Stay on top of the water or hover over the city. Or get views of both. Hobart's top hotels provide reasons on their own to visit Tasmania's capital city.
By Andrew Bain
As Hobart has blossomed into a city where art and nature so beautifully combine, so too have its hotels evolved to create perfect bases for days of exploration through the city and beyond. Art features heavily in some of the city's finest hotels, while others provide art-worthy views of Hobart, the Derwent River and Mount Wellington.
Strung along a bank of the Derwent River at the mesmerising Mona (Museum of Old and New Art) are eight super-chic, art-inspired rooms. Four of the Mona Pavilions are named after Australian painters and feature a signature work by the artist. The other four are named after architects and focus more on their unique room designs. Each pavilion has a soothing river view, and a bar stocked with Mona's Moorilla wines and Moo Brew beers. The pavilions are just steps from the gallery and yet entirely isolated and discrete. Stay on a Tuesday, when Mona is otherwise closed, and you can get an exclusive private tour of the gallery.
Art rules the walls at the stylish Islington Hotel, about two kilometres (1.2 miles) up the slopes from Hobart's city centre. Occupying an 1847 Regency-style mansion, the hotel has just 11 rooms, which successfully mix antiques with polished modern bathrooms and blonde wood panelling. There are artworks by the likes of Brett Whiteley and David Hockney, and views up to Mount Wellington. The glass atrium lounge is stunning, peering over a water feature spiked with Murano glass sculptures.
Henry Jones Art Hotel
A touch of artistic class inside a former jam factory on Hobart's docks, the Henry Jones Art Hotel oozes sophistication. Australia's first dedicated art hotel, it retains the framework of its jam-making days, but the walls are splashed with modern art and the rooms are exceptional. Step out the front door and you're among Hobart's fishing fleet, or stay inside for one of the hotel's weekly art tours and a cocktail at the cosy IXL Long Bar
Avalon City Retreat
Perched atop a city office tower, like an eye across Hobart, is the wonderful, luxury Avalon City Retreat penthouse pod. Two bedrooms with custom-made king-size beds enclose a central, fully equipped kitchen and dining room, with penthouse-length windows providing views across much of Hobart. Soak in the view – literally – from the outdoor Huon pine bath. Call for room service from the Astor Grill restaurant across the road. It's a touch of big-city loft life in small-city Hobart.
Somerset on the Pier
Hobart's a waterfront city, and accommodation comes no more waterfront than Somerset on the Pier. These serviced apartments are strung along Hobart's Elizabeth Street Pier, which juts out into the heart of the city's docks. The wide water views are exceptional, and you can grab an apartment with a balcony, or a large family apartment. The T42 bar and restaurant and the casual Fish Frenzy restaurant are immediately downstairs, and it's just a few steps to the floating Brooke Street Pier and the ferry to the Mona art gallery.