Sorrento Hotel

Address:5-7 Hotham Road
Suburb:Sorrento

The Hotel Sorrento is the oldest commercial building in Sorrento. It was opened for business in 1872. It was built by John Farnsworth for P J Martin, the owner of the Australian Brewery. While it is a gracious limestone building, complete with tower, it was criticised in the 19th century for not having enough protective balconies:

“It is a fine hotel in every sense, solidly built of stone with accommodation for a hundred resident visitors, comfortably furnished, well managed, clean commodious, wholesome and much may freely be said, but it has no balconies worthy of the name, the architect who planned such an hotel, and neglected to provide balconies all round about, must either have been a new chum or one destitute of all appreciation of the first exigencies of controlling the summer lite (sic) in Australia.” (The Argus, Saturday 31 December 1887, p5, courtesy of National Library of Australia).

The limestone building was extended up until 1928. Together with the Continental Hotel this first class Hotel gave the seaside resort town of Sorrento its distinctive skyline. While it has seen numerous changes, its function has remained as a hotel. Its presence in the townscape has been thwarted by subsequent development which has engulfed the building. Its magnificent cliff top position has been usurped by flats constructed by the Hotel owners in the 1960s.