Since becoming Australia’s capital in 1927, Canberra has been the definition of cool. For, it’s home to exquisite culinary and top-notch cultural experiences in the form of museums and more. And, a short jaunt out of the city will bring you to the gorgeous lakeshore and fauna-filled bushland reserves. What’s more, Australia is also an extremely gay friendly country. And its capital leads the way in anti-discriminatory laws and equal rights. Since there is a rising number of gay accommodation in Canberra (including hotels), it’s no surprise that it sees lots of LGBTQ travelers. Outwardly, Canberra’s scene might not exactly rival that of neighboring cities like Sydney and Melbourne. In fact, there’s just one gay bar in town today. However, the inclusivity goes beyond the realm of gay nightlife. Hence, LGBTQ people are not just accepted but welcomed everywhere.
The biggest event for the LGBTQ community is, undoubtedly, the SpringOut Pride shebang. The city also hosts the Capital Queer Film Festival as well as the Australian National University Pride Week. And of course, you can tune in to QRadio, Canberra’s very own LGBTQ radio station for all the latest goings-on. Moreover, Canberra has so much for travelers to explore. For instance, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the Australian Parliament, which is one of the World’s Most Impressive Parliament Buildings. Additionally, there’s a litany of other sights. These include museums, lakes, the Australian National Botanic Gardens, and even the Australian War Memorial.
Canberra might not be a raging LGBTQ destination, but it’s definitely a lovely gay destination. To that end, here are the top 11 gay accommodations in Canberra, Australia.
If you want to stay in a contemporary yet quirky hotel near the city’s only gay bar, the Cube Nightclub, then the QT Canberra will suit you perfectly. A mere 10-minute walking distance from the club, the flamboyant hotel is the perfect gay accommodation in Canberra to crash after a night of partying away.
With a political theme, you might expect the hotel to be drab, but QT dispels all such myths. The lobby is bohemian to boot, with eclectic furniture and wild printed upholstery. One wall pays homage to political greats; think Paul Keating, Margaret Thatcher, and the likes. Since it’s a quirky hotel, its amenities are equally whimsical. So, you’ll find a pop-up artifact-selling shop in the lobby and a barbershop offering Canberra’s only close-shave service! The highlight is the bar and restaurant, which are decorated in the most decadent of manners. The breakfast buffet is possibly Canberra’s best – it features pastries, coffees, charcuterie, an omelet station, fresh juices, and cheese. After a romantic dinner, the fireplace lounge is the perfect spot to enjoy a nightcap and retire.
Interestingly, the room keys are emblazoned with quotes and images of past Prime Ministers. The rooms are as spacious as they’re cool, complete with the signature Old Fashioned cocktail kit from QT. There’s even a couples’ kit in the minibar. So, you can keep the party going long after you’ve retired to the rooms! Afterward, take the session to the plush bathrooms, which has showers large enough for two.
Hostel Canberra City YHA
The Canberra City YHA is a something of an all-round winner with excellent amenities, a wallet-friendly price, and a super-friendly staff. What’s more, it’s also one of the best gay accommodations you can find in Canberra, and sits right next to its only but pulsating gay club, Cube!
There’s a lot of love about the YHA hostel. It features a sun-kissed rooftop terrace, a sauna, and a basement pool which are excellent all-year touches. The rooftop terrace has tables and chairs and hammocks for you to lie contentedly and enjoy a good book while taking in city views. The shared kitchen is not only spacious but also well-stocked, so it’s easy to whip up quick meals. The ultimate communal spaces are the on-site cafe, where delicious drinks and a friendly ambiances make for fabulous mingling and meet-cutes. It even serves a delicious breakfast of coffee, yogurt, cereal, toast, and eggs. What’s more, the hostel even has an unheard-of spa area! Above all, the barbeque area is the perfect place to chill with your new friends and enjoy the Aussie fare.
