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Mario's Palace

Listed under Best Hotels in New South Wales, Australia.

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This place is just so hilariously way out. You will find it in Broken Hill, a big wild eyed town in far western New South Wales famous for mining and wild eyes. From the outside it's just a grand old 1800s Outback pub. Step through the front doors and things get a pinch fantastic.

Basically, in the 70's an Italian migrant called Mario Celetto bought the place and set about painting a copy of Botticelli's 'Birth of Venus' on the ceiling of the main atrium. Eye catching in itself, he then offered a $1000 reward to anyone who could match his efforts. The result today is an amazing collection of Renaissance masterpieces and landscapes that will leave you with a sore neck and a deeper appreciation for the cultural value of kitsch.

You can stay the night of course, but then that mean you would need to go to the hotel office. Here you will be discover Mario's other indulgence, taxidermy. The office is cluttered to bulging point with stuffed birds, crustaceans and other curios. Just so you know.

Mario's Palace was made famous by the movie Priscilla Queen of the Desert where a troop of drag queens performed in all their feather and sequin glory, oh life really is just so damn perfect sometimes isn't it.

Written by  Nick East.

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