By Graeme Kemlo
At least three new hotels have opened in Perth during the coronavirus period, a testament to the faith of brand owners, including the new Samphire on Rottnest Island owned and operated by the local Prendiville Group.
Also just open is DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Waterfront and Vibe Subiaco.
Rottnest has been described as Perth’s best kept secret, although the cat was out of the bag once the local quokkas became an almost overnight internet selfie sensation and drew international visitors to the 19 sqkm island 34 km offshore from Perth. The five-star 80-room Samphire is a re-imagining of the original Rottnest Hotel, once the WA Governor’s summer residence.
And it is proving popular with almost no availability during summer, even with room rates of up to $800 for a beachfront room. It offers a range of meeting spaces from the Bayside room (239 theatre, 144 banquet) to the Governor’s Room (14 board/banquet) and unique outside event spaces from the Seadeck to the Beach Club and Poolside.
Live-in conferences beyond Samphire’s 80-rooms can overflow to historic cottages or other venues such as the 83 eco-tents at the Discovery Parks glamping resort.
Destination Perth CEO, Tracey Cinavas Prosser, who attended the Samphire opening recently described Rottnest as “an amazing tranquil and pleasant place.”
When the Prendiville family wanted to extend the existing site she said they were really sympathetic as to how they could do that and not interfere with the tranquillity.
“When you look out of your beachfront room the ocean is just laid out there for you… out the front of the hotel you step straight on to sand and there’s a lagoon-style pool.”
The new DoubleTree by Hilton property is on Perth’s multi-billion dollar Elizabeth Quay development, 10 minutes from the CBD. It has 229 guest rooms with five event space, the largest at 144 sqm caters for 50, but it is also a 10-minute walk to Perth’s Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Also just open to the west of Perth, Vibe Subiaco, a TFE Hotels property, has 168 rooms. It is located five minutes from the CBD, a suburb blessed with abundant parkland. The area has become a popular foodie destination. It has 168 rooms and some meeting facilities.