I really can’t uncover any corroborating evidence for this memory, but I seem to recall that there was a rather unappealing Horatio Motor Inn in Mudgee’s Horatio Street when I was living near the town in the first half of the 1980s.
It certainly wasn’t the sort of place you’d recommend to visitors and I don’t recall giving it more than a passing thought — that is, if it existed at all.
I received a bit of a shock when contemplating a quite recent visit to discover that I was going to be hosted at The Horatio, located precisely in the same spot in Mudgee, and certainly didn’t cry out with glee.
Indeed, I became quite sullen at the thought and expected nothing more than some drab accommodation in an otherwise truly gorgeous town.
But how wrong I was. Under the new ownership of a Sydney architect, Kevin Snell, The Horatio has become vibrant and desirable — the very model of what a classy regional accommodation should be.
Few city motels would stand up well in a comparison.
In remodelling and expanding the operation, Snell had a definite vision — of upholding the town’s reputation of natural, unpretentious style. He was also painfully aware of The Horatio’s location — in what is essentially a suburban street amid average country homes.
Hence he went out of his way to ensure that what he was planning didn’t clash with the surrounds — that the roofline and scale, for instance, were compatible with those of nearby residences.
My Luxury King Spa room was at the very top end of The Horatio’s offering, and certainly provided plenty of evidence that Snell’s quest for opulence and a modern interpretation of Mudgee’s elegant heritage had been a successful one.
The room is spacious, beautifully and tastefully appointed, light and airy. The king-size bed is dreamily comfortable, the kitchenette quite functional and well stocked with appliances, the large spa a quite unexpected luxury that certainly adds of touch of romance to the stay.
Facilities are first-class — leather lounge, classy dining setting, highly efficient bathroom, free wi-fi, split-level air conditioning, dishwasher, state-of-the-art entertainment system.
And the location is good. The Horatio is within walking distance of the beautifully kept town centre, its quite magnificent public buildings and many fine eateries.
Mudgee is a place very close to my heart and The Horatio has made it even more appealing — though I confess to still wondering whether my thoughts of a Horatio Motor Inn in the 1980s are based in fact or a wayward imagination.
IF YOU GO
The Horatio, 15 Horatio St, Mudgee, phone (02) 6372 7727 or visit www.thehoratio.com.au