Construction Year Why Stay?
1883 It has hosted royalty, prime ministers and movie stars, and is one of the oldest Victorian-era hotels still in operation. The Hotel Windsor predates many of the world’s grand hotels, including Raffles, Singapore (1887), The Savoy, London (1889) and The Waldorf Astoria, NewYork (1894) and is due for a new lease on life.
The hotel was built by shipping magnate George Nipper, who commissioned eminent architect Charles Webb to design the building, before selling the property three years later, in 1886. New owner James Munro burnt the hotel’s liquor license and changed its name to the Grand Coffee Palace. The experiment failed and in 1897 the hotel began selling alcohol again. In 1923, the hotel became known as“The Windsor”in honor of a visit by the then Prince of Wales. Threatened with demolition in 1976, the hotel was bought by the Victoria Government and was sold to Indonesia’s Halim Group in 2005.
Its flamboyant architecture mirrors the social atmosphere, buoyancy and optimism of“marvelous Melbourne”in the 1880s. As the largest and grandest of Australia’s surviving hotels of the period, it is of considerable aesthetic importance. Rooms are designed with high ceilings and have marble bathrooms.
Former guests include former Australian Prime Ministers John Howard, Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser,