Fortuna Villa has unveiled plans for a five-star hotel and conference centre, with owner Paul Banks saying he hoped for smooth sailing when he lodges the proposal with authorities.
“By doing this project it takes us to another level, and it will allow the visitors more opportunity, which is great for Fortuna, but even better for Bendigo as a city,” he said.
Mr Banks said he would lodge plans with Heritage Victoria and the City of Greater Bendigo in coming weeks.
“Then everyone can watch this space as they will either embrace it, or witness its demise,” he said.
The proposed Fortuna Villa Hotel will be a 24/7 à la carte five star hotel and conference centre, sleeping over 100 people, along with a ballroom seating up to 350 people, several conference rooms, dining room, business centre, wine bar, alfresco area and lobby bar.
“The most amazing element to our design is we don’t touch any existing structures apart from exposing what was once in existence during George Lansell's era,” he said.
“It is known as an adaptive reuse, which is very important element of the planning process.”
Mr Banks believes that as a region Bendigo needs this point of difference.
“It just makes economic sense. I have crunched the numbers, and designed the project to keep it simple and not turn it into bureaucratic nightmare. The design complements Fortuna its gold heritage, military involvement and most importantly George Lansell,” he said.
The entrance will be past the iconic villa and all those who stay and visit will be greeted with the grand Victorian and Italian renaissance presence of Fortuna Villa.
The reception will be entered through the current crushing room entrance large enough to drive a vehicle through.
The lift well for the hotel will resemble a poppet head along with military elements of the surveyor corps brand and history wall identifying their time at Fortuna.
Other featured elements are several yet to be exposed arches that are clearly visible from yesteryear and windows that once looked over the roman baths.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.