Fresh sale push for Queenscliff’s historic Royal Hotel

The restored hotel at 34-36 King St, Queenscliff will be auctioned on December 7.
The restored hotel at 34-36 King St, Queenscliff will be auctioned on December 7.

A fresh push is on to find a buyer for a historic Queenscliff hotel after an extensive restoration spanning several years.

The former Royal Hotel, a grand gateway to the seaside holiday town, is on the market with a $3.75 million to $4.1 million price tag.

Renovating the building has been a labour of love for vendors Katalin and Stephen Blond, who bought the property in 2013.

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They reopened the hotel, at 34-36 King St, briefly in 2015 under the name of Hotel Q after completing an opulent ground floor with an entrance foyer, restaurant, ballroom and bar and speak-easy style cellar.

The building has been meticulously renovated.

Ray White, Oakleigh agent Lee Botsios says the unfinished first floor offers a blank canvas for buyers who could take advantage of updated plumbing and roofing.

He says some buyers have expressed interest in converting it into residential apartments, with scope to reinstate a hospitality venture downstairs or even turn the property into a private mansion.

“It’s a mixed bag, there’s interest across the board,” Botsios says.

The cellar fit-out was inspired by America’s speak-easy bars.

“That building is pretty interesting to everyone, people are just fascinated by the history.”

The Royal Hotel, as it was named in 1860, was the first hotel built in Queenscliff in 1854 but burnt down in 1881 and was then rebuilt.

The current owners originally listed the restored building for sale in 2017 but they have since subdivided off an adjoining vacant 710sq m block at 38 King St.

The restaurant leads out to a garden space on the 1354sq m site.

Both properties will be auctioned on December 7 at noon, with the block expected to fetch $910,000 to $1 million.

Blond, who has restored many heritage buildings, says she fell for the hotel’s beautiful structure, which is topped off by a three-storey tower with commanding views.

She channelled a bright and white British colonial vibe on the entry level and turned the cellar into a New York-inspired bar with exposed bricks and dark colours.

The grand staircase.

“I’m just incredibly proud of the work my husband Stephen and his team have put into the meticulous renovation,” she says.

“They have restored and retained a part of Queenscliff’s heritage and I believe they have made the gateway to the town much nicer.”

This article from the Geelong Advertiser originally appeared as “Buyers have chance to shape future of renovated historic hotel in Queenscliff”.