Thursday, October 14, 2010

Deluxe Retreats in Tasmania

With their often glorious isolation, gourmet supplies and adventurous design, Kendall Hill for Qantas Travel Insider explores Tasmania’s deluxe retreats. 


From evocative outback homesteads to the idyllic island resorts of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia can lay claim to some of the world’s most indulgent holiday options. But perhaps no single state can match the depth of decadence now on offer in Tasmania. In typically low-key but determined fashion, the island state has gradually distinguished itself as a destination of deluxe, architecturally inspiring and environmentally caring accommodation – often combining all of the above qualities in one address.

In recent months, more than half-a-dozen dazzling properties have debuted, including a cliff-side penthouse with boundless sex appeal; a refined country lodge where gastronomy, game fishing and golf are on the menu; and a lavish but intimate destination hotel on the doorstep of the Freycinet National Park. Add to this line-up a hilltop love nest with an artistic bent; a historic coach-house reborn as a glamorous inn and French cooking school; and the sensational forms of the MONA pavilions beside Hobart’s Derwent River. It is obvious Tasmania has far exceeded its share of exceptional lodgings. The only drawback to a stay at any of its stellar new retreats is finding the time and inclination to get out and explore the island’s renowned wine, food and nature trails.

Visit Travel Insider to explore the following great stays in Tasmania:

Saffire On a crisp, still Freycinet morning the view from Saffire’s 20 sumptuous suites is superb. The pink granite bulk of The Hazards, the glassy expanse of Coles Bay and the boundless sky are framed by glass, and the elevated sleeping platform means you can enjoy the show without leaving your king-sized bed.

Bruny Shore Native fauna abounds at this isolated property near the northern tip of Bruny Island. Arrive at dusk and drive in on an unsealed road alive with quolls, echidnas, Bennetts wallabies and pademelons.

The Winged House Is it a bird? Is it a plane? The Winged House looks a lot like a hang-glider poised for take-off, but it’s anchored to Table Cape in Tasmania’s north-west.

Mona Pavilions The 60-year-old Moorilla vineyard, Hobart’s oldest, has had a glamorous makeover courtesy of star Melbourne architects Fender Katsalidis.

The Lair Architect Rick Bzowy knows how to make an unforgettable first impression. On arrival at his $2.5m dream property, high on a hill overlooking Great Oyster Bay, he slides away the glass walls of The Lair to reveal a sleek platform with a sweeping 200-degree panorama of the east coast from Freycinet to Maria Island.

• Rocky Hills Retreat This couples-only retreat is a white peppermint gum-fringed sanctuary on the peak of a hill above Great Oyster Bay. The mood here is glorious isolation, but definitely not deprivation. Designed and decorated by developer Brett Torossi, whose elegant Avalon Coastal Retreat is one of Tasmania’s best beach houses, Rocky Hills is sophisticated, but also fun.

Red Feather Inn Once a Georgian coach-house watering weary travellers on the road to Launceston, the Red Feather Inn has come a long way from its convict-built roots.

The Priory Sister property to Hobart’s award-winning Islington Hotel, the 1848 Priory is a gothic Tudor pile on Adelaide Hill in the historic village of Bothwell, about an hour’s drive from Hobart. 

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