Wonil Hotel Perth review

Take a crash course in Western Australian art and wine at the Wonil Hotel Perth.

There’s no doubt about it, Western Australia is the star of the show at the Wonil Hotel Perth. This four-star riverside hotel offers a chic canvas for Indigenous art and storytelling as Australia’s first Handwritten Collection property. It also puts the best of the state on your plate and in your glass. 

Traveller: Lisa Perkovic
Room: Premium King River View
Address: 21 Hackett Drive, Crawley, Western Australia, 6009
Date: January 2024
Price range: From $249
Best for: Located inside the University of Western Australia’s Forrest Hall, the hotel is a prime spot for university visitors midweek. On weekends, locals and tourists alike use it as a base to explore Perth’s city and suburbs. 

Location

Tucked between the southern tip of Kings Park and the Swan River, the Wonil Hotel Perth is just five kilometres from Perth’s CBD and is twenty-five minutes west of Perth Airport. 

Perth CBD is just five kilometres away © Wonil Hotel Perth

The room

In a Premium King River View room, we’re tucked at the end of an open-air corridor covered in metal laser-cut screens. Kerry Hill Architects have made intentional, sustainable design choices. Inside, the concrete ceiling, custom wooden headboards and clever built-in cabinetry lend the room a raw, natural aesthetic. While the backlit capsule mirrors and rose gold fixtures keep the space on-trend. It’s a touch Scandinavian, a touch New York warehouse, all brought together with the warmth and character of local Indigenous art. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors take us to a well-sized balcony and panoramic views of the Swan River. 

Claim to fame

Twiggy Forrest funded the entire precinct, and though the hotel is operated by Accor, all net profits are invested back into the Forrest Research Foundation, supporting medical and scientific research at the University of Western Australia. Combine this unique business model with the claim of being Accor’s first Handwritten Collection property (unique, small-scale hotels) down under. The opening of Wonil Hotel Perth has certainly caused a bit of buzz. 

The showstopper

Wonil Hotel Perth’s West Kitchen and Bar burst onto the scene in late 2023, and they’ve pulled out all the stops to put Western Australian produce on show. The dining room is simple yet elegant. They’ve saved the theatrics for your plate. We dig into ribbons of marinated zucchini with torn La Delizia Latticini Stracciatella cheese, a hearty Harvey Beef oxtail croquette the size of your fist and a half Southampton Homestead Chicken with fermented chilli that’s got plenty of kick. Dessert is a bread plate-sized coconut and tahini crème brulee that’s light enough that we don’t feel guilty demolishing it. That, and a decadent Margaret River chocolate torte. 

West Kitchen and Bar © Wonil Hotel Perth

Green thumbs up

From building construction to reusable amenities, the hotel certainly prioritises sustainability. In the kitchen, locally sourced produce is key. Local culture is also important. Wonil translates in First Nations Noongar to peppermint tree, and the hotel is cleverly designed to offer glimpses of the local tree canopy when you’re at dinner or on the terrace. 

Beyond the rooms

Love books? You’ve come to the right place. The curated collection makes it easy to spend an entire day perusing it. However, if you’re looking for other activities on-site, your choices are limited. The hotel partners with a gym down the road from the University of Western Australia.  

The lounge is made for reading © Wonil Hotel Perth

Within a short walk you can find

Walking tracks run alongside the river in either direction. Turn left, and within ten minutes, you’ll spot the sprawling King Park gardens that run up to the CBD. Turn right, and you’ll hit the quiet parks of Matilda Bay, a local favourite for a swim or a kayak. 

I wish I could take home

Indigenous art books are arranged on every surface in the main lounge, alongside with Australian wine compendiums. There’s a How to Drink Australian guide that would look excellent on my coffee table.  

Indigenous art features throughout © Wonil Hotel Perth

Dish to dine for

If you’ve never tried Akoya oysters, this is the place to do it. Traditionally farmed for their pearls, the shellfish are fleshier than rock oysters and have a nutty flavour. Here, the Leeuwin Coast Akoya are served with a Bloody Mary and a celery mignonette jus.

Staying in

West Kitchen and Bar has you covered for breakfast, lunch and dinner. After breakfast, there’s only one menu, so order a few smaller plates and a side of chips to eat on the terrace for lunch and save larger meat dishes for dinner. Spend a leisurely afternoon in the main lounge brushing up on your Margaret River viticulture knowledge before working through the all-WA wine list at dinner. 

Work through the all-WA wine list at dinner © Wonil Hotel Perth

Stepping out

It’s a 15-minute drive due west to the coast, where you’ve got your pick of Perth’s best beaches. Start at Cottesloe and work your way north towards Swanbourne, where lunch at The Shorehouse always satisfies. 

The family factor

Connecting Executive King rooms sleeps five when using the double sofa bed. Cribs are available upon request. Parents may find it stressful keeping little fingers away from the beautiful art pieces in the lobby lounge area. 

Swan River views from the lobby © Wonil Hotel Perth

Insiders’ tips

As an Accor hotel, Accor Plus members receive dining discounts.

Before booking

The Wonil Hotel Perth has just 66 rooms and proportionally fewer car spaces. There are less than ten car spaces on site, two of which have electric chargers. If you need to book, and there is a charge. 

If only…

A table and chairs, even a sun lounger, would make our balcony usable. Though we still enjoy watching the sunset standing up.  

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