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New tours of the Hotel Windsor have opened as part of Melbourne's Open House Weekend. These tours are exceptionally popular, so if interested you should book as soon as the next round of tours open to the public which is on July 20 at 8.30 am. Click here.
The actual tours are held on Sunday, July 29
Built-in 1883 the "Windsor Hotel" as she was later called, was named in honour of the British Royal Family. She was also dubbed the Duchess of Spring Street.
She is part of the era of grand hotels in the same vein such as The Ritz and The Savoy in London, Raffles in Singapore, and The Plaza in New York.
Locally, she is the place we love to go for high tea celebrations or for a special drink before a night at the theatre.
The Duchess is a grand old lady and while perhaps these days she is not Melbourne's most luxurious accommodation, if she was good enough for Vivien Leigh, Sir Robert Helpmann, Katherine Hepburn, Gina Lollobrigida, Lauren Bacall, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Muhammad Ali, then she is good enough for us.
On this tour, you will see the Grand Staircase which rises 75 feet above the lobby. Built of Stawell stone, the landing is decorated with handmade English Minton tiles. These valuable tiles were only rediscovered when the carpet was ripped up during a 1983 renovation.
You will also view the Grand Ballroom. This has impressive stained-glass and domed skylights. Many of the original fixtures have been recreated such as the magnificent brass gas lines. These were reproduced from original photographs.
When:Open: Sun 9am-2pm - Booking required for this building. Friday 20 July 8:30 am until booked out. Tours at 9am, 9.30am, 10am, 10.30am, 11am, 11.30am, 12pm, 12.30pm, 1pm, 1.30pm, 2pm, running for 30minutes, in groups of 15