History of the Ommaroo Hotel
The main building (built in 1837) commenced as private residences in around 1886, that were known as No. 1 & 2 Ommaroo Terrace. In 1916 the two neighbouring houses were purchased and transformed into a small and comfortable Hotel, which retained the name Ommaroo.
The derivation of the word Ommaroo has caused some speculation: it could possibly be from the Maori vocabulary which should be spelt “Oamaru” – a picturesque and prosperous town in North Otago, New Zealand. However, it could also be translated as “Peaceful Place = at home”, or a similar translation from Aboriginal, “Ommaroo = Welcome”.
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.