Arguably the most grandiose and luxurious Blue Mountains landmark, the Hydro Majestic Hotel is once again open to the public. With a history that traverses two world wars, from the day of its opening in 1904 the Hydro Majestic attracted visitors seeking a decadent escape with spectacular views of the Megalong Valley.
Originally designed as a health retreat by wealthy retail giant and owner Mark Foy, the Hydro Majestic had multiple famous clients walk through its doors. Australian opera singer Dame Nellie Melba performed at the Hydro Majestic several times, Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a visitor, and Australia’s first Prime Minister Sir Edmund Barton actually passed away at the hotel in 1920. A fire in 1922 saw the Belgravia building and the gallery destroyed, its replacement taking fourteen years to rebuild. In 1942, the Hydro Majestic was converted into a hospital by the U.S Department of Defence for American soldiers injured in battles in the Coral Sea and South Pacific.
Nearly six years of restoration efforts have rejuvenated the five architecturally distinct buildings and gardens that comprise the Hydro Majestic, stretching just over a kilometre across the cliff face at Medlow Bath. A specialist team of heritage experts, architects and designers have laboured to restore the hotel to its former glory, keeping in mind its value in our social history. Inside, interior designer Peter Reeve worked to reinterpret the original Edwardian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco influences throughout the entirety of the property.
Visitors can enjoy the new interactive history centre in the Hydro Majestic Pavilion or enjoy a casual lunch at the Boiler House Cafe with panoramic views of the valley below. There are also several fine dining options plus a Salon du Thé that will open progressively from 31 October, alongside 54 refurbished guest rooms available from 23 December 2014.
All images courtesy Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism.