Hobart's perennial accommodation shortage has received more than just a boost in rooms with the opening of the audacious MACq 01 Hotel on the city's waterfront.
Clad in white cypress, overlooking the Derwent River and Mount Wellington and billed as a storytelling hotel, characters from the past and more recent history have been assigned to the 114 rooms in the hotel described as "informal luxury" on Macquarie Wharf where the whaling industry once thrived.
From the Indigenous warrior Manalagena who resisted British occupation, to Robyn Moore, the voice of Blinky Bill, personalities from a grim and a colourful past are here.
Taking the gamble is the Federal Group, owner of Australia's first legal casino, opened in 1973, and more recently Freycinet luxury lodge Saffire and the Henry Jones Art Hotel, just a stone's throw from MACq 01.
Generous-size entry-level rooms to suites with a balcony big enough for a game of quoits feature walk-in showers, premium woollen couches and bedheads by local artist Troy Ruffels depicting coastal storms and ancient cider gums of the Central Highlands. Local gin and whiskey from producers such as McHenry and Lark can be sampled from the mini-bar.
On the ground floor one can while away an afternoon in The Lounge around a fire pit underneath an extraordinary kelp forest and next to Indigenous artefacts of shell necklaces and hand-woven baskets.
At the Old Wharf restaurant led by Saffire Freycinet's former head chef Simon Pockran, you can watch Bruny Island oysters being shucked and slow-cooked Derwent lamb shoulder with mint and barberries being plated from a menu that is an ode to the state's food and drink producers.
Or accompany one of the hotel's team of professional storytellers for an afternoon around Sullivans Cove and Salamanca Place and the convict-built sandstone structures for some time travel delivered with polish.
Rooms from $400 a night.
Jane Reddy stayed courtesy of macq01.