Villa Howden – Hotel Review
A provincial haven just 15 minutes outside of Hobart, Villa Howden evokes southern France more readily than it does southern Tasmania. Perhaps it’s the sandstone exterior punctuated by sky-blue wooden shutters, the indulgently deep claw-foot bathtubs or the pétanque set that often sprawls over the lawns of the landscaped exterior. This is the perfect country home retreat for couples looking for seclusion and a little bit of romance on the edge of the Huon Valley. Read on for the full review.
Where is Villa Howden?
A mildly winding trip about 15 minutes south of Hobart brings you to the beginning of the Huon Valley food trail and you’ll find Margate’s Villa Howden in the curve of tranquil North West Bay. The car trip to Hobart airport is less than 20 minutes.
What’s near Villa Howden?
At the edge of the glorious Huon Valley, Villa Howden is near the beginning of Huon Valley Day Drive; a trail that stretches as far south as Cockle Creek. The valley is known for its apples – and, subsequently, for its cider – as well as incredible mountain biking, fly fishing, breweries and distilleries to explore. Willie Smith’s, the award-winning organic cider label, is only 20 minutes west by car.
There are just 10 rooms at this intimate property, and each is as cosy as the next. Some have enormous open fireplaces; some have views to the bay through arched doorways onto secluded balconies (that’s The Tower Room, if you want to drop your partner a hint). That covetable claw-foot bath also belongs to the Tower retreat but pillowtop mattresses, espresso machines, antique furniture, breakfast and an eclectic mix of country-cute furnishings (read: toile fabric bedheads and gingham-print couches) are found in every room.
Restaurants and bars
The quaint Bruni’s Restaurant serves the hotel’s meals, from breakfast to dinner. The menus rely on classics – that means morning helpings of pancakes with fruit or eggs benedict with bacon and, in the evening, rib-eye steak with duck fat potatoes or herb-crusted lamb with red wine jus.
Travel for work
Bruni’s Restaurant is available to host all manner of events, from weddings to conferences, and in-room work is possible if you’re a laptop-in-bed kind of digital nomad.
The hotel’s indoor saltwater pool is heated – it is Tasmania, after all – and the windows at one end overlook the peaceful courtyard. If relaxation is the main order of business, in-room massages can be organised by the hotel.
What you need to know
Got a sweet tooth? Book in for high tea, served in Bruni’s every Saturday afternoon from 1pm.