Vibe Canberra Hotel isn’t your everyday run-of-the-mill airport hotel... it’s straight out of a fictional spy novel.
The ‘golden age’ of aviation between 1955 and 1965 was a time in which the entire flying experience was influenced by some of the world’s best designers. It’s a time that has been re-imagined in the nation’s capital at the stunning Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport – a hotel that can only be described as anything but your average airport offering.
With its spiralling black-and-white six-storey atrium, gold-accented lounge, and marble fire pit, it’s easy to believe that James Bond would enjoy a pre-flight martini at Helix Bar before jetting off on his next adventure. Or perhaps he’d indulge in a post-flight rendezvous before schussing down the Snowy Mountains’ slopes just 2.5 hours’ drive away down the Monaro Highway.
It’s not hard to imagine, particularly when you consider that Australia’s own James Bond - George Lazenby (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) - grew up just 10 minutes down the road from Canberra, in Queanbeyan, New South Wales.
Image credit: Spywhothrills.com
Nor has it escaped the attention of guests who file through Vibe Canberra’s doors to stay in the appropriately named Lower or Upper Deck and First-Class hotels rooms and suites. As one wrote on TripAdvisor: “Fabulous hotel. Feels like James Bond may jump out of a door while you are there! Very cool design and furnishings.”
Inventive guests also describe the interiors as like “Something out of a ‘Mad Men’ set”; “The inside of a spaceship”; “Like New York’s Guggenheim Museum” and reminiscent of a “Tulou”—the rammed-earth round houses found in Southern China.
However, like James Bond’s Vesper martini, this hotel knows that a successful recipe requires the correct mix of memorable visitor experience though design and location, but also exceptional service. And it’s a formula that sees guests returning time and time again.
When you stay at tthe Vibe at Canberra Airport, you'll feel as connected to the ground as to the sky. After all. it's a short 4-minute drive from Lake Burley Griffin, seven minutes from Old Parliament House, and eight to the city centre. The hotel is also within striking distance of the Australian War Memorial, Questacon (National Science and Technology Centre) and the National Gallery of Australia, and a short walk to the Pialligo Estate Winery for would-be gourmands.
Where to play?
Inside: Creative cocktails (the hotel’s signature One in a Melon concoction blends two traditional Mexican cocktails - a traditional Margarita with a blend of Agua Fresca – into one delicious mix), a dedicated craft beer selection and an eclectic collection of local wines make Vibe’s Helix Bar a cool and convenient choice to grab a drink.
On Wind Down Fridays you can help yourself to a complimentary platter of local goodies and partake in a happy hour that, in Bond style, actually lasts for two. And, we have it on good authority that the bar staff will whip up a medium dry vodka martini with a slice of lemon. Shaken or stirred on request.
And Out: The hotel team has created a walking and cycling maps of Lake Burley Griffin highlighting the major tourism stops. Vibe Hosts also encourage guests to download the CityArt App to stroll around the 14 world-class sculptures - starting with the one at their front entrance - within a coo-ee of the hotel.
What’s not to love?
In today’s digital world, the striking design might catch your eye but, if you start off only doin' it for the gram, we guarantee you’ll end up coming back for the hospitality. And, if you’re just passing through town you can lounge in comfort. Helix Bar, just 150m from Canberra Airport’s bustling airport counters, often doubles as a makeshift airport lounge. You don’t see Bond twiddling his thumbs at the airport gate, so too you can relax in comfort before a flight or whilst you wait to rendezvous with that special someone.
Verdict: This is no standard ‘airport hotel’. Gone are the days – at least at Canberra Airport – of airport hotels occupying the leftover space between the taxi rank and the baggage handling. So live and let die, Bond-style, and book a stayif you’re heading to Canberra.