A MOD­ERN UP­DATE has trans­formed an old FRE­MAN­TLE wa­ter­ing hole into a CHIC RESORT that’s value for money, finds FLEUR BAINGER.

Australian Traveller - - Weekends -

EAST FRE­MAN­TLE IS a true lo­cal’s se­cret. More poised than its hip­pie sis­ter sub­urb, its bou­tiques and cafes charm with or­nate plas­ter­work, his­toric stone and, in­side, cov­etable finds. The newly ren­o­vated Tradewinds Ho­tel is one of few ac­com­mo­da­tions to back onto this char­ac­ter­ful neigh­bour­hood. Fac­ing the Swan River, it sits high on the hill and drinks in views that sweep from Fre­man­tle’s ship­ping cranes to the wa­ter­way and a truck-fre­quented bridge that con­nects freight with port. The pub that fills the circa-1890s front of the ho­tel is a pop­u­lar spot. The Pren­diville fam­ily, who own the Tradewinds, are mak­ing a habit of up­cy­cling once-proud venues with a wal­lop of white paint and a dec­o­ra­tor who favours the Hamp­tons. The 83 ho­tel rooms, all 20th cen­tury and with out­door en­try, still have a faint whiff of ho­tel-mo­tel about them, but over­all the two-year over­haul is bright, breezy and pur­pose­fully trendy. The up­grade cost $7 mil­lion but it seems re­cep­tion signs were for­got­ten; tot­ing my rollerbag around the venue, none of the pass­ing staff stop to of­fer as­sis­tance. Find­ing the back-of-house desk, I greet the re­cep­tion­ist, rather than the other way around. In­ter­ac­tion is min­i­mal so I’m swiftly en route to my four-star room. It’s city-chic and spa­cious, eas­ily fit­ting both queen and sin­gle, a piped navy couch, a long of­fice desk and a ceil­ing frame that mod­ernises the four-poster bed look. No lug­gage rack, though. A faux con­crete wall leads to a sur­prise kitch­enette, un­men­tioned in the room de­scrip­tor, and a pod ma­chine. A pe­tite bath­room care­fully slots in the es­sen­tials – no bath. Value is de­cent: my ‘su­pe­rior’ digs cost $9 more than the cheap­est op­tion and faces a fenced pool with cir­cu­lar lounges. It’s a bless­ing and a curse. The click­ety-clack of high heels start at day­break, ric­o­chet­ing off the pool’s ex­tended wet area. I dine in-house. It’s or­der-at-the-bar, ex­pen­sive but tasty pub grub. For break­fast, calls to re­cep­tion for room ser­vice go unan­swered; I try the kitchen in­stead. Af­ter de­liv­ery, the at­ten­dant leaves my door open be­hind her. There’s a lot that’s good about this place. The fash­ion­able rooftop ter­race, while fairly bare, grants a peace­ful es­cape and sun­set views. There’s a bus stop out front, de­liv­er­ing you to Fre­man­tle’s heart in un­der 10 min­utes. Rates are com­pa­ra­ble or bet­ter than sur­round­ing prop­er­ties. Pol­ish up the ser­vice and in­vest in some sound­proof­ing and they might just have some­thing spe­cial here.

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Hang out at the cen­tral pool area; The ho­tel’s her­itage pub frontage; Your in-room cock­tail cart; In­dulge in the River Suite’s tub; Rooms are city-chic and spa­cious.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.