Choose from female-only/mixed dorms or private rooms here, all of which are not only immaculate but spacious. Storage lockers, reading lights, lots of seating options, windows, and spotless bathrooms make this one pleasant place to crash.
There is more than one reason that the Hotel Realm is the best gay accommodation in Canberra for exploring the city. Firstly, this five-star place is the epitome of style. Secondly, it goes beyond pure functionality with impressive facilities and high-standard service. Finally, it is a stone’s throw from the city center attractions, Parliament House, as well as entertainment, dining, and shopping. So, it’s no wonder that it’s also one of the 11 Best Hotels In Canberra!
A three-storeyed, light-filled atrium with white marble floors makes a striking first impression. The showstopper is the sculptural red-square curtain which makes for one amazing Instagram post. Just like the service, the facilities here are excellent and focused on wellness. So, you can swim and lounge at the heated indoor lap pool, before heading to the sauna and the hydrotherapy spa pool. There are even spinning classes, but we’d recommend heading to the spa which even has a couples’ room for a romantic massage session. The signature restaurant is ideal for a romantic meal, while the coffee and breakfast pastries at the garden bar are perfect for grab-and-go.
Even the standard rooms here are superb, with art photography featuring Canberra and luxurious mod-cons including bathrobes and minibars. For an incredible living experience, the suites with bathtubs and balconies are a better choice.
The undoubtedly sexy Ovolo Nishi is the coolest of gay hotels in Canberra. This darkly-lit hub teems with design-driven chic and new-school charisma and is the perfect romantic and refined base for discerning gay travelers. What’s more, the hotel sits on the southern edge of the city center, which is famous for its bar and food scene.
The hotel is one of the most eco-friendly in the city. It sits in a Japanese-inspired sustainably-produced architectural masterpiece. On the inside, it’s a contemporary confluence of 20th-century natural materials, art, and furniture. For instance, the ‘grand stair’ lobby is an extravaganza of jutting wooden beams. Likewise, the public lounge is chock-full of leather couches, brass tables, and fireplaces. Right beyond lies the gorgeous ‘atrium’ fern garden, which is as decadent as it is cozy. Besides the lounge, the hotel also has free bikes for hire, free yoga classes, and even a gym. Finally, the standout meal in the in-house restaurant is the ‘all-in’ breakfast, albeit paid, with coffee, yogurt, toast, juice, and granola.
You’ll be gushing over the modern design of the rooms, complete with eye-catching art, snack bags, and comfy beds. The bathrooms are equally artful with bespoke toiletries and boxy silver fittings. If you want to splash, we recommend the larger rooms that have free minibars, kitchenettes, and oval-shaped baths.
Peppers Gallery Hotel
The Peppers Gallery Hotel is one of the best boutique gay accommodations in Canberra. The historic hotel has quite a history; a fire destroyed much of the original property, which was the Diamante Hotel. A painstaking restoration later, the hotel has risen like a phoenix from the ashes to become of the best boutique digs in the city. What’s more, it lies right in the heart of all the action and isn’t more than a 20-minute walk to most of Canberra’s top attractions.
Original artwork on the wall greets you as you walk into the lobby. The hotel has a particularly lovely courtyard that’s brimming with trees, blooms, and cozy nooks where you can relax. Moreover, there’s even a small library where you can curl up with a book and a cuppa one lazy afternoon. Besides a fitness center, the bar and restaurant round off the amenities here serving delicious Italian fare and cocktails.
Rooms at the hotel are delightful and moody in equal measure, complete with a monochromatic base and pops of color. The marble bathrooms feel decadent, and some of the higher category rooms even have tubs. Sleek modern amenities like Nespresso machines, Bang and Olufsen TVs, and bespoke toiletries complete the place.
Hyatt Hotel Canberra
The Hyatt Hotel is the grandest of all gay hotels in Canberra. This five-star grand dame is an art deco masterpiece topped with Great Gatsby-esque charm. What’s more, it lies close to most of the Top 12 Things To Do In Canberra and is the perfect base for exploring the city. With a fabulous location on Commonwealth Avenue, the city center and the Parliament House area are closeby. The best part? It offers amazing views of the gushing Molonglo River.
