The capital of Western Australia, Perth, is often overlooked for Sydney and Melbourne, yet it has masses of charm, a compelling history and a dazzling coastline. The city is full of museums, independent shops, hip new bars and top-notch boutique hotels and is loved for its year-round sunshine and booming food and craft-beer scenes. From 19th-century pubs to restored government buildings, these are the hotels worth checking into – now bookable with Culture Trip.
COMO is located in the 19th-century State Buildings in Perth and is equally glamorous inside. All 48 elegant rooms and suites have been conceived by designer Kerry Hill and feature handcrafted furnishings, oversized windows, deep soaking bathtubs and heated floors for major luxe factor. Elsewhere, there are two restaurants including the top-floor farm-to-table Wildflower and an immaculate COMO Shambhala Urban Escape day spa, with a 20m (66ft) heated indoor pool and treatment rooms.
Stay close to the restaurants and bars of Northbridge by checking into the Nest, a charming boutique hotel in a 115-year-old heritage house. There are 20 individually styled rooms that all have a Nespresso machine, a smart TV and an iPad dock, while many have balconies for watching the sun go down over the city, too. Head to Newcastle Street when hunger strikes, or make a beeline to the hotel’s own Old Crow, where American-inspired comfort dishes include fillet steak topped with tiger prawns and slow-cooked lamb shoulder.
As one of the original hotels in Fremantle, located on the Swan River in East Fremantle, this property has recently been renovated and now pairs the historic building with sophisticated rooms and luxury facilities. There are 83 plush guest rooms, a swimming pool and a gym, room service plus complimentary local transfers in a Mercedes. If you want to stay put, head to the alfresco courtyard for coffee, or take in river views over sharing platters and cocktails at the Tradewinds Restaurant and Bar.
If you plan to stay in Perth a little longer, there’s no need to check in your sense of style at reception. These 22 upmarket serviced apartments are every bit as swish as a hotel room but allow you to feel a little more at home, with a fully equipped kitchen, muted tactile decor, a work desk and laundry facilities. Sadly, we can’t promise washing your socks will feel any more glamorous here though.
Foodies and dedicated drinkers may never want to leave the Local Hotel, a neighbourhood pub in South Fremantle with a twinkle in its eye. Choose a pint of lager at the front bar, a chaser at the stately Whiskey Bar or a glass of Margaret River wine in the garage. Elsewhere, a drive-thru bottle shop has been transformed into a bar with guest street-food vans. Beds are just upstairs in eight light-filled rooms, all individually designed by local creatives.
The first-ever Aloft hotel in Australia adds its statement design-led look to the banks of the Swan River. The property, within walking distance of Crown Perth and Optus Stadium, goes out of its way to make life easy, with a 24-hour gym, an all-day restaurant serving fresh Australian dishes, a moody cocktail bar, an outdoor heated pool and a self-serve gourmet pantry for food on-the-go. Expect local artwork, an oversized LCD TV and a dreamy platform bed in the rooms.
Nature lovers should not miss a trip to Rottnest Island to spot the rare quokka, dubbed the world’s happiest animal. Stay a while to make the most of the nature reserve’s white-sand beaches, exceptional snorkelling opportunities and lively marina, then retire to the Hotel Rottnest, once the West Australian governor’s holiday home. Rooms overlook the beach or courtyard, and the restaurant serves up local seafood, freshly baked pizzas and unforgettable fish and chips.
It’s not just Perth that draws the tourists. With a bohemian feel, more than 3000 listed buildings and a compelling history, Freemantle is a value-added extra. The hip Hougoumont has been purpose-built using an innovative sea container construction and is only 20 metres (66ft) from the famous Market Street Cappuccino Strip. If even that sounds a stretch, the hotel has its own microbrewery and complimentary wine-and-cheese hour each evening, while a pillow menu, a personalised minibar and Appelles Apothecary bath products await in your room.
Everything is taken care of at this modern hotel minutes from Perth Arena and the CBD. From complimentary shoe shining and valet parking to childminders on hand and gourmet teas in your room, Peppers encourages you to check in and leave the rest to staff. Just be sure to book a table at the Stage Bar & Kitchen, where farm-to-fork dishes are served from an open kitchen, accompanied by live bands and the finest Australian wines.
This 52-room hotel has bucketloads of old-world charm and is ideal for guests who prefer a more traditional property. The hotel, right in the centre of Perth, close to shopping and nightlife, was founded in 1911 and was the first property in Perth to hold an alfresco licence. It’s now renowned for its legendary weekend buffet dinners, where guests can feast on fresh oysters, carved meats and a mouthwatering dessert selection including a chocolate fondue.
With lavish furnishings, eccentric artwork and serious glamour, this high-rise boutique is a world away from the anonymous chain hotels in the city. Instead, there are splashes of purple and gold throughout, accompanied by decadent brass, velvet and black marble in the bedrooms and a choice of a double shower or an egg-shaped bath for extra pampering. The hotel’s rooftop bar is one of the best in the city for skyline views plus cocktails and bar bites by moonlight, too.