Review: The Richardson hotel, Perth
Christina Aguilera recently occupied the Kings Park Suite on her tour, and while there is not a separate lift, guests who want complete privacy can enter through the rear of the hotel and take the lift from the first floor.
Her suite overlooks the Kings Park and has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. This hotel has a total of 58 suites and 16 guest rooms decorated in minimalist style and all have Broadband Net access, flat screen TVs and CD and DVD players; there is a good DVD library.
The two owners of the hotel, Joe Oxley and Ted Powell are British and Irish respectively, but spent many years as expatriates in Hong Kong. Fortunately for guests they have brought the Asian hotel service culture to Perth with them, and the multicultural team is from a total of 17 countries.
The two businessmen set out to create the sort of hotel that they would like to stay in themselves. And it is a very fine boutique hotel. The 100-cover restaurant Opus on the ground floor is also attracting serious comment from food critics quite aside from an attention to detail that extends to the choice of a special type of teapot which this well travelled writer had never encountered before.
As you would expect the Australian wine line is excellent, and the proximity to the Margaret River as a source of gourmet produce is reflected in the cuisine. We overheard French guests murmuring approval.
The hotel also boasts a substantial modern art collection with original oil paintings in all the suites, and a large work by local artist Kim Maple in the entrance lobby.
For a memorable spa experience try The Spa facility with ESPA treatments not available anywhere else in Australia. There is also a large indoor swimming pool opening onto a terrace and a substantial fully equipped gym; the hotel considered opening a gym club but typically preferred to keep its premises private.
The Richardson has been designed with the business user in mind and has a Business Centre with 15 offices and three meeting rooms on two floors, so this hotel can act as a fully serviced, extremely up market base for any company visiting Perth.
That is becoming more likely these days as Perth is the epicenter of the commodities and resources boom gripping Western Australia. Multiplex has just announced plans to build the tallest building in the city with BHP Billiton as the anchor tenant.
However, Perth remains an attractive city to visit with its theatre, art galleries, water-front location and extensive shopping. And make sure you do not miss the Perth Mint with its exhibition of gold bullion and coins, gold pouring and a wonderful jewellery shop that includes rare pink Argyle diamonds.
Emirates Airline started flying to Perth exactly five years ago in August and now has two flights a day, with plans to up this service to four flights daily as aircraft deliveries permit, so links with the Middle East are clearly blossoming.