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Hobart is the small, intimate capital of a state covering great swathes of pristine wilderness. These days its metropolitan area spreads out along the beautiful Derwent River and into some spectacular countryside, but it was built as Australia's second city, founded as a penal colony, and so its colonial history provides another reason to visit. And some of the best places to stay in Hobart have been converted from the city's early colonial buildings.
Hobart's Docks have been enjoying a regeneration and there are some great pubs and restaurants, many of them serving local beer and wine from the Tamar Valley.
The picturesque warehouses of Salamanca Place and the old warren of alleys of Battery Point are the main streets when it comes to foodie treasure troves, and on Saturday there's a fantastic market in Salamanca Place - so don't drive into town on a Saturday!
Foodies have further treats to enjoy within the Gothic grandeur of the Cascade Brewery or on the grounds of the Moorilla Estate.
Hobart is also home to the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, a museum to the 1911-14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition, several museums uncovering Hobart's penal history, and MONA, called by its owner ''a subversive adult Disneyland", where antiques are displayed next to modern art in a provocative way.
Behind Hobart is Mt. Wellington, a rocky for much loved by bushwalkers and mountain bikers, so you don't need to go far to get out into the great outdoors.
The best places to stay in Hobart provide excellent bases from which to explore this fascinating city and the surrounding area.
For a city break
- The Henry Jones Art Hotel is Australia's first 'art hotel'; a hip, stylish space converted from an 1820s jam warehouse right on Hobart's waterfront. Rooms are tasteful and you're in a great spot.
- If you like your city chic modern then you'll like the Mona Pavilions, a collection of slick, uniquely designed self-catering pavilions on the Morilla Estate, in the grounds of the Mona Museum. Just a short ferry trip from Hobart, as well as the museum there's a heated infinity pool, gym and sauna.
Just outside town
- The Islington Hotel is a converted Regency house with a fabulous modern stone and glass extension allowing for even more spectacular views of Mt. Wellington. The grounds, on the outskirts of Hobart, are manicured and beautiful and the interior is decorated with art and antiques.
- Woodbridge on the Derwent is a collection of eight luxurious suites in an 1825, convict-built riverside mansion just 25 minutes from Hobart. Many of the original features, like open fireplaces, a ballroom and library, remain. Plus you're surrounded by food and wine country.
Still not sure which to book? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Hobart, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Or you can extend your search and check out all our recommendations in Tasmania.
Best Hotels in Hobart
Henry Jones Art Hotel 50 rooms from $181Hobart
Australia's first dedicated art hotel has transformed a historic 1820s jam warehouse on Hobart's waterfront in to a contemporary, hip and stylish space. Rooms are tastefully furnished with large bathrooms. Perfect for a weekend city break or honeymooners.Sights nearby - Bruny Island, Tasman IslandOutstanding location - On Hobart's waterfront
Villa Howden 10 rooms from $249Margate, Tasmania
Villa Howden, located on the tranquil shores of North West Bay, offers traditional elegance and the perfect place to stay for intimate celebrations and quiet contemplation. Rooms are beautifully decorated and fresh local produce is served in peaceful dining rooms. A secluded country house.Sights nearby - Just 15 mins from Hobart. Close to Port Arthur, Salamanca Market, Air Walk and Mount Wellington.Swimming Pool - Indoor salt water poolLocal markets - Salamanca Market,Great walks - Huon TrailRecommended by - Tablet
Islington Hotel 11 rooms from $263Hobart
An old Regency house is the perfect setting for this boutique hotel with fabulous glass/stone extension,found on the outskirts of Hobart with stunning views to Mt Wellington. Art and antiques. And a swimming pool, BBQ facilities and an acre of manicured gardens including a 100 year old willow tree.Restrictions on children - Must be aged 16 or overViews - To Mt WellingtonLocal markets - Good for local colour.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Fodors
Woodbridge on the Derwent from $356near Hobart, Tasmania
Eight luxury suites in historic 1825 convict-built riverside mansion, only 25 minutes from Hobart. Family owned and run, with a private ballroom, library and open fireplaces. A great base for exploring renowned local cuisine and wine producers.Outstanding location - In Derwent Valley, Tasmania's renowned gourmet food bowl with wineries and farm gate producers5* Luxury - Tasmania's only 5 star accredited hotelLocal markets - 30 mins drive to Salamanca MarketsKayaking - Kayaks available for guest useRecommended by - Small Luxury Hotels
Mona Pavilions from $401Hobart, Tasmania
Slick, contemporary self-catering pavilions on the Morilla Estate a short ferry ride from Hobart in the grounds of the Mona. Festivals, culture courses, with free museum entry, a gym, sauna and heated indoor infinity pool.Sights nearby - On same site as Mona museum, 15 minutes outside of HobartSwimming Pool - Heated infinity poolDesigner - Uniquely designed interiors.Outstanding locationRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith