Our Story

Discover the timeless charm of a heritage hotel, lovingly restored to her former grace and glory with a few modern touches. 

Can’t you just imagine it? 1882, in the heart of the city, the local papers announce the opening of a “first-class family hotel” to grace the corners of Wellington and Willam Streets. The building would soon become a hive of activity, alive with the buzz and bustle of Gold Rush era Perth. 

Third generation publican and restaurant owner John Parker (The Standard) is behind the heritage building’s new beginning. Parker wanted to pay homage to The Royal’s rich history, while feeding the city’s growing appetite for unique, world-class venues.  

The Royal Hotel invites you to discover one of Perth’s historical treasures come to life once more. Relax and indulge with us from midday to midnight, every day of the week. 

History



Since 1882

The Royal Hotel’s life began as a two-storey hotel on the corner of William and Wellington Streets in 1882.  It was designed by Irish patriot and former convict, Joseph Noonan (or Nunan).

There was a shortage of hotel accommodation in Perth at the time and the hotel thrived.

In 1894, with James C. Foster as proprietor, The Royal Hotel went through a major redevelopment and was transformed into a grand Victorian Second Empire style building.

Western Australian born architect Henry Trigg designed the transformation, having also designed well-known landmarks, including the Subiaco Hotel, Trinity Church and Trigg Chambers. 

A newspaper describing the hotel in 1894:

“The ground floor contains a splendid saloon with a very handsome bar. A counter of elaborate design and the mirrored shelving, together with the enriched ceiling and cathedral glass in the front windows, produce a fine effect. A black-and-white marbled tiled vestibule gives access to a dining room of fair size, well lighted, and a stair-case leads to the first floor, which is made private by screen doors leading to the front entrance.”

Over 138 years, The Royal has witnessed its fair share of wacky occurrences. Raucous patrons like Frank Dixon setting off crackers at the bar, blowing away a man’s eyebrows and whiskers in 1914. And crimes like William Parker stealing a corkscrew and a pewter pot in 1894. There have been countless deaths – murders, mishaps, and poisonings.

Of course, there were many good times too. The Royal Hotel was the meeting place and epicentre of Perth. It was a local for many, and people came in from different parts of Australia to stay in the rooms upstairs or have a drink in the corner pub.

In 1912, the Royal Hotel was described as one of the finest hotels in the state. W. H. Jones ran a bottle shop and advertised on the rail system and by horse and cart to the door of suburban addresses.

The Royal Hotel was sold to the Swan Brewery Company Ltd in 1925. And later, by the University of Western Australia during the 60s.

The whole site became known as Raine Square. In 2018, Raine Square was redeveloped into a shopping centre and commercial space. 

After more than a century, The Royal Hotel continues to be a landmark on the corner of William and Wellington. 

 

About the restoration


 

Reviving The Royal Hotel

We worked closely with the team from Milieu Creative to restore The Royal Hotel to its former glory. Renovations were centred on honouring the hotel’s rich history and 20th-century charm. The grand staircase, regal archways, timber floors and original façade and verandah have all been lovingly restored.

The Saloon (original name dating back to 1894) is The Royal’s corner pub on the ground floor. This iconic venue’s transformation came from a desire to bring the great Australian pub back to life.

The original grand staircase leads you upstairs to the first level. And this level has an old-world feeling, a touch of opulence without the pretension – ornate chandeliers, polished timber bars and plush leather seating.

Bright artworks with quirky characters peer at you from the richly coloured walls, leading you towards new spaces to explore. The verandah wraps around the building, overlooking Yagan Square and Northbridge, providing guests with a heightened sense of place in our ever-evolving city.

The Royal Hotel gives homage to this heritage-listed building’s incredible history. The contemporary design elements bring The Royal Hotel into the present, breathing new life into this 138-year-old building.