Hougoumont Hotel launch, Fremantle

It’s “hoo-goo-mont”. Jac and I attended the launch of the Hougoumont Hotel, named after the last ship to transport convicts to Fremantle.

The hotel is on Bannister Street, just a short walk away from Freo’s famous cappuccino strip, the iconic Fremantle Markets and train station.

The launch event was a relaxed affair, with rooms on the second floor open for viewing, a pop-up bar and a trio of chefs cooking up the party food out the back – seafood paella, pan-roasted vegetable wedges served with guacamole, pulled pork and coleslaw sliders, and fresh oysters shucked by the ever-debonair Carl Thee Shucker. With a welcome to country, followed by speeches from owner Patrick Prendiville and Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt, we toasted Fremantle’s newest boutique hotel.

The history and heritage of the hotel form a significant part of its looks and character, but there’s no denying this is a contemporary space. As Patrick Prendiville said in his speech, the Hougoumont experience includes the things most guests of today really want, like the convenience of free high-speed internet, rather than a pair of Terry towelling bath slippers (but if you really must have slippers, they are available from reception). Facilities and features include:

  • Rubra loose leaf tea and Nespresso coffee in every room
  • complimentary wine and cheese served in the lounge on weekdays at 5pm
  • complimentary coffee and fresh fruit served in the lounge every morning
  • free choice of mattress/pillows (hard or soft)
  • pre-personalised mini bar (select your favourites before arrival)
  • complimentary amenities by Appelles Apothecary
  • free high-speed wifi
  • secure parking (AU$22 per day, subject to availability)

Guests can use a nearby gym (costs apply) – another stage of construction will see more rooms and a pool added to the hotel. There’s no in-house restaurant, but lots of dining choices are an easy stroll away.

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The guest rooms are built from converted sea containers. Inside, they’re modern, comfortable and stylish. You can see the brightly coloured corrugated walls of the sea containers from outside, stacked like building blocks.

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The Staterooms are the largest rooms available at 32m2, with a massive marble bathroom, 42-inch flat screen digital television and reading desk.

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DSCF8451 Stateroom bed

Stateroom  bathroom Stateroom bathroom

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The Superior Cabins range from 15 to 18m2. They include the same high-end facilities as the Staterooms but are a lot smaller, with 32-inch flat screen digital TV and no room for a desk. The closeness of the walls and compact design create a feeling reminiscent of being in a ship cabin. You could sleep two people in a Superior Cabin, but my impression from my brief tour is that it’s better suited to a solo traveller as the compact space could be too claustrophobic for some. In all rooms, the only position to watch TV from is in bed, which I personally like when staying in a hotel. I’d be interested to find out how much noise can be heard from adjacent rooms.

To me, it’s the kind of hotel to choose if you’re planning to spend most of your days out and about, be it for business or holiday – after busy, action-packed days, it’ll be a luxurious place to return to and relax.

DSCF8442Not a lot of room between the bed and the walls in the Superior Cabin

Complimentary toiletries Complimentary toiletries

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DSCF8459The Superior Cabin bathroom looks like a space-age pod from a sci-fi movie. It’s small, so probably best occupied by one person at a time, but as with all bathrooms in the hotel, the shower head is a large, square ‘rain’ style one.

DSCF8547The business centre includes very sleek Apple iMacs, a stark contrast to the rustic wooden window frames

hougou_duo1On the wall in the shared lounge/business centre, the names of the convicts who came to Fremantle on the original Hougoumont

Carl Thee ShuckerOutside, Carl Thee Shucker was charmin’ and shuckin’

DSCF8471Jac made a bee-line for the oysters, slurped straight down or dressed with lemon, lime, Tabasco or Carl’s Thee Omen dressing – red wine vinegar with smoked chilli

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DSCF8433Pan-roasted vegetable wedges (potato, sweet potato and pumpkin), served with guacamole

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I had two servings of the paella, which included fish, prawns, calamari, mussels, chorizo, capsicum and peas I had two servings of the paella, which included fish, prawns, calamari, mussels, chorizo, capsicum and peas

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DSCF8470Multiple pans of paella and vegetable wedges were cooked fresh to feed the crowd

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DSCF8570From the outside, the building is an interesting mix of old and new architecture

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Hougoumont Hotel
15 Bannister Street
Fremantle WA 6160
Telephone: +61 8 6160 6800
Prices are $194 (Cabin Room) to $224 (Stateroom)
As usual, any prices and times quoted are correct at the time of writing; check the Hougoumont’s website for most up-to-date information

TFP and Jac attended the Hougoumont Hotel launch event as invited guests.

It’s been several years since our last weekend getaway in Freo – it might be time for another one soon. If you haven’t visited Perth/WA before, Fremantle is definitely worth adding to your itinerary. These photos were all taken within walking distance of the Hougoumont Hotel.

DSCF8577Deca Bodega is right on the corner of Bannister and Market Streets, a couple of shops up from the Hougoumont Hotel – a restaurant charge-back service for hotel guests is available here and at The Attic Cafe, also on Bannister Street

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There so much more to Freo than the cappuccino strip – as much as I love the markets, cafes and city centre, there’s nothing quite like eating fish and chips and ice cream down by the fishing boat harbour. Read more about Fremantle and its ongoing revitalisation.

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  • Jody Morris

    Thanks for the lovely progression of afternoon/evening photos of Freo! Makes me quite homesick! :)

    • Cheers, Jody. I really like Freo but don’t get there very often. I had a great time just walking with Jac and taking these pictures.