Stephanie Holmes stays at Perth's Crown Towers.
It was a 20-minute drive from Perth International Airport. Getting up the long driveway to Crown Towers took a while as there were two huge events happening nearby — some kind of teenage music festival and Diner en Blanc — which held things up a little.
First Impressions: The lobby was crowded with a slightly drunk crowd, all clad entirely in white. That, combined with the luxurious surroundings of this high-end hotel, made it feel a little like I was at the gates of heaven.
Check-in experience: Smooth, friendly and reasonably fast. Be prepared for a $200 bond to be held on your credit card in case of any incidentals.
Price: From $319 per night.
What's in the neighbourhood? The Crown complex is a neighbourhood in itself, comprising the Crown Towers and Crown Metropol hotels, a casino, theatre and cinema, luxe jewellery and watch stores, a food court, casual restaurants and bars, plus big-name celebrity chef high-end restaurants such as Nobu and Rockpool Bar & Grill. There's also an on-site plastic surgeon, should you need a little something done before dinner.
Room: A stunning, spacious, stylish premium king room on the 16th floor. The floor-to-ceiling windows had a 180-degree unobstructed view of the Swan River and over to Perth CBD, and each day the room was flooded with sunlight from lunchtime to sunset.
The bed: A wonderfully comfortable king, with plump pillows and high thread-count white linen.
Bathroom: Marble vanity with twin sinks, and a huge free-standing bathtub, which had excellent water pressure so was full in less than five minutes.
Free Wi-Fi? Well, technically, yes. But it was painfully slow, almost to the point of being unusable — colleagues staying at the hotel all experienced the same thing. A cynical person might suggest it was slowed right down on purpose to encourage you to spend $16 per day on the advanced Wi-Fi package
Food and drink: As well as the celeb options mentioned above, I also had access to the Crystal Club lounge, where breakfast, high tea and evening canapes and drinks were complimentary each day. But the foodie highlight was the breakfast buffet at Epicurean, which had an outstanding selection. Want donuts for breakfast? You've got it. Curry, dumplings or noodles? That too.
The chocolate fountain had four different flavours of warm, melted goodness on offer, with freshly made churros to dip in. And even the standard breakfast fare was elevated — sous vide eggs rather than poached; skirt steak and black pudding as well as chicken sausages and two types of bacon; fresh fruit and juices, cheese and charcuterie, cereals and fresh pastries. I think I topped out at four plates per day. I have no regrets.
Noise: The windows weren't completely sound-proof, so it was a little loud when there were events poolside.
Room service: The prices are high, but so is the quality.
Value for money: It's a high-end experience so expect to pay high-end prices. You get exceptional service and the only thing I could fault in my stay was the Wi-Fi.
Wellness facilities: A gym, spa and massive resort-style outdoor swimming pool with loungers, day beds and private cabanas.
The bottom line: It's a super-luxe experience with almost faultless service and amenities. Once they sort the Wi-Fi issue, it'll be perfect.