Review: COMO The Treasury Perth, Australia’s hotel high water mark

Regularly named among the country’s best, this Perth hotel is a masterclass in the beauty of simplicity.

Overall Rating

By Chris Ashton, January 20 2023
COMO The Treasury Perth, Australia’s hotel high water mark
Country

Australia

City

Perth

Hotel

COMO The Treasury

Rating

5 Stars

Room

Heritage Room

Notes
The Good
  • Impeccable service
  • Included standard minibar
The Bad
  • Nothing of note
X-Factor
  • Three hatted restaurant, Wildflower
Location
Rooms
Meals
Overall

Introduction

If someone were to ask you where the best hotel in Australia is found, there’s a good chance you’d name somewhere in Sydney, or maybe the Whitsundays. Yet you’d be wrong on both counts, with that title bestowed on a boutique hotel in downtown Perth.

Tucked away off St Georges Terrace, COMO The Treasury has been regularly named Australia’s best hotel since its 2015 debut, while also picking up a slew of international accolades and awards.

Three hatted restaurant Wildflower affords impressive views towards the Swan River.
Three hatted restaurant Wildflower affords impressive views towards the Swan River.

With such high praise comes even higher expectations. After two nights in a Heritage Room though, we’re pleased to say it exceeds them and more, with some unexpected highlights.

Location & Impressions

Spanning four floors within the ‘State Buildings’ – an historic group of late Victorian icons, whose previous tenants included the post office, state treasury, and land titles office – the hotel is a picture of elegance in brick and stone.

The State Buildings, viewed from St Georges Terrace.
The State Buildings, viewed from St Georges Terrace.

That heritage is on full display throughout the building, from the flamboyant neo-Renaissance style balconies adorning its façade to the exquisitely-restored architraves and cornicing within.

The Grand Postal Hall’s elaborate all-white atrium epitomises its unique charm; a latticed balcony around its perimeter, arched doorways beckoning you to enter. That said, there are plenty of modern enhancements too, notably in its two dining venues: Wildflower and Post.

An ambitious restoration has returned 95% of the buildings to their 19th century state.
An ambitious restoration has returned 95% of the buildings to their 19th century state.

Next door and overlooked by several rooms is St George’s Anglican Cathedral, while across the road you’ll find Stirling Garden and the Supreme Court, with Elizabeth Quay just beyond that.

It’s a sensational location amid the hubbub of the CBD, surrounded by cool bars and innovative restaurants, and in easy reach of Hay and Murray Street pedestrianised shopping malls.

Despite the hotel’s eye-catching exterior though, the entrance is an easy one to miss, with no signage on St Georges Terrace. Instead, there’s just a single grey awning with thin white lettering facing the cathedral; an engraved name plaque to the left of the door.

The entrance is tucked away on Cathedral Avenue.
The entrance is tucked away on Cathedral Avenue.

Once you do find it, a sharply-dressed valet is there to greet you, collecting bags as reception staff invite you into the calming lobby and offer a seat at one of the lounges or tables.

Unlike at other hotels, this lobby is akin to luxe living room adorned in ceramics, plush couches and smoky mirrors, not to mention a spectacular native floral display.

The Treasury is one of 15 COMO properties worldwide, and the only one in Australia.
The Treasury is one of 15 COMO properties worldwide, and the only one in Australia.

Following a welcome drink – there’s a choice of Champagne, sparkling water or wine – and a chance to admire the heritage detailing of the space, it’s time to head up to the room.

Room

Entering from the dimly lit hall, the room almost blinds you in a wave of natural light.

The Heritage Room – named for its location in the old part of the building, rather than decor – is vast, not to mention surprisingly modern with an almost Scandinavian aesthetic: pale blonde timbers, a crisp white and cream colour palette.

Mood lighting controls are either side of the bed, though USB outlets are only on one.
Mood lighting controls are either side of the bed, though USB outlets are only on one.

Immediately to the left is a large timber desk fronted by a cafe-style rattan chair; a king-size bed with matching headboard and bedsides beyond, directional reading lamps perched above.

At its foot, an olive-green couch laden with cushions beckons you to take a seat as you take in your surroundings, or make use of the Chromecast television.

There’s ample room to make use of the included yoga mat in the wardrobe.
There’s ample room to make use of the included yoga mat in the wardrobe.

A two-person dining setting bathed in sunlight by the dormer windows provides a nice spot for in-room dining, with the cathedral directly outside a great outlook.

The two-person dining table makes an ideal spot for in-room dining.
The two-person dining table makes an ideal spot for in-room dining.

Two open archways lead through to a beautiful bathroom, replete with double vanities, a deep soaking tub by the window, heated towel rails and a cavernous walk-in rain shower. A powder room is hidden behind a solid timber door, alongside the well-equipped wardrobe.

Bath crystals and fragrant pump bottle toiletries add to the spa-like quality of the room.
Bath crystals and fragrant pump bottle toiletries add to the spa-like quality of the room.

Small details like leather handles on the desk, electric blinds and varied mood lighting options enhance the feeling of luxury, as does the included standard minibar, which is replenished daily.

Beer, soft drinks and kombucha are included; wine and spirits an additional charge. Shortbread biscuits and a fruit bowl of apples make fine snacks. 

Somewhat surprisingly, there’s no iron or ironing board in the room, although one can be sent upon request. It takes less than five minutes for one to arrive at my door.

