Hougoumont Hotel

Hotel in Perth

Affordable Luxury Hotel

Making a reference to native criminality in Australia is a quick way for a pom such as myself to get punched from here to Uluru; however, when I enter The Hougoumont Hotel, Fremantle’s new affordable luxury hotel, its jailbird history is, quite literally, written on the walls.

Named after the last convict ship to transport prisoners to Australia, the hotel wears its eminent history on its sleeve.  As my girlfriend and I check in at reception, where the soundtrack is the excellent Sixto Rodriguez (great sign), we can’t help but notice the long list of names painted on the far wall of the sparse yet tastefully decorated room, each of them listed with a conviction that could be described as colourful at the very least.

The friendly receptionist gives us our room number and we head up to the first floor where we discover that our cell for the evening turns out to be a pleasant suite with an adjoining bathroom, queen-sized double bed and a flat-screen TV.  (Prisons, they’re like holiday camps these days…)

As the hotel is centred in the heart of Fremantle, we decide to take a stroll around the local shops and restaurants; cosy coffee shop Attic is just across the road and its rustic, exposed brickwork interior makes it a charming spot for breakfast.  Round the corner is Bread In Common, a relatively new Freo restaurant and bakery that serves us a delicious lunch packed full of innovative takes on Australian fare.

Back in the hotel, we’re invited to join the rest of the guests in the expansive reception area for complimentary wine, cheese and snacks, a service that is laid on every evening from 17:00-18:00.  This is a nice touch and it allows guests to mingle whilst having a cheeky sundowner to set them up for the night out or ease them into an early slumber.  We decide on the former of these two alternatives and take the two-minute walk across the road to Benny’s, a popular Italian restaurant on the city’s famous cappuccino strip.

Ivan, the restaurant’s genial manager, explains that Benny’s is famous for fresh seafood and big portions, two phrases that always bring a smile to my face.   And he’s not kidding.  We wash an impressive seafood platter down with a couple of glasses of Champagne before moving on to an enormous spaghetti marinara and a beautifully garnished salmon affumicato, accompanied with a very agreeable bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.

The Hougoumont works in partnership with Benny’s in that guests can have the restaurant’s food delivered directly to their room, or they can take a charge card over the road so that their food and drink tab goes on their hotel bill.  We return in the morning for breakfast and enjoy a fry-up of epic proportions that brings back memories of the mother country.

Imprisonment at The Hougoumont turned out to be a lot nicer than the average stretch inside (no shower nightmares for one thing, although I did keep a firm grasp on my bar of soap every time my girlfriend neared the bathroom); with a steady stream of food from Benny’s at my beck and call, I’d happily let them lock me up and throw away the key.

David Harfield is a freelance food and travel writer and the director of the social media solutions company PepperStorm Media

Reviewer's Rating
Ambience Trendy
Services Business Center, Free High Speed Internet, Restaurant, Room Service, Conference Rooms
Cost Medium
Culture / Sightseeing, Great local restaurants

Room and Suite Categories

Superior Cabin Rooms (15m² to 18m²); Staterooms (32m²).

Additional Ambience Information

Interesting corrugated iron exterior.

Additional Price Comments

The complimentary evening cheese and wine help you save on an evening snack and you have a complimentary Nespresso machine and pods in your room. You can also use a nearby gym for $12 per session.

Last updated on 02-10-2015

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