THE Hilton Hotel is coming to Fremantle—with a “no jacket and tie” difference.
On Monday the Hilton group announced that, in conjunction with the SKS group, two Double Tree hotels are planned for WA, in Fremantle and Elizabeth Quay.
Construction will start later this year for the 150-room hotel on Point Street, which will overlook Princess May park. The seven-storey building is expected to open in early 2017 and have 4-star facilities such as a restaurant, gym, pool, fitness centre and conference rooms.
Worldwide operations vice-president Ashley Spencer says guests can expect a full-service Hilton but on a smaller scale.
“It’s a little bit more relaxed,” he said at a press conference.
“If I was here today representing the Double Tree brand and not Hilton, I probably wouldn’t be wearing a tie and a jacket, and that’s the image we like to portray.
Mr Spencer says Double Tree by Hilton is the group’s fastest growing global brand, with a new hotel opening every week in 2013.
“One of the hallmarks of our service culture is every time you check in to a Double Tree by Hilton is you get a warm chocolate chip cookie, which is something that has just taken off around the world.
“We have served over 330 million of these over the course of Double Tree’s life,
“It really is a signature of our brand and it is about the care and warmth of our brand that we like to get over to our guests.”
WA tourism minister Lisa Harvey says it’s exciting news for Fremantle and its future: “Fremantle is such a jewel in Western Australia,” she told the Herald.
“What’s been missing there is a critical mass of hotel rooms and this Double Tree development brings additional capacity in the hotel market to Fremantle,
“It will allow Fremantle to compete with Perth CBD for that convention tourism.”’
Mayor Brad Pettitt says it’s a boost Freo needs: “I think it will be a transformative addition to the East End,” he told the Herald. “There’s no doubt the area is in need for renewal and the hotel is not super high-end; it is semi up-market, so I am really happy about it.”
Mayor Pettitt says Fremantle hosts 1.169 million tourists a year and hotels are always close to capacity.
“Having a backpackers’ at one end and a Hilton at the other will be a really good mix.”
by CLARE KENYON