The 1927-built structure has housed an entire spectrum of politicians over the years. Dapper and old-world to the T, this hotel transports you to another era. Think bellhops, piano players in the lounge, and High Tea. The lobby has a smattering of showstopping features, including chandeliers, geometric window grates, and high ceilings. The gym at the Hyatt is one of the best hotel gyms you’d have ever seen, while the lap pool is the perfect place for a swim and lounge. Besides these, the hotel also has rental mountain bikes, aqua aerobics classes, and even an outdoor tennis court. The breakfast, albeit paid, is particularly decadent, with a salad bar, juice shots, pastries, cheese platter, an egg station, and even waffles.
The rooms are all done up in shades of chocolate, gold, beige, and natural cream, and are spacious to boot. The black-and-white marble bathrooms are particularly luxurious and make you feel like royalty. The higher-priced Park Club and Suites rooms even have balconies.
Hotel Kurrajong Canberra
There are few luxurious gay accommodations in Canberra like the Hotel Kurrajong, which captures the grace of old-world Canberra like no other. The 1920s-built art deco structure was the former home to several of Australia’s Prime Ministers, what with it being a mere 10 minutes from the ‘Parliamentary Triangle.’ If you’re a culture buff and want to explore Canberra in a deeper, better way, then you couldn’t find a better base.
Art Deco and politics form key elements of this hotel, which also has oodles of style and is akin to a sprawling cottage. So, you’ll see framed political portraits in the hallways and rooms named after former prime ministers. The interiors are decidedly 1920s-meets-now with geometric wall prints, azure furnishings and artwork, and more. The unfailingly polite staff is definitely the highlight here, right from service requests to catering to all whims and fancies. That said, the facilities are excellent too. The courtyard with a glassed-in terrace area and overhanging lights are particularly delightful, especially the charming whiskey bar and restaurant. It’s here that a lovely, full breakfast buffet is served, kickstarting your fabulous day. Besides the 24-hour gym, there’s also the fireside lobby lounge area perfect for a nightcap.
Rooms are contemporary while retaining the historic charisma of the hotel. For instance, the ground-floor Turnbull Suite has a lavish bathroom, large windows, and stunning views out of the courtyard. Besides that, even other rooms overlook the front lawns, both with and without balconies, with even separate baths.
Lying smack dab in the city center is one of the best gay hotels you can find in Canberra, the Avenue Hotel. With the city center precinct having undergone gentrification, this stylish hotel only betters the skyline. Craft brewpubs and coffee roasters surround this hip hotel, which is elegant and luxurious at the same time. Choose from a host of chic rooms at the hotel, which also include self-contained apartments or spa suites. So, if you’re looking to stay longer or want to splurge, then this is one great place. Moreover, they’re all decked out with the latest in creature comforts, technology, as well as design. Bathrooms are equally high-end, with bespoke amenities and rainfall showers. The highlight is the private balconies with outdoor furniture that offer sweeping views of the city.
The highlight of the hotel’s communal offerings is the signature restaurant, which is modeled after a European steakhouse. It’s the perfect place for a romantic dinner, especially with the marble bar. It’s also where a superb breakfast spread is served every day. You can even enjoy breakfast in the comfort of your room.
Little National Hotel
If you’re looking for an affordable, yet stylish gay accommodation in Canberra near the Parliamentary Triangle, then the Little National Hotel is your best bet. In fact, even other sights like The National Library, Lake Burley Griffin, and The National Gallery of Australia are all within a 20-minute walking distance. That, coupled with stylish interiors and free access to five-star facilities across the road, this savvy bolthole is one of the budget travelers. Interestingly, the hotel sits on the top two floors of a snazzily-design car park. However, don’t be put off by the seemingly drab exterior, because it’s an entirely different story on the inside.
