As you walk along Hobart’s waterfront, the breeze carries a thousand captivating stories of those who were there before; from convicts, crooks, and captains of industry, Tasmania’s history is made up of a cast of remarkable characters, each with an intriguing story to tell.
Though the best way to immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Tasmanian stories is not at a museum; it’s at the world’s first storytelling hotel.
Nestled on the waterfront of Hobart’s Franklin Wharf, and inspired by the history and colourful characters of Tasmania’s past, MACq 01 is an exciting new luxury hotel, and the perfect base for exploring Hobart and surrounds.
An ultra-exclusive $45 million project, doors have only recently opened on what is now one of the best hotels in Hobart.
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MACq 01 Hotel Review: Tasmania’s Hottest New Luxury Hotel
A Storytelling Hotel
Overlooking the Derwent River and Mount Wellington, MACq 01 describes itself as “informal luxury” (luxury without the pretence), and is dedicated to telling the stories of notable Tasmanians who have left their mark in history. After-all, what better way to introduce Tasmania to visitors than through the stories of its people?
And Tasmania has some incredible stories to tell. Originally home to the Mouheneenner people dating back some 50,000 years, the Indigenous cultures of Australia are the oldest living cultural history in the world. Though the 1800’s saw European settlement, and Britain began sending its hardened criminals for imprisonment on this isolated island at the end of the world.
An island of ratbags, rascals, charlatans and scallywags brings with it some outrageous stories, though instead of cutting ourselves off our convict heritage, Tasmania is quite proud. And, once the site of gallows and a thriving whaling industry, the historic Macquarie Wharf is now the 114-room MACq 01 hotel.
Each room of the MACq 01 is named after an illustrious or infamous figure from Tasmania’s past. Convicts, sporting heroes, Indigenous freedom fighters and past Prime Ministers are remembered in words and artefacts in their own dedicated room. Hotels Hobart CBD
Though these dedications are more than a gimmick; they are part of MACq 01’s commitment to showcasing Tasmanian history and culture. Each room includes a biography of its character, and captures grand views over Sullivans Cove and Hunter Street’s storied 19th-century facades. Hotels in Hobart City.
Rooms are overly spacious, and designed to create a uniquely Tasmanian space. They offer extreme comfort and ample floor-space, and reflect unique Tasmanian character traits such as “colourful and quirky”, “grounded yet exceptional”, “hearty and resilient”, “curious and creative”, and “fighting believer”. Through your stay you’ll really begin to understand what makes a Tasmanian. Luxury hotels Hobart.
Suites offer massive balconies overlooking the sparkling blue waterfront, and feature walk-in showers, lavish couches you can nap on, free movies, and bedheads by local artist Troy Ruffels. Luxury Escapes packages offer discounts on the Superior Hunter Room, with the option to upgrade to a waterfront view.
What They Look Like …
The storytelling theme continues throughout the hotel, and MACq 01 builds local stories into every part of the hotel experience. Historic newspapers are the focus in the Story Bar, which displays reproductions of some of the most infamous front pages in the island’s history.
By contrast, the Lounge displays a number of Indigenous artefacts like shell necklaces and hand-woven baskets. Local Indigenous groups were consulted during the development of the hotel, and the circular seating around the fireplace was inspired by the Indigenous concept of the “knowledge bowl”.
Cuisine plays a huge part in the Tasmanian experience, and naturally, local produce takes a starring role here. At the Old Wharf restaurant you can watch Bruny Island oysters being shucked and slow-cooked Derwent lamb shoulder with mint and barberries being plated from a menu that is an ode to the state’s food and drink producers. Where to stay in Hobart.
The bar stocks a rich selection of Tasmanian wines and spirits, including 17 gins and 21 whiskies, and every day they offer the opportunity to learn the secrets behind their signature blends. Under the guidance of their in-house cocktail master, experiment with Tasmanian botanicals to create your own gin. The stories that unfold thereafter are yours to craft.
What They Look Like …
Any other hotel would have a concierge, but at MACq 01 they have professional storytellers. Their Master Storyteller and his team know things about Tasmania which some thought to be lost in time. These engaging individuals have been hand-picked as scholars of Tasmania’s past with a gift for captivating delivery.
The hotels offers a 114 Doors Storytelling Tour which guides you through the patchwork of stories and artefacts that punctuate their hallways. You’re then invited on a tour of the majestic Hobart Waterfront and the dark underbelly of the Wapping district, to meet the colourful characters who have crafted the Tasmanian spirit. For MACq 01 guests, these tours are complimentary ($20.00 for general public).
The hotel is also committed to working with local entrepreneurs. Guests who inquire about activities will be directed to companies such as Ben Rea’s Tasmanian E-Bike Adventures, which offers bush biking on spectacular stretches of land otherwise inaccessible to visitors.
What They Look Like …
MACq 01 is a central Hobart hotel, located on the waterfront at 18 Hunter St. The experience goes well beyond mere historical interpretation, to become an immersive storytelling experience.
The sandstone warehouses that line Hunter Street become your historic backdrop, artistically juxtaposing the watery surrounds. It is 18km from Hobart airport, about 15 minutes’ drive by taxi, hire car or Hobart airport shuttle.
Prices range from $305 for a room facing Hunter St, $460 for a waterfront room and $1200 for a corner waterfront suite with their huge private terraces. Can’t afford a room with a view? Check deals with deals with Luxury Escapes!
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Photo credits: Provided courtesy of the property.