Tasmanians love a story and you’ll find many at this chatty new Sullivans Cove hotel, writes Alison Boleyn.
If Hobart were a treasure chest, her richest jewels would be the dark, disorienting Mona and that extraordinary waterfront – a precious stretch of Indigenous and colonial history and a lure to some of the capital’s best dining. Now, on Macquarie Wharf, with balconies so close to the Derwent that a guest with a good arm could cast a line into it, sits newcomer MACq 01, a themed hotel from the group behind Saffire Freycinet and The Henry Jones Art Hotel.
In keeping with the MACq 01’s yarn-spinning mission – the hotel employs full-time storytellers for tours and chats (and the lifts talk, too) – each room is designed to reflect one of five character types said to typify islanders. Room 305, a Premium Waterfront Suite, is named after 19th-century teacher and campaigner Lucy Beeton, and its “grounded yet exceptional” theme extends to an earthy palette and a glass case of black feathers. But it’s the wharf views you’ll book for – by day, all boats, big sky and mountain backdrop; by night, a twinkling Sullivans Cove.
Number of guestrooms: 114, including 27 suites; all but two rooms have balconies.
Check in/out: 2pm/10am
Food and drink: The Old Wharf Restaurant serves a modern Australian menu that tilts to seafood, naturally, and a small but perfectly formed buffet breakfast (plus an à la carte option). The Story Bar opens onto the wharfside deck.
Water: Two complimentary bottles (600ml) of still water.
Minibar: There are bottles of boutique Tasmanian spirits, ranging from $22 to $62 (100ml), as well as games – Giant Pick Up Sticks, Jenga and Barrel of Monkeys – at $15 a pop. A Nestlé Mint Pattie costs $2.50.
Room service: The Cape Grim Steak Sandwich ($30) comes on Pigeon Whole Bakers bread with anchovy mayo, a fried egg and Heidi Farm gruyère. From order to delivery: 16 minutes.
TV and movies: Local free-to-air and selected Foxtel channels, with 120-plus free films.
Bathtub: Freestanding and deep, in a huge Tom Ford-sexy bathroom that’s so moodily lit, applying make-up is strictly a fingers-crossed affair.
Amenities: Appelles Apothecary & Lab
Bathrobe: Hooded, all cotton, urban grey and unexpectedly flattering.
Pillow menu: Body, feather and down, latex, low-profile microfibre and memory contour.
Wellness: The gym, open 6am to 10pm, has free weights and cardio machines; personal training and in-room massage can be arranged.
Wi-fi: Free throughout.
Business facilities: This hotel has been built for fun but reception will print, photocopy, scan and post.
The concierge test: There’s no concierge at MACq 01; rather a 24-hour guest services team. Asked to identify the nearest Asian grocer, one person on the desk immediately named a Japanese deli in the city, while a second added an Asian supermarket in Sandy Bay.
The housekeeping test: Asked to iron a cocktail dress, the butler knocked to collect it within two minutes. It was beautifully done and returned with a handwritten card with well wishes and a joke about the “pressing matter”.
Parking: Each room comes with a complimentary valet car space. (Need another? Just ask.)
Price: From $305 for a room that overlooks Hunter Street’s sandstone buildings to $1200-plus for the two Luxury Waterfront Suites (104 and 105 square metres).
Ask for... as much water in that view as possible.
Our rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑
SEE ALSO: One Perfect Day in Hobart