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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The grandeur of the Carrington Hotel

Part of my three-day Sydney escape

 

I hadn't been loking for it but once I had seen it, I couldn't stop looking! What an amazing place! The Carrington Hotel in Katoomba has as a long and rich history since her establishment by Sydney hotelier Harry Rowell more than one hundred and thirty years ago.

Opened in 1883 as The Great Western, this Grand Old Lady soon became a popular mountain retreat for international visitors, the elite of Sydney, and those eager to see the natural wonders of the Blue Mountains.

Renamed 'The Carrington' in 1886, in honour of the then Governor of New South Wales, Lord Carrington, the hotel was extended by its new owner, Mr F C Goyder who is credited with the creation of The Grand Dining Room. With its extended and upgraded facilities, The Carrington gained even more acceptance as a world class establishment.

By the early 1900s The Carrington's reputation as the premier tourist resort in the Southern Hemisphere was undisputed and the newspapers of the day often cited her as the only rival to Raffles Hotel, Singapore within The Empire.

Sold in 1911 to Sir James Joynton Smith, who introduced the famous stained glass facade, The Carrington entered a new phase and quickly became known as the honeymoon destination of choice, and this remained so for the next half a century.

Although in a time of decline in Mountains tourism, The Carrington remained popular as ever through the 1950s and 60s and was bought by Theo Morris, a developer, in 1968. Despite the dwindling popularity of the Mountains in the 70s and the toll taken by time on the Hotel, her loyal clientele kept her afloat for nearly twenty more years.

The Carrington closed her doors in late 1985 and remained empty and derelict until 1991 when it was purchased with the aim of restoring and relaunching this Grand Old Lady of the Mountains.

The Carrington reopened her doors in December 1998 after eight years of restoration. Just look at some of the fantastic interior:

I am glad I found this amazing place and I'll certainly stay there again.