Sullivans Cove Apartments, Hobart
Sullivans Cove is more than just Hobart's port. It's a place to stroll past icebreakers heading for Antarctica, cheer Sydney-Hobart yachts tying up at Constitution Dock (in late December) and drink in the long summer twilights from waterfront restaurants. Sullivans Cove Apartments manages 51 luxury apartments in this iconic and historic part of the city, the newest being two penthouse apartments in a converted flour mill in Brooke Street.
On the top floor of a converted flour mill, Brooke Street Terrace Penthouse (along with the Loft Penthouse) is the only holiday accommodation in the building, which makes you feel like a local as soon as you arrive; the rest of the three-storey block has residential apartments, businesses and a ground-floor restaurant and tapas bar called the Black Footed Pig. Because there's no reception area, you have to use an access code to open the main door and get into your apartment. This might seem impersonal, like checking into a capsule hotel. I find it liberating, like staying at a friend's apartment, particularly when I find an envelope on the kitchen table containing essentials such as keys and the remote for the parking garage.
The Terrace Penthouse apartment is light, airy and spacious. The white walls and state-of-the-art kitchen, complete with espresso machine and complimentary coffee pods, are offset by timber floors, carpet in the bedrooms, a rustic wooden dining table and original rough-hewn posts and beams that could give you splinters if you ran your hands along them. There are three bedrooms (one with a king bed, the others have queens) and three bathrooms with pretty blue and white Portuguese-style tiles and two deep freestanding baths (contemporary, not a claw-foot in sight). Sliding glass doors lead from the dining area to a tiled terrace with big-sky views over the rooftops to the river. The best thing about this place, however, is that it artfully straddles the divide between boutique hotel (think waffle bathrobes, L'Occitane toiletries and a minibar) and private apartment (make yourself a coffee, open the windows for fresh air, exit the building without seeing anyone). Earplugs are thoughtfully provided, hinting at noise on weekend nights, but it's quiet during my mid-week stay. Of course there's fast and free Wi-Fi.
You'd have to try hard not to eat well in this part of Hobart. Roll out of bed, cross the road to Brooke Street Pier, a newly renovated four-storey pontoon, and you'll find Bright Eyes espresso bar and Brooke Street Larder, Hobart's only waterside cafe, complete with morning sun. For an extra $30 a night you can breakfast at the Henry Jones Art Hotel, a five-minute stroll along the waterfront. Five minutes in the other direction is Salamanca Place with cafes such as Machine Laundry and Tricycle. Great restaurants nearby include Frank, The Glass House and Smolt. Elizabeth Street Pier, next to Brooke Street Pier, has possibly Hobart's best fish 'n' chips, served at outdoor tables (seagulls optional). Hobart Walking Tours and Gourmania run various edible walking tours.
Brooke Street Pier is the jumping-off point for MONA's pink and grey camo jetcats and Port Arthur and Peppermint Bay day cruises. Just around the corner you'll find the stately Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery and the replica Mawson's Hut. On Saturdays, Salamanca Market is the place to be and less than five minutes' stroll from your door.
Brooke Street Terrace Penthouse gives you a backstage pass to Hobart's waterfront: heritage digs with all mod cons, and daily housekeeping, within strolling distance of some of Tasmania's best restaurants, cafes and experiences. It's enough to put you off hotels for life.
The Terrace Penthouse and Loft Penthouse are at 8 Brooke Street, Hobart. Rates start at $360 a night for two people, additional guests $50 a night. Sullivans Cove Apartments is at 5/19a Hunter Street, Hobart. Call (03) 6234 5063 or see sullivanscoveapartments.com.au
The freedom of not having to plan each day, because you're so close you can come and go as you please.
Getting wet socks because the screen-less shower had wet the whole floor of the bathroom.
Louise Southerden was a guest of Tourism Tasmania and Sullivans Cove Apartments.