F*ck yes! Finally a purpose built 5-star hotel opened its doors in Perth’s dead but beautiful east side. The Westin will be the first international chain to open a luxury hotel in Perth since the 1980’s, it’s a very welcome addition to the scene.
The Westin Perth has taken residence at the Hibernian precinct with 368 guest rooms, 24 suites, including 10 Club Suites, eight Westin Suites, five Executive Suites, and one Presidential Suite.
The Hibernian precinct is a beautiful side of town which has been quiet for way too long. Westin Perth and the impressive restaurant Garum are set to change that. Westin Perth manages to blend old and new into a fantastic hotel rising above the heritage buildings surrounding it.
The hotel interiors are stylish with a subtle colour palette of natural stone with touches of light beige and darker wooden tones.
Throughout the hotel, original West Australian art pieces are on display and this trend continues into the rooms.
After the ribbon cutting and speeches, guests were invited inside for a signature high tea experience complete with champagne and freshly shucked oysters. Westin opened up a selection of rooms for media and conference spaces and the grand ballroom were also on display.
For the opening weekend, we decided to book a 105 sqm suite which was competitively priced at only $361 per night. The room was upgraded to a Club Suite thanks to my SPG Gold status.
Situated on the 18th floor, our club suite had incredible views over East Perth with the new Perth Stadium and the hills as the backdrop.
First impressions of the room was a unanimous ‘WOW’! A spacious entry hall leads to the bedroom on the right with a large ensuite bathroom and separate toilet (two of them).
Turning left was the living area complete with dining table and plenty of other seating options to enjoy the brilliant views through the floor to ceiling windows.
The floors are made from wood with a light beige tone to contrast with the dark wood touches on some of the furniture. The same wood grain continues on panels on the walls which are broken up by crisp whites and sections of marble.
The interior design is stunning and very on trend following similar design patterns to what I’ve seen in other new hotels such as the new Intercontinental in both Perth and Singapore, even the new-ish Park Hyatt Bangkok follows the same design language.
Throughout the suite are large pieces of art and aerial photographs of WA’s spectacular landscapes, adding a pop of colour to the muted tones of the room.
The bedroom has a plush king bed and the same floor to ceiling views. There’s a large window into the bathroom which allows you to enjoy the views from the bathtub set in grey marble.
The bathroom is equally fabulous and features a double sink and an enormous rain shower.
The room lighting and blinds are controlled from an easy to operate set of switches in each room. A master switch turns all the lights on or off which is great! It’s a pet hate of mine having to hunt for hidden switches.
Entertainment wise, there are two huge TV’s, one in the bedroom and one in the lounge. A Bose soundbar is an excellent addition and allows you to stream music from your own personal device.
The suite is so comfortable and huge, it’s hard to leave!
One of the big calling cards of the new Westin Perth is its infinity edge pool located on level 5, which shares this part of the hotel with the well-equipped gym and Bodhi J spa.
The pool is a great spot to relax and soak up some of that WA sun, which for us came out in force for yet another beautiful 30 degrees autumn day.
Unfortunately there were a few teething problems (which are to be expected in a new hotel), the pool area wasn’t staffed and quickly ran out of towels. It took close to 1 hour and more than five calls by different guests to finally get towels restocked.
A 5-star hotel should have a managed pool area to make sure used towels are removed and replaced by fresh ones. I hope the Westin uses the empty space next to the pool to open a bar facility so guests can enjoy a full-service experience at the nice rooftop pool.
Westin Perth Club Lounge
The Club lounge is located on the third floor with a dedicated reception for those with club access. Coffee is served all day along with light refreshments and soft drinks.
It’s unfortunate that they didn’t opt for a cafe style coffee machine (which is what they did at Intercontinental Perth), but the coffee from the automatic machine is acceptable.
The lounge is well designed with high attention to detail; something that’s continuously noticeable throughout the hotel. Different seating areas cater to small or large parties wanting to sit together.
At the windows, comfortable couches are paired with marble coffee tables to enjoy breakfast or evening drinks.
The Club serves complimentary drinks and canapes from 5-7PM which includes a selection of sparkling wine, beers and soft drinks.
A good selection of canapes was on offer, enough to tie us over for our 9 PM booking at the brand new restaurant adjacent to the hotel; Garum.
Garum by Guy Grossi is set in the historic Hibernian Hall, and the striking wooden beams and ceiling make a fantastic setting for the Italian restaurant. The food and service couldn’t be faulted. Dishes are Roman-inspired (don’t expect pizza) and designed to share while showcasing some of the amazing local produce WA has to offer.
The Haven Lounge
Next to the lobby is the Haven Lounge which is a relaxed setting to enjoy a coffee or drink with some casual dining options available too.
Westin Perth also offers a high tea at the Haven Lounge which can be paired with champagne for those who enjoy the finer things in life.
The Haven lounge is spacious and flows onto a wide outdoor terrace overlooking the Hibernian square. It will be the ultimate spot for high tea in Perth for some time to come.
Room for improvement
- There were a few small things I thought could do with improvement, for one the pool situation needs staffing. A 5-star hotel can’t rely on guests to clear used towels or bring their own. Even some drinking water would be a welcome addition.
- Slow service: We ordered a bucket of ice which took 30 mins to arrive, it’s too slow.
- Understaffed lounge: During breakfast at the lounge, there was one chef on duty to cook eggs for the entire restaurant. Eggs any way you like them, poached, scrambled, omelette… you name it. All done by one person! It didn’t seem all too effective and waiting times where understandably long.
- Amex surcharge: It’s 2018, and most savvy travellers use Amex to pay for their hotels…to hit them with a 2.9% surcharge is borderline theft. ANY business has access to at least 1.9% processing fees with American Express through Square. If a large hotel such as Westin can’t secure a better rate than 1.9%, they’re doing something wrong.
- Pillow menu. The pillow selection was miserable and the 2 types on offer were rather uncomfortable, in my humble opinion every hotel should have a pillow menu.
Westin Perth In Conclusion
The Perth hotel scene is rapidly becoming one of the best in the country. I’m amazed by the level of quality hotels opening up in the city. The hotels on offer have surpassed Melbourne by a long shot when it comes to luxury accommodation and the only city still in front would be Sydney (and maybe Brisbane). With two more Hilton Hotels coming online soon and a Ritz Carlton to follow, we really are spoiled for choice.
Westin did a fantastic job with their Perth property and managed to revitalise a whole area which was previously a ghost town after 5PM. For those that think Perth has an oversupply of hotels, you’re wrong.
An oversupply of substandard hotels maybe, and that’s why it’s nice to see international chains move in to show the locals how it’s done.