In the heart of Fremantle, this quirky boutique hotel captivates Fremantle’s dark and fascinating history. 173 years in the making, the hotel is named after the Hougoumont voyager, the last convict ship to port in Fremantle. Named after the Château d’Hougoumont, where the Battle of Waterloo was fought, the Hougoumont had many notable journeys, chartered by the French as a troop carrier during the Crimean War. The heritage building itself has an equally captivating past. In 1901 architect Talbot Hobbs resurrected the site into the famed Duke of York Hotel. The building has changed purposes many of times, from a brothel coincidently as a funeral parlour, in 1923 an Italian emigrant Club and later, the Fremantle Club and finally in 2013, the Hougoumont Hotel.
The hotel rooms are extremely distinctive created from repurposed shipping containers, stacked upon each other. Therefore the room size is quite small but it’s perfect for a weekend stay. We also had a great view of a beautiful mural painted across the opposing building.
Next door is Calamity Rod Bar and Brewery, which continues the Hotel’s nautical narrative. Aboard the Hougoumont convict John Boyle O’Reilly provided 9 poems to lift the spirits of his ‘fenian comrades’ where he writes of the wraths of “Calamity’s Rod”, tossed into a world of unknowns. Between happy hour (5-6ish) they offer a complimentary drink (house wine or beer), alongside nibbles to share. This was a great cosy bar with fire pits and friendly staff.
A continental breakfast is served the following morning between 7:30-9:30 including delicious breads from Bread in Common. It was lovely sitting in the lobby lounge reading the stories of the convicts brought upon the ship, their crimes and sentences.
Alternatively for breakfast, across the road is the Attic, a quaint coffee shop with a great breakfast menu.
Checkout is not until 11 so you have plenty of time to recover or unwind after a late night on the town. There is also a gated parking lot attached with a $20 fee so you don’t have to leave your car on the streets.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the Hougoumont hotel with its richly infused dark and riveting history.
Here is a link to their website.