The summer edition of Gippsland magazine was delivered personally to us last weekend – thank you to Doug Pell for his personalised service.
The two page story started at the beginning in 1940, going back to the origins of the building in the township and onto 12 months ago, when we took on the mighty project of transforming it into The Old Hospital. Rebecca, our intrepid journalist, visited with enthusiasm and was so pleased to see we had retained quite a few “hospital” features – the old wall plaques, ramps, the nurse call buttons, the rails on the walls in the long corridors and the rails in the shower cubicles, which are of great benefit for guests with disabilities – something many places do not offer. All the while, these old fashioned touches have not detracted from the warm and inviting accommodation which we have worked so hard to achieve – they are indeed complimentary and a charming touch.
Our entrance area is also a reminder of days gone by with a display cabinet of hospital related trinkets that we have squirrelled away, now taking pride of place and is a topic of great discussion to all who visit. Taking centre stage is a beautifully preserved nursing cape and old enamel badges. It’s these quirky little things that get guests chatting about a bygone era. All on display have been collected from Victorian hospitals from the 1940’s era until the present day, as a salute to it’s humble beginning.
Rebecca noted in particular our playful nod to the building – door mats and shower curtains continuing the cross theme, old fashioned galvanised waste buckets, fully equipped retro first aid kit, and our bedside lamps which everybody seems to love – the long gone laboratory style beaker lamps.
We have also paid respect to our little settlements in the surrounding areas, promoting each bedroom with an unusual choice of wall art – an industrial take on these beautiful spots guests may like to explore while they visit our area. Each bedroom is aptly named to match the photography that awaits when the door is opened by guests.
We could not have wished for a more glowing report from Rebecca, and we thank her for her efforts and for seeing our vision for the building so clearly.
Last Sunday saw in our official grand opening of The Old Hospital. Local businesses, neighbours and people who supported us throughout the various stages of development joined us in celebration. The inclement weather kept most of the group inside, however a few hardy souls ventured out and onto the newly built decking – coined The Loch Deck Monster due to its size!
Hassle Free Catering supplied a gourmet selection of food while our local Gippsland Wine Company supplied the wine – with our very own personalised labels!
Sunday was a great opportunity to thank everyone for their help and support over these past 12 months. The opening gave everyone a chance for a self guided tour of the facilities – the nine bedrooms, conference/activities room, the lounge and dining room and garden areas which are really starting to take off with all the rain we are having.
The township of Loch have been extremely welcoming and now we hope to contribute back to the community of Loch and South Gippsland. We have seen a keen interest in our accommodation by craft groups with several bookings already coming through for next year. Of particular interest to them is the activities room due to its functionality, good lighting and facilities.
We are also well set up for car clubs, cycling groups, small weddings and conference retreats.
The Loch Deck Monster is emerging from the back yard of our guest house accommodation in Loch, South Gippsland. Named by our builder due to the sheer size of the deck area which will accommodate up to 18 guests. The new north facing deck is the latest addition at The Old Hospital and includes stunning rural views of the surrounding Bass hills which can be taken in while guests enjoy a drink or a bbq with friends.
Demolition of the old cement ramp commenced two weeks ago involved three men and sledge hammers. Thirty centimetres depth of solid concrete and steel railing was removed and carted away in several loads.
The construction crew were kept well fed and hydrated throughout by Michelle.
Last weekend was a hive of activity with the craning in of our timber and then the arrival of the mini mix cement truck with our delivery of concrete. Before lunch all stumps were cemented into position and ready for inspection.
This weekend saw all bearers and decking completed with just one day left to finish off the railing and steps.
Just in time for those long summer evenings with a cool chardy and a sizzling steak.
The link above is a short clip of some of the beautiful terrain riders can expect when visiting Loch, South Gippsland. The Old Hospital guest house welcomes riding groups, providing a lock up bike storage room with space to service your bike. Your hosts can also provide bike routes and maps to suit your group.
Spring is revealing the fruits of our labour through those winter months in our garden at The Old Hospital, Loch Village. We celebrated our first rose of the season last week and this week our crab apple burst into the most beautiful blossom. It’s a great tree as it also delights guests with the most amazing autumn foliage too.
We watched with interest over the past two weeks as our liquid amber transformed from its wintery skeleton into lush foliage, providing our guests with a pretty outlook from the front bedrooms as well as respite from the warm summer sun.
Ajuga, rhododendron and pelargonium are all bursting into life adding to the plethora of colour throughout the garden. It is certainly a pleasure to be relaxing in such a serene and colourful setting.
The Old Hospital recently installed a secure bike room, allowing a space to house and work on up to 18 bicycles. Featuring hanging space for 10 bikes and floor room for another eight. Also included is a work bench and an area for minor repairs and maintenance.
The Old Hospital’s host, Peter Campbell is a keen cyclist and can share knowledge and maps of the local roads. Peter is happy to suggest rides to suit your group, from sedate short rides to the more challenging. All rides enjoy quiet country roads with great views around every corner.
After the work, there’s rests and play.
Post ride, cycling groups can enjoy a great coffee at one of the local cafes just walking distance from The Old Hospital or retire to the lounge or north facing deck.
A fully equipped commercial kitchen will suit your group’s culinary needs and there is a BBQ on the deck.
Weary riders will enjoy comfortable beds and quality linen. All room have ensuites.
Our conference/activities room at The Old Hospital is set up and ready for guests. We have 12 x 6 foot trestle tables and 20 comfortable chairs which can be configured to suit all situations. The room size of 8.5 x 6.5 meters allows plenty of room for groups of 18 or so people. Also available are the tools to ensure your next business or training retreat is a success, such as wifi projector, whiteboard and large cork board. Community and interest based groups will also find this area ideal for its ambience and natural light. The room looks out through an adjoining sunroom (as seen in the photo). The northerly aspect and garden seating amongst the plants creates a calm and relaxing environment.
Spring has arrived today in Loch Village. It’s a perfect 19 degrees, there’s no wind and the blackbirds are vocal with their springtime tunes. It’s a perfect day for a cup of tea in the north facing sunroom at The Old Hospital, Loch Village.
As we draw closer to our Spring opening, we continue with our photography of the surrounding countryside in search of “industrial themes” as decorative posters in our rooms. The idea again is to theme each room based on a local area, for example our Jeetho room features a large photo of the Jeetho Hall. Not only do these dress the rooms up but they include points of interest our guests may wish to visit.
Saturday saw a brisk zero degree start to beautiful sunny day. The perfect day for a ride in the hills around Loch in South Gippsland. The 60km ride took in some amazing views looking north to Mount Baw Baw and south to Wilsons Prom. I can highly recommend this ride which included slow steady climbs and some exhilarating fast descents. There was little traffic on the quiet country roads and every corner revealed another stunning rural view.