Australia’s second oldest capital city after Sydney, Hobart is one of Australia’s most fascinating and history-rich destinations.
Situated in southern Tasmania, Hobart offers a unique culture that is in many ways much different than you’ll find on mainland Australia. It was one of the first regions of Australia to be explored; Sullivans Cove was the initial landing site for early British settlers in Hobart and Risdon Cove would become the first European settlement in Tasmania.
Hobart continues to showcase its long history to this day, having preserved much of its early landmarks and original buildings. And for those looking to be in the heart of it all, there’s no better place to drop anchor than Battery Point, one of the city’s most prestigious (and historic) suburbs.
Battery Point is the entertainment and cultural hub of Hobart, and it’s where most of the city’s major events take place, from the famed Salamanca Markets to Australia’s biggest and longest running food and wine festival, the Taste.
As far as accommodation goes, Battery Point’s Salamanca Wharf Hotel is where we choose to stay; a contemporary, self-contained boutique apartment hotel, perfectly situated for easily exploring, just steps from Salamanca Place.
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Salamanca Wharf Hotel Review: A Modern Apartment Hotel in Historic Hobart
An Introduction to Battery Point
Why This is a 5 Star Location
Named for the battery of guns which were established in Princes Park roughly 200 years ago, Battery Point has gone on to become Hobart’s most fashionable suburb.
While the area has seen dramatic contemporary changes in order to keep up with the times, it has somehow managed to retain many of its historical secrets. Hobart’s trendiest bars and restaurants sit here alongside all kinds of unique shops, most of which are housed in 18th century Georgian sandstone buildings.
In some ways the area has remained unchanged from its historic beginnings, just maybe a bit more glamorous today. Many of the original 19th century homes of the area can also be viewed by taking a historic walk through the suburb.
Built largely by the hard work of early convicts, Battery Point and Salamanca Place was once home to Van Diemen’s Land Whaling as well as fruit processing and jam producing factories.
The early wharf buildings and storehouses have been converted into the vibrant and much loved restaurants, cafes, art galleries, and shops you see today.
In terms of events, Battery Point is the finish line of the famous annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, and Salamanca is home to The Taste of Tasmania, Australia’s largest and longest running food and wine Festival.
You will also find the nationally recognised Salamanca Markets which are held every Saturday; a short 3 minute walk from Salamanca Wharf Hotel. For experiencing Hobart, this is a 5 star location.
Our Salamanca Wharf Loft Penthouse
Salamanca Wharf Hotel was designed for travellers with a sense of adventure, who don’t exactly like to forego comfort. And the adventure begins the minute you arrive, as they offer Tasmania’s first car stacker!
Parking is definitely not the easiest to find in Battery Point or Salamanca, after-all, they didn’t exactly have vehicles in mind when they built the area in the 18th century! So the hotel’s free parking is a definite perk.
We booked into a Loft Penthouse, located on the hotel’s top floor, featuring 5-metre high windows that overlook the leafy green Castray Esplanade.
The self-contained units provide fully-equipped kitchens with contemporary appliances, allowing you to create your own meals after stocking up on local produce from the very nearby Saturday Salamanca Markets.
While we stayed in a Loft Penthouse, the hotel also offers Studio Rooms and Premium Apartments. Whichever option you choose, the units are sure to make you feel right at home with many more in-room amenities than you usually find in normal hotel rooms.
More Photos of the Loft Penthouse
All the Comforts of Home
Whether you’re planning a short visit to Hobart, or booking in for an extended stay, you’ll benefit from choosing a Premium Apartment or Loft Penthouse if you’re looking for something with all the creature comforts of home.
The hotel features four luxurious Loft Penthouse apartments. Premium apartments are accessible friendly (wheelchair access), and selected Premium Apartments provide a spa bath and laundry facilities (spa and laundry facilities are in all Loft Penthouse units).
Our Loft Penthouse had a very natural feel with its granite bench tops, wood floors, leather lounge, goose down doona atop the king size bed, and custom made furniture crafted from local Tasmanian timbers such as Blackheart Sassafras and Tasmanian oak.
The hotel also embraces Hobart being a gateway to Antarctica by placing stunning framed photography of the icy continent throughout the unit. Feel free to further invite nature in by opening up the sliding glass doors to smell the ocean breeze and hear the rustling leaves outside.
After a day of enjoying the local area, catch up on some news or emails with complimentary Wi-Fi or settle into a movie on one of the 42-inch smart TVs. There was a TV in both our bedroom and one in the lounge area.
Being that Hobart can get quite chilly in the winter months, the hotel units have been set up with room controlled heating in each individual room for your convenience. Though a soak in the free standing spa tub is another great way to warm up!
