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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New Product on Offer in Western Australia

Here is a selection of new and revitalised accommodation, attractions, tours and food and wine products that have occurred throughout Western Australia during the last 12 months.

The following abbreviations indicate the region in which the products and services can be found:
EP: Experience Perth
ASW: Australia's South West

ACC: Australia's Coral Coast
AGO: Australia's Golden Outback
ANW: Australia's North West
WA: All of Western Australia
Citadines St Georges Terrace Perth (EP)The Ascott Limited (Ascott) has launched its second Citadines Apart'hotel in Australia. The new Citadines St Georges Terrace Perth has opened following a $5.1 million and five-month refurbishment of the former Somerset St Georges Terrace Perth. Located in the heart of Perth's central business district, the property has 85 studio and one-bedroom apartments, with fully equipped kitchen/kitchenette, living area's and modern amenities such as complimentary WiFi, home entertainment system and flat screen TV. Contemporary art pieces by local artists Nick Stratham and Kyle Hughes are featured throughout the hotel.
Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm (ANW)Visitors to the beautiful Dampier Peninsula, north of Broome in WA's North West now have another reason to visit Australia's oldest pearl farm at Cygnet Bay. The popular cafe has expanded to include full breakfast, lunch and evening menus. Cygnet Bay Bistro is licensed, so you can also enjoy a cold beer or refreshing glass of wine with your meal. Try a delicious Cygnet Bay Pearl Meat tasting plate, and choose from the wide selection on the lunch and dinner menus. Relax in the alfresco dining area, enjoying the sea breeze during the day and the spectacular Kimberley moon and stars in the evening. 
Four Points by Sheraton Perth (EP)
The former Citigate Perth has been converted into Four Points by Sheraton Perth, with a six month, multi-million dollar redevelopment. The 278 rooms and suites have undergone a total transformation, while the lobby, restaurant and bar have undergone major works. A new fitness centre is now open, and meeting venues also refreshed.
Holiday Inn Express for Perth (EP)
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) will introduce one of the world's fastest growing hotel brands to Australia, with the signing of the Holiday Inn Express hotel in a prime Perth CBD location. Perth-based developer Sunfire Asset has engaged IHG to manage a new-build 224-room Holiday Inn Express hotel, to be located at 257 Adelaide Terrace, overlooking the Swan River. The $35 million development will incorporate a 20-floor hotel and a circa 1888 heritage house, with construction expected to commence in mid-2013 and the opening slated for early 2015. It's the first Holiday Inn Express to be built in Australia.
The Hougoumont Hotel, Fremantle (EP)
A new hotel has opened in the port city of Fremantle, which is a 20-minute drive from Perth city. The Hougoumont Hotel officially opened in late November, 2013, and offers affordable luxury in a prime location on Bannister Street, a short walk to Fremantle's 'cappuccino strip', and other attractions such as galleries, the Fremantle Markets, Fremantle Prison, gourmet dining, Bathers Beach, The Roundhouse and more. Each room combines luxurious comfort with smart TV's, free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee making facilities, complimentary wine and Hors d'oeuvre's for guests each weekday evening, personalised pillow menus, personal trainer on request, onsite parking and more. The hotel also has conference and meeting facilities.  
Mantra Frangipani Broome (ANW)Mantra has rebranded The Frangipani Resort in Broome. Located in WA's North West, the resort is within walking distance of the pristine white sands of Cable Beach and popular restaurants and cafes.  Developed in stunning contemporary Broome style, the Mantra Frangipani Broome offers a perfect holiday getaway for families and couples with the town centre and Broome International Airport a 10 minute drive away. Guests can enjoy a tranquil retreat in their choice of one, two and three bedroom full self-contained apartments with private open air showers. Resort facilities include two large designer swimming pools with flowing waterfalls and BBQ areas.

Ritz-Carlton, Doubletree by Hilton and Aloft heading to Perth
 (EP)Perth's hotel portfolio will receive a massive boost, with news of four major hotel announcements made in March, 2014. 

Property developer Far East Consortium will bring the Ritz-Carlton hotel to Perth, marking the luxury brand's highly anticipated return to the Australian market for the first time in 10 years. Work on the prestigious five-star, 204-room hotel is scheduled to start in 2015, and it will open in 2018. It will be built at Elizabeth Quay, the State Government's billion dollar waterfront project on Perth's Swan River.

