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The R was once one of Geelong’s grandest hotels and dates back to the 1850’s. An icon of Geelong, with 167 years of history, has now been restored.
The Argus’ Newspaper from April 1854 described an event from the newly opened Belle-Vue. The Hotel was said “to rank second to no house in town in the excellence of its arrangements, in its healthy situation and in the civility and attention of ‘tain hosts’. Situated as it is, commanding a splendid view of all shipping in the outer and inner harbours, and being within a few minutes walk of the new bathing-houses, on the Eastern beach. It presents as one of the most comfortable and convenient hotels in Geelong and will, I have no doubt, be both liberally and fasionably supported.”
Originally known as the Belle-Vue Hotel, it later became the Bay View Temperance Hotel in the late 1800’s. By the 1940’s the hotel had been modified and refurbished and became the Ozone Hotel and later the Ozone Coffee Palace. From the 50’s – 70’s it evolved to become a boarding house. Was open for holiday letting and lastly was known as R… Flats in the 1980’s. From the 1990’s the building fell in to disrepair and sat empty for over 40 years. Thankfully as a heritage building of importance to Geelong, it was not demolished. Although as the decades wore on the building fell further and further into disrepair due to the elements and vandalism.
In 2017 the Victoria State Government approved the re-development of the hotel with luxury apartments as the R Hotel Geelong. With approval from the National Trust the developer commenced works in 2018, completing the reconstruction by the end of 2020. The site has been cleaned up and redeveloped and the historical building has been restored to its original former glory.
The R Hotel Geelong – reborn to once again offer visitors to Geelong a ‘second to no house in town’ excellence in guest accommodation.