Historic Hotel Corones
Charleville's Leading Hotel
In 1907 Harry Corones and his young cousin Jimmy left the Greek
island of Kythera to seek fame and fortune in Australia. By 1909 they had
worked their way north to Charleville in Western Queensland. Marriage to
Effie, one of six daughters of the Greek Priest of Sydney followed, and
by 1924 together they set about creating a legend - the Hotel Corones.
Completed in 1929, Corones became the hub of a glittering
social scene, where guests dressed in Paris gowns, danced to the strains
of imported orchestras and savoured an international cuisine prepared by
the finest chefs.
Harry became "Poppa", the genial host to dignitaries as diverse as Amy
Johnson, the Duke and Duchess of Glouchester, Gracie Fields, Johnnie O'Keefe,
Gough Whitlam, Princess Alexandra and Bryan Brown. Effie, gentle and refined,
was mother to Peter, George, Alick, Nita and Nina and "Nanna" to everyone
The legend lives on. Guests today are still enjoying the elegance and
comfort, quality and service that was Poppa's dream.
"The climate of Charleville demands special attention to sleeping accomodation,
and this fact was taken into consideration when the bedrooms were being
built. Every room, double and single, opens with double doors on to a spacious
balcony, and the larger rooms have windows as well.
The rooms are furnished throughout in maple or sycamore, with
spacious wardrobes, large mirrors, and writing tables. Soft, deep-piled
carpets tone harmoniously with the furnishings, and from each double room
one enters a luxurious private bath-room, mosiac floored, the walls tiled
in shades agreeing with the colouring of the furniture and furnishings
of the bedroom attached, where one may enjoy the delights of either a hot
or cold bath. Naturally, hot bore water is laid on in all those rooms,
where scrupulous cleanliness is the keynote."
... Extract from the original Souvenir Booklet circa 1929.
When I came with my husband and eight children to Charleville
Hotel Corones in 1985, only the shadows of its former
beauty remained. At that time tourists wanting to see the Outback were
practically non-existent, but I felt instinctively that one day in the
future, people would come to Charelville just to see Poppa's Hotel
We settled in, tidied up the essentials, added motel rooms and then
in 1990 Charleville made news around Australia with a flood which devastated
the town and surrounding district. But the flood put Charleville on the
map and skilled trades people poured into the town, painters, carpenters,
plumbers and importantly - furniture restorers! We decided to strip back
a few doors (where to begin when the buiding occupies a whole block?) That
was 1992 and as any owner of an old home will understand, restoration leads
one on and on!
Now it's 1996 and we read our bible, the visitors book nightly and comments
such as "Historic Treasure" and "Lovely Hotel - so glad we found it", continue
to spur us on.
I believe that Poppa's dream was to create for his guests a unique experience
of Western Queensland, and so we are in our own way following Poppa.
- Fran Harding, October, 1996
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