Booked the Priscilla room for a night with this organisation and got a emailed confirmation. Then they cancelled the “confirmed booking” so they could offer the room to others who wanted a multiple night booking. How good is that?
Unique Quality: Apparent total lack of customer service in the booking process
Was very much influenced by Priscilla Queen of the Desert in our decision to stay at this place. Actually, we were the only people staying here at the time so we had the entire 1st floor balcony to ourselves. The decor is "original" to say the least - but overall we enjoyed our stay here. Very central location.
Unique Quality: The entrance staircase - you have to see it to believe it.
If you have seen the film 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert', you may remember a point where the main characters stop off in a hotel for a night, whose every wall is covered in garish murals of outdoors scenes - welcome to Mario's Palace!
Built in 1888 and situated in Argent Street, Broken Hill's main drag, Mario's Palace is a classic pub of that era when money flowed freely and detailed decoration of architecture was highly prized. A prime freature being the massive iron lace balcony that runs all around the street frontage of the hotel.
There is little to belie the incredibly eccentric nature of Mario's Palace on the exterior - all seems normal until you step inside...
Unique Quality: Mario Celetto purchased the hotel in 1973 and in 1979 he bought paint, brushes and scaffolding and painted Botticelli's 'Birth of Venus' on the second floor ceiling - about 50 ft above the ground.
Rightly proud of his work, Mario then wanted more paintings to match, so in 1980 he put a $1000 reward into the Local Newspaper for anyone who could match his own painting.
An Aboriginal man answered the call, for what was to be an interesting relationship with Mario. He would paint a particular panel or two and then go walkabout - when he needed more money, he would return and paint some more panels until about four years later the pub walls were covered in landscapes, skies, and water on every wall and ceiling...
Inside, the bar is a large dark room, its decor a throwback from the 70's, clashing with vivid murals all around the walls.
Walk into the foyer of the two-story pub with and you'll see murals in all the primary colours covering every flat place, including underneath the staircase itself - it seems no space has been wasted in this artistic endeavour!
Of to one side of the foyer is an office, a large room made much smaller by the dozens of stuffed birds and bric-a-brac taking up every spare space.
In the dining room a mural of a naked woman looks down from the ceiling, although she is modestly covered by a piece of cloth that dangles down, apparently at the request of some religious diners.
Although we didn't stay here, apparently waking up in their bedrooms is a new experience, as one awakens to a blue sky and clouds painted on the ceiling.
These days, the pub is run by Marios's son, Maratz Celetto.
When we visited we were fortunate to meet Mario himself and after enjoying a chat over a few beers, I was allowed to roam the hotel taking snaps (See Travelogue!).
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