Canberra vs. Darwin: Where to stay for groups

With Canberra's burgeoning food scene and Darwin's thriving inner-city precincts, Spice News puts them head-to-head, discovering the best boltholes for visiting groups looking to be in the centre of the action.
East Hotel lobby

With Canberra’s burgeoning food scene and Darwin’s thriving inner-city precincts, two of Australia’s most up and coming destinations are proving that there’s still heaps for groups to experience away from the usual heavy-hitters. Spice News puts them head-to-head, discovering the best boltholes for visiting groups looking to be in the centre of the action.


QT Canberra

QT Canberra offers the largest function and event space outside of the Convention Centre. The QT Lounge – situated on the 15th floor – offers some of the best views over Canberra and makes for a perfect spot for private gatherings. Looking for something a little different? Look into hiring out Lucky’s Speakeasy, a prohibition era-style hidden bar. Later on, pop into the Capitol Bar and Grill for delicious meal and a chance for your delegates to mingle outside of the conference room.

East Hotel

Rest your head at designer property, East Hotel. The 140-key property is suited for both the leisure and business traveller. The oversized rooms feature custom-made beds, kitchen facilities, Nespresso coffee machines, complimentary Wi-Fi, plus so much more. There are also flexible meeting spaces on site with the ability to transform from a standard boardroom into a cocktail function room which caters for 100. Choose from the 41 sqm Chronicle Room or the 82 sqm Daily Chronicle Room.

Mantra Macarthur Hotel

The Mantra Macarthur Hotel on the corner of Canberra’s main thoroughfare Northbourne Ave opened in late September 2017. The full service hotel offers a mix of 136 hotel rooms and 40 suites over eight levels. Guests can enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, a fully equipped gym, onsite dining, plus boardrooms and conference spaces.

Deluxe Suite


Novotel Darwin Atrium

While Darwin’s hotel scene has continued to expand in recent years, this long-established favourite remains a competitive option thanks to its cool rainforest vibe and location overlooking the famous harbour. In 2014, the property underwent a major refurbishment to all 140 of its guestrooms to install the brand’s ‘Novotel Next Generation’ concept, bringing it in line with Accor’s benchmark properties around the world. Each room now has an open plan design, a contemporary colour scheme, a new bed head design, new beds and bedding, connectivity for portable Apple devices, 36” televisions, a variety of lighting. For meetings and events, groups of up to 110 can be hosted for banquets and receptions.


Boasting 32 luxury rooms and two superior villas, SKYCITY Darwin is a perfect spot for groups looking to indulge in resort-style surroundings. The property is built around an extensive man-made lagoon, fit with a swim-up bar and 30 metre white sand beach, while a day spa, managed by renowned Australian operator endota spa, is where delegates can pop off to for some R&R.


Hilton Darwin

A stay at Northern Territory’s first five-star CBD hotel offers all the luxury amenities associated with a luxury Hilton product. A stylish executive lounge serving continental breakfast, evening drinks and canapés; King-size suites overlooking the Darwin Harbour; and a 10th-floor outdoor swimming pool. The 236-room hotel underwent a $10 million renovation a few years ago, with all guest rooms, lobby hallways and entertainment areas having been refurbished, as well adding a new state-of-the-art fitness centre.


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