Love a room with a view of the water? As the only Australian state entirely surrounded by water, Tasmania has lots to choose from. Here are our pick of the five best Tasmania hotels with water views.
1Henry Jones Art Hotel, Hobart
Since its reincarnation from IXL jam factory to hip 21st-century art hotel, Henry Jones Art Hotel has been showered with international accolades.
The designers did a brilliant job of transforming 19th-century warehouses into a unique 56-suite boutique hotel that is a showcase for Tasmania’s top visual artists. Most of the art is for sale and can be viewed in catalogues.
The fashionably decorated rooms will appeal to those with an artistic eye. Most have huge Kohler spa bathtubs and furnishings that hint of Indian and Chinese influences.
Think bright silk bed covers, contemporary leather furniture, timber Venetians and wide-screen plasma sets.
For a real treat, the two-bedroom two-storey Peacock Terrace is a treasure trove of artworks. This section of the hotel was once Sir Henry Jones’ residence.
What to do? Take a break and immerse yourself in Hobart’s art and culture. Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery has a substantial collection of Tasmanian colonial and decorative arts such as silverwork, ceramics, furniture and textiles.
2Peppers Seaport Hotel
Nautical style meets seafaring history at Peppers Seaport Hotel, the 60-room star of Launceston’s redeveloped Seaport riverfront precinct.
The sprawling four-story hotel, designed in the shape of a ship, is the anchor attraction in the zone which also has a 90-berth marina, retail shops and boardwalks that connect to the Cataract Gorge Reserve.
The riverfront location has rooms with views of the river, marina and city.
Luxury river view suites have huge living areas with dining table, well-equipped kitchen and an airy open-plan living area with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors leading out onto balconies.
Leather, stainless steel and blond timber combine to create a sleek contemporary look. But the design is also functional and will work well for families; lounges convert into sofa beds and laundries are tucked neatly into closets.
What to do? A boardwalk links Peppers Seaport to the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Inveresk, which has collections across a range of subjects from fine arts and history to zoology and geology.
Further along the boardwalk is the quaint historic Ritchie’s Mill building that was built in the 1840s with original convict bricks, Oregon beams that came in as ballast in American ships and Kauri pine floors from New Zealand ships.
The path leads to Cataract Gorge, a unique slice of wilderness right in the city where you can go bushwalking and hiking. But if you prefer a less strenuous pursuit, take the chairlift for spectacular views of the ancient rock gorge.
3Stewart’s Bay Lodge, Port Arthur
Set in hectares of natural bushland, Stewart’s Bay Lodge is connected to the Port Arthur Historic Sites by a waterfront walking track.
Its waterfront position on the Tasman Peninsula has Stewarts Bay on one side and Ladies Bay on the other.
The lodge has one-, two- and three-bedroom cabins equipped with all the mod-cons you would need as if you were in your own home.
Families travelling with babies can hire cots, high chairs and cot linen.
The one- and two-bedroom deluxe spa lodges are a little more luxurious and have reverse-cycle air-conditioning, floor-to-ceiling doors and large timber decks where you can sit and enjoy views of the bay.
What to do? Port Arthur Historic Sites has World Heritage status as part of a group of ten other Australian convict sites.
The main attractions at Port Arthur are the Penitentiary, an imposing ruin constructed in 1843 as a flour mill and granary and converted into a penitentiary capable of housing over 480 convicts in 1857, the Separate Prison, where convicts were sent into solitary cells, and the timber and stone ruins of the Convict Church.
A visit to the historic sites is an eye-opener but there’s a lot more to see and do around the Tasman Peninsula.
4Strahan Village, Strahan
Voted the best little town in the world by the Chicago Tribune, Strahan is a family friendly base from which to experience the Western Wilderness.
The waterfront village has a Disney-like appeal with a dash of old-world charm. The entrance to Strahan Village is guarded by two life-sized toy soldiers.
Accommodation is spread out across several buildings including a row of charming waterfront cottages, which echo the history of the miners, piners and fisherman who once lived here.
There’s also a hilltop wing with comfortably furnished rooms and big views of Macquarie Harbour.
The rest of the town consists of craft shops, cafes and pubs occupying a row of 19th-century buildings.
Dining options include View 42° Restaurant and Bar, with sweeping views of the harbour and a decent buffet spread, the Fish Café on the Wharf, for fresh local seafood, and cheerful pub meals at Hamer’s Hotel.
What to do? As the gateway to the Western Wilderness, there are a number of tours available from Strahan.
You can cruise the Gordon River or ride on the West Coast Wilderness Railway, the original steam railway connecting the mining town of Queenstown to the port at Strahan.
The railway crosses the King River and climbs sheer-sided gorges on its 35km journey.
A stunning way to see the wilderness is to take a trip in a seaplane flying over rivers and forests then descend into a steep-sided gorge and land on the Gordon River.
The small-group Bonnet Island Penguin Experience allows you to watch the little penguins come out of the water at night while protected by rocks and dense low-lying shrubs.
5Saffire Freycinet, Coles Bay
The spa, fine cuisine, prepared with fresh produce from the area, and specially tailored touring experiences firmly position Saffire in the top tier of Australian luxury lodges.
Local architect Morris Nunn & Associates designed the curved Sanctuary building to evoke images of the sea and rooftops of the suites form a wavy line.
Materials used include recycled Sydney blue gum, Tasmanian oak, slate and sandblasted marble. The stone, timber and glass bush chic interior
The stone, timber and glass bush chic interior is complemented by hand-picked furnishings such as hand-woven rugs and bucket dining seats.
Suites are adorned in colours that complement nature and have gadgets that would please techno-warriors.
Top-of-the-line suites have small plunge pools protected from the wind in private courtyards.
What to do? Relaxing, fine dining and spa treatments are firmly on the menu here. Spa Saffire offers a range of treatments including a Hazards Restoration massage using heated pink granite stones from the region. The spa has its own line of products that promote the benefits of pure blue sapphire dust.
Coles Bay flies the flag for ecotourism as the first township in the world to ban the use of plastic bags. Nature-based tours at Saffire are included in the tariff and are designed to provide tailored experiences.
An oyster expedition to the nearby Freycinet Marine Farm will have you in tight rubberised waders looking at beds of Pacific oysters to learn about their cultivation.
The Schouten Island Experience trip aboard a comfortable expeditionary cruiser offers education about the area and encounters with whales, dolphins, sea lions and birds.
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