Since opening in 2004 Henry Jones Art Hotel has become somewhat of a Hobart institution. The row of 19th century warehouses in the former IXL jam factory, were creatively transformed into a unique 56-suite boutique hotel showcasing works by Tasmania’s top visual artists.
In the excellence stakes, Henry Jones Art Hotel follows in the footsteps of fruit baron Henry Jones whose company IXL was named after his motto “I excel at everything I do”.
Henry Jones was born in Hobart in 1862. From humble beginnings, pasting labels on jam tins, he developed an empire with business interests in five continents that had activities in fruit, jam, timber, mining, and shipping.
The hotel sits on Hobart’s waterfront with views of Sullivan’s Cove, Victoria and Constitution Docks, the city and Mount Wellington. Henry Jones chose to set up the IXL jams and preserves factory in the area selected by Governor Collins as the site of a storehouse for the new settlement in 1904.
What we like
The designers have done a stellar job of utilising the timber beams and stone walls of the historic warehouses to create a contemporary 21st century look.
Displaying works of contemporary Tasmanian artists was a stroke of genius. Most of the art is for sale and can be viewed in the catalogues. The historic but hip presentation is slick yet friendly and welcoming.
What we don’t
Some of the functional aspects built into the design – such as toilet roll holders that are difficult to reach and wardrobes tucked away in the bed heads – can take a bit of getting used to.
Deluxe Spa Harbour View Rooms come with huge Kohler spa bathtubs and views of the harbour. Furnishings hint of Indian and Chinese influences.
Bright silk bed covers, modern timber and leather furniture, wide-screen plasma sets with high-speed internet and timber Venetian blinds bridge the gap between historic architecture and modern art to create an eclectic fashionable effect.
For a real treat the two-storey Peacock Terrace has two bedrooms, sitting room, kitchenette, Kohler baths, views of Sullivan’s Cove and a treasure trove of artworks.
This section of the hotel was once Sir Henry Jones’ residence.
The Art Installation Room displays works of Tasmanian artists for sale and can host a cocktail party for 20 (or you can sleep there for $725 a night).
The Atrium is a three-storey glass and timber structure that is used to host art installations and functions.
Food and drink
The IXL Long Bar is a popular spot in Hobart to meet for drinks.
Henry’s Restaurant serves internationally inspired dishes such as Cantonese hotpot with organic tofu braised with bok choy, shitake mushrooms and steamed jasmine rice ($30) and slow-cooked short ribs of beef bourguignon with roasted bacon, onion and button mushrooms ($34).
There are also cafes and retail outlets within the complex and an area for alfresco dining at the front of the hotel.
The mini-bar test
Boags Premium beer $6.50, Heineken $7, Tasmanian wine $28 a bottle, spirits $6.50, coke $3, bottled water $2.50, Pringles chips $3.50.
The bottom line
The Henry Jones Art Hotel, 25 Hunter Street, Hobart. tel: (03) 6210 7700.
Looking for cheaper accommodation? Try Salamanca Wharf Hotel:
Find out more about Tasmania here: