The Raffles Hotel has been the ‘people’s local’ of Perth for nearly 120 years - from the ‘refreshments at the dancehall’ days of the 1800’s, the swinging social scene of the 40’s and 50’s and her rock’n’roll phase of the 70’s & 80’s.
Now this glorious heritage-listed art deco hotel in Perth has entered her latest phase. A sophisticated riverside public house, The Raffles Hotel has been artfully refreshed and respectfully remodelled to accommodate whatever scene Perth’s citizenry can bring to her beautiful rooms, balconies and beergarden today.
Many things have changed, but just enough remains the same.
This heritage-listed hotel has a long and colourful history. Built in 1896, she was known first as the Canning Bridge Hotel, a popular spot with many social and sporting groups, and ‘at its busiest on Hunt Club Days’.
In 1937, the hotel underwent a significant facelift at the hands of Billy G. Bennett, a major exponent of inter-war art deco design. The gregarious and popular architect re-dressed her to become the stunning icon she remains today. The Applecross hotel was officially opened in front of 200 people by Mr. W.H.Kitson on December 10, 1937, and re-introduced as The Raffles Hotel. Perth's Raffles ran with an oriental theme - cane furniture and a 'tropical lounge' to emulate its namesake - The Raffles Hotel in Singapore - which was established exactly 50 years prior.
For the latter half of the 20th century, The Raffles Hotel was owned by notorious Aussie nightclub owner Abe ‘Mr. Sin’ Saffron, who had plans to demolish the property and start anew. The Art Deco Society of Western Australia had other ideas, however, and campaigned for a decade to save Raffles. They finally succeeded in securing its heritage status in 2002 - Perth's beloved Raffles is here to stay.
THE RAFFLES HWY BAR
Paying homage to Raffles' rock’n’roll past, the HWY Bar is a tribute to AC/DC and the Canning Highway that leads to the Applecross hotel. The notoriously dangerous 17km stretch of road is said to be the Highway to Hell from the massive hit, inspired back when Bon Scott was a local to the area and a frequenter of The Raffles Hotel. Yep, that happened. He's now immortalized on the wall in an original Rennie Ellis photo.
The HWY Bar features a beverage menu crafted by Print Hall’s multi award-winning sommelier Dan Wegener. With a hand-picked selection of the region's finest and a view overlooking the Swan River, you'll find the livin' easy, too.
THE KITSON ROOM
The Kitson room is a very special place to dine, even named after a governor wouldn't you know - ‘keen labour man’ Mr. W.H.Kitson – who declared Raffles open on 10 December 1937.
Born in Leeds in 1886, he moved to WA at the age of 24. Kitson was actively associated with the trade union movement since his youth, and represented the Australian Labour Party at a World Migration Congress in London in 1926. He was quite the serial ceremony attendee, also officiating the openings for the Gnowangerup District Hospital, the Vlamingh Lookout on Rottnest Island, and a cafeteria for waterfront workers at Victoria Quay, just to name a few.
As a function venue, The Kitson Room offers privacy and comfort, overlooking the Swan River from the first floor of The Raffles Hotel.
On the banks of the Swan River in Applecross, The Raffles Hotel offers a variety of standout spaces to add flair to your next function. Upstairs, The Kitson Room is a luxurious space for private dining for up to 22 people, or for up to 70 as a cocktail style function. If your guest list is on the larger side, The Raffles HWY Bar, also upstairs, is party-perfect – with a private balcony, sweeping panoramic views of the Swan River and plenty of room to mingle and groove for informal cocktail style events for up to 200 guests.
In our main bar and alfresco area on ground floor, there are a number of flexible spaces that can accommodate dining for up to 36 guests or cocktail events for up to 100.
Dedicated individually-plated or sharing menus are available for The Kitson Room, and canapé menus and drinks packages for cocktail style events can be found in our comprehensive Functions Pack (including menus and floorplans).
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