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Oct 17, 2017
The new Aloft Perth casts aside the rulebook to deliver an upbeat hotel experience.
Perth is in the thick of a hotel boom following years of room shortages throughout the mining peak, when business travellers and tourists competed for beds. Among the new crop is Australia’s first Aloft hotel a Marriott International brand. Its 14 storeys rise amid The Springs, a new residential precinct within the up-and-coming suburb of Rivervale, midway between the airport and the CBD (it’s about five kilometres from each).
Aloft bills itself as a hotel for tech-savvy, next-generation travellers (read: millennials). Stuffy is out and relaxed is in, reflected in features from the loft-inspired design and casual staff uniforms to signature cocktails and a 24/7 pantry full of self-serve snacks. Bright and breezy public areas are a colourful, many-textured riot of designer furniture and artworks by Western Australian artists and are intended to bring people together, be they hotel guests or locals popping in for a meal, after-work drinks or a business tête-a-tête over coffee and free wi-fi.
The Swan River dominates the wonderfully distracting view through the wraparound, floor-to-ceiling windows of the 10th-floor, one-bedroom Savvy Suite. With a panorama like this, the décor doesn’t need to overdo it: it’s all clean-lined, neutral-coloured style with splashes of colour in carpets, cushions, poufs and a wall-hanging of a cockatoo by local artist Anya Brock. The bedroom has a desk and a second LCD TV, while the bathroom is a softly lit luxury with double sinks, a bathtub and the requisite rainfall showerhead.
Number of guestrooms: 224, including 176 King, 44 Twin and four Suites, all with nine-foot ceilings.
Check in/check out: 2pm/11am.
Eat and drink: Springs Kitchen is an all-day eatery where locals are as welcome as hotel guests to dine from the excellent modern Australian menu featuring WA produce (from the dinner menu, the gnocchi with mushrooms, goat’s fetta and walnuts is highly recommended). The same neighbourhood ethos applies to the W XYZ Bar which stretches along the ground floor with plenty of space, designer seating, craft beer and cocktails; it buzzes on a Friday night with the after-work crowd.
Water: Complimentary bottled water in suites only.
Minibar: Rather than the traditional minibar, guests are invited to purchase snacks (sweet, savoury or healthy) and drinks from the Re:fuel pantry on the ground floor, and alcohol from the W XYZ bar with which to stock the fridge.
Room service: None at the time of Travel Insider’s visit, but due to guest demand a menu is being rolled out.
TV & movies: There’s free-to-air TV and eight Foxtel channels, streaming capability from smartphone to TV and 400 movies on demand, updated every two months, at $7 a pop.
Bath: Only the four suites have bathtubs; all rooms have rainfall showerheads.
Amenities: Bliss products in the bathroom.
Bathrobe: Terry-towelling, available only in the suites.
Wellness: The Re:charge gym, open 24 hours, overlooks the Splash pool, which at 18.5 metres is long enough for laps and is flanked by sunlounges and striped umbrellas.
Business facilities: The mezzanine level has six AV-equipped meeting (what Aloft calls “Tactic”) rooms which can be configured for anywhere from eight to 250 people while the rooftop ballroom extends out to a vast outdoor terrace with 270-degree views of Perth and beyond.
The housekeeping test: When I’m unable to get the in-suite coffee machine to work and there is no engineer available to help, housekeeping happily offers to organise a flat white, which is delivered to my door within 20 minutes.
Parking: Available in the next-door Wilson Parking lot; best rates ($8 a day, multiple entry) for hotel guests are on Fridays and Saturdays.
Price: From $160 to $450 per night.
Ask for: A room on the upper storeys for views over Perth and the Swan River.
SEE ALSO: Check in to Perth’s Newest Hotels