The Islington Hotel
Dating back to 1847, the Islington is a boutique hotel with the feel of a private home located in the former penal colony of Hobart.
All eleven rooms are individually decorated with international art, and all have varying views of the hotel and surrounding countryside. For views of the gardens, and direct access to, opt for the Garden Rooms and Signature Suite, or for spectacular views of Mount Wellington, we recommend the aptly named Wellington Room. There are mod cons a plenty in all, including an iPad pre-loaded with menus and wine lists, and Wi-Fi.
The main dining area is located in a conservatory and food is a mix of Australian and European, with the former focusing on local produce - for example Cressy lamb and freshly caught fish. There is also an extensive wine cellar for guests to indulge in.
Activities nearby range from the energetic to the cultural: visit the Museum of Old and New Art, or take a cruise along the shores of Bruny Island where dolphins, whales and albatross can be seen. Wellington Park offers numerous walking, biking and riding trails, and Salamanca Market is one not to be missed.
Why We Love It
A quintessential couples retreat, no under 16's are allowed.
Cradle Mountain Lodge
Located on the edge of the Cradle Mountain National Park, Cradle Mountain Lodge brings a dollop of luxury into the rugged and mountainous landscape.
The 86 cabins - ranging from Pencil Pine Cabins and Spa Cabins to the King Billy Suite - are dotted around the forest ensuring complete and utter privacy, bar the odd wombat or wallabie that may wander past. The Pencil Pine cabins have lodge, lake or forest views and can be made up of two bedrooms; while the Spa Cabins and Suites have large spa baths for pure indulgence. The King Billy Suite is the crème de la crème with a private hot tub, spa bath and complimentary port and canapes by the fire each evening (the Spa Suites also benefit from the latter).
Dining is either in the Highland Restaurant, or cosy and rustic in the Tavern Bar and Bistro. Wine and cheese tasting sessions can also be arranged, as can a five-course degustation menu.
The spa offers a range of treatments and relaxation areas: a steam room, sauna, hot tub and cold plunge pool, and other lodge facilities include babysitting and board games. Activities wise, go fishing, hiking, riding, mountain biking or just wander around the grounds and National Park.
Why We Love It
Cradle Mountain Lodge is good in both Summer and Winter - snow bunnies can get their toboggans out in the Winter, whereas Dove Lake is stunning in the Summer.
Located in the Freycinet National Park, Freycinet Lodge is in a superb location on the waterfront, overlooking Tasmania's Oyster Bay.
The eco-cabins have either one or two bedrooms so are perfect for both couple and families. Following its eco roots, there are no telephones or tellys in the rooms (except for the Wineglass Premier Room which has managed to sneak one in), although every room does come with a CD player. All have a balcony accessible through floor to ceiling glass doors so as to make the most out of the scenery and views.
Chefs at both the Bay Restaurant and Richardson's Bistro take advantage of fresh seafood and oysters, local beef and lamb, and Tasmanian wines and beers to create delicious menus.
For the energetic guest, Freycinet Lodge has many sports facilities including tennis courts, botche and cycle hire. Other activities include wildlife watching, kayaking, scenic flights and whisky tasting.
Why We Love It
The nearby Wineglass Bay has been voted one of the top ten remote beaches in the world.