Forget what you’ve heard about Perth. The world’s most isolated capital city is going places.
Much of this movement is unfolding in the CBD. Two cases in point: the completion of waterfront precinct Elizabeth Quay and the progress of the $5.2-billion Perth City Link project. And St Georges Terrace (“the Terrace”, as locals call the city’s commercial artery) still hums, even if the state’s resources sector is less buoyant than it once was.
Generally speaking, the Perth CBD stretches from the Mitchell Freeway in the west through to the world-famous WACA cricket ground in the east, with most of the action revolving around the William Street and St Georges Terrace nexus. It’s the sort of business district you can comfortably negotiate by foot, although the walk is infinitely more comfortable when the weather is mild.
Despite the recent growth, Perth’s inner city hasn’t bloomed in the same way as Sydney’s and Melbourne’s. Most of the city’s accommodation options are in or around the city centre – which is very good news for travellers keen to mix business and pleasure.
Opened in early 2015, Alex Hotel on the northern edge of the CBD is designed to bring people together. Cosy, smartly appointed rooms encourage guests to interact in the six-storey hotel’s vibrant public areas. The mezzanine lounge and rooftop terrace are excellent places to mingle, while the ground floor blurs the lines between lobby and living room. The neighbourhood gets loud on weekends – request a room on the quieter (State Library) side if noise is an issue – but for those keen to savour the delights of Northbridge, Alex Hotel puts you in the thick of the action.
Business facilities Though it’s far from a traditional business centre, the mezzanine lounge is tailor-made for digital nomads with its communal workstations.
Food and wine Shadow Wine Bar & Dining Room focuses on European food and drinks. Coffee is available all day in the lobby espresso bar while breakfast is served in the mezzanine.
Fitness and wellbeing The hotel doesn’t have gym facilities but it does have Lekker bikes that guests can borrow.
Run route Northbridge’s small footpaths and block sizes mean stop-start jogging. Take a stroll up William Street towards serene Hyde Park (it will take you about 20 minutes) and do some laps of the one-kilometre jogging track that loops around the lake.
￼50 James Street, Northbridge
The neutral palette in Como the Treasury’s luxury rooms has a calming effect after a day's work
Como The Treasury
What is Australia’s first Como property doing in Perth? Raising the national standard for elegant luxury, that’s what. Designed by architect Kerry Hill within one of the city’s oldest precincts, the 48-room hotel set in a group of late Victorian buildings is at once modern and historic. While no two rooms are alike, each comes equipped with a travertine stone bathroom, handmade Italian furniture and restaurant-quality stemware and crockery as standard issue. Revitalising spa treatments await at the Como Shambhala Urban Escape, while the hotel’s central location lends itself to work and play.
Business facilities A 20-person boardroom is available for use.
Food and wine Whether it’s uncompromising Thai food at David Thompson’s Long
Chim or indigenous flavours at Wildflower great in-house eating and drinking is assured. Takeaway purchases are available from Petition wine and beer specialist.
Fitness and wellbeing Como The Treasury’s third-floor louvred-glass annex has a 20-metre lap pool and there’s a small gym on the mezzanine floor.
Run route Head south on Barrack Street towards Elizabeth Quay and turn left at the river. Follow the foreshore east to Plain Street then head north until you reach Adelaide Terrace. Return to the hotel by heading west along the Terrace. The circuit is about 3.5 kilometres.
1 Cathedral Avenue, Perth
A typical room in the heritage-listed Terrace hotel
Don’t be fooled by the Terrace Hotel’s Federation red-brick exterior. This 15-room boutique hotel is calibrated to satisfy all the needs of the modern business traveller. The hotel’s location at the western edge of St Georges Terrace, for instance, puts guests within easy walking distance of the CBD but ensures they’re far enough removed from the hustle to be able to unwind after-hours. In-room Apple TVs and iPads speak to a focus on technology, while opulent black marble bathrooms and furnishings (such as Ploh down and feather pillows) are typical of the house style.
Business facilities A small centre is available for guest use.
Food and wine Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served in the Terrace Hotel restaurant. The main bar is ideal for exploring a hefty wine list, with more than 500 wines for selection.
Fitness and wellbeing Guests have discounted access ($30 per day) to Next Gen Health & Lifestyle Clubs in Kings Park, a 15-minute walk away.
Run route Kings Park has plenty of scenic jogging options but committed runners may like to challenge themselves with the punishing hill-climb loop between Mount and Malcolm streets. The pain awaits on the other side of the Mount Street overpass.
237 St Georges Terrace, Perth￼
A baby grand in the Fraser Suites lobby adds a touch of elegance to these apartments
Fraser Suites Perth
Fraser Suites Perth might be apartment accommodation by definition but the fit-out at this sleek 19-storey property feels very much high-end hotel. One- and two-bedroom apartments equipped with a kitchenette are the ideal long-term “home away from home” while studio apartments offer a similar mix of luxury and convenience. Floor-to-ceiling windows deliver commanding views of the evolving city, with some rooms even offering sightlines into the nearby WACA Ground. Free buses connect the hotel to the centre of the city.
Business facilities The building has a boardroom and four meeting rooms, which can be configured to create a ballroom.
Food and wine Designed by TV celebrity chef and Paleo advocate Pete Evans, the menu at the property’s Heirloom restaurant focuses on nutritious, high-protein dishes – think beef short ribs braised with ginger and miso and roast lamb teamed with cauliflower tabouleh.
Fitness and wellbeing Fraser Suites Perth has a spa, indoor swimming pool, sauna and 24-hour gym. Complimentary bikes are also available.
Run route Starting at Queens Gardens on the corner of Hay and Plain streets, head east towards the Swan River. After passing the WACA, turn left and follow the footpath past Gloucester Park and Arden Street Reserve. Continue onto Trafalgar Road then Waterloo Crescent, which connects with Plain Street. The loop is about three kilometres long.
￼10 Adelaide Terrace, East Perth