Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ultimate Luxury Down Under

It was in Hobart, the charming capital of Tasmania, that we fell into the lap of luxury. As a travel writer, my dearest and I often stay at fairly decent digs, but the Henry Jones Art Hotel was over the top. It’s a 5-star hotel built in a historic jam factory (circa 1859) on the waterfront. The architects lovingly preserved every possible historic relic including beams, window casings and even pieces of old machinery. Shortly after opening in 2004, a guest complained of blood dripping from the ceiling. But it was only the melting of strawberry jam that had crystallized into the beams over a century. Our room is luxuriously appointed with, for example, a huge glass enclosed bathroom with gigantic walk-in shower and soaker tub - all with ultra-modern fittings that somehow mesh with the old parts of the building. The king-sized bed has a silk coverlet.

The owners also turned the hotel into a working art gallery showcasing the best artists in Tasmania. Shortly after checking in there was a guided tour. Carrying glasses of champagne, we followed Matt Casey (general manager) and Christine Scott (curator) who described the history of the hotel and the artistic merits of the 360 paintings that are found in every wall throughout the hotel. What a glorious place! The Henry Jones has won over 60 awards since it opened in 2004, including the best hotel in Australia.

As though that wasn’t enough, our window faced onto the wharf where, by chance, the black Sea Shepherd ship (they call themselves eco-pirates) was docked proudly bearing a long gash from its recent anti-whaling campaign. I was in heaven!
For information: DiscoverTasmania.com & www.thehenryjones.com
& www.seashepherd.com

1 comment:

  1. I loved Hobart and Tasmania - aren't they just gorgeous? Your post brought back memories!!!