This iconic and much-loved hotel in Medlow Bath is closed for renovation at this writing, but its history makes it worth pulling off the highway to see. Built in 1904 by Sydney businessman and former department store owner Mark Foy, the property was Australia's first health retreat. No expense was spared on the retreat, and Foy filled the hotel with artwork from around the world. The dome of the hotel's Casino Ballroom was made in Chicago and shipped to Australia. The Hydro (as it was later affectionately known) was a favorite with honeymooners from the 1930s to the 1950s; however, in 1942 it was taken over by the U.S. Defense Department and turned into a hospital for American casualties from the war in the Pacific. By the late 1970s signs of wear and tear were showing, and the building fell into disrepair for more than a decade. Now it's being renovated to return it to its former position as the Blue Mountain's premier place to stay—it's expected to open one of its wings by mid-2014.
Great Western Hwy., Medlow Bath, New South Wales, 2780, Australia