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Monday 7 April 2014

Glitzy and glamorous: Perth's place to see and be seen

You can tell a lot about a hotel from its front-line staff. If the guys who greet you at the front door are smiling and efficient; your baggage gets stored and taken to your room with minimal fuss and check-in is quick and painless then the hotel probably has its priorities right. 

And so it proved with a recent one-night stay at the flashy Crown Metropol; part of Perth's casino complex at Burswood. 
The Crown Metropol is clearly a hotel for those who like a good time. Perth is a party town and the Crown complex is at its epicentre. 

There are a lot of people visiting the Metropol who are beautifully groomed but have spent too much time in the tanning salon - and maybe a little too much money at their tattooist, but what the heck, they are having fun. The vibe is a little like the Gold Coast on steroids - after a visit to the cosmetic surgeon.

Here, on the banks of the Swan River, Crown completed an eight-year $750 million redevelopment of a tired site two years ago with two international hotels, Crown Metropol and Crown Promenade, alongside a 24-hour casino, a 20,000-seat indoor stadium, and spa and fitness facilities. 

The restaurants are world-class, with Neil Perry's Rockpool Bar and Grill, another Nobu outpost and Bistro Guillaume among the higher-end choices.

The 11-storey Crown Metropol comprises 395 guest rooms and two VIP "mansions" - to which I was not invited. 

The lobby is alive with drinkers, gamblers and party goers and rooms are surprisingly reasonable, starting at under $300 a night. 

The rooms are well equipped with 24-hour room service, wi-fi access, iPod docking stations and the latest in-room movies and cable television channels. 

There are all the usual accoutrements; pools and business centres, but forget the flashy lobby and attention-grabbing lifts: it was the staff that make the Metropol stand out from the crowd - and made it so much better than the very disappointing (and more expensive) Pan Pacific downtown. 

Crown Metropol Perth, Great Eastern Highway, Perth, 6100. (08) 9362 8888. 

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