Peter Bennetts

Australia’s southern island may be known more for ecotourism than for high-concept hotels, but Hobart’s newest addition is putting the destination on style-seekers’ maps.

Amy Farley
May 19, 2009

On an island full of pastoral inns, the Islington stands out like a bold Rothko painting in a gallery of Norman Rockwells. That’s not to say the Regency-era building (with a modern addition) set at the base of Mount Wellington doesn’t have its charms. The 11-room inn is filled with the owners’ private collection of art and antiques: sketches by Picasso and Australian artist Brett Whiteley; a chaise longue swathed in leopard-print Thai silk; Persian carpets and lacquered Japanese furniture. Guest quarters in the original building are a beautiful mix of old-fashioned details (room No. 3 has a pressed-tin ceiling) and up-to-date amenities (heated granite bathroom floors). Islington’s centerpiece is a glass-enclosed conservatory, where guests can dine overlooking the mist-shrouded mountain. Husband-and-wife innkeepers Amy and Nicholas Parkinson-Bates act more as hosts than as managers. They’ll arrange a chauffeured tour of the nearby Cole River Valley vineyards and share a brandy with you in the drawing room when you return.

321 Davey St., Hobart; 61-3/6220-2123; www.islingtonhotel.com; doubles from $377.

Islington Hotel

On an island full of pastoral inns, the Islington stands out like a bold Rothko painting in a gallery of Norman Rockwells. The 11-room Regency-era building is filled with art and antiques from the private collection of the husband-and-wife owners, Amy and Nicholas Parkinson-Bates: sketches by Picasso and Australian artist Brett Whiteley, a chaise longue swathed in leopard-print Thai silk, Persian carpets, and lacquered Japanese furniture. Islington’s centerpiece is a glass-enclosed conservatory, where guests can dine while contemplating mist-shrouded Mount Wellington. The innkeepers act more like hosts than managers: they’ll arrange a chauffeured tour of the nearby Cole River Valley vineyards and share a brandy with you in the drawing room when you return.

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