Tasmania’s most anticipated luxury hotel worth the wait?
Steve Madgwick checks into highly anticipated newcomer The Tasman Hobart to see if this Marriot Luxury Collection hotel lives up to its five-star fanfare.
The sheer scale and vision of The Tasman, Hobart, seems to mark a turning point for accommodation in Tasmania’s capital. Indeed, Marriott made a big statement by choosing Hobart as the first Australian location for its Luxury Collection Hotel brand.
The 152-room luxury hotel has been under construction for a long time, thanks to Covid delays. But early signs suggest this graceful fusion of new and old was well worth the wait.
Traveler: Steve Madgwick
Address: 12 Murray Street, Hobart, Tasmania
Date: February 2022
Tasman Hobart is Bis for:
A debonair choice of three ‘eras’ to cocoon inside – Georgian, Art Deco and Contemporary – all with authentic design credibility. The Tasman’s restaurant, Peppina, serves succulent, honest Italian cuisine in one of the most charismatic dining spaces around.
The Signature Factor
The Tasman Hobart has an eye for detail beyond its tender months, with design execution bordering on bespoke. The hotel has only been open since December 2021. Although it falls under the Marriott umbrella, the hotel has a tangible connection to local Hobart history. The atmospheric restaurant and bars are good enough to stand out in Hobart’s buzzing social scene.
Ten years ago, the idea of combining three buildings from distinct eras into a 152-room luxury hotel would have been considered too bold for Hobart. However, The Tasman, a Luxury Collection Hotel feels in tune with the state capital’s current supernova trajectory.
The U-shaped building occupies three sides of the block behind the Houses of Parliament and is a blinking distance from Sullivan’s Cove. The three buildings are a 1940s Art Deco, a contemporary pavilion (2021) and the former St Mary’s Hospital. The interior fittings in all three are sleek and streamlined period homages.
My airport pickup was hassle-free and in a proper cart: a tinted Audi sedan. Hobart hotel transfers are $90 each way. I wondered if the only car parked out front—a just-washed Maserati Quattroporte—was high-end virtue signage by design or just a guest ride.
The stunning Tasmanian sandstone facade exudes the poise of the old European town, even though it is strictly a shared public road. It is located in a relative modernity on the slope of Murray Street. The low-roofed, almost Secret-Squirrel lobby (a right turn through inconspicuous automatic glass doors) is a little underwhelming by comparison. The seated check-in, however, felt more like a friendly chat than a necessary admin. It was a fitting barometer for the pleasant, laid-back service that follows.
My generously proportioned Heritage Room was a majestic and soothing sanctuary; its masterfully renovated bold dark woods contrast confidently with the convict-hewn sandstone walls. The retro-Georgian theme doesn’t feel forced at all. Heritage Rooms are unmistakably masculine spaces, right down to Tassie’s signature Beauty and the Bees scent. Pop-up curtains and fool-proof switch panels come in handy. The King bed and Frette sheet combo look like clouds, although the duvet was too thick/warm for the room temperature.
The superior suite
The St David’s Park Suite in the Heritage building exudes an ambience from the golden age of travel. It has high ceilings, a green view and a fireplace. A walk-in wooden cabinet is surprisingly designed but truncates the large space a bit. This highlight is a free-standing Tasmanian black wooden bath surrounded by pristine Italian marble and powered by lashings from Grown Alchemist.
The Pavilion building’s spacious Aurora Suite entertainment terrace boasts the best water views, with glimpses as far as Kunanyi/Mt Wellington as well.
the Tutti a Tavola (shared table experience) told me everything I needed to know about the dining philosophy and execution of Peppina Restaurant. The restaurant is run by Massimo Mele, culinary director born in Tasmania and raised in Naples.
Elemental Sardinian antipasti (marinated sardines) and gnocchi steeped in a rich Stracciatella di Bufala punctuated with flavor. Peppina’s expansive interior is naturally lit by a glass ceiling and features two healthy-looking olive trees. The atmosphere is energetic, sophisticated and relaxed, reflecting the spirit of contemporary Hobart.
To take a drink
The dimly-lit Mary Mary is the pick of the Tasman’s two bars (with an exterior entrance on Salamanca Place). It has a refined speakeasy vibe. Which is enhanced by retro red leather elbow pads on the bar, groovy Tasmanian oak flooring (upcycled from the site), and period curios adorning and softening the sandstone walls. Classic Tasmanian cocktails are on the menu.
Deco Lounge follows the mid 20sand The century design theme is immaculate but more like a traditional hotel bar at the moment. The atmosphere can soften if/when the inhabitants adopt the calm and comfortable space.
Highlights of the mini bar
My top pick of the very cool local collaborations is Tamar Valley winemaker Ricky Evans’ Two Tonne Tasmania, The Tasman Pinot Noir followed by the stiff drink of the day, a mini bottle of Polar Institute negroni or martini. Tasman Brand Storm + India Turmeric & Ginger Tea is a flavor bomb to get out of bed.
I wish I could take home
Not so much what I would bring home as what I would kidnap and force into my house. Tassie’s bespoke furniture makers Matt Prince and Scott van Tuil, who are responsible for bespoke furniture, including the “stem” coffee tables, are first on my list. Followed by designers at Joseph Pang Design consultants, who magically invented Art Deco epiphanies like the black-hearted sassafras inlaid ceilings in Art Deco bedrooms.
The best things to do in Hobart
The Tasman is exactly where you want to be in Hobart; a pleasant balance of sight and not too close to the festivities. A five minute walk took me to the Mona Ferry and accredited waterfront restaurants such as Aloft. On Saturdays, the Salamanca Market is just a short walk from the park, while the Museum and Art Gallery of Tasmania is 500 meters away.
Book a wine tasting with ‘Fish’ in the Wine Room. The liberal-handed oenophile is steeped in knowledge of cool-climate wines and knows many winemakers personally.
Ask yourself if you’re more of a heritage, art deco, or modern girl/guy before hitting enter on your reservation (yes, the rooms are that distinctive).
Would love to come back in a year to see how the newborn Tasman matures over time. It will be interesting to see how much (or little) the people of Hobart embrace Peppina and Mary Mary.
The black beasts
Marriott can best tell the story of the different room styles. I loved most of the elements of my Heritage room – except for the rather businesslike view of the courtyard – but after a quick look, I think an Art Deco room would have been more my jam.
Tasman’s public nooks are wonderfully decorated with works by predominantly female Tasmanian artists. They are atmospheric but a project of this size calls for another non-dining space – an on-site spa would fit in perfectly!
It’s only the beginning, but if The Tasman continues on its current trajectory, it will top not just Hobart, but Australian cities as well. It doesn’t fill a gap in Hobart’s accommodation needs, it makes a statement of its own, arguably improving on what came before it. Watch (and stay in) this space.
Ohere to find Tasman Hobart
The Tasman Hobart is located on Murray Street, on Hobart’s waterfront. The Luxury Collection Hotel is also within walking distance of Sullivan’s Cove and Salamanca Place.
Looking for more inspirational stories about signature luxury travel and style? Try these…