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Hotel Highlights

  • Super-luxe base for exploring Hobart and Southern Tasmania
  • Exquisite home cooking and a fine cellar
  • Sophisticated service and great local recommendations

Overview

Genteelly perched above Tasmania’s capital Hobart, The Islington Hotel is a lavish private retreat within a stately historic home. With its sophisticated glass, marble and sandstone facelift, this renovated Regency residence exudes elegance and boasts more Asian and contemporary Australian art than you can shake a Sotheby’s catalogue at.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking The Islington Hotel with us:

A bottle of Islington-label wine

Facilities

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The Islington Hotel -  Hobart - Australia

Need To Know

Rooms

11, including five rooms in the original 1847 house and six garden rooms in the modern extension.

Check–out

10am. Earliest check-in, 2pm, but both are flexible subject to availability.

Rates

Double rooms from $273.02 (AU$314), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Select rates include breakfast and minibar soft drinks.

Also

Poke around in the writing desk in your room and you should find a great guided Rivulet walk – with obligatory stop at local gourmet deli and cafe, Raw – ready to slip round your neck and under your Barber. If you fancy less exertion, beauty and massage treatments can be ordered in your room.

At the hotel

Library, music room, outdoor pavilion with open fire and barbecue, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: iPad, flatscreen TV, in-house movie and cable channels, DVD/CD player with library, iPod dock, minibar, Basic Earth Botanicals and Beauty & the Bees toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

Tucked away at the back of the new extension, smart and simple ground-floor Garden Rooms 6 and 7 have the best views, but stay in the old house to feel cocooned and connected – Regency Room 3, the Wellington Room, named after the mountain it overlooks, is generous, elegant and airy. The Attic Room is small and tastefully cluttered with views through its original casement window to the conservatory.

Packing tips

Patterned pashminas for elegant dinners, reading glasses for close-up ogling of the fabulous art collection.

Also

Spend some languid downtime in the Andrew Pfeiffer-designed gardens, shaded by the 100-year-old willow.

Children

This is more of a couple’s retreat – no under-16s allowed.

Eco‐friendly

The Islington Hotel sources most of its food locally and grows some produce on site. It composts food waste, recycles wherever possible, and buys green energy and carbon offsets, to make the property carbon-neutral overall.

Food & Drink

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The Islington Hotel -  Hobart - Australia

Hotel Restaurant

The main dining area and fireside snug are housed in a two-storey sandstone conservatory with a chequered black-and-white marble floor and huge, fern-filled urns. The Islington’s talented chef cooks up a delicate but flavour-packed storm, with a mix of Mod Oz and European influences. Local, seasonal produce reigns – Cressy lamb, Highland wild rabbit and fresh-from-the-water fish and oysters – to be paired with a selection of superbly swillable wines.

Hotel Bar

An extensive honour bar, featuring all-Tasmanian wines, beers and local gin, whiskey and vodka, is available for guests whenever they fancy a tipple. The Asian-themed and darkly lush rose-hued drawing room is a soothing place for a late-night glass of tawny port, or house-speciality martini.

Last orders

Dinner is served from 7pm till 10pm, Wednesday to Saturday.

Room service

You can order dishes from the main menu to enjoy in your room during breakfast and dinner hours, and light snacks such as cheeses and soups are available at other times. Picnics can be arranged in summer.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Understated but well-pressed and designer.

Top table

Nab the corner table overlooking the reflective infinity pond with its ghost-white Murano glass stalagmites, or ask for a private dinner at the grand colonial table in the library.

Local Guide

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The Islington Hotel -  Hobart - Australia
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Local restaurants

In North Hobart, chef Alex Jovanovic dishes up tasty Italian-meets-Tasmanian fare at Piccolo (+61 (0)3 6234 4844) on Elizabeth Street, where gnocchi, calamari and tiramisu should tempt you. Communal bench seating and shared plates make hot Murray Street newcomer Garagistes (+61 (0)3 6231 0558) a stylish, sociable eatery, with chef Luke Burgess using only organic, biodynamic and sustainable ingredients from local artisan producers, complemented by innovative natural global wines. A short drive from Hobart on Richmond Road in Cambridge, Meadowbank Estate (+61 (0)3 6248 4484) is a bright and airy winery restaurant, with flavoursome plates and wines served by the glass. Further afield, team a catamaran cruise with a trip to Peppermint Bay (+61 (0)3 6267 4088; www.peppermintbay.com.au) on the waterfront at Woodbridge, where local crayfish, oysters and fish are the star attraction (it’s a 35-minute drive from town, if you’d rather stay on dry land).

