27 June 2023

Rydges Canberra turns heads with $8m makeover showing off new face that is beautifully, refreshingly local

| Morgan Kenyon
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intimate cocktail setting

Following its reopening in 2020, this Canberra favourite has dedicated millions to renovations in accommodation, venue and amenity spaces. Photo: Rydges Canberra.

Rising proudly amid the bustle of central Canberra stands a venue distinct in both style and offering.

Rydges Canberra is somewhat of a household name in the nation’s capital, but after spending most of 2020 closed following damage from extreme weather, this local favourite felt the need to refresh.

And, thanks to countless demanding hours and an investment of more than $8 million, the reactivation of Rydges has produced one of the region’s most elegant accommodation destinations.

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Executive assistant manager Sonya Miah says a reactivated Rydges is all about bringing warmth, sophistication and a touch of luxury to the modern traveller as well as spaces for locals to use and enjoy.

“Our building was so severely damaged by hail in late January of 2020 that we went into immediate closure and were unable to reopen until September that year, which of course was at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sonya says.

“Things really slowed down thanks to lockdowns and travel restrictions until about 10 months ago. We decided to use the time to our advantage, and out of real challenge came real beauty.

“We have worked hard to bring warm, inviting spaces to life, combining modern styles that foster a sense of elegance, luxury and comfort.”

Taking the spotlight at Rydges Canberra is the central atrium. Host to The George Bar & Grill, the atrium acts as a social hub for patrons to enjoy food and drink inspired by the best producers in the region.

“Our atrium links the restaurant, bar and lounge facilities right in the heart of the hotel,” Sonya says.

“The gentle natural light and live greenery create a peaceful open setting for guests to eat, drink and socialise in.

“Our chef thoughtfully designs our menus to reflect Canberra’s finest products and produce. We live in a small city – when we support local businesses, they support us right back.”

Rydges’ local focus isn’t contained to the plate – familiar brands such as Clonakilla, Nick O’Leary Wines, Bentspoke, and Capital Brewing Co can be found at The George Bar.

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As a premier venue for Canberrans and visitors alike, the hotel is equipped with modern facilities that can host up to 150 people.

“Whether they’re planning a cocktail party, wedding reception, business meeting, conference or networking event, we have our guests covered,” Sonya says.

“We even have a team of meeting and event planners available to smooth out every little detail, allowing guests to focus on more important things.

“The best part is there’s no long drive home or to accommodation afterwards – guests can simply pop upstairs and enjoy a luxurious room stocked with the amenities they need.”

In addition to its range of recreation and hospitality spaces, Rydges Canberra at 17 Canberra Ave, Forrest, ACT offers 186 well-appointed guest rooms and suites. To make a booking or find out more, visit the Rydges Canberra website.


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