Our Journey with The Hotel

It has been an extensive 20 month journey to complete the required restorative work here at The Exchange Hotel.  Gavin immediately fell in love with the old hotel in February 2021 while visiting Beaconsfield with a friend.  Gavin has always had an appreciation for historic Tasmanian buildings and still manages a successful accommodation business in Franklin, which he established in 2017, by restoring an old Methodist church (circa 1860) and the adjacent church hall to provide short term visitor accommodation.

The Exchange hotel had not been in operation for several years and, after approaching the owners, the property was finally purchased in June 2021.  Coming into the hotel for the first time the list of jobs started growing and growing with the building having lost all of its original licensing and building classifications.

Work commenced as soon as possible following advice from Heritage Tasmania. As you will see below and in later posts we have now painted a majority of the hotel, cleaning and repairing walls and windows as necessary.

Below is the before and after of our cafe/breakfast room:



The breakfast room was one of the first areas that we identified for restoration and was the testing ground for our new warm colour palette.  After seeing the transformation in this area we were confident to move into other areas of the hotel.  These colours allow for the natural morning light to be reflected and amplified making our breakfast room one of the warmest and most comfortable spaces in the whole building.

Now for the most important restorative work, the original bedrooms on the first floor. We started in one of our double rooms – the ‘Harry Barrett’ room, named after the convict gardener who resided at the nearby historic site of Yorktown. This room required extensive repair to the lath and plaster and the sash windows required full restoration due to years of weather damage.  This space really needed a lift and that is what we provided.

Below is the before and after for the ‘Harry Barrett’ double room:



The first step was repairing the damaged plaster on both the walls and ceiling, this was especially necessary after the installation of our new cassette heat pumps. Next was the replacement of original details including the re-instatement of picture rails, repairs to the sash windows and restoration of the original rim lock. After this, and a fresh coat of paint, the room transformation was complete and this space is now ready for guests.

This is just a taste of our restoration stories and more will follow soon,

The Exchange Team