We stayed at the Intercontinental Perth City Centre during our family holiday in June 2023, where we booked a total of 4 rooms for all 9 of us, for 4 nights.
About the hotel
The hotel is located along Hay Street, within the Perth CBD. It is centrally located, but yet far away enough from the main hustle and bustle. The shopping area of Hay Street Mall is just a 5 minute stroll away, while Chinatown is about 10 to 15 minutes walk. Elizabeth Quay and the Bell Tower is also a 15 minute walk along the road, then downhill.
We booked via HoteLux, which is a subscription-based luxury hotel booking app. Through HoteLux, I was able to get USD$100 in dining credits per stay. In addition, bookings made through them are also eligible for reward points from the hotel chain – in this case, IHG One Rewards.
The Check-In experience
Our chartered van dropped us off just a bit before the hotel, due to the limited drop-off space in front of it. This is the one gripe I have with this property – it doesn’t have a proper drop-off area. On one of the days when I collected our rental car to pick the family up, the roadside parking was full, which meant that everyone had to scramble in as quickly as they can, so that we do not hog traffic. Not the nicest experience.
The check-in desks were at level 1, and although there were sofas right in front, we had to stand to do the check-in. It wasn’t too bad, as check-in was quick and fuss-free, and the ladies at the reception did a wonderful job of making us feel welcome. IHG status was recognized only after I asked if my membership was pegged to the reservation, and we were given 2 drink vouchers to be used at the bar or restaurants as Diamond Elite members.
I booked a room with 2 double beds, thinking they were large enough to accommodate 1 adult and 1 kid on each bed. Well, they were not. (I think our kids are kinda big though!) Thankfully, one of them was able to camp over with my sis who was occupying a room on her own. We stayed in Room #810, which is just a short walk across from the elevators. Thankfully, the sound insulation seemed ok. My sister however, encountered excessive noise due to people ?arguing in the landing.
Upon entering the room, you walk past the bathroom on the right side, and the wardrobe before getting to the room proper. This walkway was a little tight in my opinion, especially once the wardrobe doors are open.
The room itself was nice, clean and modern. It was decked in soothing beige and earth tones. There was a small round table near the window with 1 chair, and a small day couch. (It’s not big – so it’s a day couch, not a day bed.) The large window looks out to the town area – it’s an unblocked view, and gave us a good view of sunrise. Unfortunately the window was a little grimy on the outside.
The bathroom is simple and adequate. The bathroom doors were heavy sliding doors, which worked well to keep the warmth in.
For amenities, it came with everything BUT toothbrushes and a disposable razor. I am not a fan of this faux eco-friendliness. (Much like how McDonald’s stopped giving straws for their drinks, but yet continue to provide single-use saucers for their sauces. Eye-roll, please.) I think these are basic amenities that should have been provided, especially for a property at this price point.
The shower comprises of a removable shower head and an overhead shower. For the life of me, I could not figure out how to make the overhead shower work. Perhaps we had a dud of a room? Water temperature was hot all the way, with good water pressure. Unfortunately, the shower drain seems too small and shallow to cope with a normal shower – it tends to overflow and seep under the door, soaking the mat.
Toiletries are from BYREDO, and I particularly enjoyed the shampoo and conditioner. They smelt of lemon verbana, and reminded me pleasantly of the Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries (from the Hilton Vienna). The body wash, however, was very forgettable.
The WC/toilet was in its own separate nook away from the shower area. It does not have any warmed seat, or bidet.
Sockets, Connectivity & Entertainment
Electric sockets are Australian only, which is disappointing for an international chain. Oddly enough, only 1 side of the bed has USB outlets.
The TV comes with a small selection of TV channels that were mainly local (ABC).
There is separate bluetooth speaker at the bedside from Bose, which was easy to connect to.
Pantry and Minibar
The minibar area comes with a Nespresso machine, and 6 classic capsules. I appreciate that 2 of the capsules were decaf. The machine and kettle are clean, with no char marks or water spots.
The minibar area is set into the wardrobe, and the individual drawers can be pulled out. Although this means that you have to either reach in to use the kettle/Nespresso machine (or pull the drawer out), I found that it is wonderful to insulate the noise of the Nespresso machine. Early risers like me can happily make a cuppa without disturbing our other half, by closing the wardrobe door.
The mini fridge was (over) stocked with various drinks, and are chargeable. On one corner of the pantry, the cupboard can be swung open to reveal some sort of a mini bar area that offered a selection of stemware.
We didn’t go into the gym, and there is no pool on the property. (Not that we want to swim in this wintry weather!)
