There has been a hotel on this site for over 135 years, it has seen at least 26 owners and has gone through many changes in its life. In 1944 there was even a hotel donkey!
1876 Early days in a young country
The original hotel was built the same year Timaru and St Andrews (then known as Lower Pareora) were connected by rail. With the train station across the road the main clientele were single men and women who were travelling for work, this is the main reason there is a majority of single room accommodation in the hotel.
1936 60 years of history burnt to the ground
On August the 19th of 1936 the ownership was signed over for new owners to became part of St Andrews historic hotel. That night a blaze gutted the hotel in suspicious circumstances but no one was ever charged over the incident.
1937 Art Deco at it’s height
The owner at the time Italian Peter Daleissi quickly rebuilt the hotel into the popular art deco style you see today. After this monumental effort he sold the hotel in 1939.
1964-75 Extensions and Renovations
It had been awhile since anything major had been undertaken but the 11 years that Archie McKenzie owned the hotel he oversaw the extension (today’s bottle store) and numerous renovations throughout the hotel.
2007 Masonic Hotel Closed
For the first time in 70 years the hotel closed its doors.
2008 A breath of new life
After seeing such a beautiful building getting close to an early end of it’s life Jan purchased the Hotel and began to restore it to its former glory.