The second hotel announcement came from Starwood Hotels, who will bring its Aloft brand to Perth in 2016 - the brand's debut in Australia. Aloft Perth Rivervale will cater to 'Next Gen' travellers, and will boast 224-loft-like rooms, innovative technology, modern design and a lively social scene. Set to be located in Rivervale, a suburb just east of Perth's CBD, the hotel will be part of a redevelopment project that will transform riverfront land into a commercial and residential precinct. Starwood is also set to open The Westin Perth in 2017.
The final hotel announcement came from Hilton Worldwide who is set to open two hotels in Perth under the Doubletree by Hilton brand. DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Waterfront will be located in Perth city, adjoining Barrack Square and fronting the Swan River. The 241-room hotel is anticipated to open in mid-2016, with work expected to commence in mid-2014. DoubleTree by Hilton Fremantle will be located at Point Street, Fremantle central to the port city's 'cappuccino strip'. The 150-room hotel is anticipated to open in 2017.
Seashells Hospitality Group (WA)
Seashells Hospitality Group  has launched a new Smartphone and Tablet app which provides a quick and easy way to book and access information for each of its WA beachside properties in Broome, Mandurah, Scarborough and Yallingup. The free Seashells app, which is designed for both for iPhone and Android, provides information on the location and contact details for each property, encourages photo sharing, guest reviews on TripAdvisor, and links to Seashells' Facebook and Twitter pages. Prospective guests can also make reservations through the app which is available for download from the App Store for iPhone and Google Play for Android users - just search for 'Seashells'.   Importantly they can also gain loyalty points and after ten consecutive days receive a $200 voucher to be used towards their next stay. Guests at Seashells Mandurah and Seashells Yallingup can surf more than the web for free with the recent introduction of free WiFi in all Seashells-managed guest rooms, and in Mandurah, the conference rooms, lobby, bbq al-fresco area and poolside. Seashells Scarborough and Broome will soon be introducing free WiFi as well. 
St Allard Eco Resort (ASW)St Allard Eco Resort is a new resort located just ten minutes' drive out of Margaret River in WA's South West. Set against natural forest, St Allard Eco Resort offers six chalets and a lakeside restaurant, golf course, tennis court, paddle boats and peaceful nature walks.
Westin Hotel for Perth (EP)A 350-room five-star Westin Hotel is expected to open in the Perth CBD in 2017. The plans for the hotel, which will be built by BGC and operated by the Starwood Group, were unveiled in December 2013. It will be the first hotel in Perth to be developed under the State Government's hotel incentives policy.
Wharncliffe Mill (ASW) 
Eco-tourism in the Margaret River region has been boosted with the opening of the redeveloped Wharncliffe Mill Bush Retreat in Bramley National Park. The upgraded retreat now includes four new lodge rooms, three new forest cottages and 44 bush caravan/camping sites. Wharncliffe Mill also offers a nature-play space and an Aboriginal-themed meeting place, with cultural learning experiences presented by Aboriginal guides. The $1.2 million redevelopment is part of the Naturebank program, which is a joint initiative between the Department of Parks and Wildlife and Tourism  

Tours and attractions 
Albatross Charters (ASW)
Steep Point is operated by Albatross Charters, and offers a new standard of comfort for whale-watching in WA's South West. With capacity for 80 passengers, the luxurious 24-metre catamaran offers seven metre wide decks, on-board hydrophone, plasma TV displaying whale behavioural images, educational commentary from the on-board naturalist and uninterrupted views of majestic Humpbacks, Southern Right, Minke and Blue Whales as they migrate along the WA coast. The tours depart from Augusta (Flinders Bay, June to August) and Busselton (Geographe Bay, September to December). 
The Abyss at Adventure World (EP)
Perth's adventure theme park Adventure World has unveiled its new attraction – the Abyss – a $12 million rollercoaster that is the first of its kind in Australia and is set to push thrill seekers to their limits. With a peak of around 30 metres above ground the rollercoaster reaches speeds of over 85 kilometres per hour, and will take joy riders from -1 to 4.5 G Forces, a thrust greater that that experienced during a space shuttle launch. The rollercoaster opened in November 2013 and will also operate at night. Set against the picturesque Bibra Lake, Adventure World is around 20 minutes from the CBD and is easily accessible by car, train or bus.
Capricorn Sea Kayaking (ASW)
Discover Geographe Bay and Cape Naturaliste by kayak, with Capricorn Sea Kayaking. Paddle out from some of the most spectacular beaches in the South West with your experienced guide on a 'Meelup Morning' or 'Bunker Bay Arvo Cruiser' tour. Discover hidden coves and beaches, sea caves, the resident seal colony or see dolphins and whales (seasonal) up close.