While on this subject, the lifts broke down rather frequently. Out of 3 lifts, at one point, 2 were out of service!
The Soft Product
Although it is widely recognized that hotel properties tend to have superior service levels in Asian countries, I was pleasantly surprised to have had a good experience here.
As mentioned, IHG Diamond status was recognised at check-in (albeit with a bit of a reminder nudge), and we were given 2 drink vouchers to use. We redeemed it at the level 2 bar, and were given a choice of standard house pours or soft drinks/mocktails.
Upon entering the room, a fruit platter was provided, together with a printed welcome note. (J) ate up almost all the fruits, but the rest of my family shared that the fruits were actually not as fresh as they’d have liked. 1 complimentary bottle of drinking water was provided each day, which I thought was too little. They were accommodating enough to waive charges when we requested extra bottles, however!
Room service was really quite prompt. On one morning, we went for a stroll (couldn’t have been more than an hour or two!) and returned to find that the room has been done up. Unfortunately, this seems to have come at the expense of being thorough.
For one, I accidentally left a used glass bottle in the table corner of the room, only to find it still there after room service has gone through the room.
Every evening, someone would come and offer a turn-down service without fail. However, as we are rarely in the room during the day, we declined on all of the days we were there.
F & B
Breakfast was included, and J loved it – he continued asking about the hotel’s breakfast while we stayed at other (farmstay) properties for the rest of the trip. Breakfast is served daily from 6.30am, buffet-style at their level 1 restaurant, Ascua. Seating was plenty, and we never found it crowded even at supposed peak periods of 8am or 9am. The restaurant has a few round, family-style seating pavilions, which I thought was a nice touch and would work well for a regular, sit-down service. For breakfast, I personally prefer the traditional individual seating though, so as to avoid scooting over people’s laps just to get to the food.
Food selection was very decent. They had a continental cold spread consisting of cereals, fruits, yoghurt, charcuterie items/cheeses and various confections. At the open kitchen section, waffles and pancakes were offered, together with a live egg station. In addition, a small hot food section was available. The Western fare for the hot food remained almost the same throughout our stay – bacon (fantastic bacon, I might add!), baked beans and sausages. Hot Asian fare consisted of grilled vegetables and a carbohydrate – either fried rice, fried noodles or congee.
Hot drinks are ordered through the service staff, and they were stellar at offering these proactively, even approaching to offer more once you finish your first cup! For the kids, they thoroughly enjoyed the self-serve juicing bar. Basically you get to add all sorts of fruits/vegetables into the juicer to make your own version of Boost! For reference, my favourite was a combination of cucumber, rockmelon and a hint of ginger.
The Loft (lounge & bar)
The Loft is located on the 2nd level, and we visited it to use our 2 welcome drink vouchers. It has both indoor and outdoor seating. We initially chose the latter, but quickly moved indoors as it became really quite chilly! Mrs T was very happy with her gin & tonic.
Heno & Rey
Their Spanish tapas restaurant, Heno & Rey, is one of the most distinctive and obvious dining areas. Situated right at the front door and spilling out into the streets, this restaurant plays lively Spanish music throughout the day (and even at night, when it’s closed!). We tried it out, as we had that USD$100 F&B credit that we could use.
We ordered the Madrid Menu for just 2 (A$74 pp), thinking that would be enough for 2 adults and 2 kids since the boys were pretty filled up from snacks and lunch. Alas, it was more than enough, and we found ourselves struggling to eat anymore about two-thirds the way through! At some point in time, I started wondering if they’d heard us wrongly and ordered the set for 4 instead. Hilariously, both of us were downright terrified when a waitress set more food down when we thought we were done! Turned out, that was a mistake and the food was meant for another table. (Phew!)
The execution was great, with the courses coming in only after we have finished those before.
We had the following as part of the Madrid Menu:
- Tomato bread (amazing stuff)
- Aceitunas – bowl of marinated olives essentially
- Charcuterie platter -Jamon Serrano (a cousin of proscuitto) and Manchego (goats’ milk cheese)
- Patatas Bravas – fried potatoes in aioli and tomato sauce
- Bowl of chorizo
- Crispy squid
- Rey Pollo – Grilled chicken thigh and broccolini
- Rocket salad with shaved Manchego cheese (a divine combination!)
- Chocolate churros
I generally liked our stay there. It is located in a good part of town, and the highlights for me was the food. On the other hand, the lifts breaking down was a concern. Was it value for money though? I feel it is definitely on the higher end, price-wise – if we were just looking at accommodation, perhaps the Holiday Inn just a few steps down the road may have made a good choice too!