The Premier Mill hotel might have opened its doors in 2018, but its history goes back to 1891 when Frederick Henry Piesse opened what was then a flour mill supplying the Albany district of Western Australia.
The Dome group purchased the mill for a token $1 with the promise to develop the building into a multi-million dollar hotel.
There’s nothing about Katanning that screams “luxury”, except for the new Premier Mill Hotel. Katanning is a small regional city some 277km from Perth and isn’t exactly a tourism hot spot. However, the location is pretty good if you’re looking to get away and explore the great southwest.
In this post:
The Rooms At Premier Mill Hotel
Guests can opt to stay in one of the old grain silos complete with exposed timber wall, the packing rooms with floor to ceiling windows or the purifying rooms with open vaulted ceilings and original machinery fixtures throughout.
Each floor has a communal valet station where guests can get free coffee (French press), complimentary filtered water bottles, towels and pillows as well as reading material.
Rooms are well designed, blending both the new and the old to create a unique experience. The wifi is blazing fast, and all the modern comforts one would expect in “the big city” are available.
The bathrooms aren’t huge, but the layout is practical, and everything from the brass fixtures to the Aesop amenities are very much on brand.
The king-size beds are comfortable and so are the pillows – pretty much all that matters really.
What Else Is there?
Don’t come here expecting a gym (hike up the Stirling Ranges instead) or a pool. Country luxury does have its limits!
Dome Cafe at Premier Mill
Although the Dome group who owns the Premier Mill Hotel has done an outstanding job with the hotel, the same can’t be said for their Dome franchise of cafes, and I think it’s unfortunate that one was added to the hotel. Here you can get breakfast (which I would rate below average) and coffee.
To me, it seems like a missed opportunity as there is really nothing exciting about the Dome brand.
The Cordial Bar
In the basement, a cosy wine bar is the new water hole for the whole town (if you see the other pubs in Katanning, you will understand why). The place gets busy, so guests are also welcome to take their drinks upstairs to the lobby where a wood fire is adding extra points for mood.
The bar is wine-focused with lots of local wineries on tap, but if you want a cocktail, that’s not a problem either.
The Cordial bar has a tapas menu and other than the Dome cafe upstairs, it’s really the only option for dining in the town (unless Chicken Treat is your thing).
The staff are local and provide genuine hospitality from the moment you check-in. As their website puts it: “Your barista has 500 head of sheep at her place in Kojonup. The housekeeper tending to your room supplies grapes to the local winemaker. The Manager on shift is the local Policeman’s wife, and the chef putting together your brekky, moonlights as the head of the theatrical society.” This welcome to our town feeling is precisely the vibe you get at Premier Mill Hotel
For me, the reason for visiting was the hotel and the region…other than that, Katanning is pretty dull!
Day-trips from the hotel into the great southern region of WA are highly recommended and also one of the key reasons for staying in Katanning. It’s the perfect base for visiting the Stirling Ranges (Western Australia’s mountains). The ranges are a beautiful 1h drive from Katanning.
If you haven’t visited the Stirling Ranges before, I highly recommend it! The landscape is stunning and unlike the rest of Western Australia; mountainous with an alpine feel.
The highest peak is Bluff Knoll which I’ve hiked up in the past. This time around we went up Mt Toolbrunup which has some of the best views over the area (after a rock scramble to the top).
Premier Mill Hotel Conclusion
I wish every small country town had a hotel like the Premier Mill, the understated luxury with local hospitality make for a winning concept!