Artist's impression of a hotel proposed for Willow Court at New Norfolk

Boutique hotel proposed for Willow Court

THE family behind the New Norfolk Distillery project has revealed its plans for a 22-room hotel to be built above one of the buildings at the Willow Court historic site.

Details of the Derksen family’s proposed $15 million boutique hotel proposal were shared with Derwent Valley Councillors late last week and were reported by the Mercury newspaper at the weekend.

In an update published on the New Norfolk Distillery website last month, it was announced that the small distillery proposed for Alonnah House at Willow Court would now be housed in the former Industrial Therapy Building, accessed via Humphrey St.

“Due to the challenges that 2020 has thrown us all, and opportunities that have arisen since our initial concept, our plans have changed slightly,” the online update said. “We are now setting up in the Industrial Therapy Building, which will be the home to our smaller distillery, office and training rooms. ⁠

“With this being said, our plans for the New Norfolk Distillery Cellar Door in the Alonnah building remain unchanged and we can’t wait to get started on this next!⁠ We will be throwing open the doors to the Industrial Therapy Building soon and we are excited to show you all what we have been busy working on these past months.”

An artist's impression of a hotel proposed for Willow Court at New Norfolk
An artist’s impression of a hotel proposed for Willow Court at New Norfolk, designed by Room 11 Architects.

Several councillors were given a preview last Thursday, and it is understood an official opening of the Humphrey St site will be held early next month.

On Saturday the Mercury exclusively reported that it was now proposed to build a 22-room boutique art hotel on a platform above Alonnah House – a 1960s era former hospital ward adjacent to the Agrarian Kitchen Eatery.

New Norfolk Distillery director Tarrant Derksen told the Mercury that the hotel would take Willow Court to a “new level” while preserving the existing site and its heritage. “We plan to undertake a multi-staged build process, opening up more and more of the precinct’s unique and meaningful heritage to the public at every stage,” Mr Derksen said.

About 50 jobs would be created during construction of the bespoke art hotel, with a further 50 jobs ongoing once complete, Mr Derksen said. The Mercury’s story featured an artist’s impression of the proposed hotel, designed by Room 11 Architects.

New Norfolk News has reached out to the New Norfolk Distillery for further information.

An artist's impression of a hotel proposed for Willow Court at New Norfolk
An artist’s impression of a hotel proposed for Willow Court at New Norfolk, designed by Room 11 Architects.


  1. Ok I will open up the discussion.
    How is a grey striped box on top of a historic building that is not visible with a black road flyover blocking the iconic wall sympathetic to heritage?
    Perhaps there is something interesting from the front elevation but who would know.
    The “plans” above are an artist’s impression.
    We really need THE master plan that us the ratepayer has paid for to be implemented, not these ‘box in the sky’ releases that are very confusing and damaging to community, government and business confidence.

  2. While I realise that it is an artist impression, I am very concerned that this development is not in keeping with it’s surroundings, I hope that we the ratepayers will have the opportunity to voice our opinion on what we would like to see in this space,as I do believe that WE still own the building that is being considered for this hotel.

    1. Move over all you people that are moaning let’s get behind these guys. Make new norfolk we all want it to be. This family has bought much employment to this town. Next step another supermarket shops decent shops. We have visited many towns in Australia entrances into the towns have massive big signs welcoming you. New Norfolk is the gateway to the west coast and you have that ugly little sign out at the entrance. Come on let it go ahead with less negativity

  3. O my word. You are worried about this development not being in keeping with its surrounds, have you had a good look at the buildings in the area. Its a disgrace, vandalised, graffitied, parts of the buildings destroyed. This hospital had an horrific history and I strongly feel that it should be pulled down and lets move forward to developing our Amazing town. We have empty shops that we need to fill. Why is that when ever anything is proposed with have the ‘doubters’ who have to put a spanner in the works. We are crying for development and good infrastructure. These people are prepared to put $15mil into this development. By all means have your say, but don’t lose this amazing opportunity to encourage more growth in the Valley.

    1. Is there nowhere else it could be built? Like on private land?
      Just because you want it pulled down doesn’t mean all of us are willing to destroy history for profit.

  4. Any developments should be transparent and considered.
    This suspended box in the sky has no freely available information about it on the council website. The DA approved by council has not a single document that has a box in the sky hotel with a Jetsons flyover entrance.
    Now let’s ask what bank would lend for this development given the circumstances of the world???

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