Inspiring Past & Present of an Iconic Hotel
A few weeks ago the Designer Chicks and I took a lovely excursion out to the blue mountains to visit the Hydro Majestic Hotel which has recently been refurbished with an elegant Art Deco décor inspired by the rich heritage of the original iconic hotel.
The historical hotel stretches along the edge of the picturesque Megalong Valley.
Exploring this beautiful hotel brought us on an inspiring journey back in time to glamour and grandeur whilst enjoying the experience of the beautiful surrounds of the word heritage listed Blue Mountains.
The Hydro majestic timeless and elegant interior offers a rich history and fabulous dining experience including high tea in the Wintergarden, lunch in the boiler house café and drinks and dumplings in the Salon Du The.
Each dining space has been creatively designed with a fabulous interior, each room very different to the next.
History of the Hotel
The Hotel originated in 1891 as a Health retreat named Belgravia Hotel. The construction of the building was designed in Queen Anne Style.
In 1902 retailer Mark Foy purchased the site to change it into a hydropathic sanatorium – Australia’s first health retreat. This was under the assumption that the land contained mineral springs.
The Hotel was officially opened in 1904. It was designed with a modern fit-out and included its own water supply, freezer works, and steam laundry and telephone system.
For Electricity the resort had a steam-generator imported from Germany.
**Fun fact. Hydro Majestic had working electricity 4 days before the city of Sydney!
The hotel had a variety of health packages and treatments to offer guests. Guests had the luxury of dining in the grand dining room and taking part in entertainment in the casino ballroom.
The decorative featured dome over the ballroom (which is still there today) was designed and made in Chicago and sent to Australia. Guests could also admire the amazing Artworks collected from around the world placed in the hotel gallery.
The Hotel ran smoothly and efficiently over the next decade and consistently attracted guests from all over the world.
In October 1913, Mark Foy had sold the property to businessman and NSW parliamentarian James Smith for over £60000.
Fire caused hotel’s destruction
Unfortunately, in 1922 a fire destroyed much of the gallery and Belgravia.
Work to fix the damage took about 14 years to complete.
In 1942 the Hydro was taken over by the U.S. Defence Department and turned into a hospital for American casualties from the battles of the Coral Sea and South Pacific.
In 1946 a new building was opened with bedrooms on the upper floors and a large lounge downstairs complete with a huge fireplace.
The hotel received heritage listing in 1984.
After many decades of neglect the Hydro Majestic finally began refurbishments during the 1990s
Malaysian company eventually took over the running of the hotel, and named it the “Hydro Majestic” to brand their other hotels in Asia.
In 2008 the hotel was closed for refurbishment, with the new owners to restore the hotel and add new facilities.
The redevelopment from 2012-2014 included a new public entry, re-planting of the gardens, new lobby for weddings, events and functions, new accommodation and a large spa complex.
The historic Belgravia lounge was also refurbished into an exclusive Hotel Guest Lounge and bar and the original casino building was converted into a a casino lobby and function room.
Each of these rooms have a unique heritage interior offering spectacular views. With the elegant surroundings and grandeur functions rooms it makes it the perfect place for events and weddings.
The reconstruction of the Belgravia to the Hydro Majestic Hotel is something to be admired.
With it’s luxurious Art Deco Interiors, breathtaking views, rich history and fabulous dining experience the Hydro Majestic is well worth a visit.
Can’t wait to go back!