Perth Travel Guide
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We first talked about the vintage awesomeness of Terrace Hotel and the gaming paradise of Crown and then the luxury of a Ritz-Carlton, but now even more hotel announcements are coming out of Perth. Australia's fourth largest city is surely the newest hot spot for new properties, major renovations and increased service, but all of this may come at a high price.
Room rates in the west coast city are not cheap. On a recent trip with an overnight stop-over in Perth, we searched high and low for an affordable room that wasn't the Bates Motel. Our efforts turned up a room that was close to the airport (we had an early flight) that set us back $250 for the night. The room was basic; the building, prison-like. We weren't impressed and we wondered what was going on with Perth's hotel scene?
At last, Ritz-Carlton Hotels is returning to Australia. But instead of setting up shop in Sydney where it once had the Ritz-Carlton Double Bay (now in progress to become an InterContinental Hotel) and the Ritz-Carlton Sydney, Ritz is going to the opposite coast to Perth, which could desperately use a new luxury hotel.
“We are delighted to bring the legendary Ritz-Carlton facilities and services to Perth, offering our guests a new destination and a new luxury experience in Western Australia. We have great partners in Far East Consortium and look forward to opening this incredible hotel in 2018," Herve Humler, President and Chief Operations Officer, The Ritz-Carlton, said in a statement.
The Far East Consortium is the developing partner on the project who will construct the 204-room Ritz-Carlton Hotel along with residential apartments. The hotel and residences, along with retail spaces and restaurants, will be located in the Elizabeth Quay development on Perth's waterfront.
Ground-breaking will happen next year and hopefully, we'll get to enjoy the new Ritz by 2018. And since most new-build Ritz-Carltons have been making WiFi free for guests, we hope the Perth hotel will do the same.
The Great Gatsby heads to Australia with the opening of Perth's newest and most interesting property, The Terrace Hotel. Its the first new hotel the open in the city since 2006 and this one plans to wow locals and tourists alike.
Housed in the 100-year old St. Georges House, there's respect to the building's history starting from the front terrace on through to the Art Deco decor and jarrah wood staircases. You'll think you've stepped foot in the 20th century.
There are only 15 guestrooms, eight of which are full suites. Each vintage designed room has all the tech bells and whistles with in-room iPads, Bang & Olufsen sound systems, AppleTV and free WiFi access. The Premier Suite is the real deal with a private dining room seating up to eight and overlooking the historic terrace.
The luxury Melbourne hotel and casino, Crown, has decided to head west--way west, to the other side of the country in Perth. Specifically, Crown is looking to expand their operation in the the Burswood Entertainment district of the coastal city.
After a significant investment in the entertainment complex, Crown is hoping to lure more guests from not only Australia, but from Asia (and who isn't going after the Asian travel market these days).
For the last eight years, the hotel group has been upgrading an existing hotel they acquired from Intercontinental Group but the very dated pyramid building needs a major facelift. So now its time for Crown to recreate their signature luxury known to Melbourne with a completely new hotel.
The Western Australian capital of Perth has its share of high-end hotels, but nothing that's claimed to be six-star luxury--until now. Well, until soon, because it's just been announced that Aman Resorts and friends are in talks to redevelop a key city site into a luxury hotel.
The Old Treasury Buildings are an historic part of downtown Perth and they've been empty for more than ten years now while everyone agreed on what should be done--being a heritage-listed site always makes it tricky. Now it looks like a slim tower will be added on to the back of the building and that will become the six-star hotel with up to 90 rooms.
The older part of the building will include shops, restaurants and apartments, and the most historic parts will be open to the public. No date set yet for when we'll be able to get a six-star night in Perth; in any case, we're six-star skeptics so we'll believe the luxury when we see it.
This isn't quite an Adventure in Overservice, but more of an Adventure in Awesome Service.
Our expectations were set particularly high when we recently found ourselves staying in a newly revamped executive suite at the Sheraton Perth in Western Australia.
After all, a AUD $20 million renovation shouldn't just be a step up; it should pay for the whole flight up.
In this case, it got us our own elevator banks to the executive level floors -- always a nice touch -- as well as a brand-spankin' new, oversized room with a comfy bed (the kind that invites you to climb in for an illicit mid-day tryst or solo, with a hangover) and spa-style bathroom with separate shower and deep soaking tubs. But for anyone who travels regularly, especially for business, those features are the new norm. What really tickled us pink was the free WiFi that we all-too-easily connected to...for a day.
Sometimes it's a mystery about which hotels become most popular in the TripAdvisor rankings, and that's definitely the case when we read that The Outram is the #2 hotel in Perth, the capital of Western Australia.
