The Alma Hotel was built in 1856 by an English Stonemason William Toll. Willunga was established in 1839 and soon developed into a booming slate mining town, and was also a stopping point for travellers with Cobb and Co coaches travelling further south. There would have been stables out the back along with its own well. In the late 1800’s the upstairs section was added, primarily for holiday makers from Adelaide where, from the balcony guests could see all the way to the township of Aldinga and the busy port of Port Willunga.
Many people ask about how it was named Alma Hotel. One line of thought is that it was named after the 1854 Battle of the Alma in the Crimean War which many Englishmen fought in. Alma was also a popular ladies name. In Latin it also means good and true.
Being one of the first substantial buildings in Willunga the hotel was used for many different purposes in the early years, as a morgue, coroner’s court, housing shipwrecked immigrants, hairdresser and even for the visiting dentist
There are stories of the hotel being haunted, people who have felt a ghostly presence, or items being moved about or turned on. A clairvoyant visited the hotel in 2013 and found three ghosts to inhabit the hotel. Read the story about how one of the ghosts came about by the fire in the front bar. Don’t worry though, they are all friendly ghosts!
Melinda and Jason McCauley have owned the hotel since 2003, with Jason being the second longest running licensee in over 160 years. Have a look at the licensee board in the front bar, in the 1970’s where some people were licensee for only a few days!
The McCauleys and staff hope you enjoy your time at the Alma Hotel. We cater for any bus groups, private functions, meetings and any event. Please ask for our function pack for more information, look at our website or contact Melinda on Melinda@almahotel.com.au, www.almahotel.com.au