Peppers Hotels announced the opening of its first CBD based hotel, Peppers Gallery Hotel Canberra, in the Australian capital's New Acton precinct. The building played a role in Canberra's origins, and now holds a key role in Peppers 30 year history, as it evolves from a small group of regional retreats to include coastal resorts and metropolitan-based hotels and apartments.
Peppers Gallery Hotel Canberra (formerly the Diamant Hotel) is an 80-room boutique hotel with the onsite Bicicletta Italian restaurant. The hotel's interior design showcases a gallery of emerging and established artworks.
Rooms are appointed with Bang and Olufsen plasma TVs, iPod docking stations, plunger coffee makers, free broadband access, original art works throughout and bathrooms with rain shower and marble vanity tops.
For events, available are a number of venue options. The Smith Murdoch Room, named after the hotel's architect; and the Ngunnawal Room, acknowledging the Indigenous people of the area, each offer a boardroom style capacity of 14 people or cocktail style for 36 people and include Wi-Fi Internet access. Larger scale functions for up to 100 people can be held in Bicicletta Restaurant, or for up to 50 people in both the Library Bar or the outdoor courtyard in the summer months.
Peppers Gallery Hotel Canberra first opened its doors as the Acton Hotel on May 5, 1927 and was initially built to accommodate the vast number of VIP guests arriving in Canberra for the opening of Parliament House on May 9. The onset of the Depression forced the property to cease trading as hotel just three years later. It was transformed into to the census and patents office, and later billeting for the Canberra Police Force and the University of Canberra during the World War II era. The post-war migrant population increase in Canberra saw the building re-commission back to a hotel business to offer interim accommodation.
It continued to operate as the Commonwealth Hostel for three decades before converting to the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and the Australian Federal Police & Resolution Centre. After being privately owned and vacant for nearly six years, in 2000, developers transformed the heritage façade and surrounding buildings into three precincts - a private residential building called “New Acton”; an 18-story tower known as the “Nishi Building”; and a luxury boutique hotel which is now the Peppers Gallery Hotel Canberra.
Located close to the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in the newly transformed New Acton precinct, the hotel is housed in a heritage listed building surrounded by landscaped gardens and specialist retailers. It is also near Canberra's upgraded airport, the Australian National University, National Museum of Australia, Botanical Gardens and Telstra.