It’s not often that Federation-style buildings get a modern makeover – imagine a shophouse with a shopping mall sticking out of its back – but Sage West Perth, part of local hospitality group SilverNeedle, manages to seamlessly blend the two.
The result is intriguing. Facing the street is a handsome 114-year old brick and iron building, home to Julio’s Restaurant, while a 14-storey block adorned with Cubist designs looms over a posh neighbourhood of lowrise homes in West Perth. The hotel was made with the modern traveller in mind: all 101 rooms are fitted with free high-speed WiFi access and more power sockets than you could possibly use, but it’s the aroma wafting out of Julio’s that will drag you away from your plush room. Breakfast at the Italian trattoria is luxurious. Try the Eggs Al Forno with baked eggs, borlotti beans, pecorino and smoked pancetta on a huge slice of sourdough. And then there’s dinner, which over the years has attracted the likes of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga (sadly, the chair on which Queen Bey cushioned her posterior was lost during a change of management.)
It may be strange to find other forks prodding at your food in an upmarket joint, but at Julio’s, every dish is served in sharing portions. The arancini, a generous breaded ball of risotto with truffle, is a meal on its own – but power through to the pasta course and try the potato gnocchi, memorable for the locally sourced tiger prawns and a light touch of chilli. Cap off the meal with chef Simone Ariano’s unique take on a cannolo, served unrolled like a crispy Indian poori and topped with nougat ice cream for a gooey finish.
Sage West sits on the outskirts of Perth central, but a free bus service will get you to the nearest mall or bar in just ten minutes. And if you need to stretch your legs after a three-course feast at Julio’s, King’s Park is just a five-minute walk away, with dozens of beautiful bushland trails to lose (or find) yourself on.
Rooms start from $215 a night. www.snhotels.com.