Empire Lodge

Affordable accommodation in the heart of town



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Queen Elizabeth at the Empire


Empire Hotel in the 1870s

Left: The first Empire Hotel, a wooden building constructed during the 1870s, had another wing added as the demand for accommodation in the Wairarapa valley increased.

Below: The ‘new wing’ on the left, about 1895.

Empire Hotel in the 1930s Empire Hotel in 1895
Left: This brick and concrete structure on the same site was finished in 1908  and,  although much altered, still stands today. Much of the architectural decoration was removed after the 1942 Wairarapa earthquake.

Right: January 1954 and all dressed up to receive the Queen and Prince Philip for a luncheon with Wairarapa dignitaries.

Left: Queen Elizabeth II seen waving to the crowd on the same day, from what is now Rita's bedroom window.

Thank you to Gareth Winter and the  staff at the Wairarapa Archive for the pictures and help with research.

Empire Hotel January 1954 Royal visit

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