The $30 million Samphire Rottnest hotel has opened with 80 rooms, lagoon-like pools and beachside dining.

The luxury hotel has been 13 years in the making. When Peter Prendiville, chairman of the Prendiville Group (Cottesloe Beach Hotel, Tradewinds Hotel, Broome’s Mangrove Hotel), took over the leasehold on the pub and existing 18-room Hotel Rottnest in 2007, he always knew he wanted to bring something big to the island in terms of accommodation. Now, his vision has been realised.

Situated on Thomson Bay on the island’s east coast, close to the arrival jetty, the beachside hotel celebrates the surrounding environment – rugged, organic, relaxed.

“Our main goal at the beginning of the development was to create a design that, above all else, felt at home on Rottnest Island,” says Prendiville. This approach inspired the name of the hotel, too – the native samphire plants found all over the island are “regenerative, long-living and happiest close to the water’s edge”, he says.

Prendiville enlisted Perth architecture firm Christou Design Group (Scarborough Beach Pool, Subiaco Hotel, City Beach Surf Club) to integrate the essence of the island into the hotel design. “The vision was to celebrate and complement the raw, natural surroundings of Rotto to deliver an experience of barefoot, respectful, and understated luxury,” he says.

The result expertly blurs the line between indoor and outdoor, relaxed and luxury. Hints of the island’s limestone foundations, sandy beaches and scrubby land are apparent in the finishes: wood-clad walls, sisal rugs and natural linen furnishings warm up the breezy rooms, and natural stone tiling adds an element of luxury to the bathrooms. Outside, there are lagoon-like pools and space for outdoor dining.

Though it's early days, Prendiville is confident about the impact it will have. “West Australians have grown up with fond memories of Rotto,” he says. “We see Samphire Rottnest being positioned to not only add to those fond memories but also enhance them. We’re thrilled to be able to present Samphire Rottnest to the community. In part, we hope it goes a way in continuing to strengthen the love for Rottnest.”

This article was updated on February 19, 2021.