Perth’s Hotel Revolution: City to Coast
Perth has become a city favoured as a gateway for travellers, but also for global brands. In recent years luxury operators such as COMO have made Perth their first Australian landfall, with COMO The Treasury (pictured above), at the heritage State Buildings. Perth is now firmly established on the luxury travel map. As the sector expands many other brands are following suit, with existing operators renewing properties and raising standards. Perth’s hotel market is offering diversity and value from city to coast.
Aloft, is “a vision of W Hotels”, the upscale hotel brand that is favoured by global travellers with an eye on design and luxury. In Rivervale, just a few miles from Perth Airport, a walk or drive from Perth’s new stadium and a short ride to the city, Aloft is a luxurious but affordable option for both business travellers and tourists.
Close to the Swan River, many of the spacious rooms have impressive river and city views. While a global brand on an impressive growth trajectory, Aloft has a local feel at its core. W XYZ Bar on its ground floor stocks West Australian premium wines and beers, while Springs Kitchen, wouldn’t be out of place in one of Perth’s up and coming inner suburbs. With 224 rooms, it can be hard to impart the vibe of a boutique hotel, but using good design, colour and West Australian contemporary art, it has achieved it despite its size.
In the heart of the city
From the floor to ceiling windows of the InterContinental, Perth’s changing face is evident. The hotel itself (formerly Rydges) is a new entrant onto the city’s scene. Below the Hay Street and King Street intersection, with His Majesty’s Theatre adjacent, and the low rise period buildings of King Street’s luxury shopping precinct on the doorstep, it is truly at the city’s heart. High rise development is happening across the cityscape; a city of cranes is one on the move.
Throughout the InterContinental, a residential luxury abounds, with thoughtful design throughout, well-appointed rooms, and commissioned art in all guest rooms and public areas. An intimate reception area adds to the discreet feel of this five star property. Bars and restaurants, at the InterContinental take a distinctly Spanish approach. Heno and Rey, is a laid back bar come restaurant that is set to be a city haunt for guests and locals alike, while Ascua, a more upscale restaurant has a woodfired grill at its centre.
For a boutique stay in the heart of Perth’s art precinct the Alex Hotel offers one of the city’s most well connected locations. Minutes from the central train station, and from the CBD, this urban hideaway is seconds from the State Theatre, Art Gallery of WA and Perth Institute of Contemporary Art. At the epicenter of the city”s small bar scene it’s an ideal stay for those looking to get to grips with Perth after dark.
While a city stay puts you in the heart of the business, shopping and arts precincts, a stay by the coast allows a taste of Perth life at its best. Cottesloe, is a coastal icon, and favoured location for catching the sunset. At its centre since 1905, the Cottesloe Beach Hotel took on its classic art deco frontage in the 1930’s. Above the traditional beachside bar, beach club and fish bar, you’ll find just 13 rooms (10 with ocean views). This is beachside boutique.
Further north along the coast Scarborough is a suburb on the up. A major redevelopment of its foreshore and the opening of beachside bars and cafes make it a great coastal destination. Seashells Serviced Apartments offer ocean views and a level of comfort usually associated with the five star market. Well-equipped kitchens, spacious and well designed bedrooms and living areas give the feel of a home away from home.
Fremantle on the rise
The port city has always offered an edgier experience to neighbouring Perth; one reason why it has a reputation for an alternative, artistic vibe. While Perth hotel properties are seeing renewal, Freo is no exception.
Tradewinds, a classic hotel overlooking the Swan River and the iconic cranes of the Freo dockyards, has undergone a refurbishment that goes beyond a lick of paint. Polished concrete walls, quality furnishings and a modern aesthetic are a cornerstone of this reborn hotel. A cocktail trolley, well-stocked mini bar and rooftop terrace perfect for sunset views are all part of the Tradewinds experience. Small details are the DNA of the Prendiville Group (owners of Cottesloe Beach Hotel, Hotel Rottnest, Pier 21 Apartments), a third generation, WA-owned operator.
In the centre of Fremantle, the Hougoumont is a collision of old and new. The name is that of the ship that transported the last convicts to the port. But the shipping link doesn’t end there the hotel’s innovative design incorporates original parts of the Duke of York Hotel, with modular, shipping container units. Described as a “boutique small room hotel”, its size has an advantage, with prices amongst the best in both Perth and Fremantle within this bracket.