Established in 1880, this is one of the grandes dames of the Blue Mountains, a Victorian-era relic that, in its heyday, was considered one of the four great hotels of the British Empire. Its public areas are a reminder of its glorious past—the bar contains a mezzanine balcony where the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother)—visited in 1927. A permanent conservation order stipulates that 10 of the 59 rooms be kept in their
original 1880 style, so they do not have private bathrooms, but at A$129 (mid-week) and $149 (weekends) a night they're a good deal. The other rooms (added in 1927) are a mix of colonial-style rooms, and the deluxe rooms have access to the terrific balcony on the first floor where you can take in the great valley views. The enormous, chandelier-lighted grand dining room ($$) serves modern Australian and traditional dishes from Thursday to Saturday nights and high tea on Sundays. The new Carrington Cellars (open in the hotel's former boiler room at the rear) has a wonderful wine collection and delicious deli items.