Thirteen finalists, including four finalists from Canberra, competed in the AIRC’s National Receptionist of the Year competition at Hotel Realm on 30 July.

Emily Short is the second Doma Hotels and Little National Hotel receptionist to win the competition after Madison Groom won and went on to represent Australia in Austria last year. Emily will travel to Paris in February 2017 to represent Australia, going up against 29 other countries.

We spoke to the award-winning Emily about working at Little National Hotel, her favourite Canberra coffee spots and her top five recommendations to visitors.

What are the five places you tell visitors to Canberra they must visit?

  1. Australian War Memorial
  2. National Gallery of Australia
  3. Questacon (for kids of all ages!)
  4. Old Parliament House and new Parliament House
  5. Take a walk or a bike ride around Lake Burley Griffin. On a sunny day stop at the National Carillon for a picnic amongst the willow trees.
Children on bikes alongside Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin.
Do as the locals do and take your bike for a spin around Lake Burley Griffin - bring your own or take advantage of the hire options available

What’s been the most interesting visitor request you have received?

Recently we had a request for actor Eddie Redmayne to be in a guest room prior to their arrival as well as some detailed information as to where they could find the best Halal Snack Packs in Canberra. That gave us all a bit of a laugh. We put a framed picture of Eddie in the room for the guest as well as a comprehensive list of Halal Snack Pack hot spots. If you happen to be wondering, research and public opinion show that the Yarralumla Pide House is where you’ll find the best Halal Snack Packs in Canberra!

What are the best coffee spots in Canberra? 

  1. Ona on the Lawns – Manuka
  2. Buvette Bistro – Barton
  3. Penny University – Kingston
  4. Tupelo Coffee Co – Canberra City
  5. Barrio Collective Coffee – Braddon
The interior of Penny University, Kingston
Penny University is a hip place to enjoy brekkie or a cuppa

What’s the most interesting thing a guest has left behind in the hotel?

Once we had a guest leave behind their car keys. We tried calling them but never got hold of them. After several months the keys were disposed of and I still to this day am not sure how the guest actually got home.

Where do you take your friends for a night out?

  1. We love to check out the live jazz at Hippo Co on Wednesday nights. The tiny bar becomes packed and the energy is electric!
  2. Bar Rochford is a newcomer to the Melbourne building in Civic. I love the communal bar space and we always end up having a chat with our neighbours or the bartenders themselves. It’s a great social atmosphere.
  3. Ostani Bar on Friday nights is always pumping! Happy hour starts at 5pm and is the best way to celebrate the end of the working week. 


Tell us a little known fact or hidden secret about Little National Hotel

Little National Hotel is lucky to have some little neighbours. The field next to the hotel is home to the critically endangered Golden Sun Moth. They live the majority of their lives as larvae under the ground, so spotting them is rare. The hotel showcases some beautiful Benja Harney paper artwork inspired by the Golden Sun Moths and you can find the pieces throughout the hallways on levels 5 and 6.

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