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judilie May 16th, 2009 10:17 PM

Looking for well-located, reasonably-priced place to stay in Perth
 
I'm looking for a well-located, reasonably-priced hotel in Perth. Sullivan's Hotel sounds nice (I like the fact it is on a bus stop, has a pool, is near the botanical gardens, and has bicycles guests can use), but I've seen some bad reviews. Have any of you stayed there? Other places I'm considering are Medina Executive Barracks and The Melbourne (both of which are more expensive than Sullivan's if one gets a room with windows, which I would want), Comfort Inn Wentworth Plaza Hotel (I'm worried it may be noisy), New Esplanade, and Parmelia Hilton. If you have any experience with any of these hotels or can recommend others that are centrally located and reasonably priced, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks.

Melnq8 May 17th, 2009 06:12 AM

Hi Judilie -

Both Medinas are good choices; they're serviced apartments well located within the CBD. The Medina Grand is a short walk from the Swan River, the Executive Barracks is located further from the river, but still within walking distance, and it's right at the doorstep of the Hay Street Mall (with both good and bad points - great for shopping, cafes and coffee shops, a bit boisterous at night, and there are a few dubious businesses close by).

Location wise, you can't go wrong with either, but suggest you request a room facing the Exhibition Center if you stay at the Medina Grand - much quieter. Also suggest you avoid the ground floor - a bit close to the hotel bar which gets a lot of action on weeknights.

Parking is expensive in Perth, so suggest you use public transport if at all possible.

I've not stayed at the other properties you've mentioned, but I'm familiar with some of them as I live in Perth. The Melbourne is in a historic building (I believe) and it's well located in the CBD, but it's above a rather busy pub, so choose your room well.

Parmelia Hilton is just a few steps from the Medina Grand, so a great location very near the river. We frequent their pub, but I'm not familiar with their rooms.

As I recall, New Esplanade is also well located, just across a park near the river. Not familiar with their rooms though.

I've not heard of Sullivan's, so can't help there.

We once stayed on the other side of the river at a place called the Peninsula - they have reasonably priced serviced apartments and you can reach the CBD in about 10 minutes via ferry. It's also a short stroll to the zoo and there are cafes and shops a short stroll away, which stay open later than many places in the CBD.

judilie May 17th, 2009 08:23 AM

Thanks, Melnq8. I hope to hear from some folks who have stayed at some of the other places I mentioned. In the meantime, let me ask a few other questions I have about Perth:

How does the aquarium compare to the one in Sydney? Ditto for the zoo? (We are going to Sydney at the end of this trip, after Perth. We have already been to the Sydney zoo and aquarium on previous trips but liked them both so much that we've been thinking of going to them again.)

Is it feasible/reasonable to ride a bicycle from Perth to Fremantle (and back, and use it while there)?

Are Fremantle and Rottnest Is. real busy on the weekends? (We'll be in the area the middle of September.)

Does it make sense to make two separate day trips to Fremantle and Rottnest, or would it be better to make it a two-day trip, spending the night in one (and, if so, which)? I'd prefer to return to Perth and not have the re-pack, etc., but only if that makes sense.

We'll have five full days and two nearly full days in the Perth area broadly defined. (We arrive around 9:30 am on a Friday morning, and leave at 4 pm the next Thursday.) My current thought is to spend two days seeing sights in Perth, two of them (not necessarily adjacent) in Fremantle and Rottnest, and three days/two nights for a road trip to the SW, which I'm thinking of doing either as soon as we arrive in Perth or at the very end of our time there, so that we can pick up or drop off the rental car at the airport and can minimize the number of lodging changes. I want to read Melnq8's trip reports about the SW before coming up with a plan for this part of the trip.

travel4flowers May 18th, 2009 07:56 PM

Both aquariums are good. Personally, I liked the Aquarium of Western Australia better (http://www.aqwa.com.au/main.asp). It focuses on the sealife of the Indian ocean which is pretty unique. Regarding Zoo - we didn't go to either but we regret that we did not go to Taranga Zoo in Sydney. We did go to the Sydney Wildlife World next to the Aquarium which was okay. It is a bit smaller than the Sydney aquarium but a bit more modern.

Check out the info at the AQWA site. I also have a few pictures in my Perth Album http://www.martageorge.com/travel/perth.htm. We did take a combination of train and bus to get to the aquarium. It is at Hillarys and there is a group of restaurants and shops also near the aquarium.

Maudie May 19th, 2009 01:06 AM

Hi judilie,

There is no need to stay overnight at either Rotto or Freo (that's how us locals refer to those places). You can catch a ferry from Barrack St Jetty in Perth, you can walk to the jetty from most of the hotels you mention too. www.captaincookcruises.com.au or www.oceaniccruises.com.au
Just choose your day carefully weather wise.

You can catch a bus, train or ferry to Freo for the day, spend your time around the fishing boat harbour, looking (up) at the beautiful old buildings, maritime museum, cappuccino strip also the prison has some interesting tours and there are ample choices for lunch. There is also a hop on, hop off tram tour www.fremantletrams.com

Back in Perth you may also enjoy a visit to the Mint. For the bikes www.aboutbikehire.com.au and if you are into helicopter flights www.heliwest.com.au and maybe www.ft.com.au for some day tours.

Best wishes for a great trip.

judilie May 19th, 2009 07:09 AM

Thanks for the information and suggestions. Are Fremantle and Rottnest Is. real busy on the weekends? (We'll be in the area the middle of September.) Are there other things that should be avoided on weekends if possible?

Thorn May 19th, 2009 09:25 PM

Perth Zoo is great, I haven't been to the one in Sydney, but Perth's is world class. They have gone to a lot of trouble and expense to make the exhibits as natural as you can in a zoo. As mentioned above, it's walking distance from the ferry (Barrack St jetty to South Perth).

Perth people may say that Fremantle is busy on the weekend, but compared to properly busy places, it's nothing. (I went shopping with a friend in the CBD a few days before Christmas last year, I was just about having a panic attack and she commented how quiet it seemed). Rottnest in Sept will be pretty quiet, it only gets busy in summer. If you enjoy riding, hire a bike while there - the island has basically no cars and riding is the main from of transport. And remember - don't feed the Quokkas, it makes them sick.

We had our wedding at the Hilton, and loved it. We had a pretty deluxe suite, but our families stayed in more basic rooms and also really liked it.

Recommend doing the trip to the SW at the end, so you can get familiarised and do a bit of scouting on what to see. Margaret River and Dunsborough are lovely, don't miss the cheese and chocolate factories.

Maudie May 20th, 2009 01:09 AM

Hi again,
As Thorn said above, you won't have any problem at Rottnest in September or even on a weekend. Fremantle is much the same, I think having people around gives more atmosphere. There is often a street market on a Thursday near the mall and there is also the Fremantle Markets open Friday night and through the weekend.

Perth isn't that big a place to get concerned about crowds. You may strike it busy if there are any football (AFL) finals on at Subiaco Oval in September though.


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