As we get closer to the driveway entry of The Hydro Majestic, I have to do a double-take. Even though I’ve seen the hotel website, this place looks much more grand in real life and I’m a little bit taken away by it. From the outside, the building looks like it’s straight out of an old movie. Maybe something involving Leonardo DiCaprio in a suit.
To put it into context, the building I’m staring at was built in 1902. Since then it’s had a lot of work done to maintain and restore, but still looks and feels original and authentic. It’s bright white, grand and looks spectacular against the bright blue sky above. I sort of feel like I should have packed my tennis whites for a mid-afternoon match, followed by cucumber sandwiches.
We park the car and head toward the front doors, creeping past all the fancy cars. When we push the doors open, it suddenly feels like we’re smack bang in the middle of the 1920s. The room is huge and, unlike every other hotel I’ve visited, the front desk isn’t sitting smack bang in front of me. Instead, there’s a large open sitting area with huge ceilings, a roaring fireplace and two huge glass windows, with a bright red tree blowing in the wind outside. It almost looks comical, like we’ve stumbled onto a movie set.
The check-in desk doubles as a bar and barista station, so it’s not as in-your-face and ‘hotel-like.’ We grab our keys and set off to find our room, somewhere up a huge winding staircase. There are no elevators, which shocks and then excites me. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a nice hotel with no elevator before, but that’s how vintage and authentic this place is.
We open the door to our room and the first thing I see is the big window taking most of the wall on the other side of the room. It offers some pretty spectacular views of the Megalong Valley. The room is small, but it has everything you need and I can’t really complain about the room size, because this is how the building was created in the 1900s and then again after a fire destroyed it in the 1920s.
There’s a large bed in the middle of the room, adorned with a patchwork of grey and yellow pillows. On either side of the bed, two large lamps. Then, on the other wall, a desk with a television above it, next to a set of cupboards. The bathroom is incredible, it has been fully restored and looks so authentic. The tiles are cream and black, with a really cool vintage basin.
Even though it’s quite cosy, the room is very comfortable and we have just enough room to unpack our gear and get rugged up in bed. The next morning, we jump out of bed and head down to breakfast, served in the huge waiting room area we entered into earlier.
We spend the day exploring the local area. It’s nice to stay somewhere else other than Katoomba for a few nights, it forces us to check out Blackheath and Medlow Bath, as well as Leura. It serves as the perfect base for our daytime adventures, offering a cosy retreat at the end of each day.
The hotel is one of those places that becomes an experience, a place you remember for being totally and completely unique. I’d recommend it as a great spot for couples, in particular. If you’re on a self-driven tour of the Blue Mountains and need a really cool place to stay for a few nights, that you won’t soon forget, the Hydro Majestic is your top pick. I’d also recommend going for a room with Valley Views.
Watch my video – 48 Hours in The Blue Mountains
Phoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger who believes life should be full of fun and adventure. Phoebe shares practical inspiration to help others enrich their lives through travel. Her fun Vlogs, useful travel guides and beautiful photographs are all aimed at inspiring others to live a life they love and never settle for less.