Why East Hotel is Canberra’s best hidden gem

December 12, 2018

This year, I welcomed the first day of summer at the cool and vibrant East Hotel in Canberra. I was lucky enough to try three of their incredible venues: Agostini’s Italian Restaurant, Joe’s Bar and Muse Restaurant situated in their comfortable and welcoming lobby. Whether you’re craving authentic Italian pizza or pasta, a drink in a cool and cosy bar, or feel inspired by amazing books over an elegant salad and a glass of Australian wine. There’s plenty of options right at your doorstep. This contemporary apartment hotel is great for couples, families, overnight stays or business guests. It offers full service apartments along with exceptional food and drink offerings. Read on for my thoughts and honest opinion of their service.

The accommodation: East Hotel Canberra

Situated between the vibrant shopping and restaurant hubs of Kingston and Manuka, East is the great place to be in the capital. The location offers guests a great starting point to explore on foot, on bike or in a car. We stayed at the Luxe apartment, which is undoubtedly luxurious! It has a separate living room, bedroom, balcony, bathroom, kitchen and laundry that make it ideal for travelling families. There is plenty of room for extra guests and a beautiful balcony to sip the Australian wine found your mini bar. Additionally, East includes nice touches to your kitchen with a range of T2 teas, a Nespresso coffee machine and pods to kick start your morning. In the bathroom you receive a range of mini Appelles skin and body care like moisturisers, shampoo, conditioner and lotion. East Hotel makes staying away from home easy and comfortable.

Next is the lobby and this is truly where the hotel comes to life. The soaring lobby is the heart of the hotel and a great place to meet for a drink, a coffee, a meal a chat or even game of checkers! There are plenty of magazines to read and the huge screen is always showing something interesting.


After we checked in and explored the hotel we went downstairs to the award winning Italian restaurant. Agostinis is an Italian family restaurant serving authentic cuisine. Fresh pasta is made daily and the open kitchen makes you feel like you’re home at nonnas. The pizzas are piping hot from the state-of-the-art Marana Forni pizza oven and there’s even house-made gelato! Their selection of Australian and European wines are divine with pairing suggestions for every dish.

What makes this restaurant super special is it’s family owned and run. Chat to the staff (or family!) and learn about Italian culture, language, wine and food. It truly felt special and incredibly authentic. Following this experience, Agostinis is easily my new favourite Italian restaurant in Canberra.

And to confirm the quality, service and authenticity of Agostinis they have just received the exclusive Ospitalità Italiana certification. This is a worldwide recognised brand that indicates the best quality of food and service in Italian restaurants, by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in affiliation with the Italian government in Rome. In Australia, Ospitalità Italiana sets the benchmark for the expectations of Italian cuisine, quality, Italian hospitality and the importance of authentic, typical products and quality wines. So, head down to Agostinis and enjoy traditional Italian made with love.

Agostinis are open seven days for lunch 12:00pm – 3:00pm and dinner from 5:30pm.


Fancy a good book and a fine wine? Muse is where good food, great wine and the magic of the written word come together. Perfectly summarised, Muse is a “place for those who enjoy a grenache with their Grenville, their Winton with a good washed rind”. The kitchen is open from dawn until late, and the carefully curated selection of books are on sale all day. The menu is carefully created for every season in a charming book theme to perfectly compliment the inviting atmosphere. Muse is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Check out their website for times.

Joe’s Bar

Joe’s is a small bar celebrating big things. Fine produce, fine wine and family ties. A curious & nocturnal meeting place to enjoy a carefully selected wine list, classic cocktails and contemporary Italian flare. Gather a few friends for an intimate evening in style or take your partner for a cosy rendezvous. Joes Bar is open Tuesday – Saturday, 4pm until late.

Special touches

As well as having incredible amenities in the room and in the lobby, East Hotel is amazing at adding special little touches to make your stay super comfortable. Firstly, bikes are available for hire to explore the sights around Kingston and Manuka. There are bike paths everywhere and it’s an easy ride to Lake Burley Griffin and the many great attractions that line its shores.

Secondly, the restaurants downstairs all offer exceptional room service if you feel like staying in. Check out the specialty menus in your room, kick back and relax. While you’re there check out the incredible selection of movies available freely on your television.

Additionally, East is designed with art in mind. Gallery spaces in and around the lobby are full with local artist’s works, bringing the lobby alive. The hotel’s love for supporting local artists is evident with plenty on display from around the region.

Finally, I understand why Canberrans adore this place. Staycations, romantic dinner and drinks or a contemporary breakfast, there’s plenty of reasons to visit East Hotel Canberra.

I’ve already booked in my next visit so make sure you check out the liveliness, comfort and good food of East Hotel Canberra.

Natalia x