A chic lobby welcomes you within, while the fifth-floor library is one comforting space, Think tea/coffee stations, communal tables and workstations, floor-to-ceiling windows, and lots of plants. The dreamy sixth-level bar lounge with two fireplaces is just the place to end the night with a cocktail. What’s more, it even has Tuesday-Saturday happy hours. The best feature is that you have access to its sister property, The Realm, which is right across the road. So, you have access to a bevy of facilities like the gym, saunas, indoor pool, and spa, for a very wallet-friendly price. Moreover, it even serves a hearty breakfast spread to begin your day on a high note. If you’re interested in something offbeat, then the place even offers cooking and floral arrangement classes.
The standout feature in the rooms is the cloud-like, four-poster, king bed, right in front of a gorgeous floor-to-ceiling window. You can order everything from free in-house movies to tea/coffee, to food in your rooms, which also has a small fridge and a Nespresso machine. Bathrooms are equally lovely, with the overall effect being intimate.
Discerning gay travelers looking for authentic, local experiences will love staying at Mercure Hotel. One of the best gay hotels in Canberra, the hotel is inspired by the local environment. So, it employs natural textures and shades, while drawing from the vibrant colors that surround Canberra’s landscape. Plus, the hotel is not without history. It was originally the Hotel Ainslie and has been around for more than 80 years. Today, it still retains the original heritage features, while adding modern comforts like free Wi-Fi, a gym, and even meeting spaces. The highlight is the two on-site restaurants, which are somewhat of a favorite spot for locals. So, you can enjoy cider and craft beers from the local brewery before heading out to enjoy Canberra’s nightlife.
The sophistication extends even to the hotel’s rooms. Smart TVs with Chromecast, work desks, and plush beds are the mainstay, as are modern bathrooms with spacious standing showers.
If you’re an LGBTQ traveler and want to explore the little-known parts of the city too, then we’d recommend the East Hotel. One of the quirkiest best gay accommodations in Canberra, this hotel sits in the Kingston Foreshore neighborhood. The nearby Manuka neighborhood not only boasts a café culture but is also home to a lovely, 1930s-built Manuka Pool. Additionally, it’s also bursting with Art Deco architecture, parks, and more, and the Parliamentary Triangle is a mere 10-minute drive.
The hotel redefines ‘fun’ with bohemian touches like neon signage, vibrant colors, 3D wallpapers, and more. The effect is particularly palpable in Joe’s Bar, which has chain-draped lights, vintage glassware, and rainbow-colored fabric (yay!). The foyer is equally whimsical and features high tables full of jars of strawberry jubes and chocolate freckles, which are classically Australian. Plus, it even has an interesting, Instagram-worthy wall lined with retro-inspired bikes. Overall, the effect is as fun and casual as can get. Apart from the fantastic staff, the hotel also has tons of facilities including bikes, a gym, a cozy library, and even a bookstore/cafe which serves artful breakfasts. Moreover, the three in-house restaurants/bars are dining destinations in their own right.
Since all rooms are apartment-style, they all feature laundry facilities and small but functional kitchenettes. Standard rooms are excellent and have everything from plush beds and Nespresso machines to balconies. If you’re here with your partner, then go for the Luxe Studios, which also have spa baths/
Get Some Culture in Canberra:
- Canberra SpringOUT Festival – Canberra’s only pride festival is one amazing celebration. With parties, cultural programs, and more, it celebrates the diversity of the LGBTQ community in the city.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Canberra:
- Cube Nightclub – The only gay club in Canberra is replete with performance, parties, a dance floor, and a DJ.
- KZ Swing – Although not exclusively LGBTQ, this kinky and sexy BDSM club welcomes everyone into the alternate lifestyle.
Best Gay Saunas in Canberra:
- Fantasy Lane – Canberra’s leading gay cruise club with showers, an orgy room, and a lounge area. It also has a shop that sells condoms, lube, adult toys, and leather gear.