Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges in Perth, Australia

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Updated: September 25, 2020

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Review of Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges in Perth, Australia.

Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges – Centrally located within a popular beachside suburb, and so elegant, historical, and spacious.

Originally built in 1850, the Esplanade Hotel still maintains a charm and grace that blends so nicely with the rest of historical Fremantle. The hotel offers a variety of rooms across only four levels. Most have balconies facing the pool or share communal patios overlooking side streets, while a few on the upper floor do offer views of Esplanade Park. All rooms are spacious and great value compared to the overpriced and overbuilt competitors in downtown Perth. Even more appealing are the suites with separate entries and living areas. Within the beautifully-maintained building, there is space for a resort-style pool and large gym, but best of all is the location: in the midst of a lovable seaside suburb about a half-hour by train from the center of Perth.

Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges – The Location

  • Address: 46-54 Marine Terrace, Fremantle, a seaside suburb in western Perth.
  • Area: Fremantle is a historical and re-energized district at the mouth of the Swan River which flows through downtown Perth. Still a busy port for cargo ships and cruise liners, Freo (as it’s lovingly called) is packed with places to eat, drink, and shop, most within meters of the hotel entrance.
  • How to Get There: Fremantle is only 30 minutes by train from the Perth and Perth Underground stations in the city center. The lovely old railway station in Freo is north of the hotel and accessible by bus (0.6 mile, 13-minute walk). Alternatives from downtown Perth are the bus, which is too slow, or scenic cruises from Elizabeth Quay.

    Confusingly, there are 4 terminals across the separate (but nearby) international (18 miles, 40-minute drive) and domestic (19 miles, 45-minute drive) airports. Only real options are door-to-door shuttle buses by Perth City Shuttle or Just Transfers and taxis for about A$75. (See ‘Local Transport’ below for more information about taxis and ride-shares.) Free shuttle buses operate 24/7 between the 2 airports. Note: Always double-check which terminal your flight arrives at/departs from.
  • Handy to: Beaches. Fremantle Passenger Terminal. Ferries to Rottnest Island.

Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges – The Basics

  • Guests: Mostly those on holidays – more so couples, but also a few families.
  • Pets: Only service animals (e.g. guide dogs) allowed.
  • Views: Rooms face the pool or quietish side streets, but a few suites on the upper floors do overlook Esplanade Park.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: The Spa Rooms and Suites feature spa baths (which are not really jacuzzis).
  • Wi-Fi: Available free throughout for all guests.
  • Parking: No parking available on-site. Parking around the streets has fees and time limits, so ask management about better options when booking.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +61 (0)8 9432 4000
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: rydges.com

Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges – Amenities

  • Pool: Beautiful resort-style pool with a tropical vibe and abundant shade.
  • Spa: Not expected (or provided).
  • Fitness Center: Surprisingly large for a historical suburban hotel.

Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants: The Harbour Master – Extended menu of modern cuisine as well as a wine pantry, popular High Teas (weekend afternoons), and welcoming street-side tables. • Atrium Garden Restaurant – Claims to offer the ‘finest buffet in Freo’. The a la carte menu also offers plenty of mouth-watering grills, seafood, salads, and desserts. Ideal for families and lots of activities to occupy the young ones.
  • Bars: Marine Lounge Bar – Sophisticated cocktail bar popular with locals. Light meals and terrific views of the park. • Ball & Chain – Spacious pub oozing old-fashioned charm. Craft beers, leather lounges, live music most nights, and hearty meals. Bar counter along the sidewalk. • The Poolside Bar – The only one of its kind in Freo, it’s very relaxing but only open weekends in summer (November to March).
  • Breakfast: Not normally included, but this depends on how the room was booked.
  • Room Service: Available 24 hours.

Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges – Rooms

  • Room Types: Superior Rooms • Superior Pool View Rooms • Park View Rooms • Superior Double Rooms • King Spa Rooms • Accessible Rooms • Deluxe Spa Suites • King Pool View Spa Suites • Premier Spa Suites
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking allowed anywhere on the hotel premises.
  • Best Room: The Premier Spa Suites in a corner are the most luxurious and offer optimal views from the balconies. They also feature separate living/dining areas and spa-baths (not really jacuzzis).
  • For Families: The Superior Double Rooms offer enough space for 4 people, while some rooms have connecting doors.

Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges – Local Transport

  • Walking & Cycling: The center of Fremantle is compact and such a pleasure for walking. With far less traffic than downtown Perth and many dedicated paths, Freo is also ideal for cycling. Bikes can be rented for free from the hotel or the visitor center at Kings Square (0.4 mile, 8-minute walk).
  • Buses: Like the center of Perth, 2 free CAT bus services (coded Blue and Red) loop around Fremantle connecting the sights, main streets, local train station, and superior beach to the south (see below).
  • Taxis & Ride-shares: There is a taxi rank is just outside the front door. Otherwise, organize a pick-up through the 2 major companies: Swan Taxis (phone 131330) and Black & White Cabs (phone 133222). Ride-shares are also available through Uber, Ola, and DiDi.

Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants

    Most restaurants serve alcohol and all pubs offer meals – and many are competitively priced. In the park just across the road from the hotel entrance, Carriage Café is a gorgeous spot for a coffee or light meal (150m, 2-minute walk). The main road behind the hotel is called Market Street towards the train station and renamed South Terrace further down. Along this thoroughfare are many appealing options, such as Dôme in a historical corner building (0.2 mile, 5-minute walk). More scenic are the bistros along the revitalized Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour precinct across the park from the hotel, including:

  • Joe’s Fish Shack – With indoor tables overlooking the water, it’s always popular for its seaside vibe, funky décor, and award-winning fish and chips. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Cicerello’s – Huge place perched alongside and above the water. Serving fish and chips for about 120 years, but much more is also available, including Italian favorites. Family-friendly and aquariums to admire. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile)
  • Kaili’s Fishmarket Café – Almost 100 years old and renowned for its menu, including fish and chips rated among Freo’s finest. Magical waterside setting. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Bathers Beach House – Directly overlooking the beach. Tables along the side street and – uniquely – lounge chairs on the sand. Legendary sunsets and locally-brewed beer. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).

Bars

  • Little Creatures Brewery – Tables overlooking the harbor or at the front for people-watching. Also, children’s play area, guided tours of the microbrewery on-site, and free bicycle rental. Across the park. 3-minute walk (0.1 mile).

Shops

    There is no shortage of shops and other amenities along the main street about 0.2 mile behind the hotel (away from the park).

  • Fremantle Markets – Located inside a delightful colonial-era building for over 120 years. About 150 stalls sell food and souvenirs on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays. Behind the hotel. 3-minute walk (0.1 mile).
  • E Shed Markets – More gifts and souvenirs and a fabulous food court at the lively port area near the hotel. Open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays. 11-minute walk (0.6 mile).

Attractions

  • Tourist Wheel Fremantle – Dominating Esplanade Park near the beach, it features Freo’s finest views from 40m in the air. 3-minute walk (0.1 mile).
  • WA Maritime Museum – Learn about the history of Fremantle as an old port and modern suburb. In the port area. 12-minute walk (0.6 mile).
  • Beaches – Bathers Beach (0.3 mile, 5-minute walk) is slightly disappointing compared to others like Scarborough. Better is South Beach, which is great for families and provides enchanting views of nearby islands. It is a delightful walk from the hotel via a coastal path or jump on the free Blue CAT bus. 15 minutes (1 mile).
  • Rottnest Island – Adorable, vehicle-free island offering sublime beaches for swimming and snorkeling, cycling paths, seaside cafés, and arguably the world’s cutest critters: the native, super-friendly, and ultra-photogenic quokkas. About 30 minutes from the port area by Sealink and Rottnest Express.

Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges – The Hotel

The hotel is in Fremantle.

The historic Esplanade Hotel dominates this part of Fremantle, a likable seaside suburb of Perth.

The hotel is very charming.

Now run by the internationally renowned Rydges company, the hotel oozes a charm rarely seen elsewhere in Perth.

The hotel was built in 1850.

