From the outside, its historical facade still boasts the same decorum it had in 1914 after it received a fresh new baroque facade and belvedere. From the inside, the old welcomes the new in a seamless mix of original fittings, innovative design and remnants from the fire that nearly burnt the building down in 2008.
It wasn’t until The Publican Group started the restoration process in 2015 that The Guildford Hotel was given a second chance to continue on its historic path as one of Western Australia’s most iconic pubs.
Publican Group Director John Ahern says the aim of the restoration was to honour the heritage of the building fit out, while also restoring as many of the original features as possible, and weaving modern elements into the design so it catered to a wider audience.
“Fellow director Steve Garcia and I really want The Guildford Hotel to be a destination, it’s at the mouth of the Swan Valley and is a significant icon in the landscape and heritage of WA,” says John. “We wanted to deliver something that exceeded the community’s expectations and I hope we have managed to do that.”
Located on the corner of James and Johnson Street in the heart of Guildford, the hotel tells a story.
“Throughout the construction process we found a number of hidden gems that we knew needed to take pride and place in the new fit out,” says John.
“We peeled back layers of flooring to find the original terrazzo tiles, we restored beautiful old fire places and have showcased them in their original position on the first level. Blackened wood from the fire wraps the walls and ceiling. Original supporting beams frame the level one bar, restored windows and original timber features atop the main bar – everything we found has a special place in the new design.”
Upstairs is the Vaudeville Room and the 1915 sweeping verandah, while downstairs hosts the Hiscox Courtyard, which has a retractable roof so the venue can be enjoyed 12 months of the year.
“We are a walk in venue, no bookings required, just come on down and grab a table. Our menu is deliberately casual and focussed on sharing, and chef has crafted the menu around dishes you can eat whilst sipping a cold one,” says John.
The Publican Group
The Guildford Hotel