We're not saying the Outram's a bad hotel. But it's kind of out of the way - probably a half-hour walk from downtown Perth, and although it's a short stroll from the lovely Kings Park, it's still the kind of place you'd only stay if you had access to a car--you almost might as well be in suburbia.
Yesterday, we told you about "Insider City," a promotional service of Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts that gives hotel guests private tours of its hotels' local surroundings. If we liked using clichés, we'd say this service gives visitors insider insight on the "hidden gems" outside the resort walls. But in the case of the Intercontinental Burswood Perth, we'd be speaking literally.
Western Australia is known for its pearls, so no trip to the isolated metropolis of Perth is worthwhile without a visit to the pearl merchants. Guests who choose to take part in the "Insider City" service visit a famous jewelry boutique where a designer gives them a viewing of precious gems and pearls. Patrons even get a complimentary Broome pearl to take home (Shire of Broome is a region in Northwest Australia famed for its output of natural pearls and preserved Aboriginal culture).
While roving for treasure with their Intercontinental guide, guests can select which iridescent ball of oyster excrement they want while snacking on chocolates and sipping on champagne -- both included.
Hopefully, this new insider service will help out the hotel reviews as the ones listed on TripAdvisor are pretty bad.
· The Real India, According To Your Intercontinental Hotel Guide [HotelChatter]
In Western Australia, the Sheraton Perth Hotel used to be the top end of luxury. Recently, guests have recognized that its rooms are a bit small and that the decor is well, not quite from today. On top of that, it's a "self-rated" 5-star, and while it was at the top of the pack when Perth was a hick town on the other side of Australia, it's floundering a little now that Perth gets a spot on more and more itineraries.
But don't cancel your booking yet.
The Saville Park Suites Perth have just finished a big refurbishment--even though they weren't too bad to start with. The Saville Park Suites are popular as a combination of self-contained apartment and real hotel accommodation, with everything you need, up to a full-sized refrigerator and dishwasher, but there's also room service and a good hotel restaurant, and this flexibility has already made them a pretty popular stay in Perth.
The new refurb covered lots of different areas, including the indoor swimming pool on the roof level, and the nearby gym which has had its equipment all upgraded. The courtyards have been spruced up with some new water features and the living and dining areas in the suites have had a style revamp. They now feature some abstract art (if that's your thing), and "stylish European fabrics" on the furnishings.
One of the few things that hasn't been changed at the Saville Park Suites is the location--it's still not quite in central Perth. It's a great place to come with a car, or the free local area transit bus will also take you into the city center--but some visitors expect more. The views are also not perfect, although you can see the Swan River from some rooms and over the city to the WACA sports stadium from others. Rates for one bedroom suites start at around A$160 ($130) during the Australian winter.
A good bar needs a good barman, and a good barman needs to be a great cocktail mixer. Over the in Perth, Western Australia recently, the top end hotels had a "Battle of the Hotels Mixology Challenge" to decide where the best and most innovative cocktails were coming from.
And the winning cocktail came from: Matt Radalj from the Chifley on the Terrace came up with something very tasty:
Radalj called the award winning mix, `Anejo Sunshine when she's gone.' Radalj combined Havana Club Anejo Reserva rum with pineapple and mango marmalade and Crème De Gingembre, along with muddled ginger and pineapple, all shaken and double strained into an old fashioned glass over crushed ice.
Sounds complicated but possibly also tasty. So while reviews on actually staying at the Chifley are a bit mixed, you can be reasonably confident that you'll at least get a decent cocktail at the bar.
· Chifley on the Terrace, Perth reviews [TripAdvisor]
· Chifley on the Terrace Wins Best Cocktail [e-Travel]
Holidaymakers in Perth, Western Australia usually stay in the city center or migrate somewhere along the river or the coast: but it turns out that the best hotel, according to Trip Advisor reviews, is actually just a mile or two west of the city center in West Perth. That puts it quite near the glorious lawns and bush areas of Kings Park, so you don't need to rely too much on Perth's public transportation system.
So what is it? The relatively little-known Richardson Hotel is the apple of so many travelers' eyes. It markets itself as a boutique hotel with a spa complex; it has 58 suites and 16 hotel rooms, full of the usual luxuries like LCD flatscreen TVs, king size beds and even a selection from 6 kinds of pillows from the pillow menu. You'll get a welcome cocktail on arrival and to some rooms you can even bring your pet (they mention cats and dogs, so we're not sure what else is welcome). Right now the Richardson is offering some Easter specials for two-night stays, including discounts on spa treatments and breakfast at either the Opus Restaurant or the Palm Terrace. Rates start at $230 for a hotel room and range up to $340 for the suites.
· Richardson Hotel Suites and Spa reviews [TripAdvisor]
· Public Transportation Love-Hate: No Love For Surfers in Perth [Jaunted]