The oldest hotels in Melbourne were all licensed in 1853 and believe it or not are still operating as hotels today.
Duke of Wellington
According to the Tetlow Index, Melbourne's oldest hotel is the Duke of Wellington on the corner of Flinders and Russell Streets, built in 1850 and licensed in 1853. It reopened its doors as The Duke in 2013.
Mac's Hotel at 34 Franklin Street was built and licensed in 1853. Back in the day the gold escort was accommodated here with stables for 100 horses and a lock-up.
The Oddfellows Hotel is also regarded as one of Melbourne’s oldest hotels (1853) although today it operates as a restaurant.
The Malvern Hotel located in the outer Melbourne suburb of Malvern has been operating since 1853.
The Victoria Hotel in Little Collins Street was the first in Melbourne to have electric lights. Originally the Vic was known as the Victoria Coffee Palace, founded by a Temperance League as an alternative to the rowdy, bawdy pub accommodation on offer during the late 19th century.
Cole | Tetlow Index
The Tetlow Index to the Robert K Cole collection of hotel records at the State Library of Victoria was compiled by Eric Tetlow. The index contains over 21,000 names of hotel licensees taken from the Melbourne city and metropolitan volumes of the Robert K Cole collection of hotel records.
Robert K Cole was a well-known identity in the brewing world of Victoria, joining Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) in 1906 and spending all of his working life at a Victorian plant. He was a member of the Historical Society of Victoria, taking particular interest in the history of the brewing industry and hotels in Victoria.
Australian's are known to call hotels = pubs. They are called a 'pub' after the publican who runs the public house.
Best known Pubs (Hotels)
-:- Mac's Imperial Hotel
-:- Cricketers Bar - Hotel Windsor
-:- John Curtin Hotel
..and of course, the home of Chloe, Young and Jackson's (Princes Bridge Hotel)
Also see Oldest Building in Melbourne