For Sunset Drinks
Make the most of the West Aussie sunset at the best sundowner venues in Fremantle.
Or sea containers upcycled to chic standards, there are a number of character places to stay in Fremantle. Discover six boutique hotels that mix classic with contemporary style. Be it for a staycation or a room for a romantic liaison.
The historic Warders' Cottages once housed the prison guards of nearby Fremantle Prison from 1851 to 1991. Now, these quaint colonial heritage-listed buildings have been lovingly restored into 11 sophisticated rooms offering boutique sleepover accommodation in the heart of Fremantle. Original stonework and timber flooring have been preserved and combined with contemporary hand-crafted furniture making for a luxurious retreat. Some rooms feature cosy kitchenettes and private terraces. Marble bathrooms come with rainwater showerheads and luxury products by Appelles. Still and sparkling water is literally on tap, an Australian hotel first. Within the hotel's tiny European style Aperitivo bar called Gimlet, catch the afternoon sun from its street-level deck over a glass of rosé or try its namesake cocktail, a classic blend of zesty lime and gin. Then head to Emily Taylor, tucked within the hotel's old limestone walls, for a Southeast Asian-inspired supper over dumplings and roast duck.
Named after the last ship to transport convicts to Fremantle in 1852, The Hougoumont is housed in a building whose origins stem back to 1840, first as a hotel and later as Club Giovanni Italia and the Fremantle Club HQ. Since 2013, it's been welcoming travellers to its mid-century style cabin rooms created in sea containers (in a nod to its Fremantle port location) with room interiors inspired by the timber-lined staterooms of naval ships. Guests can indulge in nightly complimentary cheese and wine aperitivo in the lobby, with morning breakfast a selection of Bread in Common toast with preserves and Nespresso coffee. The 34 rooms also feature luxe marble bathrooms and Appelles Apothecary & Lab products. They even offer to personalise your minibar before arrival and offer a pillow menu. Jump on one of the bright yellow complimentary bikes to explore Fremantle's historic West End by day. Then pop into the adjoining microbrewery, Calamity Rod's, for a beer or work through their fine list of wines and spirits.
Situated by the Swan River in East Fremantle, 83 slick and stylish rooms, some as serviced apartments, offer a Miami Beach boutique aesthetic at Tradewinds. King-sized beds in crisp white linens, rain showers and some rooms complete with free-standing bathtubs make for a sophisticated sleepover. While your personal in-room cocktail trolley comes complete with fresh fruits and spirits to create your favourite tipple. With a tranquil pool and fitness centre for the fanatics, Tradewinds offers several free bikes to explore the local area, including nearby George Street with its quaint boutiques and famed foodie destinations, Young George and Ethos. If preferring to be whisked to your destination, take the complimentary transfer around Fremantle in a 7-seater Mercedes V Class, which is on standby.
The National began life as a bank before being transformed into a Federation era pub and hotel that has since 2007 been stunning restored. Today 12 stylish rooms are tucked over the two upper floors on The National, all elegantly modern whilst retaining some heritage charm, including luxurious bathtubs in adjoining marble ensuites. Half of the rooms feature French doors leading to a wraparound balcony overlooking central Fremantle, while the upper floor has rooms tucked in the eaves for an even cosier stay. Beyond the rooms, three bars across three levels will suit any mood: a traditional pub at ground level featuring original jarrah floorboards, ornate windows, and outside bench seating on High Street, making it ideal for a leisurely pint. On level one, a restaurant with balcony seating offers solid pub dishes along with a decent wine list. While the rooftop is a showstopper - panoramic 360-degree views towards the Indian Ocean and across the rooftops of Fremantle make it ideal at sunset with a Spritz. Sister venue to the Old Courthouse.
A classic pub in a 19th-century coach house, The Norfolk has nine suites making it the ideal central sleepover after a night out on the tiles as it's smack bang in the entertainment district of Fremantle opposite The Old Synagogue. Initially constructed in 1887, the venue still trades in its original guise as a hotel cum pub, yet it has been thoroughly modernised. Rooms are simple yet modern with an easy on your wallet price point. Downstairs, local craft beer and a curated wine list, including the owner's own label from Margaret River, Arlewood Estate, are best enjoyed in the leafy Courtyard. The Odd Fellow, a late-night bar open until midnight 7 days a week and a live music venue, the Aardvark, in The Norfolk basement is ideal for night revellers. While a decent pub menu offers all-day dining of modern Australian dishes making The Norfolk an all-round venue - with the added advantage of providing a short journey from bar to bed.
A South Fremantle neighbourhood hot spot, The Local is a popular pub hosting punters since 1897, with its latest guise in situ since 2015. With its original hardwood floors and long L-shape bar, the front bar retains its Victorian-era charm. Known for its great food and casual dining, various bars are made to suit your mood. The Whiskey lounge, complete with Chesterfield sofas, is ideal for a Yamazaki on ice. While the Garage is the converted former drive-thru bottle shop that hosts life drawing classes and live music. Upstairs, eight rooms individually styled by local designers offer light and bright sleepovers, from the Mod inspired The Alfie to the chic monochrome styling in The Chester. Or grab the keys to The Corner with three floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking South Terrace. A short walk to South Beach or central Fremantle (take the free CAT bus if feeling lazy) makes The Local the ideal locale to capture life with the South Freo crowd.
Photo credit: Main image - The National