This island, found to the south of mainland Australia in the Bass Strait, has a climate, not unlike the UK. As such, the antipodean summer (British winter) is the best time to visit. There are many beauty spots to explore, such as the Little Blue Lake, Bay of Fires, Bruny Island, Satellite Island and Mount Field National Park. And there’s lots of local foods to enjoy, like Flinders Island lamb, meat pies, Leatherwood honey and freshly shucked oysters. It’s advisable to spend the best part of a week here, to really experience Tasmania.
Hobart is the island’s capital and home to the Islington Hotel. A little out of the city, the 19th century, Regency-style boutique establishment affords guests tranquillity, with its own garden. Inside are antique furnishings and fine art works in what resembles an urban lodge. There are 11 characterful bedrooms with iPads, Islington Dream beds, a mini-bar and daily house-made treats; also a restaurant – the Islington kitchen – serving seasonal, organic food, a wine cellar, meeting rooms and excellent views of Mount Wellington. The Islington Hotel caters exclusively to adult guests.
The Henry Jones Art Hotel
This was Australia’s first-ever dedicated art hotel, exhibiting works from local artists. Set beside the capital’s waterfront, The Henry Jones comprises a series of industrial warehouses that once served as the IXL jam factory (its live jazz bar and cafe are named after this). Dating back to the 1820s, the building is now a multi-award winning hotel. But the heritage can be seen in sandstone walls, exposed-beam ceilings, spiral staircases and vintage fireplaces, alongside modern features like whirlpool baths, Nespresso machines, organic indigenous toiletries and quirky design features. It also has two very good restaurants — Landscape and Peacock and Jones.
Woodbridge on the Derwent
Deep in the Derwent Valley of New Norfolk, lies this Georgian mansion turned boutique hotel. Its public rooms have a traditional country house feel, with the eight bedrooms decorated to fit a contemporary vibe. Guests can also use the library, sauna, a hot tub and access the river from the hotel’s own pontoon. Pretty gardens wind down to the water, breakfast is taken buffet style and a set dinner is served on request. Like the Islington, Woodbridge On The Derwent is exclusively for an adult clientele and is a great choice for those seeking an intimate, high-end home from home experience.
MACq 01 Hotel
Situated in Hobart’s central business district’s waterfront, this hotel tells the story of its neighbourhood’s history. 114 bedrooms display the area’s character in five separate themes, with an eclectic feel created by interior designer Pike Withers. Expect bold colours and surprising features that are contrasted by natural textiles and patinated brass. The Old Wharf restaurant celebrates local growers and Tasmanian ingredients, creating traditional family-style dishes, while The Story Bar features live music on Friday and Saturday nights, the Evolve Spirits Bar showcases nearby distillers’ produce and the Lounge serves oysters and vino to a backdrop of Aboriginal artefacts.
Here 41 bedrooms are split into two separate wings, themselves early 19th-century warehouses renovated by Circa Morris Nun architects. One was first built by an ex-con as a grain store but has also served as a ship’s chandler, sailmaker, jam store, print shop and book store. The other wing has spent most of its life as a hotel. Each bedroom comes with Grown Alchemist toiletries, 49 inch HD TVs, a minibar stocked with local treats and a colour scheme reflecting the hotel’s name; local flora and fauna and original materials augment the decor. There’s no on-site restaurant as such, but there are plenty close by.