Welcome to Circa Hotels
The CIRCA Story.
Our ambition back in 2012 was to create a luxury boutique hotel in Australia. Given our relatively limited budget, that was always going to be a daunting task, especially in the 21st century world, where the term luxury had and still does have a different meaning from region to region, country to country and generation to generation.
Since then, the significant challenges that have confronted the world have further heightened the perpetual business imperatives to constantly adapt and innovate. Beyond 2022 we will heed the words of rock icon Bruce Springsteen, to "never stray too far from the stuff you do best", and continue to develop and operate excellent hotels, but increasingly we will pursue our other passion, which is design, via our KITABISA Design company. At the end of 2023 , our new KITABISA Design Studio in Sanur in Bali is opened, which will allow us to design, produce and showcase our much acclaimed design products and style to a worldwide market, in a location that truly is at the forefront of hotel design internationally.
As well as following us on Instagram and Facebook we invite you to continue visiting us here at CIRCA 1928 in Albury and CIRCA 1936 in Corowa and our Kitabisa Design Studio in Bali.
Situated in the tree-lined Paris end of Dean Street, the bold heritage-listed facade with its iconic entry columns create a sense of grandeur and drama as you arrive.
CIRCA 1928 has just three uniquely designed, luxurious suites and studios, providing an exclusive feel to the hotel. In keeping with the hotel’s celebration of art and culture, each was cleverly named after renowned artists born the same year CIRCA 1928 was built. All rooms feature their own luxurious ensuite bathroom, with walk-in showers, stunning deep bathtubs built for two, and bathing products from Australian natural skincare brand Hunter Lab. Well-stocked mini bars with chocolate, snacks, leaf teas, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
Circa 1936 has returned the glamour of the Art Deco era to the river bank town of Corowa. After the discovery of gold in the 1850s, the bustling township rose to national prominence when it hosted the 1893 People’s Convention, unifying the disparate colonies to form the Federation of Australia. The Murray River port town flourished, and in 1936, the Rural Bank of New South Wales built its impressive Art Deco premises in the town centre, to serve the burgeoning commercial and agricultural community.
Decades on, the bank building sadly fell into disrepair and neglect, until Ririn and Kevin Yaxley discovered the premises, and a significant restoration has returned the building to its former grandeur. Today, with its bold red brick facade gracing the tree-lined main street of Corowa, Circa 1936 upholds the vibrant story of almost a century in the life of this notable Australian rural town.
Throughout the hotel, admire high pressed metal ceilings, restored timber staircase and floorboards, two brick fireplaces, and the original bank vault with door - now a wine cellar and guest library. Leadlight windows inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s geometric Art Deco designs were custom made to reflect the building’s era.
Since launching CIRCA back in 2013, one thing that has raised eyebrows and set chins wagging has been the design and decor that is seen throughout each property. Upon seeing the decor, guests invariably ask "who is responsible for the interior design, and where do you source the items". The person responsible is Ririn Yaxley, co-owner and director of CIRCA Hotels, while the products are sourced from many varied locations, including here in Australia, but from as far afield as Morocco, China, Mongolia and Papua New Guinea. Items such as lighting, furniture and the hand made copper bathtubs are sourced from small artisans in Java, Indonesia - Ririns country of birth. Within the Kitabisa Gallery however, the bi-monthly changing artworks are 100% Australian and regional to each hotel.
Having had the opportunity to showcase her talent for design and curating within the CIRCA properties, Ririn ventured down a path that has allowed her to explore many different aspects of design, from fashion to furniture: utilising mediums such as wool, copper and even petrified wood. The name of this design component of CIRCA is Kitabisa, which literally translates to "we can" in Bahasa Indonesia. The thought being that anything is achievable, that design comes in many forms and that talented artists, craftsmen and tradesmen are out there, all searching for an outlet for their creations, and all with the same belief that guides Kitabisa in its design process and sourcing of products, "we can".
The products of those artisans are on show at the Kitabisa Gallery at CIRCA 1928 in Albury. An eclectic mix of unique pieces that caters for all tastes, where you are bound to find something that appeals, safe in the knowledge that whatever you choose, it is a "one of", invariably old, and with a story behind it, a treasure for today and an heirloom for future generations.
Now the KITABISA evolve to a design company, where Ririn creates a sustainable art and home decor design