The best of Tasmania; boutique hotels and refurbished gems plus a few new places to stay.
TAS Verdicts from 2007/08
The Lodge at Tarraleah
Last year we described The Lodge at Tarraleah as “the centrepiece of Tarraleah Village”, and a place that plays on its highland heritage by embracing a Scottish theme. (And 300 wines, 120 malts, excellent trout fishing, a lofty golf course and “highland cattle grazing out front” is what we call “embracing”.) AT’s since received overwhelmingly positive reports on the world-class standard of the food and service – and although it’s difficult to compete to with other Tasmanian heavyweights like Cradle Mountain Lodge when it comes to natural surrounds, it seems you definitely get more than your money’s worth at the luxury restored art deco outpost.
Wild River Rd, Tarraleah, (03) 6289 1199, www.tarraleahlodge.com
Fresh out of the Wrapper
There’s no need to spend a few thousand dollars flying to a secluded village in France just so you can stay in an exquisite châteaux. Named after Antoine Raymond Joseph de Bruni D’Entrecasteaux, who explored Australia’s coastline in search of La Pérouse’s ill-fated expedition, this boutique hotel around 15min south of Hobart brings unsurpassed savoir vivre to the Apple Isle. Open the French doors onto the balcony and admire the wonderful views overlooking the beautiful gardens, courtyard and nearby D’Entrecasteaux Channel. Oh là là, c’est magnifique!
Howden Rd, Howden, (03) 6267 1161, www.dentrecasteaux.com
This luxurious country house is so exclusive, even our Kylie would be able to relax here. And the two bedrooms’ French furniture would make her feel right at home. Organic breakfast provisions and reliable German appliances also cater to the jet set’s exclusive tastes, but at affordable prices. The private eight-acre property’s elevated positioning and wraparound verandah mean you’ll be treated to first-class Huon Valley water and mountain views. And the country house’s high-powered in-house telescope will give you a totally different star gazing opportunity.
Airds Rd, Wattle Grove, 0400 224 836, www.villatalia.com.au
Tarkine Hotel at Corinna
Located in an old mining town in the Tarkine wilderness, this former drinking hole for thirsty pioneers has been transformed into a retreat for relaxation-hungry citysiders – 110 years after the last pint was poured. Originally restored miner’s cottages, river cruiser Arcadia II and 14 retreats are all tucked away in one of Australia’s last untouched wilderness regions. It’s a great spot to enjoy a self-cooked meal out on the verandah or relax in front of your own log fire. Don’t let the rustic feel fool you; you’ll find all the trappings of modern living.
Main Rd, Corinna, (03) 6446 1170, www.corinna.com.au
Made-up and Made-over
City Park Grand
We’re certainly not ones to look gift horses in the mouth, but the success of several former stables on our Hot List has us curious: have they backed a winner? The heritage-listed 1850s City Park Grand Hotel boutique smack in the middle of Launceston’s CBD has managed to retain its old colonial charm, even if you could question some of the design choices. Perhaps it’s a reference to some European country’s traditional style (circa 1960) – the electronic shoe polishers on each floor, which AT finds delightful, certainly are.
Tamar St, Launceston, (03) 6331 7633, www.cityparkgrand.com.au
The Priory Country Lodge
Love a good catch? You’d better pack the fishing gear and tackle and book quickly: the five star Priory’s four exclusive bedrooms certainly won’t leave you disappointed. Breakfast and dinner are included in the package, so you needn’t despair if the fish aren’t biting. The gorgeous Tudor lodge is positioned in the historic fly-fishing country town of Bothwell, and since access to Australia’s oldest golf course and whisky tasting at the exclusive Nant Estate are also included, AT predicts you’ll be hooked by the end of your stay.
Wentworth St, Bothwell, (03) 6259 4012, http://www.thepriorycountrylodge.com.au
Home to Tasmanian Premier Sir Richard Dry in the 1860s, Quamby Estate has lovingly been dubbed the Government House of the North. And after the secluded historic site’s careful restoration, guests’ comfort will rule supreme. Five rooms were ready to go for the walking season – not that you’d need to set foot outside the extensive 64-hectare grounds to get a good workout; they’re reminiscent of an English park setting with rolling hills, lakes and large oak trees. Equally beautiful is the inside of Quamby Estate, now part of the new Anthology series of luxury properties, from spacious reception room to marble fireplaces and soaring ceilings decorated with original cornices. Splendid.
Westwood Rd, Hagley, (03) 6392 2211, www.quambyestate.com.au
TAS Rumour Mill
1. If this new project lives up to its name, guests can expect outstanding luxury from the “Remarkable Lodge” on the Tasman Peninsula near Port Arthur come late 2010. And seeing that Baillie Lodges rarely gets it wrong, AT thinks there won’t be any reason to change the name.
2. From 2009, Anthology’s Bay of Fires Lodge – listed as Bill Tiko’s World’s Coolest Hotel Room – will remain open for group bookings between May and October.
AT’s Top Five – not new, not refurbed, just our favourites
1. Henry Jones Art Hotel // Has rapidly become a Hobart institution. Nothing quite like it in Australia, a marriage of remarkable art and renovations.
2. Peppers Calstock //19th Century Georgian mansion in Deloraine with extensive wine list, famous breakfast, huge rooms and garden and valley surrounds.
3. Voyages Cradle Mountain Lodge //The sexiest of all the Voyages properties, there are few locations in Australia more peaceful and pretty.
4. Wrest Point //It’s both a bit dated and a casino. Don’t let that put you off. The suites are amazing value for money.
5. @ VDL, Stanley //The forgotten stretch of Tassie coast has a stylish, arty, three-bedroom B&B-cum-hotel. Indulgent, spacious and very, very homey.
Thinking of going somewhere else? Find the hotest hotels in all the other states: