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 Corner 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 invested in the development of an entirely new winery and wine tourism destination at Idée Fixe (former Watershed property) which will open to the public over the next 12 months.
Heytesbury owns and operates four 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 as it is very early stages of a detailed planning process. We envisage it will be at least a couple of years when you include the time to settlement, design and planning approvals, and then construction works. The community can stay informed of progress by visiting the Margaret River Hotel website and social media channels from July 2021 when Heytesbury takes ownership of the Margaret River Hotel.
We know the Margaret River Hotel is a place of treasured memories in the local community and welcome your suggestions for how we can best continue the legacy of this important property while also refurbishing and upgrading this ‘home away from home’ in the town centre. Simply email us via the form on our Feedback page.