I have always had a soft spot for Fremantle, or Freo as the locals call it, ever since my dad told me that he had visited the port during his years as a Merchant seaman when I was no more than a twinkle in his eye.
Sadly, my dad is no longer alive but I came across a spirited bunch of salty sea dogs while staying in the Tradewinds hotel. This sprawling hotel could easily roll over and crumble like too many other opulent buildings in Fremantle, but it has decided to stick it out and has emerged with grit and character.
The salty sea dogs were here for some mandatory training and were about to depart for the North West shelf, for a five week stint at sea with no alcohol allowed on board.
Although alone in the hotel bar, they sought me out, feeding me free beer and tales of the high sea as they feasted during the corporate happy hour where each Tuesday free beer flows continually from the bar taps.
Much later, they moved outside and I went in search of food and confirmation of bus timetables to get me into the city the following morning. Not only did the friendly waitress know about time tables, she also produced her iPhone and recent app with all times available.
While I got stuck into pepper steak and chips, she scrolled frantically in an attempt to assist with my plight.
I scanned the restaurant and realised one difference between the Tradewinds and the previous 4 star hotel I had just stayed in at Perth city centre.
The staff here seemed happy. They laughed with the chef. They helped the guests and they seemed to get on well.
I missed the early bus next morning as my alarm call didn't come through.
But I still wasn't late for work and managed to jump on the next one.
Maybe its the hotel, or maybe its Fremantle, but somehow the staff and visitors seemed to have a far richer character than the monotone regulars on St Georges Terrace
I wonder if my dad ever made it to the Tradewinds Hotel?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Tradewinds Hotel offers 83 fully self contained apartments, alfresco and indoor bars, a delicious seasonal menu created by Executive Chef Gary Martin in our Restaurant and is conveniently located on the beautiful Swan River in East Fremantle. The hotel offers amazing river views and is only 5 minutes to the heart of Fremantle and 20 minutes by car to Perth's CBD. All apartments are spacious and equipped with a kitchenette and private bathroom, 24 hour reception, room service, outdoor swimming pool, heated spa, new state of the art gym and complimentary undercover security parking. Located within easy 5 minute walk of an extensive range of cafes and dining options along the river, and on George Street, East Fremantle. We offer in-house buffet breakfast for hotel guests including children and have highchairs available for your convenience. ... more less
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