For a real sense of place, sleep in a hotel that’s steeped in heritage and history.

Western Australia’s hotel scene has gone from strength to strength in recent years, offering travellers world-class accommodation options. But there’s more to discover than beautiful views and private plunge pools – these five intriguing hotels offer a window into the past. Here’s where you can immerse yourself in the cultural story of Western Australia.

COMO The Treasury, Perth

COMO The Treasury opened its dazzling doors in 2016 to a string of accolades – Condé Nast Traveler readers and Gourmet Traveller both dubbed it Australia’s best hotel. This outstanding conservation and adaptive reuse project on a grand scale has been much awarded, taking out the prestigious Gerry Gauntlett Award at the 2016 WA Heritage Awards.

But before that, the cluster of 19th-century Treasury buildings – once a Post Office, land titles office, and Treasury – had lain dormant for 20 years. While almost all of the period features have been painstakingly restored to their former glory (dormer windows, copper trim on the roofline, and original jarrah floorboards) the slick minimal styling by architect Kerry Hill makes for a striking contrast.

Expect light-drenched rooms with soaring ceilings, Egyptian cotton linen, mini fridges stocked with craft beer and enormous freestanding stone baths. There’s also a 20m pool with louvred-windows. Wildflower, a glass-walled restaurant on the top floor of the Treasury building, is well worth a visit – not only for the Michelin-worthy bush tucker menu but for panoramic views of the CBD.

1 Cathedral Avenue, Perth

COMO The Treasury, Perth

Hotel Rottnest, Rottnest Island

As far back as the 1850s, this was the spot where the Governors of Western Australia would spend their summers. Now, Hotel Rottnest, formerly the Quokka Arms, has had a long-awaited spruce-up.

Well-appointed rooms boast LCD screens and air-conditioning, while sustainable seafood and local drops are served at a swish bar. A rooftop bar and private plunge pools are also in the works. Don’t leave without getting a quokka selfie.

1 Bedford Avenue, Rottnest Island

Caves House Hotel, Yallingup

In 1903, the government of Western Australia built a hotel for visitors exploring the neighbouring Ngilgi Cave – an underground labyrinth of stunning crystal formations. Since then, the laid-back Caves House Hotel has become a southwest attraction in its own right.

The sprawling hotel has Art Deco rooms with flat-screen TVs, a sun-dappled beer garden and a rambling 1.8 hectares of heritage-listed gardens. ‘Yallingup’ translates into Nyoongar as ‘place of love’, so it’s fitting that many couples hold their nuptials amid the rosebushes and Moreton Bay figs. In the beer garden, check out a live touring act play a pulsing set, or snuggle on a picnic blanket to watch outdoor movies screened on balmy summer nights.

18 Yallingup Beach Road, Yallingup

Caves House Hotel, Yallingup

Premier Mill Hotel, Katanning

When the old Katanning flourmill sold in 2015 it was so dilapidated it fetched just $1. But several million dollars and an extremely sensitive restoration later, the crumbling flourmill has been transformed into Premier Mill Hotel, a world-class venture with an industrial-cool vibe.

Stay inside an old grain silo with original interlocking rough-sawn jarrah timbers, take a steel lift up three storeys, peer into the atrium where a 127-year-old boiler has pride of place, or head underground for libations at the intimate Cordial Bar. You can still enjoy modern creature comforts, like Aesop products and on-demand movies on HDTV screens.

Corner of Clive Street and Austral Terrace, Katanning

Premier Mill Hotel, Katanning

Faversham House, York

Some say going to Faversham House is like visiting family – that is, if your relatives lived in a grand colonial mansion on two hectares of heritage parkland gardens. Established in 1840 by the pioneering Monger family in York (itself the oldest inland town in Western Australia), the stately manor is listed on the State Register of Heritage Places. Now run by comedian Nola Bliss and her husband Richard, a UK expat and former antiques dealer, the homestead has been impeccably restored with original Georgian and Victorian features and ornate antique furnishings.

The only sign of this century is an internet connection. Whether you lodge in luxury inside the mansion or opt for Faversham House more humble quarters (the adjacent Courtyard Rooms were previously reserved for servants), expect warm service and perhaps a loaf of fragrant bread baked by Nola.

24-26 Grey Street, York

Published May 2019