The Riversleigh prepares to celebrate

The Riversleigh prepares to celebrate

The Riversleigh is celebrating and is looking for public assistance to do so.

Built in 1884 as two grand residences overlooking the Mitchell River in Riverine Street, during the hey-day of East Gippsland’s busy ports, The Riversleigh hotel is steeped in history and plans are underway to celebrate the hotel’s 135th anniversary next year.

The historic buildings retain many of their original features, including a cast iron balcony, delicate etched glass, two rams’ heads, thought to be a representation of the young Queen Victoria, and magnificent ruby glass windows, which originally lit the top of a central staircase.

The hotel underwent a major refurbishment in 2013 following its purchase by current owners, Rachel and Adrian Bromage and Rachel’s father, Michael Banson, with contemporary indulgences added while its historical charm was retained.
Under Rachel’s careful direction, The Riversleigh now offers understated luxury and a fresh, feminine touch with a keen eye on detail in the comfortable beds and pillows, high quality bed linen and towels, and condiments in each of the rooms.

“When we bought the hotel there were 20 rooms, but we have now completed another two rooms giving us 22 rooms in total, including one fully self-contained apartment,” Rachel said.

“No two rooms are the same; some have original fireplaces, most have the original glass dating back to 1884, and stunning 14-foot ceilings.”
Contemporary additions include complimentary wi-fi and a Tesla electric car charging station.

The family, who moved to Bairnsdale from Melbourne in 1985, has extensive experience in the East Gippsland tourism industry having operated local businesses including the Bairnsdale Tourist Caravan Park, The Moorings, 5 Knots, McMillan’s and Director Boat Charters, in Metung, and Bellevue on the Lakes in Lakes Entrance.

Rachel says The Riversleigh welcomes a lot of corporate guests and weekend visitors driving along the Melbourne to Sydney route.
“But some of our guests have been coming for more than 20 years and one guest has been staying regularly since The Riversleigh first opened as a hotel in the 1980s,” Rachel said.

Under their management, The Riversleigh has also become a popular destination for weddings and events, with a well-equipped function and conference space. A professional wedding planner recently joined the team to help guests plan their perfect destination wedding.

Open for lunch, Monday to Friday, visitors and locals alike are invited to enjoy meals created from locally sourced produce and select from an extensive range of local wines. Just next door, in a stable dating back to the late 1800s, The Loft restaurant serves up meals showcasing the best of the best from East Gippsland producers, with a charge-back facility for hotel guests.

From January through to December next year, the Riversleigh Hotel will host celebratory events, exhibitions and activations showcasing local produce and local wines, as well as local artisan - makers, bakers and creators.

To help make the 135-year stroll down memory lane an unforgettable one, Rachel’s mission now is to collect and collate old photographs and memorabilia for exhibition next year. She invites anyone able to assist with her search to contact her at The Riversleigh.