The Islington dances across three centuries with ease. The converted Regency-style mansion in South Hobart's dress circle features the owners' jaw-dropping collection of 19th-century antiques and artworks by 20th-century greats (including a Warhol portrait of Mao Zedong in the hallway), while the meticulous attention to comfort is pure 2018. A hotel for travellers looking for unique rather than universal, the Islington is all about unwinding, whether fireside in the conservatory or in rooms that range from the subtle modernism of garden suites to the attic room's historic charms. Hobart's attractions are on the doorstep, or stay in for a lazy afternoon gazing at Mount Wellington with a glass of something local from the honesty bar.
You just can't get good staff anymore – except at the Islington. No request is too ridiculous, no concern too small, and they'll deliver endless caffè lattes to your room for no extra charge.
The attention to small details, from the conservatory's help-yourself baked treats, to the bath crystals and the hotel's own "dream blend" tea delivered at turndown, feels more like staying with a doting aunt than in a downtown hotel.
There's scarcely any need to visit Hobart 's slew of exciting new cafés when the tariff includes an à la carte breakfast featuring free-range eggs, and local salmon and bacon. Dinner is a seasonal modern Australian menu dedicated to the twin principles of free range and organic.
The minibars keep it minimal, with only water and juice in all but one room. The conservatory's honesty bar, however, is a taste of Tassie terroir in spirits, beer and wine.
This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Hotel Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.