Updated 18th May 2021
The Hydro Majestic Hotel is located in Medlow Bath, Blue Mountains. The hotel is located on a clifftop overlooking the Megalong Valley on the western side of the Great Western Highway. The Hydro Majestic stretches 1.1 km along the escarpment at Medlow Bath, commanding one of the prime positions in the Blue Mountains.
The hotel is heritage listed and is notable for its unusual mix of architectural styles, including Art Deco and Edwardian. One key feature is the Casino dome. The dome was bought in Chicago and shipped to Australia, before being shipped to the Blue Mountains by bullock train and reassembled at the site.
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The Australian retailer Mark Foy began to purchase the site in 1902 for the purposes of a hydropathic sanatorium under the belief that the land contained mineral springs.
The Hydro Majestic site was originally three different land holdings and their buildings. The first was the country retreat of W.H. Hargraves, registrar in Equity and a trustee of the Australian Museum in Sydney, son of the man who claimed credit for the discovery of gold in New South Wales in 1851. The single-storey house, with elaborate tree and shrub plantings, was bought by Mark Foy in 1901 and developed into the Hargravia section of the Hydro.
The second was the hotel. It began as the Belgravia Hotel which was completed in 1891. The hotel was a health retreat and the building was constructed in Queen Anne style. It was owned and operated by Mr and Mrs Ellis and was acquired by Mark Foy in 1903.
Edmund Barton, as well as Dame Nellie Melba and Dame Clara Butt, other famous guests of the hotel have included: munitions heiress Bertha Krupp, who donated a Bechstein grand piano to the hotel; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes, for whom the Blue Mountains were the inspiration for The Lost World; and more recently, Russell Crowe who was asked to remove his baseball cap while dining in the Great Dining Hall in 1994.
Boxer Tommy Burns set up a training camp at the Hydro Majestic ahead of his world title fight against Jack Johnson in Sydney in 1908, running for miles on mountain tracks in preparation.
Australia’s former first Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton – he had retired from politics and was then a justice of the High Court – died of a heart attack at the hotel while holidaying there in 1920.
MORE history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydro_Majestic_Hotel
MORE info: www.hydromajestic.com.au