S T A Y
Interview & Photos by Sophie Cottrell
The newly renovated Tradewinds Hotel in Perth is nothing short of luxurious. Surprisingly big rooms, filled with natural light, modern styling and a bar cart, what more could you ask for? Well, the rooftop terrace, view of the river and the outdoor pool all add up to create the perfect getaway in Perth. We sat down with Garrett Prendiville, the Executive Director of the hotel.
Tell us about the history of The Tradewinds. When it started, what the vision is and the history of the building.
Tradewinds Hotel is steeped in history. It began life in 1897 as the Plympton Hotel. It was the first meeting of the East Fremantle Town Council and was the last hotel in Fremantle to have a horse trough! The hotel was once owned by former AFL legend and coach, Jack Sheedy.
Tradewinds Hotel has been in my family for 30 years. I spent my childhood running through the hotel corridors. I loved to help check-in guests, despite not actually being able to see them over the reception desk!
Decades later and it was time for us to give back to the property and breathe new life into the building. We have injected eight million dollars into this redevelopment. The project has taken us two years and it’s been incredibly rewarding to revive such an iconic destination.
Tell us about yourself Garrett, a little bit about your story, what is the why behind what you do and how does your vision impact the hotel and their staff?
I am deeply passionate about the industry and love the business of welcoming guests. But it’s not about me, it takes a whole team to make a hotel hum and bring a vision to life. Our staff is encouraged to take ownership of the hotel and it’s this passion that drives our business. It’s the people who work here that bring soul and personality to the hotel, it’s an infectious energy. They believe in what they’re doing and know they have the ability to make a difference to a guests’ stay. I think to be a successful hotelier you need to be fastidious about details and it’s often the small touches a guest will remember long after they have returned home.
With the recent refurb of the property, what was the vision in terms of design and functionality?
Our vision for the redevelopment was to create a refined, sleek design with subtle hints to Fremantle’s playful and vibrant culture. The design is classic cool with a laid-back sensibility. We wanted to ensure we preserve the hotel’s history whilst also reviving and reinvigorating our identity.
Views of the shipping harbour influenced our breezy, relaxed look. The slatted timber cabinets hint to the corrugated tin of industrial shipping containers. The concrete wall framing the contemporary four poster bed is a nod to the raw industry of the docks. The linen fabrics and highlights of rich navy create a nautical feel.
There is so much history within these walls and it was important we retain the character, whilst also injecting a bit of Fremantle’s fun vibrancy. It's incredible to see an old property take on new life and see a sense of revival.
Where did you source your materials and design elements?
We looked to local designers and craftsmen to bring our vision to life. Some of the design details require such finesse. The raw concrete rendered walls in the rooms were all done by hand by a master of his trade...it’s an art. It’s the small touches that bring a hotel to life.
We fell in love with Australian artist Sarah Kelk’s work and this really formed the centrepiece of our new brand and design. It’s a really calming pastel colour palette to mirror our riverside views.
What is it about the hotel that makes it so unique in this wild and wonderful city? And how does it interact with the locals?
Our guests are looking for more than just a hotel room, they want a unique experience. They don’t want a cookie-cutter hotel design or to be locked in a corporate CBD environment. They want to live like a Perthite, feel our laid-back lifestyle and base themselves within the local community. Tradewinds has a European resort-style vibe nestled amongst Fremantle’s vibrant action. It’s a place to stay and play.
We like to think of the locals as ambassadors of the hotel. We have a ‘Friends With Benefits’ loyalty club that’s exclusive to those who live in our postcode. We want the local community to feel proud of the hotel and use it to entertain their visiting family and friends.
Tell us about the different room types. How much does it cost to stay with you guys and what is included within the stay?
We offer 83 well-appointed, spacious hotel rooms and short stay apartments. We have five different room types. They are the largest hotel rooms in Fremantle. Rates start from $169. We aim to deliver the perfect mix of old-fashioned service and modern relaxation.
We have reinvented the concept of a traditional mini-bar and included a bar cart in every suite, allowing guests to shake and stir their own cocktails. The cocktail cart comes beautifully styled with all the fresh ingredients, booze and mixology tools needed to make your favourite tipple. All the rooms have complimentary new release movies, we get them before the airlines!
We provide our guests with free WiFi, complimentary on site parking, access to our fitness centre, pool and a 24-hour front desk.
The jewel of the property is our new rooftop terrace dotted with cabanas and sweeping views over the river. We offer room service to the rooftop terrace, creating a private dining experience and the perfect spot for sunset cocktails. In the summer months, guests can take a yoga class on the terrace, enjoy wine tasting and we’re even doing a pop-up rooftop cinema.
We really encourage our readers to get out and explore the hidden and lesser known parts of each city they go to. What are your favorite local places and where should guests make sure to visit that is a little out of the ordinary?
I have put together a 48hour guide of what you can do from our hotel. Trust me, it's amazing!
You have your work cut out for you exploring the length and breadth of Fremantle over the next two days, so start your day right with breakfast at Propeller. Propeller is built within and around a converted garage in the heart of the North Freo village – pretty cool!
Wander the little shops and top up your caffeine levels with a take away from Ooh Coffee, before hitting up the famous shores of Cottesloe Beach.
Having worked up a hunger with your picturesque stroll, why not settle in for a long lunch at the Cottesloe Beach Hotel. The Cott is a favourite among locals. The Verandah Bar looks out over the beach and is the perfect spot for a refreshing beer, The Beach Club serves up awesome food and great beats and Cott & Co. Fish Bar for a more sophisticated bite, it has something for everyone.
Early afternoon is the perfect time to stroll up George Street in East Fremantle. Just two minutes up the road from Tradewinds Hotel, enjoy meandering through the quaint gift stores, artists and cafes like Young George. There is also a day spa, hair salon and beauty boutiques.
In the evening start your bar hop at sundown at Sweetwater Rooftop Bar for one of Perth’s best specialty cocktails overlooking Freo Port. We recommend following this with a Negroni at Mrs Browns and a burger from Flipside or perhaps you’d prefer to sample the Mediterranean dishes at Habitue. Finish off the night at Mojos Bar with some live music.
Shake off last night’s fun with breakfast and coffee at the renowned cafe Ootong & Lincoln, then wander up South Terrace enjoying all the new boutiques.
For lunch, why not hit up The Norfolk Hotel or Wild Bakery or head into the heart of Freo and try Raw Kitchen or Stable Hands Coffee.
Take a stroll through the Freo Market to pick up a hand-crafted souvenir and then head to the Fremantle Arts Centre to take in an exhibition or class. Need to rest those legs? Why not relive a little childhood nostalgia and take a ride on the Ferris Wheel? No better way to take in the breathtaking views.
In the afternoon head to Little Creatures Brewing for one of their award-winning craft beers, or maybe you’d prefer a cocktail at Bathers Beach House right on the sand. After dinner at Bread in Common, finish up the evening at Strange Company and The Odd Fellow Bar for a nightcap.
Feel like traveling a little further?
We can book ferry tickets over to Rottnest Island, where you can explore a multitude of beaches and enjoy lunch at Hotel Rottnest. If a day of wine and food is more your style, allow us to arrange a trip to the Swan Valley for lunch and wine tasting at Sandalford Wines.