Val's historic view of family motel Hillcrest

Hillcrest's original owner Val Currie meets new owner Caspar Tresidder on Monday as redevelopment to the iconic motel was revealed to Merimbula locals. Photo: Ben Smyth
Hillcrest's original owner Val Currie meets new owner Caspar Tresidder on Monday as redevelopment to the iconic motel was revealed to Merimbula locals. Photo: Ben Smyth

Among the guests at Monday afternoon's "Mingle" at the revamped Hillcrest was the woman who built the place in the 1960s.

There was no containing new owner Caspar Tresidder's excitement when Val Currie introduced herself and her family.

She had even brought along old photographs of her young family on site while the work was being done.

They had come to see what was being made of the "family hotel" she and her late husband Reg built in 1968-69.

They purchased two acres of land with an incredible view of the ocean in 1968.

She said they had a Melbourne architect draw up the plans, and another Melbourne firm build the place using a crew of local workers.

They put up 20 motel rooms along with a five-bedroom residence for the Curries.

The hotel was opened in September 1969.

Val recalls the name Grollo as being the building firm that took on the job - although she's unsure which generation of the famous building family was in charge at the time.

Val said they owned and lived in the place for around 10 years, her four children growing up - and helping out - in the motel.

"It was out of town in those days," she said of the motel perched at the top of Merimbula Drive.

"It was very much a family hotel - we had lots of families stay here, especially with the pool and tennis courts. It was something like a home.

"We didn't have a restaurant, but I used to cook all the breakfasts and dinners," Val added, before one of her daughters piped up to say they were the ones carrying those meals to visitors' rooms!

The Curries were also impressed at the way the structure had held up after all these years and they were happy to see it being brought back to life.

The redevelopment work by the new owners gets Val's tick of approval.

"What they've done in those new units is absolutely wonderful," she said.

"And they've put back my tennis court!"

This story Val's historic view of family motel Hillcrest first appeared on Bega District News.