Where the name ‘Ommaroo’ originates from
Like the ancient history of Havre des Pas, the origin of the hotel’s name has been somewhat lost in the mists of time.
The original hotel opened on 16 December 1916. Much of its impressive and distinctive façade pre-dates this time, however, being originally a terrace of four private houses, named Ommaroo 1 to 4. Two of these were the work of renowned local architect Adolphus Curry, responsible for many of Jersey’s most celebrated buildings.
By the end of the 19th century, the terrace had been converted into two lodging houses, serving an increase in visitors as a result of the sea water bathing pool’s opening at Havre des Pas.
Quite where the terrace’s original name comes from is not completely certain. One possible explanation is a connection with the town of Oamaru in New Zealand, itself named after a Maori chieftain. The architectural style is certainly similar to that used in New Zealand and Australia during the second half of the 19th century.
A family run hotel since 1926
In the early 1920’s, the Palmer and Rowley families bought the hotel. They traded successfully until the Second World War, when the hotel was occupied by German Officers and used as staff quarters. It was not until after Jersey’s “Liberation Day” on 9 May 1945 that the building was returned to use as a hotel.
In 1973 Tom Palmer sold the hotel to its current owner, his grandson, Major Colin Grant. Major Grant’s daughter, Mrs Fiona Kerley is now Managing Director and the fourth family generation to be involved with the hotel. Fiona has overseen extensive refurbishment throughout the hotel and led the celebration of achieving 100 years of the hotel’s trading history.