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Monday 12 September 2022

Meet the hotel that is helping transform Hobart

Hobart can be a very sleepy city in winter, particularly early in the week. A lot of restaurants and bars do not even open until Wednesday or Thursday.

At the new Tasman Hotel, however, things were rocking. 

Mary, Mary bar was churning out a swag of cocktails to the post-work crowd, while Peppina restaurant was full to the brim, with a lively mix of locals and interstate guests.

The Tasman opened eight months ago and has quickly found its hospitality rhythm: there is someone to valet park your car; someone to carry your bag to the room; no long line for check-in. Good stuff.

The hotel brings together three buildings in the city’s centre, just a hop skip and a jump from the waterfront, the MONA ferry and Salamanca market.

There is the original 1840s heritage building rich with history; the 1940s Art Deco-styled wing and the modern Pavilion Building.

Each wing is different - and each room is different. There is a definite boutique vibe.

This is the first Marriott Luxury Collection hotel in Australia and clearly pitching to the luxury market: fine diners, whisky lovers etc.

Mary, Mary, situated in the heritage wing, was an instant success; a spot for drinks with colleagues, or a full-on evening of cocktails.


Just two decades ago, this was part of a city hospital - St Mary's - and key historical elements have been retained.

This wing is also home to Peppina, The Tasman’s signature Italian restaurant, where chef Massimo Mele is the guiding light.

The celebrity chef was born in Tasmania and has close relationships with local producers. With Covid on the wane, Peppina has moved from set menus, Tutti A Tavola, to upscale a la carte dining.

Here think starters dishes like raw kingfish, fennel, almond cream, citrus dressing, chilli and capers, or
wood-fired meatballs with smoked mozzarella, basil (above, and very delicious).

There is a selection of authentic pasta dishes and mains may include grilled pork chop with potato cream, radicchio and salsa verde, or char-grilled lamb rump, celeriac, olive, greens and mint jus. Or maybe some fresh fish from the local fleet, docked 100 metres away.

There is also a stunning wine list put together by leading sommelier Michael Fisher. If he is on duty when you dine, put yourself in his hands and enjoy some stunning selections by the glass (pictured).

Our waitstaff were terrific, too. 

If you are staying the night - highly recommended - The Tasman recently launched a new collection of luxury suites.

Highlights include The St. David's Park Suite, featuring an original 1840s ceiling and fireplace, while the Aurora Suite (below) has panoramic views across the River Derwent from an impressive entertaining terrace.

The two Pavilion Suites also have panoramic views over the Hobart waterfront to the River Derwent.

A range of Tasmanian food and beverage refreshments are also included in the top suites, including Lark Distillery’s Docks Release single malt, crafted for The Tasman, an exclusive beer collaboration with Moo Brew and Storm + India organic wellness teas.

OK. I have raved on a bit. There must have been something that didn't shine.

Well, my wife ordered a steak that was fatty and gristly - which the kitchen immediately offered to replace - and I wasn't happy with the choice of breakfast cereals, preferring corn flakes or Weetbix to the range of new-fangled muesli-type thingies on offer.

That's all I can come up with. A pretty awesome place to stay overall.

For more information visit

# The writer was a guest of The Tasman. Images: Winsor Dobbin and Adam Gibson. 

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