Work

When work calls, the in-room desk is perfectly adequate for an extended session. The dining setting is good too, if you prefer more natural light. 

There’s also a dedicated meeting room available onsite, in addition to The Library, which makes a great informal meeting space.

Settle in with a good book or catch up will colleagues in The Library.
Settle in with a good book or catch up will colleagues in The Library.

True to its name, the library’s a quiet haven filled with books, magazines and newspapers, along with a TV if you need to catch up on some more current affairs.

Complimentary wifi is conveniently beamed throughout the entire hotel: 29Mbps download, 39Mbps upload.

Eat

From a casual breakfast at Post, nestled in the former post office, through to degustations at Wildflower, dining at COMO The Treasury is worth relishing.

Post Restaurant is housed within the post office's former franking room.
Post Restaurant is housed within the post office's former franking room.

Awarded an impressive three hats in the 2022 Australian Good Food Guide Awards, Wildflower is deservedly one of Perth’s hottest restaurants. As you can imagine, reservations are a hot commodity. But, if you can secure a table, it’s well worth the effort.

Seating 80 guests, Wildflower’s menu revolves around the indigenous ethos of six seasons.
Seating 80 guests, Wildflower’s menu revolves around the indigenous ethos of six seasons.

My four-course degustation begins with a dainty flower-topped amuse bouche and fresh baked sourdough, topped by whipped seaweed and wattle seed butter. It’s a perfect appetiser, whetting the palate for what’s to come.

A sommelier paired wine option is also available, with staff detailing each wine and how it connects to the dish in front of you.

First up, organic beetroot artfully presented on a bed of blackberry, crème fraiche and pepperberry. The zestiness of the berries enhances the beetroot’s own sweetness, while pepperberry delivers a welcome bite of bitterness.

Marron sourced from Manjimup, some 300kms south of Perth, takes the meal up another notch. Nestled atop a vibrant pea puree and drizzled with ajo blanco at the table, it’s beautifully cooked and seasoned. I just wish there was more of it.

Moving along, third course is South West lamb with harissa, carrot and cinnamon myrtle. As expected, it’s exquisitely prepared – the harissa cuts through the richness of the lamb like a knife.

To finish, Gingin peach is served with coconut, zesty lemon verbena and native Australian finger lime, followed by petit fours. They’re both rather sweet dishes, yet a perfectly fitting end to an outstanding meal.

Not to be outshined, breakfast is an impressive affair too, kicking off with juice of the day – there are a bevy of healthy options sprinkled throughout the menu, in line with the hotel’s wellness focus – and seasonal cut fruit.

I opt for a maple granola served with vanilla and strawberry compote... 

Breakfast begins with maple granola.
Breakfast begins with maple granola.

...followed by an open omelette lavished with fontina cheese, roast tomatoes, rocket and parmesan.

The latter is staggeringly good: the rocket adding a delicious pepperiness, which beautifully melds with the creaminess of the cheeses (it’s so delicious, I order it two days in a row).

Relax

Wellness is a key element of the COMO experience. Furnished in rich tones of dark timber and travertine, Shambhala Urban Escape offers a curated menu of spa treatments and longer ‘wellness immersions’, together with a 20-metre heated lap pool and gym.

The pool is overlooked by a gymnasium with TechnoGym equipment.
The pool is overlooked by a gymnasium with TechnoGym equipment.

A nurturing COMO Shambhala Massage featuring aromatic oils, ‘Sodashi’ contouring marine body wrap, and a 90-minute head, neck and shoulder massage dubbed ‘The Complete Man’, which also includes a facial, are just a handful of the packages available.

The spa boasts four treatment rooms: three singles and one double.
The spa boasts four treatment rooms: three singles and one double.

Open 10am-6pm daily, prices are typical of a five star hotel spa.

Verdict

As expected, COMO The Treasury more than lives up to its lofty reputation, with superior levels of service, stellar dining at Wildflower and Post, and appreciated included minibar just a few of the highlights.

There’s a feeling of Zen-like calm as soon as you enter, with the simply furnished rooms adding to it – Marie Kondo would be proud, with each element in the room ‘sparking joy’. The bathroom has me genuinely considering a home renovation too.

Walking around the property, each staff member greets you with warmth and respect, even those clocking off for the day acknowledge with a friendly ‘See you tomorrow, Sir’. It’s a small detail, yet one that elevates the experience beyond that of a standard stay.

Impeccable and impossible to fault, COMO The Treasury is a hotel I’d gladly return to.

The writer stayed as a guest of COMO Hotels and Resorts.

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 188

The degustation at Wildflower wasn’t bad, but preferred the one at the original Ten Minutes By Tractor.

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

20 Jun 2013

Total posts 49

All a bit too minimalist for me, such a shame really as Perth could really benefit from a heritage hotel building with say....actual heritage style decor/furnishing etc.

11 Jul 2018

Total posts 6

Had the most incredible stay, without a doubt my best stay while travelling domestic. 

22 Feb 2022

Total posts 6

Great other restaurants on site there in State Buildings too - Long Chim in the basement area, Petition restaurant, Petition beer corner/bar, Wine Merchant bar.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer P1

23 Aug 2014

Total posts 109

Great review Chris. Being a local I can also recommend the excellent and well-priced basement barber shop on the premises, entrance on St Georges Terrace.


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