For Jac’s birthday this year, I booked us a couple of nights at the Crown Metropol, formerly the Intercontinental Hotel, at Crown Perth, formerly known as the Burswood Entertainment Complex. The package I booked under was called Meet me at the Metropol and included valet parking and buffet breakfast at the Atrium Buffet each morning.
Our room was a Luxe View King on the fourth floor, with views of the hotel’s sparkling blue resort-style pool, with the city skyline and Swan River beyond. I took this photo pointing my camera through the window of our room. An inviting sight.
The room was spacious and tastefully furnished, with a plasma TV, desk, and a bathroom with separate shower with rain shower head and bath tub behind a sliding opaque screen.
On one of the bedside tables was an iPod docking station (not compatible with iPhone 5 though). Power points were easily accessible for charging of our electronic devices.
Sadly, in-room internet access in top Australian hotels is rarely free or cheap, and at Crown Perth, wireless internet incurs a fee of AU$29 per device per night. Not enticing value, so we stuck with the 3G internet on our mobile devices.
The mini bar was well stocked, with standard mini bar prices. Above the bar fridge in a drawer were tea and coffee-making facilities. No freezer in the bar fridge, but an ice bucket was provided, which we could fill ourselves from an ice machine on the next floor.
We enjoyed drinks at the Lobby Lounge bar on the ground floor. Jac ordered a Long Island Ice Tea (AU$18), made with Smirnoff Black vodka, Jose Cuervo Silver tequila, Havana Club Anejo Blanco rum, Martin Miller West Street gin, Cointreau, lemon and lime juice and Coke. I ordered a mocktail called a Tingle (AU$10), made with orange juice, Grenadine, lime and Sprite, garnished with a wedge of fresh pineapple. A fabulous way to toast a leisurely weekend away from home.
We ate at Nobu on Friday night and The Merrywell on Saturday. On a walk through the Crown Perth complex on Saturday night after dinner, we popped into a cafe called Cotta, located inside the casino, where Jac had an iced mocha, I had a soy flat white and we shared a very blingy tiramisu – it wasn’t bad, but I think I prefer a more home-style, more fluffy, less pretty, less cakey version).
It’s a good little spot to temporarily escape the bustle of the casino without actually needing to step outside the building. In addition to coffee, tea and milkshakes, there’s a selection of sweet and savoury snacks including pastries, toasties, baguettes, muffins, cookies, cakes and whoopie pies.
But one of our favourite features of staying at Crown Metropol Perth was that fabulous pool.
There’s drinks, snacks and more substantial meals available at the Poolside Bar and Grill. You place your orders at the bar and waiters will deliver your food and drinks to you wherever you’ve set up camp. One thing they could improve on – there could be more tables for people at the sun lounges to use. I wouldn’t be happy having to eat my $20 club sandwich or burger balanced on my lap, as many around the pool seemed to be. And the drinks aren’t cheap either, so I’d rather not kick mine over by accident because I didn’t have a table to place it on. Another thing to note: the sun lounges are first come, first served and free to use (so get in early) but daybeds and poolside pods have to be booked in advance – a fee applies.
The Poolside Bar and Grill has seats undercover, foosball and pool tables, with ceiling fans overhead.
The other highlight of our stay was breakfast. Jac especially loves a good buffet and it’s a feature that contributes to our choosing a hotel. The buffet at the Atrium is extensive, featuring an array of international dishes.
I was very excited to see a congee (rice porridge) station, complete with all the trimmings such as deep-fried crullers, fried garlic and shallots and fried anchovies. Unfortunately, the congee itself was watery and bland and I didn’t finish my bowl. Next to the congee was miso soup with seaweed strips, tofu and spring onion.
I had to try some of that eggplant curry and dhal with flatbread. And stir-fried noodles. And a steamed BBQ pork bun from the dim sum station.
But the Hainanese chicken rice is the buffet dish that made me the happiest. Not as good as Tak Chee House, but a decent rendition in the absence of ‘real’ hawker food. The chicken was moist, the rice a little dry but surprisingly flavoursome. The chilli sauce had a good bite but that minced ginger was a cracker – dangerously addictive.
While Jac attacked oysters and Caesar salad, I enjoyed a 2-part breakfast, starting with a fry-up with croissant, orange juice and cup of tea…
…followed by more Hainanese chicken rice (what can I say, I’m hopelessly addicted to chicken rice) and noodles. And a very meaty fried dim sim. No need for lunch that day! Of course, if you prefer a simpler breakfast, there’s fruit, muesli, yoghurt and cereal. But why pay for a buffet just to eat cereal?
The photographs in this post depict only some of the buffet. There’s plenty to suit all tastes and appetites.
We arrived after 3pm for check-in on Friday afternoon and checked out on Sunday morning. Despite having multiple check-in points, there was a very long queue waiting to check-in when we arrived. When we finally made it to the front of the queue, the staff member who checked us in warned there can be a queue at check-out time too – he recommended we use the express check-out to skip the queue, which we did.
We stayed at the Holiday Inn years ago at the Burswood Entertainment Complex and had a great time relaxing, checking out the casino (we’re not serious gamblers but enjoy the atmosphere), dining at different restaurants and going for walks around the grounds, all of which we did again this time. Staying at the Crown Metropol was not cheap, but Jac was absolutely stoked with her birthday weekend – so for me, it was worth every cent. The staff we encountered at valet parking, check-in and around the hotel were courteous and friendly.
It was such a shame to leave the 5-star luxury and carefree holiday lifestyle behind to return to reality and the start of another working week.
Crown Metropol Perth
Great Eastern Highway
Burswood WA 6100
General enquiries: (08) 9362 7777
Reservations: (08) 9362 8888
Atrium Buffet – breakfast is served 6.30am to 10.30am daily.
Poolside Bar and Grill
The Crown Metropol pool
Access to the pool is free if you’re staying at the Crown Metropol. Guests not staying at the hotel may join you at the pool – at the cost of AU$49 per person.
The sun lounges are first come, first served and free to use, but daybeds and poolside pods have to be booked in advance (a fee applies).
All expenses including accommodation and meals were paid for by TFP.