The Interlude formally opened its doors today and welcomed Dennis Bear, a former senior prison officer at HM Prison Pentridge, as its first official guest, making Melbourne the home of Australia’s most distinctive urban hideaway.
The Interlude is the first urban wellness resort located in a former prison and is located in Pentridge’s billion-dollar lifestyle district. Many people may be familiar with this hotel from its previous existence as B Division of the HM Prison Pentridge, which served as a prison for some of Australia’s most notorious criminals, including the After Dark bandit Doug Morgan and Australia’s last bushranger Ned Kelly.
The site looks very different. The centrepiece of The Interlude is an extraordinary subterranean swimming pool. The pool took three months to dig through sold bluestone and basalt to build, as stacked boulders were individually marked and removed by conveyer belt to minimise the impact on the historic structure.
The Interlude truly is a feat of engineering, the likes of which hasn’t been seen before in Australia. The restoration crew had no blueprints to work off and needed to reverse engineer many aspects of the project, such as the air conditioning being under the beds instead of the ceilings because of rocks in the roof to prevent inmate escapes.
The thick bluestone walls of the 19 rooms that make up The Interlude were broken through to connect four or five cells together. Because of the thick walls, it took over 9 months to build just one suite. Each has stone walls and vaulted ceilings, but also contains modern fixtures and finishes that you would find in a contemporary hotel.
Another indication of Melbourne and Victoria’s post-pandemic tourism recovery is The Interlude’s opening. Over 900 extra rooms are now available in the city as a result of recent hotel openings. Today, however, the emphasis is on providing tourists with an experience rather than just a bed.
The National Trust, Koko Black (chocolates), Impala & Peacock (tea), Jamsheed (Melbourne’s first ever fully functioning winery, located in the south of Preston), and other local producers and businesses are among those offering curated itineraries to guests at The Interlude in addition to rooms. These itineraries focus on North Melbourne’s thriving food and wine, history, and cultural scenes.
Pentridge was constructed on land that belonged to the Wurundjeri (WuhruhnjuhRee) tribe. a long-established meeting spot and a source of vegetation, animals, and water. A local Wurundjeri Elder, Bill Nicholson, performs a ritual cleansing of the entire site before it formally launches this new chapter of its rich history, bringing the process full circle.
WHAT IMPLIES A NAME
The Interlude, Shayher Group created and owns The Interlude, which is run by TFE Hotels. It is a distinct hotel brand that is entirely contained within the B Division’s historic wing. (The Adina Apartment Hotel Pentridge Melbourne, visible above the Bluestone fence line, is a contemporary lodging facility entirely unrelated to The Interlude.
Book by: Sep 30th 2023
Book by: Sep 30th 2023
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