Hotel Fun Facts
ibis Styles Melbourne, The Victoria Hotel was established on November 1, 1880. Given that we will be the big 137 this year, our hotel has plenty of stories to tell (we even released a book on our 125th anniversary!) – which means we have plenty of hotel Fun Facts! To keep it short and simple, we have compiled a list of fifteen fun facts right here on the blog for you to enjoy and share with your friends. It’s a great conversation starter and perfect if you are short on time and don’t have the opportunity to devour the book!
- Our hotel opened on November 1, 1880 as the Victorian Coffee Palace with accommodation of 61 beds.
- The ‘founding father’ of the Victorian Coffee palace was none other than successful businessman and Premier & Treasurer of Victoria, James Munro.
- The hotel was known for being a ‘Coffee Palace’ due to the temperance movement – the name defined a hotel that did not serve alcohol to its guests.
- Consequently, the hotel spent 87 years without a liquor license.
- The hotel has had seven name changes during its time, including:
The Victoria Coffee Palace (1880 – 1924)
The Victoria Palace (1924 – 1952)
The Victoria Hotel (1952 – 1990)
The Victoria Vista Hotel (1990 – 1998)
The Victoria Hotel (1998 – 2006)
The Victoria – an All Seasons Hotel (2006 – 2013)
ibis Styles Melbourne, The Victoria Hotel (2013 – present)
- The original location of The Victoria Coffee Palace was 196 Collins Street.
- The physical form of the hotel has changed drastically since The Victorian Coffee Palace opened in 1880. Over the years, the facilities have been continually upgraded and extended to keep pace with changing consumer demand. The original building of the hotel no longer exists.
- In 1883 electric lights were installed at the hotel, replacing gas.
- To celebrate the opening of the Australian Parliament in 1901 the hotel’s smoking room was enlarged and three ‘splendid’ bedrooms facing Collins Street were added. A large writing room and lounge were also introduced.
- In 1902, The Victoria was the first hotel in Melbourne to offer electric lights in rooms.
- Visitor numbers continued to grow at The Victoria through drought and the outbreak of World War One – unlike many of the hotels at the time in Melbourne.
- In 1934, another major renovation project meant that a spacious and lofty hall was now featured, with a central stairway and air lounge on the mezzanine floor. This is the main foyer that is still in use today.
- Vic’s Bar’s longest serving barman (and one of the hotel’s most well known employees), Kevin Bullen worked at the hotel for 24 years from 1979 – 2003.
- In 1970 the East Wing building housed approximately one third of the hotel’s available accommodation. A major remodeling project provided all rooms on each of the East Wing’s seven floors with private en suite bathrooms at a cost of $800,000
- In 2006, the hotel commenced a complete renovation of the entire Centre Block rear section – known as South Wing. This project cost $3,000,000.
We hope you enjoyed our compilation of hotel Fun Facts. Let us know on our Facebook page if you’d like us to continue the Hotel Fun Facts as a blog series!