A cool, monochrome colour scheme and fashion-conscious flourishes make The Lodging in Fremantle a draw for design-savvy travellers, as Fleur Bainger finds out.
The Lodging is a space that wears its personality clearly and elegantly from the get-go, as if channelling a strong, particular and professional woman. There’s nothing girly in its raven black and ghost white palette.
A few splashes of pale salmon pink soften the 19th-century dame via velvet cushions and ceramics. Large portraits of Elvis, Sophia Loren and Faye Dunaway add a curated touch.
Owner Jane Peebles describes it as neither a B&B nor a hotel, and it’s true that it’s a tough two-storey to pigeonhole.
With a communal lounge, dining room and kitchen, plus four glam suites, the Fremantle terrace has the conveniences of a compact home with the style of a fashionista-friendly boutique hotel. She calls it a luxury guesthouse, and I’d say that’s bang on.
Its stairwell is like that of a Parisian apartment, one of the few imperfections in its otherwise flawless complexion: steep and narrow, it’s a challenge to lug my wheelie case up to Suite 02.
My room is dominated by a modern four-poster bed, its frame forming an angular cube.
It’s smaller than it appears in online photos – that wonderful real estate trick – but fits in a period fireplace, touch-lamps and replica Serge Mouille two-arm ceiling lamps. A large, shutter-framed sash window slides up for access to a balcony that, alas, grants views of asphalt and concrete below.
A little black booklet points me to the kitchen, where I find complimentary Margaret River wine, pod coffee and chilled water, as well as basic condiments.
I saunter back via the designer lounge, accessorised with covetable tomes such as Alexa Chung’s It and Carine Roitfeld’s Irreverent. If bed wasn’t beckoning I’d chill with these style icons all night.
In the morning, I’m surprised to see two other keys dropped in the coffee table jar – I hadn’t heard a soul, and treated the guesthouse as if it was mine, all mine.
The 11am check-out sees me luxuriate a little more before setting out on foot to Fremantle’s hippie heart.
The cafes and shops are only 540 metres away, but it’s a very different world from the stark but feminine sanctum I’ve come from. Lucky I left the heels in my case.
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The details: The Lodging, Fremantle, WA
Where: The Lodging, 215 High Street, Fremantle, WA; 08 9430 6568; thelodging.co
Verdict: A cool-kid guesthouse with a fashion-forward, designer feel that will appeal to refined women of any age. They’ll appreciate the free wi-fi but probably won’t have time to watch the flat-screen TV.
We rated: The location (only 540 metres to Fremantle central); the chic, sharp monochrome aesthetic and the complimentary wine in the kitchen.
We’d change: The inability to enter via the back, where the car park is located. The traffic noise through the old window in Suite 02 will distract light sleepers – having a bus stop out front is both a blessing and a curse.
Notes: We paid $225 for Suite 02; for a quieter night, we’d suggest booking Suite 03 ($199) or 04 ($299). The four-suite terrace sleeps 10 and can be booked separately, or as a whole. Check in from 3pm, check out by 11am.