When Stephen Morahan finally opened the doors to the much-anticipated Tasman Hotel late last year, it wasn’t quite the spectacle he had envisioned. The experienced hotelier turned general manager would have been forgiven for thinking the first Marriott Luxury Collection property in Australia would deliver international fanfare, the likes of which Hobart had never seen, however, it wasn’t meant to be. Two years’ worth of lockdowns and travel border closures turned The Tasman launch into a more subdued affair, seeing the wider team refocus their attention on the local traveller. It paid off. Take one step inside The Tasman’s stunning colonial-era doors and you’ll quickly realise this isn’t just a place to rest your head, it’s a destination in and of itself.
The Tasman Key Facts
Address: 12 Murray St, Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: (03) 6240 6000
Restaurants: Peppina, Deco Lounge
Bars: Mary Mary
Parking: Valet, paid
Sitting smack bang in the heart of Hobart’s historic city centre, The Tasman delivers a textural feast for the senses. Laden with a rich convict heritage and delicately elevated with modern luxury finishes, the unique 152-room property casts an imposing shadow over the stunning Sullivan’s Cove waterfront. When we first laid eyes on the beautiful sandstone outer, it was hard to pinpoint exactly what to expect, however, we weren’t left wondering long.
A swathe of accommodating and attentive staff arrived with beaming smiles eager to take the keys to our slightly out-of-place rental Skoda and whisk it off to the valet parking section. Swarming like bees to the honey pot, the team was so swift in their assistance that we even forgot to remove the half-drunk coffee cups from the centre console. Talk about speed of service.
If first impressions are anything to go by, The Tasman more than makes good on its two-year promise to deliver a world-class hotel experience in the heart of Hobart. Like its recently opened city counterparts in Mövenpick and Crowne Plaza, The Tasman plays the luxury card up front, but beneath the surface, a rich history bubbles.
The main section of the hotel, first built in 1847, is a Georgian building that formerly housed a war hospital. The sandstone-heavy segment sweeps elegantly through to a 1937 art deco building and finishes with the stunning new Pavilion Building. A choose-your-own-era adventure, The Tasman has a little something for everyone, and that comes firmly by design.
Despite its differing ages, Sydney-based firms FJMT and Joseph Pang Design Consultants managed to weave a common thread through the hotel by using native Tasmanian materials. From the repurposed natural timber in the suites to the original stairwells still alive in the Heritage Wing, the design plays like an ode to Tasmania’s unique history. Looking at the concept from the outside, a mixed-heritage hotel with multiple designers pitching in, it really shouldn’t work, but it does. The blend of sandstone masonry and contemporary touches somehow just felt right, and that was before we even stepped foot in our room.
The Tasman Rooms
As self-confessed history buffs, the Heritage Wing immediately caught our attention, after all, who wouldn’t want to stay in a near-180-year-old, presumably haunted old hospital? But the ghosts of the past have been replaced by decadent carpets and a glamourous hall that snakes its way around the property. Inside our room, we found a carefully restored fireplace and a bevy of indulgent luxury features. From the oversized bed to the stunning view of Franklin Square, there was more than enough on offer to delight the pickiest of travellers.
Outside of the Heritage Wing, the Art Deco building represents an entirely new experience. The corner suites arrive with candy-striped carpets and a curved window that takes in the very best Salamanca Place has to offer. If you want to get finicky, this wing probably lands somewhere closer to Art Moderne than Deco, characterised by the low, horizontal shapes and sloping curves, but that’s neither here nor there. Moving further through the property, the new Pavilion Building offers a more modern take on the hotel experience, complete with all the creature comforts we’ve come to expect from Marriott’s ultra-luxury endeavours.
The Tasman Food & Drink
Importantly, Morahan and the entire Tasman team haven’t simply left the luxury experience at the front door. Where the hotel really stakes its claim for Hobart’s best is in the bar and dining options. The Deco Lounge delivers a modern Australian restaurant experience centred around a circular marble bar that opens out to Parliament Square, making it the ideal spot for a few arvo bevvies. Just around the corner, you’ll find The Tasman’s event and meeting spaces, including the incredible Printing Room, a former government building enterprise that has been transformed into an intimate private dining room, however, the hotel’s in-house restaurant Peppina is the true jewel in The Tasman’s crown.
The culinary brainchild of iconic Tasmanian chef Massimo Mele, Peppina is, much like the rest of the hotel, an ode to Tasmania’s great exports. Mele’s focus on fresh local produce elevates Peppina’s authentic Italian cuisine to something near-spiritual. Rich tomato sauces, decadent Tasmanian seafood and a downright intimidating collection of olive trees make this restaurant something to behold. From the moment you step inside the 190-seat venue, you immediately forgot you’re even in a hotel restaurant, and that’s precisely the point.
Morahan explains that Peppina, and its neighbouring cocktail bar Mary Mary, were always designed to be local-first, rather than exclusive options for staying guests. The public is welcome to pop in and stay for dinner, make reservations or just have a drink without needing a room number or key, helping to contribute to an authentic, truly buzzing atmosphere.
For all its glitz and glamour, fine food and stunning scenery, there is one element to The Tasman that cannot be understated – the service. Where Australia has traditionally lagged on the premium service front, Marriott’s first Luxury Collection property is doing a lot to change that. Throughout our stay, we were never out of earshot of the overly forthcoming staff, to the point of sheer astonishment.
When we finished dinner each night, it was Morahan himself who was last to clean up and head home. And then, like some kind of wizard, each morning he would appear bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for breakfast, our coffee order memorised and pre-prepared. While that might sound a little over the top, the general manager’s floor presence speaks to something much deeper. A lead-by-example strategy, Morahan sets the exemplary service tone that is echoed by each and every staff member along the way. It’s a refreshingly personal approach to the luxury game that hits that fable Goldilocks-level, never feeling wanky or forced.
The Bottom Line
If there’s one thing we learned over our time at The Tasman, it’s that a lot can change in three days. We may have arrived in a beat-up rental Skoda filled with disposable coffee cups, but we left primed and pampered, positive that we’d never go back to the Airbnb days ever again. Truly, the Marriott’s first Luxury Collection property down under has ruined us, and it’s not really a surprise.
Arguably the best hotel in arguably Australia’s most picturesque city, The Tasman has a lot going for it. With international travel back on the cards and a swathe of new travellers set to descend on our southern-most capital, the heritage halls will soon be brimming with guests eager to find comfort in luxury. Take it from us, they won’t be disappointed.
How much does it cost to stay at The Tasman, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Hobart?
While the prices at The Tasman, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Hobart may vary depending on your dates, you can usually find a room for around AUD$450 per night.
What are the check-in and check-out times at The Tasman, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Hobart?
According to the Marriott, the check-in at The Tasman, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Hobart is from 3:00 PM, and check-out is until 11:00 AM.