Many suits only ever have one question at Budget time. Where are they going to be able to find a bed in Canberra? Perhaps the ACCC should look at the accommodation market in Canberra at Budget time.

Crikey heard the story of a senior executive from a major corporate over the weekend. American Express Corporate Travel couldn’t find them a room in Canberra on Budget night. The best they could offer was Eaglehawk, on the ACT/NSW border.

After much phone work a room was found at the Rydges Lakeside – but with strings attached. A room that normally costs around $150 a night went up to $250, a two night minimum stay was needed and the booking would be surrendered if the exec didn’t turn up Monday night.

Since then, they’ve found a room in the faded Brassey Lodge, a hotel that opened the same year as the old Parliament House and offers, as one travel writer memorably put it, “a Miss Marple moment“.

Rooms there at Budget time are above the usual rate and there’s a minimum two night stay – but at least the execs only actually need to turn up for Budget night itself.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey