The Islington, Tasmania | Inn of the Month
Published: May 2009
By Amy Farley
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.
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.