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Thursday 13 February 2014

A Tasmanian hotel that offers one of Australia's best-value city breaks

You can't judge a book by its cover. Never has that saying been more true than when talking about the excellent Balmoral on York boutique hotel in Launceston. 
From the outside, Balmoral on York looks like a dull apartment block, an unremarkable five-storey caramel and brown edifice. But once you check in you'll find quiet, well-equipped rooms, mature staff for whom nothing is too much trouble and little extras like free wi-fi, free car parking, free movie channels and Fox Sports channels on the TV. 

That's nothing more than you would expect at a chain hotel charging big bucks - but rooms, including continental breakfast, 
start from just $120 a night at Balmoral on York, making it something of a bargain. 

Balmoral on York is in the downtown core, just a block from Charles Street and within walking distance of most of the city attractions - and the Tamar Valley Wine Route is a delightful nearby distraction. Some of the rooms have sweeping city views. 

I've stayed at Balmoral for the past two Festivale events and count it as my home away from home in Launceston. Late for breakfast? "No problem, what would you like?" Need a couple of emails printed out? "No problem. And no charge." Want an extra towel? "No problem, we'll put it in the room for you." 

Manager Trevor Donaldson has a policy of employing, and empowering, staff who get the hospitality ethos. You won't be greeted by a slack-jawed, pimple-faced teenager more interested in sending a selfie from their iPhone than attending to his/her customers. 

Often it will be Trevor himself helping out on the desk, or pouring a drink (he's a bit of a wine buff and also promotes local ciders). 

It's no wonder this place is regular ranked among the top three hotels in Launceston on TripAdvisor. It is a much better bet than several big-name brand hotels nearby. 

There is an on-site Garden Terrace licensed restaurant (right) that serves excellent breakfasts and affordable modern Australian cuisine at night and several good eateries and bars - including the Black Cow Bistro steak house, Dickens Ciderhouse and the new St John beer bar - are within walking distance. 

All the rooms have Italian leather couches, quality beds, high-definition TVs with satellite stations, wireless internet (soon to be upgraded to NBN internet), modern bathroom, air-conditioning, mini-bar/fridge (with Pagan cider and Fudgey Tasmanian fudge) and nice big towels. There is also an on-site conference centre. 

Balmoral on York, 19 York Street, Launceston, Tasmania, 7250. (03) 6331 8000.   



  1. Thanks for this Windsor we regularly travel to Launceston and need digs and I definitely would have dismissed this hotel based on its exterior.