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Five-star makeover for Echuca’s Palace Hotel

Echuca’s Palace Hotel is to receive a five-star makeover from new owners Barry and Jan Donchi.

IVY WISE August 22, 2014 3:49am

Barry Donchi.


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Echuca businessman Barry Donchi plans to turn the Palace Hotel into a five-star facility.

At a private ‘end of an era’ party at the hotel on Saturday, Mr Donchi announced plans to restore the historic pub to its former glory.

‘‘The basic plan is to replace the verandah, get some light into the building from above, have five-star accommodation upstairs with a lift and valet parking and downstairs have boutique shopping, a cafe-wine bar and restaurant, while continuing with the bottleshop,’’ he said.

‘‘I would expect (the redevelopment to cost) in excess of $2million.

‘‘We want to work in harmony with the surrounding businesses, not in competition with them and we will endeavour to make it a central focal point to Echuca and the port.’’

Mr Donchi and wife Jan, who own and run Perricoota Vines Retreat and Nullarbor Timber, bought the 137-year-old hotel at auction for $850,000, plus GST, in June.

The Palace is close to the couple’s heart, meeting on the dance floor of the hotel many decades ago.

The renovations were still subject to planning approval, which Mr Donchi hoped would be four to six months away.

‘‘We are heavily in the planning stages with the relevant authorities, so there is a bit of leg work to do,’’ Mr Donchi said.

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