+ Enlarge
Herb-scented ridge-top gardens

The Islington Hotel

321 Davey Street, Hobart, Australia 7000, Australia

The Islington Hotel is located in relaxed South Hobart, ten minutes from the heart of the CBD and Salamanca Place.

Planes

Hobart International Airport (www.hobartairpt.com.au) is a 30 minute drive from the hotel. Despite the name there are no international flights into Hobart International Airport but most major Australian mainland cities have regular flights to Tasmania. Check out Qantas (www.qantas.com.au; 13 13 13), Jetstar (www.jetstar.com; 131 538), Virgin Australia (www.virginaustralia.com; 13 67 89), and Air New Zealand (www.airnewzealand.com.au; 13 24 76) for flights.

Automobiles

You can take a taxi or hire a car from one of the major car rental companies at the airport. It’s a 30-minute drive though the city to the hotel.

Other

Savvy seafarers can board the Spirit of Tasmania Ferry (www.spiritoftasmania.com.au; 1800 634 906) at mainland Melbourne, and nine to eleven hours later you’ll find yourself on the other side of Bass Strait in Devonport, Tasmania. You can take your car, sleep in a luxurious cabin and with numerous restaurants and bars, a cinema and a kids playroom onboard there are enough entertainment options to sink a ship (though thankfully the Spirit of Tasmania vessels have a sound safety record). From Devonport it’s a three hour and 30 minute drive to Hobart.

Reviews

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The Islington Hotel -  Hobart - Australia

Anonymous review

by Andrew McConnell , Chef and culture vulture

This review of The Islington Hotel in Hobart is taken from our guidebook Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection Australia/New Zealand. Six months into the year and Mrs Smith and I have the horrifying realisation that we haven’t been on a single break. This, we decide, has to change. To the Apple Isle, immediately. Smith Jr at home in capable hands, this trip is about getting away from everyth…
Read more

The Islington Hotel

Anonymous review by Andrew McConnell, Chef and culture vulture

This review of The Islington Hotel in Hobart is taken from our guidebook Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection Australia/New Zealand.

Six months into the year and Mrs Smith and I have the horrifying realisation that we haven’t been on a single break. This, we decide, has to change. To the Apple Isle, immediately. Smith Jr at home in capable hands, this trip is about getting away from everything.

Arriving at Hobart Airport, Mrs Smith decides we need to eat – and fast. A lazy lunch, she figures, will get us into the swing of this trip. Panic creeps in when we can’t get hold of the friend we hail as ‘Tasmania’s all-knowing expert on where to eat’. As we’re due to check in at the Islington Hotel, we tap the hotel on where to go for a relaxing meal. Lisa, one of the hosts, sends us confidently in the direction of Meadowbank Estate.

Detouring off the freeway, we motor down a gorgeous country road flanked by cherry blossoms and vineyards. We arrive at the recommended winery 15 minutes from Cambridge, and the view from the dining room’s floor-to-ceiling windows swallows our attention. French provincial-style tucker, great wine and the vision of mist swirling around the mountains are what the doc ordered; we leave hours later in a new state of mind, officially relaxed.

Hobart is a pretty city: situated on the coast, split down the middle by the Derwent River and backdropped by Mount Wellington. For us it’s shrouded in a soft white haze, pierced occasionally by shards of sunlight. Driving through one of Hobart’s dress-circle suburbs, we admire gracious old houses, beautiful gardens and river views. As soon as our tyres crunch on the gravel of the Islington Hotel driveway, Lisa and Thomas rush out to welcome us. Their friendly, confident approach sets the mood. We’re in safe hands.

