THE hotel that housed Canberra’s first parliamentarians at the dawn of our nation, Hotel Kurrajong Canberra, celebrates its 90th birthday this year with a series of celebrations, starting with a glamorous 1920s Double Sapphire dinner dance in July.
The deep blue Sapphire is the stone that marks a 45th anniversary, so the hotel will celebrate its 90th anniversary with a “double sapphire” celebration. The three-course dinner with drinks and entertainment on 23 July will revisit the hotel’s 1926 origins but with contemporary service and style befitting the recent refurbishment of the Heritage-listed building in Barton.
TFE Hotels CEO Rachel Argaman said it was a momentous year in the history of the hotel, which shared its 90th birthday with Queen Elizabeth II, who visited the hotel in the year 2000, and was built the same year as Old Parliament House, by the same designer, Commonwealth Chief Architect, John Smith Murdoch.
“This will be an opportunity to celebrate a significant moment in our nation’s history, when our Capital was first created and so were Canberra’s first hotels,” she said. “Hotel Kurrajong Canberra is now a delightfully renovated landmark that references a time when personal style reigned. It is again etching a place in the nation’s psyche, this time as a contemporary, sophisticated getaway with a wonderful restaurant, Chifley’s Bar & Grill.”
The celebration will look back at the many significant eras of the building, from its beginnings as home to public servants transferred from Melbourne to set up the nation’s new parliament, to its role as the residence of former Prime Ministers John Curtin and Ben Chifley.
In December 2014 the Heritage-listed building reopened after being fully restored in a distinct Art Deco theme, via a joint venture between the National Roads & Motorists’ Association (NRMA) and TFE Hotels, who operate it today.
Visitors to the hotel will be struck by the 1920’s-inspired decor and hospitality from the moment they arrive. The grand ballroom, the cosy fireplace, the library stocked with historic literature and photographs along the hallways imbue a sense of the building’s history.
The pavilion-style buildings with their pretty terrace gardens, dotted with warming fire pits and garden furniture for outdoor drinks, are nestled among trees between Lake Burley Griffin and Capital Hill, having lived various incarnations as a boarding house and hotel school since first opening as a hotel in 1926, then called Hostel Number 2.
The hotel’s 147 rooms houses 26 in the heritage wing and include four executive suites, four balcony rooms and eight terrace rooms.
Chifley’s Bar & Grill is named after the former resident Prime Minister and pays homage to the past, with inspiration from today. The team creates a unique experience for diners in a classically elegant dining room, which extends to a glassed-in terrace overlooking the gardens.
The menu features locally sourced seasonal produce, adopting a paddock to plate philosophy.
1920s DOUBLE SAPPHIRE DINNER
Inclusions: Three-course dinner with entertainment
Venue: Chifley’s Bar & Grill, Hotel Kurrajong Canberra
Price: $160 per person
Date: 23 July, 6.30pm
Bookings: Phone (02) 6234 444, email firstname.lastname@example.org
DOUBLE SAPPHIRE HOTEL PACKAGE
Price: $190 per night, valid for classic rooms
Valid: July 23 2016 to 31 January 2017 (not valid Saturdays between 17/09 – 15/10)
Inclusions: Two for one breakfast, Champagne or cocktail on arrival, 12pm late check-out
TREAT A NONAGENARIAN
Treat your parents or grandparents, as all 90 year olds are eligible for a free main meal at Chifley’s Bar & Grill. Valid for bookings of four people or more between July 23 2016 and 31 January 2017.