August 20, 2021 | By Graeme Kemlo | Image: Samphire Rottnest, which opened last October

Western Australian tourism and hospitality family group, Prendiville, which currently owns and operates 13 hotels across the state, one in North Queensland and owes a further three across Australia, has bought a boutique business hotel in the central business district of Fremantle, near its head office.

The 29-room four-star property now known as Bannister 22 was popular for business stays and small corporate retreats under the Quality Suites brand. It also offered a 12-person board room.

The Prendiville family began in the hospitality business in 1978 and has hospitality venues from Broome in the Kimberley to the Pilbara, and Margaret River as well as a number across Perth and the port city of Fremantle.

Future plans for their third Fremantle property have not been revealed but it is a five-minute walk to the dock for ferries bound for Rottnest Island where Prendiville has Hotel Rottnest and its jewel in the crown, its latest development, the 80-room Samphire Resort.

Rottnest has recently undergone a $30 million government upgrade to its infrastructure. One group spent $20 million developing an 84-room glamping eco-resort beside Pinky’s Beach Discovery Park– Rottnest Island, which welcomes groups and has corporate event space for 100.

Meanwhile Prendiville spent $30 million and 13 years to develop the absolute beachfront property, Samphire, billed as ‘a barefoot resort’ which is now firmly on international bucket lists for whenever Australia’s borders reopen.

Samphire opened last October and offers 64 rooms of 30m2 and 16 villas of up to 57m2 each with beachfront, beach view and island views plus six different meeting spaces. These include fine dining on the sand against the backdrop of the historic turreted hotel which was formerly the weekend getaway for West Australia’s Governors.

While popular with the leisure crowd for its iconic live beach concerts on weekends – John Farnham and Darryl Braithwaite are among those who have performed there – Samphire is gaining traction during the week for corporate retreats, just a 25-minute ferry ride from Fremantle.

Meanwhile the island, once regarded as Perth’s best kept secret getaway, will be further developed with a Government announcement flagging that it has chosen a local consortium to spend $40 million redeveloping Rottnest Island’s Lodge site with 94 accommodation rooms, day spa, restaurant, beach lounge, bar, new pool and onsite staff accommodation. It is due to start in 2022 and open in 2025.