Inspiration Destinations Australia A Tale of Three Eras at Hobart's The Tasman

A Tale of Three Eras at Hobart's The Tasman

April 19, 2024
The Tasman, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Hobart invites heritage glamour and contemporary convenience to Tasmania's capital - Luxury Escapes

From 1840s sandstone to glass-walled modern splendour, The Tasman is a celebration of classic luxury in true Tasmanian style. Writer Sara Rudling stays at this award-winning Luxury Collection hotel.

The Tasman, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Hobart invites a unique blend of heritage glamour and contemporary convenience to the capital of the Apple Isle. Since opening its doors in December 2021, guests have entered beyond The Tasman’s sandstone façade to discover a five-star destination that celebrates the best of Tasmania through expansive waterfront views, a signature restaurant, and a speak-easy inspired cocktail bar.

What’s the neighbourhood like?

Walking distance is a common theme for The Tasman, which sits perfectly positioned within Hobart’s historic harbour district. A leisurely 5-minute stroll brings me to Salamanca Place (still bustling on a non-market day), the ferry terminal to access the infamous Museum of Old and New Art, and an array of epicurean options at Sullivan’s Cove.

For a touch of tranquillity, the manicured greenery of Parliament House and St David’s Park is just around the corner, but I can’t resist the 7-minute meander to Hobart’s CBD for a cheeky shopping spree of artisan Tasmanian chocolates and vintage Japanese tchotckes at local boutique, the maker.

Waterfront views of Derwent River near Salamanca Place at The Tasman - Luxury Escapes

Where am I sleeping?

A bold triumvirate of three recently restored buildings, The Tasman allows guests to step back into a Georgian time capsule in the 1840s heritage building, experience the refined glamour of the roaring ’20s in the Art Deco building, or take in the panoramas of Hobart’s seaside scenery in the glass-wrapped Pavilion Building.

Sensing my entry into the Water View King Room (from A$395 per night), the blackout blinds automatically rise in greeting like the opening act of a theatre and the Derwent River scenery is the main event. Subtle nods to Art Deco inspiration are everywhere: embedded in the ceiling is a beautiful wood panel haloed by golden lighting and isometric patterns feature across cream walls, rouge-striped carpet, and even the starburst grain of my coffee table.

Unique configurations can be found across the luxurious 152 guest rooms and suites, ensuring a memorable stay each visit. On my second night, I’m inducted into the grand Heritage King Suite (from A$635 per night). Historic it may be, but modern conveniences haven’t been forgotten. I can order 24-hour room service or the pillow menu directly from my 55” SmartTV. Bedside touch panels control the lighting and curtain settings. Frette Italian sheets make a persuasive argument to never leave bed again. The marble bathroom alone is enough reason to book – after a quick rainwater shower, the separate bathtub laced simmering with local Beauty and the Bees milk and oat soak is transcendent.

Deco King Room at The Tasman, a Luxury Collections Hotel, Hobart - Luxury Escapes
Deco King Room. Source: The Tasman.

What's on the menu?

Hospitality, history, and heart – The Tasman’s dining selection delivers hard on all three counts. My first night I head straight to signature restaurant Peppina. The pesce crudo is all my seafood dreams come true. It appears deceptively simple – slivers of raw kingfish, crunchy fried capers, citrus and olive oil – but chef Massimo Mele keeps the menu focussed on what really matters: the produce. Every bite is local and rich with Italian inspiration. The gnocchi is pillowy, melding with sweet tomato, stracciatella and crisp pangrattato. I don't have room for tiramisu afterwards but I order and devour it anyway – I have no regrets.

Peppina's breakfast spread is so legendary that even the locals I meet eagerly recount their many visits. I'm there just after 7am and it’s already bustling. There's fresh hot food constantly replenished at the counter of the open kitchen, pistachio-encrusted croissants and fresh bread next to juice-filled urns. The Europeanesque pantry lets me start my day right: building a custom charcuterie board stacked with mortadella, bresaola, pickled chillis, and loads of rustic salads.

Breakfast at Peppinas in The Tasman - Luxury Escapes

For small plates, impromptu lunch dates, or a place to unwind alfresco with a glass of wine, guests can access The Deco Lounge 24/7, with staffed hours running from morning to early evening. When Hobart’s fleeting sunlight eventually evades me, I loop back inside around the gorgeous oval bar for a spot next to the glass-encased fireplace. If you’re lucky enough to visit on a weekend, book in for a signature High Tea (A$80). Expect a refined rendition of the traditional three tiers but with a local twist that changes with the season: the Tasman lobster roll, overflowing with strands of creamy Rock Lobster, is particularly divine.

And how about drinks?

Keeping in tune with the 1920’s nostalgia is bar Mary Mary, a smooth speakeasy-inspired purveyor of Tasmanian tipples. Guests can gather for a relaxing round in the intimate surrounds of soft sandstone, polished marble, gleaming timber and brass accents. Their little black book features adventurous interpretations of classic cocktails and spirits spiced with Tassie botanicals, alongside a bevy of local beers, wines and ciders. I start with an evening refresher, a bittersweet Lyre’s Amalfi Spritz to balance the crunch of the complimentary bacon honey popcorn.

Jazzy lo-fi music plays in ambient levels soft enough that I don’t need to speak up for my next drink order – the ‘Orchard’, an aptly apple-forward concoction blending Absolut Vodka, heritage apples, salt and nutmeg to tick all the right boxes. Mary Mary is also conveniently connected to Peppina by a single door so guests can easily bring their drinks along for the (short) journey from one flavour country to the next.

Speak-easy inspired bar Mary Mary at The Tasman - Luxury Escapes
There's something about Mary Mary. Source: The Tasman.

What sets The Tasman apart?

Guests will want for nothing with Tasmania's only certified Les Clefs d'Or concierge at your service. Whatever your interest and wherever you want to go, their exceptional team (and a fleet of chauffeured Audis) will see it done. Wine lovers can book in for a tasting session with in-house sommeliers in the heritage cellar-like Wine Room (exclusive for guests only). For the fitspo crowd, complimentary 24-hour access to The Tasman Fitness Centre is included in your stay.

From my sparkling welcome drink served at check-in to taxis on three-minute standby for my return journey to the airport, it’s these little touches from The Tasman that I treasure long after I leave.

Who will love The Tasman?

Well-travelled adults, couples and first-time visitors who want to experience Hobart at its finest need look no further than The Tasman. As the Luxury Collection's first representative in Australia, the premier hotel epitomises everything that makes Australia's southernmost state a unique holiday destination, from its rich history to its blossoming culinary scene.

The writer was a guest of The Tasman.

About Sara Rudling
Exploring the unexpected: Sara’s travels have taken her from climbing up chains on Mt. Ishizuchi to spotting endangered wildlife in Port Davey. When she’s not scribbling down sentences, Sara loves creating playlists for her next concert, embracing Melbourne's café culture, and camping under the stars.

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