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JOHN'S TRAVEL BLOG

with JOHN ROZENTALS

TRAVEL: 19 APRIL 2016

Taking a few steps back in time at The Robertson Hotel

Just had a truly memorable weekend in the NSW Southern Highlands — on a reunion get-together with a few travel writers who just a few weeks ago had shared several days in Singapore.

We stayed at The Robertson Hotel, on the rim of the town of the same name and now being lovingly restored by owners Con and Lisa Kotis to the grandeur that in 1925 had it declared the “most luxurious hotel in the Commonwealth”.

Most of the public areas — and certainly its magnificent gardens — have been done and guest rooms are well on the way, already having been outfitted with the most comfortable of beds and the warmest of doonas to snuggle under as the mist rolls in.

The hotel really is packed with history in just about every corner.

Alf Stephens, who originally built the hotel, was captain of the Bowral Cricket Club and, by making a bat that suited Don Bradman’s physique, was apparently instrumental in the creation of a genuine cricketing legend.

Quite a few years later, in the late 1940s, the hotel became a Franciscan friary and its occupants created the magnificent stained-glass windows that remain an outstanding feature.

Later still, it was the setting for the 1995 movie Babe.

And how many other hotels can boast their own railway platform, known as Ranelagh Station, which takes its name from a previous title of the property.

It’s on the historic Cockatoo Line, which runs from Unanderra to Moss Vale and regularly hosts charming steam-train excursions. If pre-arranged, the train will still stop there to drop off or pick up guests. Wow! What a way to arrive at your wedding reception.

Phone 4885 1111 or visit http://therobertsonhotel.com.

And what else did we get up to on our reunion weekend? You’ll just have to read the next couple of installments of my Molong Online blog.

#molong #therobertsonhotel #visitNSW #destinationNsw #southernhighlands

How many hotels can boast their own railway platform?

Above and below: The Robertson's grand staircase, with Franciscan stained-glass window at the top.

Peter Katsoolis, general manager of The Robertson Hotel ... in charge of an ambitious and incredibly important restoration oprogram.