A Milestone for The Carrington

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by Diana Hofland

The Carrington Hotel, a beloved Blue Mountains icon steeped in history, celebrates its 140th birthday on August 15.

The story of The Carrington began in 1883 when it first opened as the Great Western Hotel. Renamed in 1886 after the Governor of NSW, Lord Charles Robert Carrington, the hotel enjoyed a loyal following that would span more than 100 years until its closure in 1985.

Boarded up as a fire hazard, The Carrington Hotel remained almost derelict until significant restorations would see it once again stand proudly as the jewel in the crown of Katoomba.

The Italianate design of the front entry remains the hero, undiluted by contemporary improvements. As you make your way inside, you will almost certainly find yourself stepping into a bygone era of grace and refinement - the grand architecture, myriad historical items on display and the quaint ambience that is captured perfectly in every corner of the hotel. Fortunately, much of the hotel’s historical fixtures and fittings were retained and where these were damaged or destroyed, they were repaired or reproduced as close to the original as possible.

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But The Carrington is more than just a heritage-listed hotel. Today, the Carrington precinct is a vibrant destination for dining, bars and live entertainment. Within the hotel, guests and visitors can enjoy a signature cocktail and light meals at Champagne Charlie’s Cocktail Bar. Step back to an era of refinement with an elegant meal in the Grand Dining Room or sip a barista coffee in The Lounge.

Behind the hotel, the adaptive reuse of the old Katoomba Power Station now houses the Carrington Cellars & Deli as well as Katoomba Brewing Company, a production brewery that supplies beer to all in-house bars and dining outlets.

Wander across the Piazza and Sorensen-design grounds to The Old City Bank Bar & Brasserie offering a traditional pub with a beer garden and casual dining. Perhaps enjoy some live music or a cabaret show in the Baroque Room.

In anticipation of its 140th birthday, The Carrington has recently launched its new website which captures the true essence of this magnificent property. Not only does it offer a glimpse into the past, sharing stories from royal visitors to its antiquated lift, but it’s the perfect place to keep up to date with all that’s happening at The Carrington Hotel.

The storied history of Australia’s oldest operating resort-style hotel continues. We invite you to step inside an extraordinary part of Australia’s heritage and experience The Carrington for yourself.

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The Carrington is open to the public from 11 am daily. The Winter Magic Ball is on Saturday 24th June (bookings are essential). For more information, visit thecarrington.com.au

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