Resplendent in Regency notes, the architecture hails from 1847. These days as a hotel it houses lounges, a dining room and five bedrooms in the original building. A double-height, glass-and-steel conservatory comprises a new extension, where we find a fireplace-flaunting bar, open kitchen and the offer of informal dining, plus six additional contemporary rooms up for grabs. The whole affair is lovingly couched in an acre of gardens designed by Andrew Pfeiffer, a landscaper celebrated in London, Istanbul and Buenos Aires for his green-fingered Midas touch.

From foliage to soft furnishings, we give the decor in the public areas a thorough once-over. It exemplifies the popular anything-goes aesthetic of mixing old and new, antique and à la mode, Asian and Euro – held together elegantly in this instance by the owners’ art collection. Contemporary local artists hang alongside Brett Whiteley and walls are festooned with travel memorabilia and artefacts reflecting both familial and local history. Seeing another person’s passion boldly on display reminds me of why I love to travel. Our room, located in the contemporary wing, is beautifully understated, modern but far from minimalist. Outside is the classic English garden setting, augmented by exotic Australian birds flitting through native flora. And add to that a postcard-perfect view of Mount Wellington.

After a pinch-me-it’s-paradise afternoon of napping, reading and garden perusing, we’re ready for dinner. Dressed for the occasion, we head to the rose-tinted drawing room where Thomas uncorks a bottle of champagne. Sinking into a sofa, Mrs Smith and I have a long catch-up while Thomas attends to every need, topping up glasses and plumping cushions. We’ve ordered tasting plates matched with some of Tasmania’s finest wines. In that stunning show kitchen, the chef creates a beautifully balanced menu harnessing the region’s bounty – impossibly fresh oysters, delicious ocean trout and succulent lamb – cooked with precision and care. And, of course, imbued with passion.

The next morning, over breakfast, we plan our Derwent Valley attack. Before whetting your appetite for wanderlust, let’s get you salivating again. If only every day I could tell a chef how I’d like my eggs. Home-made granola and poached fruits are followed by organic scrambled eggs and house-cured gravlax.

Lisa takes the reins of our day, arming us with directions, bookings, re-bookings and more bookings – all of it with a smile. We set off first to explore antique stores in New Norfolk, then in the opposite direction for lunch. Peppermint Bay overlooking Bruny Island is a wonderfully of-the-moment providore with a tempting restaurant and bar. Great service, first-class local produce and crayfish, and a fabulous wine list prove that having Lisa play architect to our excursions outdoes relying on our all-knowing mate.

Back at the Islington, the sun disappears behind the hills and our afternoon segues to evening with another bath, another siesta and another bottle of bubbly. Tonight we’re off to Hobart hotspot Piccolo, an Italian eatery and bar. Post-carbs, bed beckons, but instead we’re sidetracked by the Islington’s conservatory and its cocktails. Looking up through the glass roof, the stars are twinkling so brightly it’s as if we’re in the country.

Another heavenly sleep in the bespoke Angel beds (custom-made locally) and our perfect escape is at an end. But we got what we came for: pampering, relaxation and a deluge of great food. Just before we leave, Mrs Smith reads a quote from the in-house brochure: ‘It feels like you’re staying at a rich friend’s house,’ she shares.

‘It’s better than that though,’ she suggests. ‘It’s as though your mates have gone away and left all their staff at your disposal too’. Now there’s a service that really trumps that in-the-know Tasmanian pal of ours.

 

The Guestbook

Reviews of The Islington Hotel from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Beautiful building and gardens - art work and peaceful areas for relaxation, lovely attentive staff and fantastic food.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the service and the food. The decor in the old part of the house was lovely too. It's best to eat at the hotel; clearly it's the best food in Hobart.

Don’t expect

Some of the decor in the new part of the house was not my taste.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The hotel was very beautiful, classy and clean. The staff and service was also amazing. The Islington Hotel really can't improve on perfect! 

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the beautiful building; understated but perfectly appointed Garden room; attentive but non-intrusive service; extremely friendly staff; relaxed atmosphere; limited number of guests; and first-class food.

Don’t expect

Very little could be improved. I know it sounds like it was a bit too perfect, but it actually was!

Rating: 10/10 stars