Como is part of a $580 million dollar redevelopment of the Cathedral Square precinct in Perth, Australia, and occupies a group of late Victorian stone and brick buildings. Wildflower, COMO's top floor, glassed-in rooftop restaurant offers more than just an impressive experience.
The hotel occupies a group of late Victorian stone and brick buildings – known locally as the ‘State Buildings’ –which have played an important role in the city’s history for the past 140 years, serving variously as a post office, land titles office, and treasury. To retain the best of that heritage has cost AUS$110 million in a meticulous restoration project overseen by Kerry Hill Architects.
The hotel’s 48 modern rooms are spread over four floors. The architecture includes columns and bold, cantilevered balconies designed in flamboyant neo-Renaissance style. Looking over the plaza, guests of the hotel get to use these balconies as they would have been used a century ago, with the city’s most impressive landmarks on display.
The 19th-century feel – dominated by the original postal hall – has an inspiring, mood-lifting feel. To this and other public areas, a mix of subtle colours, bespoke furniture and hand-knotted rugs create a genuine contemporary energy. One wants to get lost in the numerous opportunities, among corridors softly lit, to find a place to read a paper, have a drink, meet friends, grab brunch or celebrate with a bistro feast.
The bedrooms are very large, each different, with the shape dictated by the building’s existing bones. No two rooms are exactly alike, but all feature high ceilings, natural light flooding through big windows, and open floor plans.
Shades of white, sand and blonde wood,grey-greens are reminiscent of the colours found in the West Australian landscape. Following the Como style guide, there's characteristic attention to detail: restaurant-quality glassware and custom Eucalypt ceramics in the drawers, craft beers in the complimentary minibars. The oak furniture is Italian; bathrooms have free-standing baths, twin travertine basins and three-head showers.
Room types include Studio Suites, some containing truss ceilings and dormer windows, and Treasury Rooms, which give the sense of being close to the natural world. The COMO Suite offers the ultimate in luxury accommodation, with a separate living area and views across the Swan River. Throughout the hotel, bathrooms feature free-standing bathtubs.
At Wildflower, Executive Chef Jed Gerrard showcases the best of West Australian ingredients. Seating 80 guests in the main dining room, Wildflower serves contemporary dishes revolving around the indigenous ethos of six seasons. The rooftop space – a long, thin, steel-framed glass box looking out over the city from the fourth floor terrace – has been cranelifted on to the hotel.
The interior of Wildflower is simple with marble floors and back walls of Tasmanian blackwood. Rich velvet upholstered bench seats instil a sense of luxury throughout.
The Treasury Lounge and Bar, located on the ground floor at the convergence of Cathedral Avenue and St Georges Terrace, is an elegant space with high ceilings and windows with painted timber shutters. The interior showcases beautiful joinery and cabinet making. Combined with comfortable sofas and leather armchairs, it has a sophisticated, club-like feel.