It’s been closed for years and signs indicating a late 2012 reopening under a multi-million dollar upgrade by new owners The Lilianfels Group have long been removed.
But the Gazette can now reveal the ‘grand old lady’ that put Medlow Bath on the map will reopen in late 2013, revitalised to a world-class standard and including a series of new additions designed to keep it viable for decades to come.
The Gazette, Blue Mountains Mayor Daniel Myles and Member for Blue Mountains Roza Sage were given an exclusive private tour through the Hydro Majestic Hotel last Thursday by international interior designer Peter Reeve, who shared some of the new design secrets and confirmed the upgrade will commence in a matter of weeks.
Stage one (refurbishment and additions to the hotel’s main common and function areas) will be completed by next spring and the final stage (existing and new accommodation facilities and a luxury day spa) within two years.
Mr Reeve said the project took an extra two years to plan, review and gain development consent due to the complexities of refurbishing a heritage-listed building spanning one kilometre and the need to get the final design and business plan right.
“The Hydro Majestic Hotel is a real jigsaw of architectural styles and so it was a real jigsaw puzzle-solving act to retain the buildings’ period features while revitalising it and adding new parts,” Mr Reeve said.
“For example, the Grand Casino Room has been remodelled more than six times (since 1904) and we plan to completely rejuvenate it, make it the main entrance and reception space and remove an internal wall to let light flow in and create direct views of the escarpment.
“I believe these doors (to this room) have never been opened since 1895 when they were ordered and shipped from Boston.
“Also the global economic crisis meant we had to make sure we had a viable proposition — and we are very confident now that we do.”
Stage one will also see the restoration and enhancement of The Wintergarden, The Billiard Room, The Delmonte Building, conference rooms, The Majestic Ballroom and Cats’ Alley — the latter set to become a tea room furnished with lounges, lamps and original Zimmerman wall hangings.
“Cats’ Alley will be what it was originally intended to be — a place to use and relax in, sip a Martini and chatter away — it won’t be just an area to walk through,” Mr Reeve said.
Architect Ashkan Mostaghim of Mostaghim & Associates has created a series of new additions to the development plans, including a major upgrade and extension of the Belgravia building, a new Mark Foy accommodation wing and the project’s public centrepiece, the 600 square metre Mark Foy Pavilion.
This new pavilion is anticipated to be a tourist drawcard in its own right, housing an interactive ‘living’ history centre displaying many of the hotel’s old treasures.
The long-neglected Boiler House will be restored and opened to the public for the first time, celebrating the fact the Blue Mountains was wired for electricity four days before the Sydney metropolitan region.
It will have its own gallery, bistro and a restaurant called The Terrace looking out over Majestic Point lookout.
The Avenue of Pines will be reinstated with new landscaping inspired by Paul Sorensen and the historic Hydro Majestic croquet lawn will have a second life.
An on-site public launch of the hotel’s revitalisation project is scheduled for February 2013.