A set of WA serviced apartments with the emphasis on service has this reviewer reaching for her stash of gold stars . . .
What a surprise: an unlikely candidate for a high-scoring hotel stay in Perth is the Medina Grand. You could hardly get further from traditional hotel fare than this modest, bright, white and chrome establishment with its minimalist decor and individual approach to guest relations. This slightly different option in hotel-style lodgings gets two thumbs up from this hardened traveller.
The Medina Grand consists of 138 one- and two-bedroom self-contained apartments and studio rooms, it’s located opposite the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre – so close it’s a short amble across the driveway – and guests can also quickly access Perth’s CBD, the Barrack Street Wharf and any number of recreational activities along the Swan River. Unfortunately the building is also adjacent to the Trans Perth Bus Terminal; handy, for sure, but noisy for guests on that side of the building.
I stayed in a one-bedroom apartment and was suitably impressed with the furnishings: clean, simple, but modern and stylish. The living areas are roomy and comfortable. The self-contained kitchen includes a dishwasher, microwave and full-sized refrigerator. All the attributes of a well-planned hotel room have been considered, including internet access, TV/DVD and stereo system and, of course, a well-stocked mini bar.
The apartment bathrooms are large and the separate shower a desired bonus. Fantastically, there’s a washing machine/drier combo cleverly hidden in a cupboard in the bathroom, so guests can freshen up their smalls before hitting the road again.
On the ground floor is the pleasant indoor/outdoor Metro Bistro and Bar. This restaurant also supplies the room service, which meant – for me – that they were happy to oblige special requests by expanding on the room service menu to provide food from the slightly larger restaurant menu. The food is certainly of above average quality for a small bar/bistro. Breakfast is room service or a la carte in the Metro Bistro. For those guests who prepare in advance, there’s an in-room continental breakfast available.
The heated outdoor hotel pool is really a small lap pool. The surrounding sundeck and outdoor spa is limited, but inviting. However, there is a drawback: the conference and function rooms open onto the pool area, restricting the privacy offered to hotel patrons. Close to the pool, but concealed from the public and featuring a glass wall looking out onto a petite garden, is an excellent – if tiny – gym, with new equipment and a welcoming sauna.
While the Medina Grand is a handy and comfortable place to stay, without doubt its greatest assets are the excellent young staff and resident manager – such an enthusiastic group of people. Nothing is too much trouble, from bringing muesli bars and bathrobes to my room with a smile and a laugh, to helping me into my hire car with a ridiculous number of boxes and bags.
The Medina Grand is new, clean and convenient. The studio and apartment rooms allow you space to spread, and contain a separate dining area in the living room; some rooms even have a large veranda with comfortable outdoor furniture to enjoy the refreshing WA air. An excellent option for travellers, particularly those who want to take the ankle-biters. If the booking is done online, the pricing is very attractive.
The Medina Grand is ushering in a new “look” for the travelling public and the plan to focus on the simple but effective, time-tested appeal of full service is a plus. There’s no question that this is a people-oriented approach to travel, and it works.
Style: Clean and white, like a tissue advertisement
Location: Central Perth, WA
Size: 138 one- and two-bed apartments and studio rooms
Cuisine: Bistro, surprisingly good
Room service: Small but flexible menu, speedy service, Bistro food available
Outlook: Lower city and Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
Children: Welcome, perfect choice for kids
Disabled facilities: Yes
Best thing: Service and attitude
Worst thing: Noise for some rooms, no real view
Fee: $161 single – $440 four people per night, significantly less for booking online
Contact: 33 Mounts Bay Road, Perth WA 6000
Phone: (08) 9217 8000 or 1300 300 232