Of the eight hotels established in Kew since European settlement, The Hotel Kew, known for most of its existence, as the Clifton Hotel was the seventh to be built in 1868. Its location on the corner of Studley Park Road and High Street at Kew Junction makes it a prominent landmark. Its current name is confusing for local historians as its main rival for the first 52 years was O'Shaughnessy's Hotel (1855), later renamed the Kew Hotel, on the corner of High Street and Denmark Street. Looking at the façade of the Hotel Kew, it is hard to imagine its mid-nineteenth appearance. There have probably been at least four renovations or rebuilding(s) of the structure. The documented renovations have occurred in the 1930s when the late Victorian façade was given an Art Deco update. In about 1970 its façade was again 'improved'.
The many publicans who have held the licenses of the Clifton Hotel have been identified in in the 'Tetlow Index' and on the 'Boroondara Local History Wiki'. The most significant of these are Henry Madden (1880-87); Michael O'Donnell (1902-1920); and the Cronin-Ryan family (1935–53ff).
Fading colour positive photograph of the Clifton Hotel at Kew Junction on the corner of High Street South and Studley Park Road. The hotel had been modified extensively over time, disguising the original Italianate facade. This is the colour scheme of the fourth restoration, including huge advertising billboards on the roof.
Inscriptions & markings
Reverse: "Clifton Hotel. Studley Park Road at Kew Junction. 1994