Welcome to the Boomtown

Visitors to the West Australian capital of Perth have plenty of accommodation choices. Travel editor Winsor Dobbin samples three of the best options.

Perth has myriad hotel offerings, many in the centre of the city, with its blend of skyscrapers and gardens. Here are three worth considering, depending on your budget.  

COMO The Treasury 
When a hotel has been named the best in the country multiple times, that creates an expectation of excellence. COMO The Treasury – named best city hotel in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific for 2020 by Travel + Leisure magazine – more than exceeds those expectations. 

Even though you are in a five-star environment – someone to park your car, someone else to whisk away your bags, a check-in lounge rather than a desk – the vibe is effortlessly courteous. The staff here are slick and helpful without the slightest hint of condescension.

Opened six years ago, this luxury urban hotel has a charming Victorian-era façade on Cathedral Square in the centre of Perth city core and is a regular on the Conde Nast TravelerGold List.

There are just 48 large rooms and suites: all with a definite boutique buzz. 

“We pride ourselves in offering unparalleled luxury service and a bespoke cultural experience from the moment our guests arrive,” says general manager Jesse Tibert “It is with the help of our attentive staff that COMO The Treasury rises to the top.”

The rooms (all different) are impeccably equipped. Think Egyptian cotton, super-comfy beds, air-con, a complimentary in-room bar replenished daily (thanks for the delicious cashews), private safe, multimedia hub, USB charging points, free wifi, Illy coffee machine, electronic blinds and super-modern bathrooms with heated towel rails, bathrobes, and slippers.

This is a serious five-star property so there is a 24-hour reception, concierge and daily housekeeping and turndown service (a rarity nowadays). Complimentary fruit and water are delivered daily.

The historic 19th-century Treasury Building is part of a building that is now a gourmet hub but that sat empty for more than 20 years before being completely reimagined. 

There are two restaurants – Wildflower and Post – with chef Kim Brennan in charge, along with a bar and a spa offering COMO Shambhala wellness therapies. There is a heated indoor pool, gym and a personal trainer on hand. 

Super-knowledgeable Emma Farrelly oversees not only the wine lists in house, but also the wine program for Petition, Poole’s Temple and Petition Wine Bar and Merchant, which are among the several wining and dining options within the State Buildings complex. 

Beer Corner, Telegram Coffee, The Honeycake and Long Chim are other choices, depending on your mood.

Dinner at Wildflower (overlooking the city) is a memorable modern Australian experience (particularly with a selection of matched wines), while Post does excellent breakfasts. 

Room rates start from $595. See www.comohotels.com/thetreasury  

Peppers Kings Square

So, you want to be within walking distance of Perth’s downtown core, but also want to stroll to Northbridge at night for a few drinks and meal?

Peppers Kings Square – just across the road from the Perth Arena and round the corner from trendy King St – has location, location, location on its side. 

You are just a stroll from the CBD, boutique shopping, dining and laneway bar districts meaning it is an equally good choice for leisure or business stays. With a 24-hour reception, the rooms are well thought-out with modern furnishings, extremely comfortable king beds with great pillows, air conditioning, wifi, Nespresso machines and gourmet tea facilities.

There are effective blackout curtains, too, for those wanting a lie-in. The bathrooms have good showers with quality Apelles toiletries and there are plenty of charging points for those of us with voracious laptops and iPhones.

The on-site Stage Bar & Kitchen is closed during Covid, but the kitchen turns out some spectacular breakfasts. The staff are very professional across the board, too. Nothing is too much trouble. 

Rooms start from $199 – which is excellent value in a city where prices can be high. The upper-level rooms have some great light in the mornings and evenings. There is no on-site parking. There are, however, plenty of public transport options on the doorstep, so you might not need a car.

Details here: https://www.peppers.com.au/kings-square/

The Colony at Mandoon Estate
The Swan Valley wine region is just a 20-minute drive from downtown Perth and is a popular destination for gourmets. At the centre of the action is The Colony at Mandoon Estate, a winery that is hugely popular with locals but virtually unknown on the eastern seaboard. 

The 32 rooms here are very well equipped and overlook the historic verdelho vines planted in 1895 on the banks of the Swan River. Rooms have LCD TVs and high-speed internet access along with ironing board and iron and a private safe. 

The are mini fridges, as well as tea and coffeemaking facilities. All rooms have en suite bathrooms and parking is free.

The staff are extremely friendly and laid back and the rooms extremely comfortable. Prices start under $200 a night. The Mandoon Estate winery was established in 2010 in the Swan Valley with wines being produced under the guidance of senior winemaker Ryan Sudano; while the Homestead Brewery is also part of the site. 

You can dine at the brewery or enjoy an a la carte experience at the Wild Swan restaurant or a picnic on the lawn. 

Mandoon Estate is a member of the Ultimate Winery Experiences of Australia group (www.ultimatewineryexperiences.com.au)and offers a range of interesting on-site experiences, including The Perfect Blend. 

Guests blend their own wine with assistance from an expert, exploring the unique characteristics of different wine varieties and how they can work together to create harmony and balance; and create the perfect wine to suit your taste. 

It is a lot of fun, and you go home with your own unique bottle, complete with a personalised label.

See https://mandoonestate.com.au/the-colony

# See Winsor’s work at www.gourmetontheroad.com