Gazing out of floor-to-ceiling windows from The Ritz-Carlton, Perth’s Elizabeth Quay Suite at a fiery vermillion orange sunset, there’s a reassuring sense of place that dawns on most city dwellers. Perhaps it’s the tall, shiny buildings that line the central business district across the road, or the gentle ebb and flow of the waters below. Perth has had its own little makeover in the last couple of years, with the development of new malls and precincts, and the rise of Melbourne-style cafe culture—blended with the vast space and leisurely pace that the Western Australian city affords.
This calls for an inexplicable, multidimensional charm to Perth. It means the queues at trendy cafes—such as Chu Bakery in Highgate and Arrival Hall in Northbridge—on weekends are hardly menacing; even pleasant on a balmy day. Getting a reservation at Modu Bar & Kitchen, one of Perth’s sought-after new restaurants, is straightforward enough and doesn’t require a month-long wait. Modu’s Wagyu open gyoza drizzled with truffle oil and king prawns with fried rice packs an incredible punch, easily a contender for one of the best Asian fusion meals I’ve had.
Meanwhile, King’s Park and Hyde Park, while located in the middle of the city with merry picnickers, never feels suffocating. Perth has a sweet pace found only in a number of cities worldwide, which makes it a glorious holiday destination. The short five-hour flight from Singapore doesn’t hurt, either.
“Perth has a sweet pace found only in a number of cities worldwide”
A fulfilling day in Perth might come with a trek down to the spirited port town of Fremantle or one of the city’s pristine beaches and brilliant blue waters. Perth has been named the sunniest capital city in the world, with beautiful, dry summers and mild winters, making it an idyllic place to indulge in outdoor activities. Meeting the adorable quokkas on Rottnest Island or sandboarding at Lancelin Sand Dunes are worthy trips out of the city, whether travelling alone, as a couple or as a family.
Perhaps, most impressively, has been the rise of five-star hotels in Perth over the last few years. Where dated chain hotels used to fill a hole in the market, Perth now boasts The Ritz-Carlton, Perth and Como The Treasury, alongside the fabulous Como Shambhala. The former is home to the spacious Elizabeth Quay Suite—its generous 104sqm of space bigger than most apartments in Singapore. Fresh Frette linen sheets and plush robes ensconce you at night, after a dip in a freestanding bathtub complete with Asprey bath amenities. True luxury is a separate space to work, eat and entertain while you travel, and the suites at The Ritz-Carlton, Perth allow for all that, keeping your bedroom private.
During your stay, make time for the five-course Taste of Hearth dinner menu at Hearth, a wonderful culinary journey featuring Western Australian produce. Expect a smorgasbord of the freshest seafood and meat cooked over a custom hearth, where both old and new cooking techniques are utilised. The charred Fremantle octopus was one of my favourite dishes—served with brown butter, cauliflower, bonito flakes and squid ink, it was chock-full of well-balanced textures. Another worthy mention is the tender Berkshire pork, which combined with a spiced blueberry puree, was a perfect combination of sweet and savoury. If you’re travelling with young children, the restaurant is excellent at catering to their needs—the kid’s menu offers several great options and vegetable purees are also available on request for babies.
A five-minute walk away from The Ritz-Carlton, Perth is Como The Treasury at the historic State Buildings, which unites understated design with elegant interiors. It shares its storied space with a slew of popular restaurants like Long Chim and Petition Kitchen, and the cute grab-and-go Telegram Coffee. Designed by Kerry Hill, all 48 rooms offer an abundance of natural light, high ceilings and handcrafted European furnishings that serve as inspiration for any Scandinavian minimalist home. From a glass of champagne on arrival to a yoga mat in every room, each stay is thoughtfully crafted with comfort and wellness at its heart.
Breakfast at Post is an undeniable treat no matter how many times you’ve dined there. Health and fitness stalwarts will love Como’s signature crunchy ‘real’ toast, topped with avocado, tomato, cucumber and lime. If you’re feeling indulgent, the buttermilk pancakes served with orange curd, vanilla mascarpone, blueberries and maple hits all the sweet spots.
During the afternoon lull, there is no more relaxing place to be than Como Shambhala, which offers massages, facials and scrubs that send you out of this world. The Indian Head Massage is a trip right up to heaven, which you will reluctantly descend from. The stunning city of Perth awaits, and rediscovering it may turn it into an unforgettable holiday destination for a while.
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