Designed by heritage architect Barbara Hickson, Katoomba Manor was more than five years in the planning and over two years in the building. It opened in 2013.
The guest house is noticeable from the highway as a beautifully proportioned house with marble columned verandah set in a delightful mountain garden.
Sipha herself designed the garden. Sipha has been a five time Grand Champion district garden winner in outback NSW. More than a hundred tons of imported granite was used in the garden’s construction, with meandering paths and garden walls set with a rich diversity of plants. Sipha takes delight in tending her new gardens and vegetable patch.
Many inclusions in the house and garden were inspired by John and Sipha’s travels: a hand carved marble statue of a French girl, large Greek urns, Roman columns and a marble gazebo.
Inside the floors are laid with specially designed New Zealand wool Axminster and Italian and Chinese marble, fifteen tons of which were required to tile the luxurious bathrooms and living areas.
Tharith Kang, of Sydney’s TK designs, designed and manufactured the generous French inspired kitchen which features detailed joinery work.
Sensitive to Katoomba’s ecology
Katoomba Manor incorporates several environmentally sustainable technologies. A 5.25 KW array of photoelectric cells generates electricity, and a gas boosted solar system heats the water. Rainwater tanks supply the gardens, laundry and suite toilets.
An energy efficient (90%) natural gas log fire and inverter reverse cycle air conditioning will keep you warm on the coldest days.
The architect’s use of double glazed windows and doors throughout, along with insulation in all walls, floors and ceilings, means comfortable inside temperatures at any time of year.
Fire safety measures include smoke detectors, emergency lighting, ember barriers and fire-stop gyprock installed throughout.
Location, location, location
Katoomba Manor is walking distance from Katoomba’s many restaurants, the new Cultural Centre and Katoomba’s Hop On Hop Off tourist bus starting point. There are tennis courts just fifty metres away, and the Edge Maxi Vision Cinema is next door. Blue Mountains City Council, the Katoomba Court House, Katoomba (Blue Mountains) Hospital, railway station and CBD are all within easy reach.