Inside The Robertson Hotel, southern Highlands, New South Wales.
A highlight of the Southern Highlands, the gracious Robertson hotel has been given a stunning facelift, and is a gorgeous location for a few days away.
The Robertson Hotel oozes style, grandeur and even some zen.
The gracious 40 room hotel is almost 100 years old and has changed hands multiple times over the years.
Now a luxurious guest house, with a distinctly British feel, it was owned by the Roman Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox church and many more in its time (see below for more history).
This grand old dame exudes luxury and old-world glamour, from the stunning chandelier in the lobby to the grand staircase, towering ornate ceilings, red carpets, over-sized fireplaces, gatsby style bar, and sprawling manicured lawns.
This is old world glamour at its very best, and it is no wonder so many people book it out for weddings.
Overall Rating: 8.5/10
This magical hotel is ideal for families as there is plenty of room for everyone to have some space, including a sprawling manicured garden with towering trees, miniature horses and beautiful views.
Robertson is a short 10 minute walk away.
The hotel’s ground floor has two huge lounge areas, both with roaring open fires in winter, as well as a gorgeous cafe with stylish indoor and outdoor seating to lounge in by day.
The restaurant is in another section, and is again large, white, elegant and spacious.
Staff are local, and warm. And given the elevation of Robertson, the air is fresh, clean and cool. I can’t wait to go back.
The Location (Rating): 9.5/10
Robertson is perhaps less known than some other towns in the Southern Highlands, but is absolutely beautiful. Particularly the drive in, as the Australian bush is striking, especially in cooler months when it is so green.
Natural, local attractions abound including Robertson Nature Reserve, Belmore Falls and Macquarie Pass National park.
It is also serviced by the train, and the Cockatoo train, a more glamorous Australian train is currently being renovated, a great way to move a party of people from Central Station to Robertson in style.
Service & Facilities: 9/10
The stately Robertson Hotel has a huge downstairs area with massive open fire places in winter, and a stylish, fun outdoor cafe in summer full of house made cakes and sweets.
These guys have their playlists sorted. Fabulous jazz music filters through the ground floor each night, whilst local wines, and cocktails are served.
The gracious manor house is surrounded by huge trees and a substantial, manicured garden.
Staff are warm and friendly. One found my wallet in the car park and returned it the next day.
Another found our jacket in the cupboard after check out and promptly returned it.
The Rooms: 8.5/10
We stayed in the Manor Suite which was magnificent for a family of four.
Rooms feel opulent and fresh, with huge ceilings, plenty of space and large windows to let natural light flood in. The mattresses are of exceptional quality, and sit in stylish Egyptian bed frames with luxurious goose down duvets.
Furniture is new, hand made, high quality, and elegant, and each room has a flat screen smart TV.
Our room even had its own fire, which was a highlight.
Bathrooms have stylish black and white floors, and are traditional in style.
The whole hotel is hydronically heated, which ensures it is warm throughout winter, and there are 5 different room types.
Food & Drink: 7.5/10
The cuisine is country style, with traditional roasts, gorgeous soups, and old world desserts.
The Christmas in July is absolutely fantastic, (and very popular) and consists of a 3 course set menu with pumpkin soup, roast chicken, hams and vegetables, and plum pudding with cherry sorbet for dessert.
In cold weather, this was amazing.
The feel of each of the dining rooms is distinctly elegant and pleasantly old world.
Dining here makes you feel like dressing for dinner.
Breakfast is simple and served in a warm but pleasantly airy white, light-filled room at the back of the hotel. There is a cappacino machine.
Who Is Behind It:
Built in 1924, and known as The Hotel Robertson, in 1925 it won the prestigious award for the “most luxurious hotel in the Commonwealth”.
The grand manor had its own golf course, horse riding, croquet, tennis, lawn bowls, fishing, and hunting as well as an on-site mechanic to attend to guest’s cars.
Balls and parties were held there regularly.
It was the first hotel in Australia to have telephones in every room.
The hotel was first built for Sydneysiders as an escape from Sydney’s summers, as Robertson has a much cooler climate.
It was initially sold in 1930 and renamed multiple times after that. In the lead up to WWII it was a RAAF base for pilots. In 1947 it was run by monks, and after various owners and guises, it wasn’t until 1972 it was turned back in a hotel.
In 2014 it was purchased by glamorous Sydney couple Con Kotis and Lisa Grant-Kotis who changed the name back to the Robertson Hotel, and who have impressive plans to develop the site around the building into a spectacular hotel/resort complex.
The wine is very well priced, with fabulous local wines from just $9 a glass, and the high altitude of Robertson means mists can roll in unexpectedly at any time of day or night creating a mystical feel.
Renae says: I loved the magnificent sprawling gardens, where a statue of Mary sits, which was imported from the Vatican.
Who Should stay here: Couples, families.
Who Shouldn’t Stay Here: Anyone looking for wild parties or roaring music, this is country style elegance, peace and tranquility.
Location: 1.5 hours from Sydney, 30 minutes from the beaches of the South Coast and 30 minus from Berry and Mollymook.
Best culinary delight: Christmas in July, and it’s not just the gorgeous food, but the transformation of the hotel into a Christmas wonderland. It’s magical.
The Highlight: The playlists – music makes such a difference in such a big venue, and they have it nailed.
The lowlight: No bath in the bathroom.
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