Fremantle youth plaza for Fremantle (EP)A family-friendly youth plaza has opened at Fremantle's Esplanade Reserve. The $1.6 million Esplanade Youth Plaza offers facilities for skateboarding, BMX and scooter riding, and also includes a stage, ping-pong, seating and audience viewing areas. It also includes WA's first outdoor parkour park, and has been described as one of the best skate parks in Australia. One of the design features of the youth plaza incorporates Fremantle's marine significance, with feature marine buoys. 

Kimberley Wild Expeditions (ANW)
Kimberley Wild Expeditions have launched a new day tour from Broome - the 'Islands of the Giant Tides' tour. The unique afternoon tour offers the chance to experience the extraordinary islands of the Giant Tides at last light - the best time to witness this special place as the wind settles and the sun goes down. Discover the art of pearling at the remote Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, cruise the magnificent waters of Cygnet Bay and the Buccaneer Archipelago, home to the Giant Tides, and enjoy a three-course dinner including a pearl meat taster. Prices are from $475 per person.
P & O Cruises (ASW)P&O Cruises has announced that cruises along WA's stunning South West region will be added to its 2015 program. Departing from Fremantle, the cruises will dock at the iconic Busselton jetty which, at 1.8kms is the longest jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. Currently, cruises are set to run in April and May 2015 where around 2,000 visitors per cruise will visit WA's South West. Day tour packages will be available to take visitors into the heart of the Margaret River region to explore a selection of wineries, craft breweries and gourmet food producers.
Segway tours in Perth and Rottnest (EP)
Segway tours operate successfully around the world and Segway Tours WA is proud to operate the first guided tours of their kind in WA. Perth tours were launched in October 2013, and Rottnest Island tours in November 2013, providing fun, informative and eco-friendly guided tours for small groups. Training is included as part of the tour and the team will have you rolling right away. Or try the Experience Zone where you can easily learn to ride a Segway and then take on the course of obstacles, mazes, humps and bumps. Segway Tours WA also offers personalised tours, corporate and group packages, and fantastic options for parties and celebrations. Segways are two-wheeled self-balancing electric vehicles that travel to an allowable speed of 10 kilometres per hour. Segway Tours WA is located at Barrack Street Jetty, Perth and Kingstown Barracks, Rottnest Island.
Skydive Express (EP)   
Skydive Express - Perth City has flung open their doors, spread their wings at 12,000ft and commenced operations as the only skydiving company operating in the heart of the newly transformed Perth CBD.  Operating out of Jandakot Airport and landing into Langley Park, the new drop zone will make first time tandem skydiving an easy activity for Perth locals and tourists alike and stand out as one of the best city skydiving experiences in the country. The company has also launched a new skydive experience over the snow white sands and turquoise waters of Rockingham, 45 minute's drive south west of Perth city. 
Wild Blue Helicopters (ASW)Tour famous beaches and surf breaks by chopper with Wild Blue Helicopters. The company has added some fabulous routes to the growing list of their South West scenic flights. Discover the Cape to Cape by air, or get a birds-eye view of the regions famous surf breaks and vineyard vistas. Or simply just arrive at your winery luncheon in style!
Food & Wine
Aravina Estate (SW)Aravina Estate in WA's Margaret River Wine Region has appointed well-known WA chef Tony Howell as its new Executive Chef. Tony, who was Executive Chef at Cape Lodge for 15 years, has built a huge following and received many awards and accolades including the restaurant's listing in Conde Nast Traveller's Gold List Best Food Category. Tony is also part of Tourism Australia's Friends of Australia program, has appeared on Masterchef Australia and has hosted many international food and wine names as part of Margaret River Gourmet Escape.  Aravina Estate, established in 2010 by Perth businessman Steve Tobin, is nestled among expansive vineyards across rolling hills, natural bushland and manicured gardens.
Bar de Halycon (EP)Bar de Halycon is located in Wolf Lane in the city's central business district. Bar de Halcyon is a small bar giving diners an opportunity to feast on freshly prepared dishes featuring mainly WA produce prepared with a Spanish twist. Pintxos (pronounced pinchos) are a popular bite size bar food traditional to northern Spain and are a perfect snack to enjoy with a local wine, craft beer or cocktail.  The two-storey venue has a distinctively WA flavour and includes art work by Moira de la Hunty, custom-made furniture by local furniture and industrial designer Chris Maple, sawn timber table tops and a feature wall have been sourced from WA's historic Bunbury Jetty, and staff uniforms were designed by iconic WA fashion designer Aurelio Costarella.

