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Rest And Revival: Guest Houses & Hotels

During the late nineteenth century, the Borough of Queenscliffe developed into one of Victoria’s premier seaside destinations providing unique holiday experiences. Well known guest houses included Glen Alvie, Olinda and the Seaview at Queenscliff as well as the Terminus and Merrilyn at Point Lonsdale.

Their guests were part of a small community, eating together in the dining room, playing games and participating in concerts.

Hotels such as the Ozone, Queenscliff, Esplanade, Royal and Vue Grand developed into thriving businesses which provided accommodation and hosted major celebrations such as the opening of the railway. Several of these continue as accommodation and hospitality venues today.

Olinda House – Queenscliff Inn – Circa

Olinda was a grand two-storey guesthouse built in Hesse Street in 1906 by Herbert and Nell
Thompson, offering ‘superior accommodation for a limited number’. By 1930, dvertisements boasted electric lights and that it was sewered. In the 1950s the owner, Cecil Anderson, was commodore of the Swan Bay Yacht Club. In winter months he put the dining room to unique use by building a yacht in it.

Today, the restaurant ‘Circa 1902’ operates downstairs, with accommodation offered upstairs.

Image: Olinda Guest House (now Circa, 1902), Hesse Street Queenscliff. Credit: QHM

Adamson’s Hotel – Grand Hotel – Vue Grand

In 1858, a 32- room timber hotel was opened by Walter Adamson as Adamson’s Australasian
Hotel. The next year the hotel expanded, with a new hall able to accommodate 1000 people.
Adamson sold to George Admans in about 1865 and it was then known as Adman’s Hotel until 1880 when the old wooden hotel was demolished and rebuilt as The Grand.

By 1881, a polychrome brickwork three-storey hotel had been constructed at a cost of 40,000
pounds. Three towers and a slate roof with cantilevered cast iron pillared verandahs provided a grand view as patrons promenaded along the terraces. In 1927 a fire gutted the hotel. It was rebuilt in a contemporary Spanish style, with only one tower remaining.

Despite the many changes over time, the building offers unique architectural features including a magnificent dining room and rooftop deck. The rear hall was refurbished as private apartments.

Image: The Terminus Guest House, Point Lonsdale. Credit: QHM

Image: Merrilyn Guest House, Point Lonsdale, exterior, c.1927-29. Credit: QHM