Element – Laurel Hill, Owner of Athelstane House


Ever since she could remember, Laurel dreamt of owning her own hotel. She didn’t know how she was going to do it, but every move she made in her life had that goal in mind.

Laurel got her first break when she was in high school and secured a traineeship with the Mercure in Melbourne. The traineeship gave her extensive knowledge of F&B and shortly after, she was promoted to Restaurant Manager. At the age of 20, Laurel moved to a private Island in Queensland, Lady Elliot Island, to manage the hotel bar. After gaining experience in food and beverage, Laurel wanted to master the operations side of hotels and secured a position at Hepburn and Hepburn luxury villas. While working in operations, Laurel knew that to progress her career she needed qualifications and business knowledge. So she decided to enrol a Tourism Management degree online with William Blue.

Laurel worked full-time and studied part-time while she finessed her skills and knowledge in hotel and hospitality management. Towards the end of her course, Laurel knew that she was ready to run her own hotel. Laurel moved to Western Australia and worked fiercely to save money so that when the time was right, she could purchase her own hotel.

A few years later, by chance, she found an ad about a boutique B&B on the coast of Victoria that was for sale. And at the age of 27, two years after graduating from William Blue, she purchased Athelstane House.

Athelstane House, built in 1860 is the oldest operating guesthouse in the region. The ten-room hotel with its restaurants and function space has been renovated with a quirky QT Hotel vibe. With a supportive team of 12 staff; chefs, waiters, house-keepers and customer service staff, Laurel couldn’t ask for anything more. By the age of 30, she has achieved her lifelong dream, and more!


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