The spirit of Tasmania has a new address. The timber-clad Macq01, anchored beside the Derwent on Macquarie Wharf, captures the island's colourful past in 114 rooms themed around historical figures. Grim tales of convicts and charlatans are softened by spacious and textured interiors with covetable grey woollen couches, alpaca throws and arresting art including Troy Ruffels' photomedia landscapes and Duncan Meerding's timber lamps. Ground-floor public areas such as the Lounge, with a river-stone fire pit and Indigenous artefacts, have lavish water outlooks. With valets in colonial maritime uniforms, storytellers with theatrical flair and objets de quirk lurking around every corner, this is the hotel for Tasmania's global moment.
The sense of place is palpable in rooms celebrating Indigenous warriors, errant sailors and whaler ghosts. Macq01 is that rarest of beasts: a themed hotel that's not ineffably twee.
Take a free tour around Sullivans Cove and Salamanca Place with one of the hotel's storytellers for a potted history delivered with panache.
Head to the hotel's Old Wharf restaurant for local seafood, from Bruny Island oysters to blue-eye trevalla with clams and leek in shellfish sauce. Breakfasts, too, are a taste of Tasmania: a spread of house-baked pastries and local meats and cheeses alongside hot plates of ricotta fritters, free-range eggs and streaky bacon ($30).
Minibars run with the island theme. From Bay of Fires sparkling rosé, to Willie Smith cider and pre-mixed cocktails by Sud Polaire (with cocktail-making gear), this is an exercise in Tasmanian pride.
This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Hotel Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.