For Australian panache, go west.
Perth, the capital of western Australia, has long been feted for its beaches, laid-back vibe and Aboriginal heritage, but lately Australia’s fourth-largest city is exhibiting the signs of a trendy transformation. Regional wine lists? Check. Modish new restaurants in repurposed spaces like stables (the Stables Bar), cottages (the Old Crow) or a printing press building (the Print Hall)? Check. International celebrity chefs including Jamie Oliver, whose Italian spot Jamie’s Italian recently opened? Up-and-coming neighborhoods like Mount Lawley and Northbridge, chockablock with cafes and vintage shops? Check and check. Transformation is evident on a larger scale, too: The Riverside project is infusing the eastern side of the city with parks, shops and housing plazas, while expansion of the new Crown Perth complex includes hotels — Crown Metropol and Crown Promenade — and posh restaurants likeNobu and La Vie Champagne Lounge. And with first- and business-class lounges opening at Los Angeles International Airport this year, the national airline Qantas makes it easy to get Down Under in style.— BAZ DREISINGER