News and Feature articles

Revamp for Rottnest Island

Sunday, April 22, 2018

A landmark hotel on an island that is central to the West Australian government's tourism push is set for a major revamp.

Hotel Rottnest, previously the Quokka Arms Hotel, will be transformed into a resort and will nearly double in size.

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the hotel expansion and other new developments on Rottnest would help shake off the view the island's facilities need freshening up.

Karma Rottnest will add a day spa in coming months and will take over management of the golf course, while new walks trails have been opened.

Extra ferry services helped push visitor numbers above 80,000 last month and even a pizza delivery service on the island helped improve the visitor experience, Mr Papalia said.

He rejected suggestions the developments would make the island too busy and remove its relaxed appeal.

Driving is only allowed on Rottnest for work purposes and bikes remain the main mode of transport.

"It doesn't take away what people have always loved about the island," Mr Papalia told reporters on Thursday.

The island is central to the WA government's goal of boosting tourism as it seeks to diversify its economy.

Rottnest recently made headlines around the world thanks to "quokka selfies" taken by tennis champion Roger Federer and actress Margot Robbie.