These Are the Best Business Hotels in Hobart

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Apr 13, 2017

by KENDALL HILL, Writer

Business doesn't mean boring. These Hobart hotels – including an 1830s Georgian warehouse and a sandstone mansion – offer the serenity needed after a hard day's work, with added flair. 

Australia's smallest state capital has heritage in spades, a winning waterfront location and a thriving subculture of fine food and drink all contained within a compact, quite spectacular city.

The state’s commercial strong suits are tourism, aquaculture – it’s the world’s largest wild abalone supplier and oysters, salmon and cray sh are also big business – forestry, a diverse mining portfolio, dairy, agriculture and its position as an Antarctic gateway. This island, almost at the end of the world, is a captivating place where doing business is more pleasure than chore. Its World Heritage-listed wilderness, luxury lodges, abundant wildlife and top-flight wine and produce – all within easy reach of the capital – create the sort of work-life balance many can only dream about.

Hardly surprising, then, that Hobart is a magnet for conference and event delegates – more than 40,000 visited last year and most tacked on a few days of R&R to explore this singular island. From wilderness to whisky, haute cuisine to coastal hikes, Australia’s second-oldest capital city offers a choice of extracurricular experiences like no other place on Earth. When business is done, the island is your oyster. Or abalone. Or lobster.

There is no other Australian hotel where the corporate visitor – any visitor – can bed down in an 1830s Georgian warehouse of sandstone and timber. That’s reason alone to book into The Henry Jones Art Hotel but consider also the waterfront location, myriad artworks on display, a ash new restaurant called Landscape and 56 rooms and suites, all unique.

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Business facilities
There’s no business centre but the concierge desk can provide secretarial support. Meeting facilities include
the Art Installation Suite, which doubles as a 20-seat boardroom with the latest AV equipment and full catering. 

Wi-fi
Free throughout.

Food and wine
Besides atrium café Jam Packed – good for breakfast – the top table at Henry Jones is Landscape, a high-end grill house. Expect premium proteins such as Cape Grim eye fillet or whole flathead with Café de Paris butter, chargrilled over local hardwoods and cask woods. The wine list is impressive, too.

Fitness and wellbeing
The on-site gym has high-tech equipment but there is no pool. Do your laps at the Doone Kennedy Hobart Aquatic Centre in nearby Queens Domain, a 15-minute walk from the hotel.

Run route
Follow the sealed riverside track north past the cenotaph, Tasman Bridge, Government House and botanical gardens to reach Cornelian Bay. The eight-kilometre return trip takes about an hour.

25 Hunter Street, Hobart

Henry Jones Art Hotel, Hobart

 

Lenna of Hobart

This grand sandstone mansion above Salamanca Place dates back to 1874 but its 52 rooms are housed in a modern extension built a century later (and renovated in 2013). All accommodation comes with coffee machines, pay TV and free parking, plus a choice of parkland, mountain or harbour views. Rooms are identical except for the pair of two-bedroom penthouses, opened in 2007, with wraparound views.

Business facilities
In the absence of a business centre, the lounge can double as a workspace and there is a computer for guest use. Three function rooms within the National Trust-listed building can accommodate up to 55 people in heritage surrounds.

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Wi-fi
Free for standard usage.

Food and wine
In-house dining options are limited to breakfast from 6am at Alexander’s or dinner at the Chandelier Lounge Bar from five to nine each night. Room service is available. Most guests opt to eat at Salamanca’s popular eateries just down the road – try Tricycle Cafe & Bar (03 6223 7228) for casual or Smolt for more formal.

Fitness and wellbeing
While there’s no gym or pool, the area around Lenna abounds with parks and gardens.

Run route
Jog through Battery Point, admiring the pretty Georgian streetscapes, then join the locals running along the Sandy Bay waterfront towards the casino. All up, the route is five to six kilometres.

Corner of Runnymede Street and Salamanca Place, Battery Point

Lenna of Hobart hotel
Lenna of Hobart hotel

Hotel Grand Chancellor

This is not the sexiest hotel in town but as the capital’s de facto convention centre, it’s best equipped to handle corporate needs. The Grand Chancellor’s other drawcard is its dress-circle location on Sullivans Cove. With a hair salon and art gallery on site, in-house car rentals, 24-hour concierge and proximity to the city’s best eating, the convenience factor is huge at this 4.5-star, 244-room hotel.

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Business facilities
The business centre is a humble affair of two computers, a printer and fax machines. Its 1110- seat Federation Concert Hall is the state’s third-largest event venue and there are 10 other meeting rooms.

Wi-fi
Free for standard usage.

Food and wine
Stay in and drink at The Atrium Bar and dine on predictable yet quality dishes at Restaurant Tasman or venture out to an exciting food-and- wine scene. Edgy Franklin is just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel, as is Latin American livewire Frank.

Fitness and wellbeing
A glass-walled 10th-floor pool offers city and mountain views that are somewhat wasted on those with their heads in the water. The gym and sauna open at 5am and guests have complimentary use of two bicycles.

Run route
Take a left outside the hotel on Davey Street, which becomes the Tasman Highway, before plunging into the bushland of Queens Domain. Follow the signs to Soldiers Memorial Oval then loop back to the city for a six- kilometre circuit.

1 Davey Street, Hobart

Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart

The Islington Hotel

An inspired choice for those with an eye for beauty and access to a car, the Islington is an 11-room mansion adorned with antiques and art in leafy Davey Street, about a 20-minute walk or short drive from the CBD. The setting, an original 19th-century Regency-style pile with contemporary extension in an acre of tended gardens, is the perfect tonic after a day of doing business. And the honour bar in the conservatory is your just reward.

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Business facilities
The Islington is not a good place to do business. It is a good place to relax after you’ve finished doing business. That said, the library’s antique dining table can handle boardroom gatherings of up to 14, privacy assured.

Wi-fi
Free, as are in-room iPads.

Food and wine
Dinner is available to in-house guests (and their guests) only. Seasonal local menus include Huon Valley mushroom risotto with Heidi Farm Gruyère and spinach. The wine list punches well above its weight.

Fitness and wellbeing
There’s no gym or pool but the hotel can organise paid guest access to Club Salamanca, one of Hobart’s more exclusive gyms.

Run route
The Rivulet Track from South Hobart to the base of Mount Wellington runs beside the stream that once supplied the city’s fresh water. The two-kilometre route starts in the CBD (corner of Molle and Collins streets), taking in landmarks such as the Cascades Female Factory, a colonial women’s prison.

Islington Hotel, HobartIslington Hotel, Hobart