hotel holds a special place in the heart of Canberrans, and well-heeled guests from near and far.

“I think our guests feel quite sentimental about the property. There’s definitely a sense of pride among Canberrans – it’s very much a part of our history and a part of our personal lives too. I hear stories of graduations, celebrations, weddings and events – often over generations.”

“It is as much a destination of special occasion as it is a home-away-from-home. I think people love to feel that sense of grandeur and cultured excellence that a stay here offers. It’s an opportunity to fall in love with hotels all over again,” he says.

Stepping inside the Hyatt Hotel Canberra is like returning to an era of elegance. Nostalgia abounds, and is a theme the hotel will play to during its centenary year.

Plans are well underway for a roaring 20s gala cocktail party in October. A return to the good old days of glitz and glamour, with champagne towers, caviar bars, jazz bands, flapper girls and an impressive guest list of local and national luminaries.

“We hope to recapture the wild spirit of its past while maintaining a level of intrigue and wonder as we launch into the future,” Adam says.

A bespoke Canberra Earl Grey loose leaf tea has been commissioned through The Tea Centre, which is served in the iconic Tea Lounge as part of the hotel’s classic High Tea. This special blend features a commemorative Art Deco centenary logo reimagined to mark the 100-year occasion.

Guests looking to experience their own slice of history can stay in one of six exclusive Diplomatic Suites –named after legendary Australian Prime Ministers – on a Suite Centenary package, complete with welcome cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a daily turndown service.

Lastly, a new website is underway to house stories from the past, present and future, ensuring the legacy of this beloved property is preserved and available for future generations to enjoy.