Bib and Tucker (EP)
Bib and Tucker overlooks Leighton Beach in North Fremantle, about 20 minutes south of Perth city. The restaurant is owned by Olympians Eamon Sullivan, Steve Hooker and Jamie Dwyer who have teamed up with Sean McCann and chef Scott Bridger. With a philosophy to serve fresh, simple, well-cooked food and to bring its customers the freshest ingredients possible, Bib and Tucker also bakes its own pastries, makes its own jams, flavours its own butter, and semi-dries its tomatoes.
Bread in Common (EP)
Fremantle has a new hot dining spot with the opening of Bread in Common - part bakery, restaurant, bar and café. Housed in a historic warehouse on Pakenham Street, the venue is a partnership between Adrian Fini, Nic Trimboli (Baltahazar, Duende, Il Lido and Gordon Street Garage), Daniel Goodsell, and Gotthard Bauer from the Yallingup Woodfired Bakery. Bread in Common's food philosophy is about locally sourced, seasonal produce and house made with a communal dining set-up. There's also traditional rustic breads on offer, available to take home, with take-out sandwiches and coffee.
Cape Lodge (ASW) 
Michael Elfwing is the new Executive Chef at the multi-award winning Cape Lodge Restaurant, which is located in WA's Margaret River Wine Region. Hailing from Sweden, Michael has worked for many years with legendary chef Cheong Liew at the celebrated Grange in Adelaide and has also done time at the world-famous Fat Duck restaurant with Heston Blumenthal, as well as at other European Michelin kitchens. Michael was handpicked by Cheong Liew to open his signature restaurant in Kuala Lumpur and has for the past five years been the creative force at Senses restaurant - recently nominated in the prestigious2013 Pellegrino Top 50 restaurants in Asia. Michael's culinary training is French and he enjoys molecular gastronomy, foraging and culinary interpretations of his Nordic heritage. Food and wine pairing is also a great passion for Michael who has completed his Professional Sommelier training certificate, and is a strong believer in using fresh local produce and creating seasonal menus that reflect a sense of place. As well as the restaurant, Cape Lodge also features 22 rooms and suites, a private luxury residence, tennis court and swimming pool, set among sprawling, manicured gardens.
Cott & Co Fish Bar (EP)Perth's Cottesloe Beach Hotel has unveiled the Cott & Co. Fish Bar, offering locals and summer beachgoers a new and relaxed bar. Following the launch of The Beach Club in 2012, the Cott & Co. Fish Bar further enhances the hotel's offering, allowing guests to enjoy a contemporary beachfront bar experience. Head Chef Alan Spagnolo is behind its southern Italian inspired menu, with Consultant Chef Russell Blaikie sourcing local, fresh seafood, Butterfield beef, and more. The hotel overlooks Perth's iconic Cottesloe Beach.

Cowaramup Brewing Company (ASW)Cowaramup Brewing Company has a new 'Meet the Brewer' tour.  Participate in a 'behind the scenes' experience in which the brewing process will be explained in detail. The tour through the micro-brewery will be followed by a tasting of the brewery's ales and lagers matched to a grazing plate. The assistant brewer will give an insight into the art of beer and food pairing.
The Grove (ASW)The Grove, a distillery in the Margaret River Wine Region, has launched a new tour and tasting experience – 'Meet the Distiller'. The 'behind the scenes' experience gives visitors the opportunity to see the distillery at work, chat to the distiller and taste some of the spirit creations, matched with canapés before a two-course lunch with a glass of wine or craft beer.
Margaret River Nougat Company (ASW)
Adding to the cellar door experience at Bettenay Wines is a brand new, purpose-built nougat kitchen and tasting centre. View the production process and then taste 22 award-winning flavours of nougat based on the traditional French style and sourced from the finest of ingredients from local producers. Visitors can try world-first Nougaretto Liqueur, a creamy liqueur as close to liquid nougat as you will ever get.

