Heralding the return of this five-star luxury brand to the country, The Ritz-Carlton, Perth marks a new age for this city and will put it on the map for the first time for many international guests. With 205 rooms, including 19 suites, a hot new restaurant and a world-class spa, they won’t be disappointed.
Traveller: Lisa Perkovic
Room: Elizabeth Quay Suite
Address: 1 Barrack Street, Perth
Date: January 2020
Best for: Those looking to change their minds about Perth; the Ritz-Carlton delivers world-class luxury using all things local. You’ll never look at the Western Australian capital the same way.
The Signature factor
From the front door to the terrace pool, The Ritz-Carlton has brought the raw beauty of Western Australia together with the serious luxury of this world-class brand. More than 10,000 pieces of Kimberley sandstone paired with glass chandeliers, marble benchtops and European furniture pieces elevate our Outback into a new realm. It’s a new kind of Outback chic.
All the bells and whistles of hotel design geared towards showcasing local produce, local wine and materials really lets Australia shine. And it’s not just in the kitchen: the restaurant is filled with dried native flowers, rooms contain biographies of local Bibbulmun people and the hallways have art pieces made from local shells. It’s a breath of fresh air from an international hotel chain.
You’ll still be blinking from the harsh sunlight of glossy Elizabeth Quay when you walk through the lobby, but not for long. Perth’s famous wind funnels through the sandstone entranceway and up into the cathedral ceiling, bringing a literal breath of fresh air into a space inspired by the passageways of the Karijini gorges.
The thing about Western Australia is that there are lots of open spaces, often the Outback stretches into the distance. I feel the same way about my sprawling Elizabeth Quay Suite when I open the door. Windows wrap around the 104-square-metre space, sweeping all the way from the city over the Quay below and out to the Swan River. An oversized lounge and dining area leads through to the bedroom, where the supersize king looks straight out at the sunset. A deep freestanding tub sits in the low lit bathroom around the back, calling out for a soak in the dark. The dreamy cream and burnt orange colour palette of art inspired by the land perfectly match the hues of the sunset that turn the entire space golden as the day ends. The day bed is the perfect spot to watch this magic hour.
The Ritz-Carlton Suite lives up to the brand name. The palatial 277-square-metre space is the stuff suite dreams are made of. The private study, butlers kitchen, bar, dining room, lounge room, bedroom and enormous bathroom all have floor-to-ceiling views out to the Swan River. The marble bathroom will take your breath away.
On my plate
Hearth Restaurant is the pièce de résistance of chef Jed Gerrard, who is putting Western Australian produce front and centre with his commitment to hyper seasonal produce. Each menu comes with a map of the state and the locations of current ingredients – some more unusual than others. Boab tubers from Kununurra arrive on our plates finely shredded and paired with fresh cherries, marron from Cervantes is poached with burnt butter and grilled cream. Keep your eye on the open parilla grill, which looks like an actual flaming hearth. You might see Manjimup fish smoking or Gingin apricots roasting. Not to be missed is the spent grain bread – buns served with a crunchy honey glaze and a moreish thyme butter.
I wish I could take home…
The Club Lounge DIY gin bar. Take your pick from four different Australian gins, top-notch Fever Tree tonic water and bowls of different garnishes like lime, juniper berries, pomegranate seeds and even dried rose petals.
The Ritz-Carlton, Perth maintains the brand’s reputation for excellent wellness with a sprawling spa. The gym has state-of-the-art equipment and a mirror-walled pilates studio designed for DIY yoga, barre or stretching. A clever use of indoor/outdoor partitions and open air terraces mean you’ll get another breath of fresh air as you walk to your treatment room – you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a day spa in Thailand. Treatments are focused on relaxation; try the Equilibrium Massage for 90 minutes of calming aromatherapy massage or the Luminous Elements Journey for rose-quartz crystal therapy. Save ample time to soak in the open air vitality pools and to try the saunas, which look straight out to Langley Park and are quite a mind trick for those of us who have only steamed surrounded by four walls.
Songbird Bar & Lounge is the hotel’s indoor/outdoor sunset bar. Their signature namesake cocktail has already become a local favourite. Guests at the pool right next to the bar get to enjoy it all day long.
You’re literally on the doorstep of Perth’s multi-million dollar Elizabeth Quay development. Check out the Oyster Bar, hop on a ferry to Rottnest Island or just enjoy the view. The city is a short five-minute walk up the hill.
Hotel guests have easy access to the open air pool, but they also have access to the small vitality pools inside the spa. Pop through the change rooms and out onto the terrace to soak up the sunset from the heated bubbles.
Check-in time can get busy, but the classic Australian lollies next to the counter sweeten the wait.
The desserts at Hearth Restaurant shined a little brighter. When the bread already has a local cult following and the restaurant breakfast buffet has a vast array of cakes, we’d love to see some of that classic baking make its way to the dessert menu.
Where to find it
Just on the edge of Perth’s CBD on Riverside Drive, The Ritz-Carlton, Perth is a five-minute walk from Elizabeth Quay train station and a 20-minute drive from Perth airport.