Perth, as the only major city on the western shores of Australia, suffer more so given it’s relatively low population base.
Hotels in Perth are pretty sparse, with many of the bigger names, including Crowne Plaza and Hilton, built more than two decades ago and hardly refurbished. As such, it was pretty refreshing to see a new infusion of hotels into the city, including DoubleTree by Hilton and Westin as part of Tourism Western Australia’s push to revitalise the state as a preferred destination.
The hotel I stayed in this time round is the DoubleTree Northbridge in Perth. Those familiar with the DoubleTree brand will know it’s by Hilton and have been popping up rapidly around the world in the last half decade or so.
DoubleTree Northbridge opened in September 2018. Decked out with 206 rooms over 15 floors, the hotel offers 4 room types: Regular guest rooms, regular guest rooms with panoramic view, executive rooms and deluxe executive rooms. Each of these room types come with either a King-sized bed or twin beds.
The layout on each floor is pretty simple, with a single, long corridor and rooms flanked on both sides.
Check-in was a fairly efficient and straightforward affair. Upon checking in, the agent offered one of the signature DoubleTree chocolate cookie, which was a great treat given that I didn’t have time for lunch before checking in.
DoubleTree Northbridge also boasts an executive lounge, which I didn’t have access to for this trip as I wasn’t planning to spend a lot of time in the hotel. If you are staying in an executive room, or are a Hilton Honors diamond member, you will have access to the lounge.
Note that the hotel doesn’t offer any secured parking, so if you are driving, you are pretty much limited to streetside parking, which can be rather challenging to find in the evenings.
For my stay today, I booked myself the cheapest room available, which was a twin guest room. For some reason, king rooms in Australia are consistently more expensive than twin rooms, and I’ve always find myself booking a twin room to save $10 or more per night.
At 30 square metres, the room is pretty spacious, although not overly generous for an Australian room. Being a very new hotel, the fixtures are still in an excellent state.
The bathroom comes with only a shower stall (there’s a rain shower) for all room types, and bathtubs are only available in the executive deluxe king room. So if that’s a must for you, you will have to pay a premium for it.
There are still the usual bath amenities, including hotel-grade bath towels and a bathrobe that are available in the room. DoubleTree Northbridge uses Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries, consistent with many other Hilton properties around the world.
The wardrobe is designed rather interestingly, accessible from both the bedroom as well as the bathroom. Having said that, I had some trouble trying to shove my suitcase onto the luggage rack within the wardrobe, so that was one area of weakness if you ask me.
Twin beds in Australia are pretty much two singles, unlike some Asian hotels (such as in Bangkok) where the twin beds are larger in size, and four people could easily share the two beds. So if you are planning to hold more than two persons in the room, you might want to think again.
There is a small round table with two swivel chairs right in front of the wall-mounted television, which can serve as a makeshift desk if you need to get some work done in the room.
There is also a fully stocked minibar within the room, complete with complimentary coffee and tea making facilities. Unfortunately, there is no coffee machine within the room, you will have to settle for freeze-dried instant coffee, although I’d very much prefer to head down to the cafe in the lobby for a flat white.
There is complimentary wifi in the room for Hilton Honors members, which works pretty well for me when I was there. Note that the hotel claims that the wifi is for basic usage only, but I had no problems streaming shows from Netflix when I was there.
Despite being a pretty compact property, DoubleTree Northbridge still packs a punch in terms of facilities. On the third floor of the hotel, there is an outdoor swimming pool with ample number of deck chairs, as well as a 24-hour fitness centre.
The fitness centre has two treadmills, as well as a cable machine and a generous rack of dumbbells, which was sufficient for a very decent workout. As I was staying there in August, it was too cold to use the pool given it was not heated.
The hotel also has a full service bar and kitchen, James St Bar & Kitchen, which was also accessible by non-staying guests. On weeknights, the restaurant offers a daily special for A$25, with featured a different dish every day of the week, plus a glass of wine.
Having been out the entire day, I decided to stay in for dinner at the hotel. I went for the daily special, which featured a seafood squid ink paella for the day. When it came, I must say that it was beyond my expectation both in terms of serving size and taste.
If you would like something more substantial, or for sharing amongst larger groups, they also offer a wide-ranging menu, with tapas and share plates starting from A$6. Pastas and main meals ranges between A$20 to A$60, so there are definitely options for everyone.
The restaurant space was also rather well appointed and spacious, although I do think it’s a little too well-lit for my liking, particularly for dinner.
One thing I love about Australian hotels is that the hotel bars are usually quite comfortable for an evening drink, whether you are alone or with friends. The bar area of the restaurant was no exception, and given that it opens out to the main road, it was perfect for people watching as you sip on your favourite glass of chardonnay or a schooner of local beer.
Let’s be very honest here: Australia’s hotels are usually nothing to shout about. Many of the hotels, particularly in the smaller cities, are often misses, given that tourism infrastructure spending is not a priority.
Fortunately, Perth is on a resurgence in the last couple of years, and many new hotels have sprouted up as a result.
DoubleTree Northbridge is a solid offering in a good part of the city. If you haven’t been to Perth, most parts of the city centre is incredibly walkable, so this is also a good place to base yourself at, whether for business or pleasure. If the hotel restaurant gets a little too boring, there are plenty of restaurants on the same street and you
While not the top end of what the city’s lodgings can offer, the hotel itself is relatively self-sufficient and perfect for the business traveller who needs everything under one roof.