Margaret River Providore Swan Valley (EP)
Margaret River Providore has expanded its operations into the historic Swan Valley with a brand new tasting centre. Housed in a spectacular, purpose built facility alongside its sister-business, The Margaret River Chocolate Company, the Providore features specific food tasting counters for staff to talk about food ideas and explain how to use the exciting and unusual ingredients available. Established in Margaret River in 2005, the original Providore combines an organic olive grove, orchard and vegetable gardens, large free range chicken pen with expansive vineyards. Offering  a variety of free wine, chocolate liqueur and food tastings the Providore in the Swan Valley is open daily from 9am to 5pm.
Miss Kitty's Saloon (EP)
Owned by Iain Lawless (Lawless Cooking, formerly of Leederville's Kitsch bar), Miss Kitty's Saloon is an American and Canadian cuisine restaurant open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday, and for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. It's located on Beaufort Street, Inglewood, one of Perth's inner-city 
National Hotel (EP) 
A new venue has been added to Fremantle's wining and dining scene with the re-opening of the National Hotel, which had closed due to a fire in 2007. Many heritage features such as ornate ceilings, lead-light windows and a three-metre antique fireplace have been restored and the two-level venue offers all-day dining, an extensive beverage list, alfresco areas, and entertainment, and is open seven days.  
The Old Crow (EP)The hip inner city precinct of Northbridge, only a short walk from the Perth CBD, has welcomed another addition to its bar and dining scene with the opening of The Old Crow. Set in a refurbished, heritage listed cottage, The Old Crow is a funky new venue with a menu that boasts southern American flavours from former Cantina 663 chef Ben Atkinson. Northbridge is Perth's cultural hub and is home to a vast array of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and boutiques, and to the Art Gallery of WA, WA Museum, State Library of WA, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, State Theatre Centre and more. Northbridge is easily accessible by the free Blue Cat bus, taxi or a short stroll. 
Origins at Pan Pacific (EP)
Origins restaurant at the Pan Pacific is in the middle of an exciting transformation, with the arrival of a new executive chef who is introducing a new dining philosophy and menu. Executive chef Graham Burst brings with him 28 years of experience at prestigious establishments in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. 'Market to table' dishes will be sourced locally with a focus on simple dishes with star ingredients packed full of flavour. The new concept will offer great service in a relaxed atmosphere with an emphasis on the share food trend. Signature dishes include ''small plates' with shucked oysters and seared scallops with tuna loin, yuzu, konbu, daikon and cucumber, and for larger appetites try the Tinder Creek duck breast and leg confit with mustard mash and braised red cabbage, or open ravioli with roasted Tuscan vegetables. A premium grill selection is also featured, along with decadent desserts such as caramel pecan and popcorn cheesecake.
Pleased to Meet You (EP)Clint Nolan, of Perth's La Cholita and Who's Your Mumma (and formerly of Harvest) has opened his latest restaurant/bar - Pleased to Meet You. Located on Roe Street in Northbridge (just on the outskirts of Perth's CBD), it's open from Wednesday to Sunday from 5pm to late, offering communal dining and cuisine similar to the barbecued food of North, Central and South America.
Silks at Crown (EP)Crown Perth has added premier flagship Chinese restaurant Silks to its already impressive array of dining experiences. Silks is now the largest restaurant at Crown Perth with five private dining rooms, including a sky dining room with panoramic views of Perth city and the Swan River. Master of Chinese cuisine Pat Cheong will lead the kitchen team, and guests can expect an array of authentic Cantonese and multi-regional dishes. There's also a dedicated dim sum menu, and a traditional Chinese tea menu.

The Stables Bar (EP)
Nestled in the CBD, The Stables Bar is steeped in history. Blending the authentic with the modern, The Stables Bar provides a unique take on what a bar is. The Stables Bar takes its name from its historic use as one of Perth's original horse stables. The landmark property was purchased by Jonathon Butterworth in 1894, and the construction of his residence and horse stables followed. A new section was added in 1898 to house a farm and hardware supply store. Today, the Stables Bar is committed to the provision of innovative food, cocktails and a great bar vibe and offers all day dining, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snappy all-day menu. Located at the end of a small Hay Street laneway (888 Hay Street, Perth), The Stables Bar features two levels of bar and restaurant area and an outdoor second-level bar with views across the city skyscrapers.
Swan Valley (EP)WA's oldest wine growing region, the Swan Valley will celebrate 180 years of winemaking in 2014. The first commercial vintage was released in 1834 by Thomas Waters of Olive Farm, and Olive Farm Wines still operates today, with fourth generation winemaker Anthony Yurisich and his father Ian keeping the family traditions alive while using the best of modern day technology. Other significant wineries in the region with a long history include Houghton and Sandalford Wines, established in 1836 and 1840 respectively. The region has a strong Croatian and southern Italian heritage and the warm climate produces exceptional wine - specialities include Chenin, Verdelho, Petit Verdot, Shiraz and fortified wines. There will be many activities taking place throughout 2014 to celebrate the milestone. The Swan Valley is located just 25 minutes from Perth's central business district.
Swings Taphouse & Kitchen (ASW) 
Swings Taphouse & Kitchen has opened in Margaret River, in WA's South West. On the town's main street, the Taphouse & Kitchen is the latest edition to the Swings & Roundabouts family - a well-known winery in the region. Open from 10am daily, the venue serves brunch, lunch and dinner with Swings & Roundabouts wine available on tap, delivered by 'sight glass fonts' (a world first), and served by the glass, half carafe or carafe. There's also a selection of 'guest backyards' wines, cocktails and beers, and the menu is simple and rustic, designed for sharing, and with an emphasis on fresh, local and sustainable produce.  

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