When the school holidays arrive and you find yourself without a holiday booked, and all eyes of the family are on you, a staycation could be the answer. Whether it’s a romantic jaunt, a family break or an excuse for some me-time, there is nothing quite like walking into a beautiful hotel lobby knowing that luxury and relaxation await. With this in mind, my husband and I grabbed our two teenagers and headed for the newly refurbished Hilton Hotel in the city.

The Hilton brings back fond memories of a time when it was one of a few luxury hotels in the city and housed the famed and very elegant Garden Restaurant. So when we heard that this grand old dame of the Perth Hotel scene had undergone a complete make over, we were keen to check it out.

We were impressed from the moment we walked in to the recently renovated and beautifully appointed lobby. We booked interconnecting King and Twin rooms, which are perfect for families but surprisingly, not all hotels offer. The rooms are well appointed and the King room impressed with a large living area, work desk and massive walk in wardrobe – something you don’t often see.

There are rooms to suit various budgets but if you can, spoil yourself and upgrade to an Executive room or go the big splurge and enjoy either their huge King Premier suite (90sqm) or King Parlour Room 84sqm). In addition to the extra space, these rooms allow you to enjoy access to the Executive Lounge which, I must say, was fantastic.

The Lounge is large, comfortable and the selection of hot and cold food was excellent. From beautiful cures of salmon to small serves of tender fillet and mashed potatoes, the variety was impressive as was the quality of wine.  The staff were attentive, serving small bites and refilling our glasses at just the right time and making us feel incredibly welcome.

Resist the temptation to eat too much in Lounge as you will want to save some room for dinner at Samuel’s on Mill.  Located where the famed Garden Restaurant used to be, it is a big yet elegant space with a large open kitchen, eye catching exposed cellar in the middle of the room and next door to the hotel bar.  We opted for the grazing menu which, as was explained to us, is a selection of Chef Chad Miskiewicz’s favourite plates and this turned out to be an inspired choice.  From baked burrata and gremolata; pork belly, tamarind & coconut,  to gnocchi with burnt butter, walnuts, sage and kale and perfectly cooked angus sirloin with crispy chips, it was evident that the kitchen takes pride in both their produce and their cooking.

The Hilton’s location lends itself to walking so the morning saw us heading out the front doors and down towards the river. Just a five minute walk from the hotel, John Oldhan Park, is in front of the Mount Hospital, nestled in between the freeway and Mounts Bay Rd. It’s a tranquil sanctuary featuring  cascading waterfalls, beautiful gardens, play and gym equipment and a wonderful array of bird life all in the heart of the city. From there, head along the waterfront and grab a coffee or an ice cream at Elizabeth Quay or head upwards into Kings Park.  If shopping, or catching a movie is more your thing, the hotel is only a short walk from King Street, Raine Square and the city centre.

Of course, you don’t have to do any of these things as the hotel has more than enough to keep you occupied…or not! Relax by the pool, work off last night’s dinner at the fitness centre or just relax in bed and watch a movie.  That’s the wonder of a hotel getaway, you can do as little or as much as you like. And the best part of a city escape is that when it’s time to leave, it is only a short drive home.

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