George Kerferd Hotel, Beechworth

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When it comes to providing a quality and unique service, the George Kerferd Hotel at Beechworth knows it stands out from the rest.
 
Manager Chris Nuck said the fact the hotel was located in the precinct of the former Mayday Hills, a decommissioned ‘Lunatic Asylum’ located at the top of Albert Rd in Beechworth, adds to its appeal.
 
At its peak of operation, Mayday Hills consisted of 67 buildings and was home to over 1200 patients and 500 staff and was one of the largest psychiatric hospitals in Victoria.
 
The hospital closed in 1995 after 128 years of operation.
 
“There are a lot of people who come and are just amazed that this rich history is right here in Beechworth,” Chris says.
 
“Because there are so many of the buildings which still exist and there is a bit of an eerie feel to the place, it is a real experience to come and stay here.”
 
Chris says he has been working at the hotel for five years. The hotel has 52 hotel rooms, as well as a restaurant, bar and function rooms.
 
“We try to do everything we can to make people really have an enjoyable visit,” he says.
 
“We provide a unique space for businesses to come, for conferences and events and the offering is pretty flexible to meet people’s needs.
 
“We have live music on Friday nights, which is something that we really enjoy.”
 
“We are also in a beautiful setting, which great gardens and really nice surrounds so I think we add a lot to what people are looking for when they come to Beechworth.”
 
Chris says the hotel was a large operation, with more than 30 people on the books at any one time, many of them casual.
 
“For a small town, we offer some great employment options and we really like to get quality staff who help to make the time people have here great.
 
“We like to keep improving what we do.”
 
Mayday Hills has been declared architecturally significant by the Heritage Trust of Victoria, as a particularly fine example of an extensive complex of Italianate-style asylum buildings dating from the 1860s, and in the case of the surrounding cottages, the 1880s.