Its first official guest was former HM Prison Pentridge senior prison officer Dennis Bear, who saw firsthand the transformation from its former life as B Division at the HM Prison Pentridge, once home to some of Australia’s most infamous criminals including Ronald Joseph Ryan and Mark ‘Chopper’ Read.
The centrepiece of The Interlude is a subterranean swimming pool, which took three months alone to dig through solid bluestone and basalt to build.
The restoration crew had no blueprints to work off and needed to reverse engineer many aspects of the project, such as the air conditioning being under the beds instead of the ceilings because of rocks in the roof to prevent inmate escapes.
The 19 suites which make up The Interlude, have been created by knocking through the thick bluestone walls to link four or five cells together. Each has vaulted ceilings, stone walls but with contemporary finishes and fittings that you would expect to see in a modern hotel.
The Interlude guests don’t just purchase a room but are offered curated itineraries focusing on North Melbourne’s thriving food and wine, history, and cultural scenes in partnership with local producers and businesses include Koko Black (chocolates); Impala & Peacock (tea) and urban winery, Jamsheed (Melbourne’s first ever fully functioning winery, based in the south of Preston), and The National Trust.