The hotel was originally constructed in 1850 and features long verandas around most of the building.

Atrium Garden Restaurant serves great buffets.

In the middle of the hotel, the vast Atrium Garden Restaurant is very popular for its buffets.

The Harbour Master features old photos on its walls.

With walls lined with photos of old Fremantle, The Harbour Master is one of several places to eat and drink at the Esplanade Hotel.

The Harbour Master offers outdoor seating.

Tables in The Harbour Master restaurant at the hotel extend on to the sidewalk.

Ball & Chain also offers outdoor seating.

A counter on the sidewalk for customers of the hotel bar, Ball & Chain, overlooks Esplanade Park.

The Harbour Master is very classy.

Sections of The Harbour Master restaurant at the hotel are especially classy.

The hotel has a wine cellar.

Aficionados can walk through the wine cellar attached to the hotel restaurants.

The pool is large.

The pool is surprisingly large and exudes a tropical-resort vibe.

Standard rooms are spacious and comfortable.

Standard rooms are comfortable and spacious enough for some seating.

Many rooms have connecting doors.

The rooms could be improved with some color – but they are particularly good value – and many have connecting doors for families.

Many room balconies overlook the pool.

Most rooms feature balconies – many overlooking the pool.

Rooms at the back overlook a side street.

A few rooms at the back of the hotel feature balconies overlooking a side street.

Bikes on hire can be found outside the hotel.

Outside the hotel’s main entrance, a few shared bikes are available for rent.

Carriage Cafe is opposite the hotel.

Just across the street from the hotel, this delightful café is attractively set in Esplanade Park.

The neighborhood has several great cafes.

The streets and lanes around Freo (as it’s affectionately called) are packed with inviting places to eat and drink.

Dôme is a great cafe behind the hotel.

Dôme is one of many fantastic eateries along South Terrace behind the hotel.

Bathers Beach House offers lounge chairs on the beach.

Facing the beach near the hotel, the Bathers Beach House bar/bistro offers lounge chairs on the sand and tables along the side street.

Kaili’s Fishmarket Café is right on the harbor.

One of several cafés at the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour just across the park from the hotel is Kaili’s Fishmarket Café.

Cicerello’s has been serving fish and chips for 120 years.

Serving some of the tastiest fish and chips in Western Australia for about 120 years is Cicerello’s, near Kaili’s.

Joe’s Fish Shack has a rustic exterior.

Particularly inviting is Joe’s Fish Shack at the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour. The inside is considerably more sophisticated than the rustic exterior might suggest.

Little Creatures Brewery has a brewery on-site.

Also across the park from the hotel, Little Creatures Brewery has huge tanks of freshly-brewed beer and cider.

The neighborhood has lots of historical buildings.

The Esplanade Hotel is conveniently located in Fremantle, a revitalized port area with historical buildings.

Fremantle Markets is a local landmark.

A local landmark for over 120 years, the Fremantle Markets is only a few minutes from the hotel.

E Shed Markets has a great food court.

At the bustling port area near the cruise ship terminal, the E Shed Markets has a fabulous food court.

The Tourist Wheel in Esplanade Park is popular with families.

In the middle of Esplanade Park in front of the hotel, the Tourist Wheel is one of many attractions for families.

Kidogo Arthouse is a great art gallery.

The old port of Fremantle is packed with heritage buildings, some converted to art galleries.

Maritime Museum is a must-visit.

To fully appreciate Fremantle’s history, visit the Maritime Museum.

Rottnest Island day trips by ferry are very popular.

Day trips to Rottnest Island are extremely popular. Numerous boats leave daily from the port within a few minutes’ walk of the hotel.

An old tunnel leads to Bathers Beach.

This old tunnel leads from the streets near the port to Bathers Beach.

South Beach is more appealing than Bathers Beach.

Bathers Beach in downtown Fremantle is slightly disappointing; the rocks and seaweed make it less appealing than South Beach further down the coast.

The historic Fremantle Railway Station is nearby.

The historic Fremantle Railway Station is north of the hotel.

Fremantle is well-connected to central Perth by trains.

Trains travel frequently between Fremantle and the center of Perth.

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