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Blue Mountains Tourist : Summer 2010-2011
Rebirth of a mountain icon summer 2010-11 www.bluemountainstouristnewspaper.com.au 23 One of the most famous and historic hotels in the Blue Mountains, the Hydro Majestic at Medlow Bath, is soon to be re-born in what will be a significant boost for regional tourism. The hotel is set to reopen in two phases from January 2012, after a transformation which will see its facilities, interiors and gardens -- which now stretch more than a kilometre across the escarpment -- revitalised to 5-star standard. The re-born Hydro will have 115 accommodation rooms, a 250 seat restaurant, a signature fine dining restaurant, a magnificent ballroom, a 300 seat conference and function centre, four smaller function rooms, a café and store, new lookouts, world class spa treatment facility and an indoor pool house. The project will involve rediscovering the Hydro's past glorious architectural and design aspects and recapturing atmospherics while adding a touch of the here-and-now. The challenges of adding another layer of history to this significant building have not been taken lightly. A team of highly revered heritage experts, architects and designers has been enlisted to realise the vision, with particular weight given to examining and respecting the Hydro Majestic's social history and heritage. The team is under the guidance of acclaimed heritage consultant Graham Brooks. "We are all proud to play a key role in the revival of the much loved Hydro Majestic," says Brooks. "The hotel has developed eccentrically over time under the guidance of retail baron Mark Foy, from relatively humble beginnings as an Edwardian house hotel and hydropathic resort to its glory years as a grand hotel and resort between the two World Wars. "Throughout, it has enjoyed periods of great success and periods of lengthy decline. Despite recent refurbishment under previous owners, the hotel has become increasingly run down, with a host of inherent shortcomings that have never been appropriately or comprehensively addressed. We are delighted that the current scheme to rejuvenate the hotel includes a comprehensive plan to revive gardens, interiors and facilities to a truly world class standard." The Stage 2 Architectural design detail of the project has been carried out by the team at Group GSA, a multi-award winning, integrated design practice. GSA will add the 21st century layer to this Australian landmark. The team includes landscape architects Taylor Bremer. They will revisit the grand gardens of the Blue Mountains, some inspired by legendary landscape architect, Paul Sorensen, to create a landmark of European and Australian planting on the Hydro's Great Western Highway grounds and escarpment. The Blue Mountains can hardly wait!