Fleur Bainger checks in to the first Peppers property in WA to find a hotel striving to break with tradition.
It must be tough keeping pace with the rule-breaking whippersnappers of the hotel world.
They’re shaking things up with funky hangout spaces, desk-free welcomes, designer-partnered ‘uniforms’ and baristas on standby.
If you’re into that kind of thing (and I am) then a conventional hotel experience, while altogether satisfactory, becomes a little lacklustre.
Perth’s new Peppers Kings Square Hotel – the brand’s entry into Western Australia – teeters between the two.
It has some chic touches: blue neon lighting ripples on the 17-storey-high frontage by night (it’s Australia’s tallest prefabricated, modular hotel); the welcome desk is an extension of the espresso-machine-equipped bar; polished concrete columns spear the lobby, with rose gold mesh shades and matching chairs lining the cafe-restaurant.
But the hotel sticks with tradition via a 10am check-out and rooms in unadventurous grey tones. Staff, while friendly, are as perfunctory as their uniforms.
I park in front – there’s a handy five-minute bay for valet parking – and see luggage carts outside, but no one comes to assist me.
At check-in, I’m asked for photo ID to confirm I match the name on the booking, which feels a bit airport.
I grab a free newspaper and enter the elevators down a corridor that’s as bland as the entrance is interesting.
I’ve booked an Executive Room because they score better views: mine is on the 13th floor – a superstitious number many hotels skip.
Handmade chocolates, free bottled water, pod coffee and giant windows that look out to the metropolis greet me.
I hit Stage Bar & Kitchen for a decent dinner of international share plates, but wish I’d walked a few streets to sharper venues.
The hotel’s biggest asset – location – might be the restaurant’s curse.
If I had tickets to see Bruce Springsteen at the new Perth Arena, this is where I’d stay.
Ditto, if I was working at the new Kings Square development across the road, shopping at luxury fashion strip, Kings Street, or roaming the shopping malls an easy 600-metre stroll away.
It gives the hotel broad suitability.
Back in my room, the downsides are minor: no robes, the hairdryer is hidden in the wardrobe instead of the schmick bathroom, and I’m charged $10 for my baby cot, without warning.
I read that the free wi-fi is the fastest to be installed in a Perth hotel, and settle in for an iView session.
My king-size bed is plumped with shiny new velvet cushions and pudgy stretch pillows.
The linen is silky, and I wish I’d slipped under the covers sooner.
Indeed, it turns out that it doesn’t really matter how conventional a hotel is when the bed is this good.
The details: Peppers Hotel
Where: Peppers Kings Square Hotel, 621 Wellington Street, Perth, WA.
Verdict: Prime city spot for those wanting quiet while still being central. It’s a fairly as-you’d-expect hotel offering, with shiny new finishes and some arty flourishes.
We rated: The launch pad location to the city’s hip northern side.
We’d change: The ground floor elevator access feels like the back of house operations, which is jarring after the snazzy bar-reception.
Notes: An Executive Room with city views booked as a ‘Peppers exclusive’ cost $179 plus credit card charges.
Valet parking costs an extra $38; breakfast is an additional $20 if pre-booked, or $29 if ordered on the day.
All AT reviews are conducted anonymously and our writers pay their own way – so we experience exactly what you would.
Not the hotel you are looking for? Check out our review of The Lodging, Fremantle