6000 Travel Guide
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 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.
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]
The Cannes Film Festival is still a ways off (it starts on May 16) but a reader's recent tip about the French Riviera got us daydreaming about escaping to Cote d'Azure. This week we'll continue talking about some of the hotels worthy of checking into. As always, we wanna know what you think, not just what Uma, Rod Stewart, P.Diddy and Paris Hilton think, of the hotels here. So send us your thoughts and questions or comment below the story, telling us what's right, what's wrong and what's just French.
While a stay on the Cote d'Azur normally makes you think of luxury and elegance, you can always get something different by hitting the Hotel Hi in Nice. It's full of funky colors and weird shapes and has a 24-hour self service "restaurant" for guests who have to follow a few strange habits, like using the tea cup for a bowl. The 38 rooms follow nine different concepts, like a hot pink cyber-culture room and furniture that looks like computer screens.
Although a while ago we were worried that high concept would mean low service, recent guests all say the service is friendly and the staff are all flexible. And the high concept's proven popular too, like this guest thinks:
A really different in yer face hotel experience awaits but i have to say we really enjoyed our stay. The rooms are very eccentric,with no wardrobes and a bathroom separated by a few woven twigs, which took a bit of getting used to , me and my missus aren't shy but i wasn't that impressed with the toilet being so exposed.
Okay, so it ain't perfect, but it sure is different.