A significant refurbishment and upgrade that celebrates the Margaret River Hotel’s heritage and unique architecture is planned. All operations were wrapped up by the previous owners before the property was handed over in July 2021. How long it stays closed for depends on how long it takes to get all the approvals and do the work, but we look forward to opening an improved Margaret River Hotel that reflects founder Bernard McKeown’s original endeavour to ‘build a home away from home’ for locals and travellers alike, in a modern context.
The reason behind the temporary closure is plans to tastefully rejuvenate rooms for the contemporary traveller, and also a possible extension of the building. Naturally, this is a large and complex process that must be completed carefully and with the appropriate heritage approvals, local shire approvals, specialised architecture and structural engineering.
The Bar will be refurbished and re-open within the revitalised Hotel to welcome both locals and visitors.
Margaret River Hotel Holdings Pty Ltd is a subsidiary of the Heytesbury group, a private, family-owned company with a long history in Western Australia. Heytesbury has been custodians of Margaret River’s founding wine estate, Vasse Felix (established in 1967), since 1987. More recently, Heytesbury is investing in the development of an entirely new winery and wine tourism destination at Idée Fixe which will open to the public over the next 12 months.
Heytesbury owns and operates four NASAA certified organic vineyards around the Margaret River wine region and, via Vasse Felix and Idée Fixe, currently employs around 100 local staff (up to 150 during summer and vintage). The Hotel refurbishment itself will create many local contract jobs, and when completed, the Hotel will certainly be an even larger local employer than it was previously.
Heytesbury has a genuine belief in Margaret River as a globally-relevant wine and tourism destination and for a while we have sought an accommodation dimension to complement our hospitality experiences in Margaret River. As Margaret River’s original hotel, it was a natural fit to add The Margaret River Hotel to our family business when the opportunity presented. We have been custodians of Margaret River’s founding wine estate for over 30 years and understand and respect the responsibility that comes with a heritage property of cultural significance.
The cultural and economic development of the Margaret River town goes hand in hand with our own aspirations for the greater Margaret River region, and a Hotel of this kind will complement, not compete with the great businesses already in town.
The timeline is still to be determined. We have completed a rigorous research and planning process in partnership with spaceagency architects and several specialist consultants, and submitted our Development Application to the Augusta Margaret River Shire in June 2022. We envisage it will be at least a year once development approval is achieved to complete construction and design work, however as the community will be aware, Western Australia is currently experiencing significant delays which may impact timing. It is our intent to begin tendering the project immediately after development approval is received. The community can stay informed of progress by visiting the Margaret River Hotel website and social media channels.