A bit alternative, a bit funky and a bit arty
On the edge of Perth’s Swan River in Rivervale, the hotel is about four kilometres east of the city centre and a short distance from the Crown casino complex and the Burswood peninsula, home to the new, 60,000 capacity Optus Stadium along with parklands and several fine eateries.
After listening to the terrible music of local commercial radio in the drive from the airport, we’re greeted by the sounds of Beck in the lobby, which sets the tone for the vibe of the hotel itself – a bit alternative, a bit funky and a bit arty.
Opened in mid-2017 as the first Aloft hotel in Australia (the second is coming to Melbourne in 2019), the Aloft still feels new. There’s a strong design element to the hotel, with striking lobby furniture and art by a range of local artists (and a couple of non-locals).
There’s a lap pool and sun terrace on the ground floor, though it is unfortunately next to the highway which damages the ambience somewhat. There’s also a large, bright gym on the mezzanine above the lobby. The WXYZ Bar is a signature of the Aloft chain worldwide, offering a wide variety of drinking options along with live music on weekends.
There’s a large ballroom on the top floor with beautiful views over the river, along with an outdoor terrace. The terrace is for functions and events and it’s a shame this isn’t where the pool ended up.
I’m in one of the hotel’s top-tier “Savvy” suites – 68 square metres on the corner of the hotel, offering wall to wall views of the river and city. The living area offers a large corner couch, a six-seat dining table, an enormous TV set into the wall and more striking art. The bedroom features a king bed, another huge TV and a desk, while the bathroom features two sinks, a deep tub and separate shower.
The wall between the bathroom and bedroom is glass, allowing you to enjoy the views while bathing, but there’s a blind for privacy if required. One strange design feature is the doorless wardrobe, which is in the bathroom rather than in the living or bedroom areas. Both the bedroom and bathroom have large sliding doors allowing you to close them off from the adjacent space.
Standard rooms feature similar decor to the suite in a smaller space, but the bathrooms have no bath and there’s no dining table.
The ground floor restaurant Spring’s Kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers a variety of modern Australian dishes with occasional Asian or Middle-Eastern twists, such as a bulgolgi steak standwich or harissa chicken with cous cous. There are two options for breakfast – a la carte or buffet. The buffet offers all the standard fare from a hotel breakfast, while the a la carte menu has a wider variety of dishes. See springskitchen.com.au
Perth residents are rightfully proud of their new, state-of-the-art sports stadium, which is now the homeground for both local AFL teams, the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers. The stadium is about 10 minutes drive or 20 minutes walk from the hotel and is designed to play host to AFL, international cricket and major concerts (the venue was gearing up for a sold-out Ed Sheeran concert at the time of my visit). Even if there’s no event on, the public can take tours of the new facility, including a behind-the-scenes look into the coaches’ boxes, corporate suites and club facilities in the bowels of the stadium. See optusstadium.com.au
See also: Inside Perth’s cutting-edge new stadium
Aloft Perth is not the city’s best located hotel, but its fashionable vibe will appeal to young (and young at heart) travellers.
Rooms at the Aloft Perth start from $150 a night. See aloftperth.com
The design, with its striking contemporary artworks, makes you feel cooler just by staying here.
Although it’s not far from the city, the location means you’ll probably need a rental car to get around (though that’s generally a necessity in Perth anyway, given limited public transport options).
The writer travelled to Perth as a guest of Tourism Western Australia.