A mosaic-tiled bathroom provides a large walk-in shower if you’d prefer, and bathrobes and slippers are waiting for you when you get out.
Onsite Salamanca Wharf Cafe and Local Dining
While the units at Salamanca Wharf Hotel provide fully equipped kitchens, travellers not wanting to cook for themselves can opt for the Salamanca Wharf Cafe located on the ground floor of the hotel. The fully licensed cafe is open daily for breakfast and lunch, providing both indoor and outdoor seating.
The seasonal menu features Tasmanian ingredients whenever possible. The breakfast menu during our visit featured items like poached eggs on toasted sourdough, homemade waffles with chocolate sauce, and potato rosti.
Lunch items include southern fried chicken burgers, seafood chowder, and chicken & pumpkin salads. You can always pair your chosen meal with some of Tasmania’s best wines and beers.
Come evening, Salamanca offers a wide range of dining and bar options just steps from the hotel. One of our favourites has to be The Den, as much for its atmosphere as its menu.
The Den’s interior is a mash of Tassie timber, exposed sandstone walls, cosy fire pits, and a truly impressive mosaic of a Tasmanian devil. An open kitchen allows you to watch chefs prepare dishes like local Huon Atlantic salmon skewers, fried calamari, and roasted & pulled sticky duck.
Other fine bars and restaurants in Salamanca include Rockwall Bar and Grill, The Whaler, and Blue Eye Seafood Restaurant. Wherever you go, you’re almost certain to find a fine selection of Tasmanian Craft beer, gin, single malt whisky, and wine.
No weekend visit to the Salamanca Wharf Hotel would be complete without visiting the Salamanca Markets. One of the country’s finest markets, Salamanca Markets has captured the hearts of locals and visitors for over 40 years.
You can catch the markets with its roughly 300 stallholders every Saturday from 8:30AM-3 PM. While parking for the markets can be quite a challenging task, staying at the Salamanca Wharf Hotel solves this stressful problem.
The markets are literally just steps from the hotel in Salamanca Place. You’ll find all sorts of treasures including books by local authors, locally grown produce, local handicrafts, bath and body care, clothing, hot food, jewellery, and unique local souvenirs.
Entry to the markets is free and so is the live music that fills the area while you’re browsing the stalls (though the buskers appreciate donations). After visiting the markets, grab a spot of grass in Princes Park to relax.
The markets are held every week regardless of weather. The Taste of Tasmania is also held in Salamanca Place each year during the summer.
Other Attractions around Battery Point
Try to find time to take the Battery Point Historic Walking Tour. This self-guided tour allows you to observe many of Battery Point’s historic places and landmarks.
The walk will introduce you to Kelly’s Steps. Named after the 1800’s sea captain James Kelly, this narrow staircase was cut into the cliffs from which stone was quarried by convicts to construct many of the area’s historic buildings.
The walk also passes the old colonial residences of Arthur Circus, Narryna Heritage Museum, and the Military Museum of Tasmania.
Not too far away from this historic walk are a number of other notable attractions including the Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum which celebrates Australia’s most notable Antarctic explorer Douglas Mawson and the Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery with its exhibit of artefacts relating to the now extinct Tasmanian tiger.
Beyond Battery Point
While Battery Point offers more than enough attractions and activities to keep you busy during your stay at Salamanca Wharf Hotel, there are many more exciting things to do around Hobart.
The city is home to MONA, the museum displaying the $110 million private art collection of wealthy Australian businessman David Walsh. The museum is set deep underground in the three-storey sandstone labyrinth where you’ll find exhibits that are sexy, bizarre, and a few that are somewhat grotesque.
You can drive to the museum or catch the truly wacky and memorable ferry that leaves from Hobart’s Brooke Street Pier.
Nature lovers will want to check out the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens that date back to the 1800s. They are Australia’s second oldest Botanical Gardens and feature hundreds of native Tasmanian plant species along with beautiful views of the Derwent River.
For guaranteed sightings of some of the area’s native wildlife, head to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary which is home to captive Tasmanian devils, quolls, wombats, wallabies, and echidnas.
If you’re feeling energetic, try climbing Mount Wellington and experience its lush temperate rainforest. During winter, there is often a good blanket of snow at the top of the mountain.
You may spot many wild native animals around dusk and catching the sunset from the top makes for a great finish to the day. The summit can also be reached via a much easier 21-km drive along paved roads.
Book Your Stay
For more information about Salamanca Wharf Hotel, or to book your stay, visit salamancawharfhotel.com.
Click here to read reviews on Tripadvisor.