Come and stay

Ed

If there’s one drawback to the Fremantle day trip, it’s going home at the end of it. No lingering late over dinner. No finding a sneaky night cap while wandering the West End. No being at your favourite coffee haunt inside two minutes. Unless, of course, you embrace the ‘staycation’ idea, and book a room.

Having out of town friends or relatives to visit? Consider bypassing the spare room and setting up a home from home in Freo. Likewise if you’re attending one of the summer festivals, and can’t face the commute home. Or if you’re just wanting a change of scenery without the added airfare. Freo has ‘short break’ written all over it.

In the thick of it
Freo’s West End has a handful of boutique accommodation offerings, putting you in walking distance of everything. One of its oldest sites, the former Manning Folly, is now home to the smart Quest Apartments on Pakenham Street. There’s modern comfort in the slick one and two bedroom apartments, but for a taste of the history, just look up. An impressive glass art installation on the third floor tilts its hat to the extravagance of Charles Manning’s former residence, and his passion for astronomy.

At the Hougoumont, shipping containers are wryly referenced in the room design, but there’s nothing industrial about the experience. The boutique hotel embraces the ideals of hospitality by offering coffee, bottled water, wine and cheese as added extras at no cost. The stylish lounge-cum-lobby has a friendly mixed use feel–work, recline, make your own cuppa–and the walls are adorned with the names of the convicts who came to Fremantle on the ship whose name now adorns this classy hotel.

...if you’re just wanting a change of scenery without the added airfare. Freo has ‘short break’ written all over it.

Across the road, Quality Suites has around 30 rooms and suites making good use of the inner city site that is both right in the middle of everything, and quietly tucked away in unassuming Bannister Street. A small team puts all their hospitality muscle behind this establishment, tending to guests’ sleeping requirements right on the doorstep of Fremantle’s food and entertainment offerings.

Alternatively, you could check in to the Esplanade by Rydges and never leave the hotel, if that was your bag. Especially if you plumped for the premier spa suite. The elegant rooms are matched by a slew of eating and drinking options on site, plus resort style pools. It’s close to both the Cappuccino Strip and Fishing Boat Harbour, with Esplanade Park at its feet. Look out for festival packages.

Rooms with a view
Go a little sideways, and you can get that Freo feeling with something extra: a holiday vibe. Consider Be. Fremantle, for example. It’s as far along Mews Road as you can be without getting wet–perched right on the end of the groyne at Fishing Boat Harbour. Every apartment has a water view here, surrounded by marina, harbour and Indian Ocean. That’s sunrise and sunset views covered. A recent refurb has seen some smart new additions at the pointy end, and accommodation ranges from studio rooms to 3-bedroom townhouses. Waterside dining is as close as Bathers Beach House or Char Char, where you can put your meal on your room tab.

...imbibing on the balcony, gazing at the bobbing boats and secluded beach, and congratulating yourself on your excellent staycation planning.

A lot of refurb dollars have been sunk into the Tradewinds as well. It’s not just a famous watering hole. It’s now a stylish sleeping option, with gorgeously appointed rooms and up to the minute tech. One of the biggest bonuses for in-house guests is the huge rooftop terrace bar, with views out across the river.

Some similar views are gettable from Seashells, tucked in a pocket of East Fremantle close to George Street’s hub. Furnished with Empire furnishings and equipped with free parking, it also has a lift directly up to the rooftop bar and restaurant, Sweetwater.

At Pier 21 in North Fremantle, several suites flank the grassy area right on the river’s edge. A sense of quiet and calm cocoons everything here. You might even find yourself feeling a bit smug, imbibing on the balcony, gazing at the bobbing boats and secluded beach, and congratulating yourself on your excellent staycation planning.

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