Pan Pacific review, Perth: A big improver

Our rating

3.5 out of 5

THE LOCATION

On Adelaide Terrace looking out to the Swan River – including the new Elizabeth Quay development – the hotel is a short walk to the Perth Concert Hall and Perth's main shopping area.

THE SPACE

Pan Pacific have recently completed a refurbishment of their premier rooms and suites four years after the brand took over the five-star hotel, once a Sheraton. At the time, much was made of the new ownership especially with Perth having a surprisingly low level of five-star hotels. Originally opened in 1973, the hotel still has the hallmarks of a big '70s tower block (low ceilings, noisy plumbing) but the new-look 29-square-metre rooms successfully bring the hotel into 2016. Under the watchful eye of Design/Architects Hassell, the rooms feature modern whites, neutral greys and wood finishes, a vast improvement on the maroon and burnt orange colour scheme that was in place. The large lobby with adjacent bar has been given the same treatment which makes a nice welcome.

THE KIT

While they do attract holidaying guests mostly on weekends, the hotel is very much geared toward the business traveller. On my midweek visit, meetings were taking place in the lobby bar and upstairs, suited workers were busily typing on their devices while having a snack and a beer in the Pacific Club. Rooms have a large desk as well as tea and coffee making facilities, an LCD interactive TV, a fully stocked mini bar and free Wi-Fi. There's also a pillow menu and a good range of Embrace toiletries to use.

COMFORT

The king size beds are comfortable, and marble bathrooms roomy. Ask for a room with a view over the Swan River, it offers a nice morning vista (and may even inspire a jog along the banks) and the afternoon sun brightens the room. The outdoor pool is a welcome respite during the summer months though it is quite small and the area is in need of an update – walls are mustard yellow and there is nary a potted plant to be seen. There's a gym in the basement. Staff are attentive and if asked, are keen to give you tips on where to visit while in Perth. Valet parking is $50.

FOOD

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On my visit most guests congregated in the Lobby Lounge. Here the drinks menu features cocktails tailored to the clientele including a "Miners Punch" (coconut liquor, sparkling wine, pineapple sorbet, diced pineapple). The menu also has a "Contemporary London Drinks" section featuring a "Pharmaceutical Stimulant" more commonly known as espresso martini.

At Montereys Restaurant a decent full buffet breakfast is served every day for $38. A buffet lunch and dinner is also available.

Those staying in club suites have access to the very grand Pacific Club where you can nibble on canapes and pre-dinner drinks from 5.30pm to 7.30pm and enjoy a continental breakfast in the morning. The High Tea at Origins Restaurant on weekends comes recommended.

STEPPING OUT

The hotel is a 15-minute walk from the Hay Street Mall – the main shopping area in Perth. Closer to the Pan Pacific is a selection of bars and restaurants including The Print Hall which has a rooftop terrace called Bob's Bar in homage to former PM Bob Hawke – who famously downed his fair share of beers further around the bay while at the University of Western Australia. A five-minute walk from the hotel is the Hula Bula Bar, perfect for a cocktail and good music. The Perth Concert Hall and Supreme Court Gardens are a short walk away as is the Swan River where you can catch a ferry for a day-trip to Rottnest Island. The city is particularly vibrant during February's Perth Festival and Fringe Festival where the warm temperatures, sunsets and abundance of green spaces are conducive to outdoors performances.

THE VERDICT

The hotel's new-look premier rooms are a vast improvement and take the Pan Pacific to the next level, making this a good choice when looking for a central stay in Perth.

HIGHLIGHT

The newly updated premier rooms on the top five floors.

LOWLIGHT

The small pool area could be enhanced with a little greenery around it.

ESSENTIALS

The Autumn Escape package starts at $215 a night.

207 Adelaide Terrace,

Perth WA 6000, Phone 08 9224 7777

See panpacific.com/Perth

The writer was a guest of the hotel.