There's good reason why Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse has won so many awards since opening its doors in 2014. As the first 'boutique hostel' in Tasmania, owners Antony and Rose have thought through every fine detail to be sure it’s more than just a place to rest your head.
Ant and Rose, together with Eve (11), miniature bulldogs Lily and Tuxi, and ‘Mrs’ the tortoiseshell cat form the welcome team at this stylishly-restored 1895 Battery Point mansion. It is unlikely that Captain William Langdon, the great-great-great-great-great grandfather of Ant, who left Montacute in Somerset back in 1821 bound for Tasmania, could have imagined such an elegant bunkhouse would bear the name of his much-loved home village.
Nearly 200 years on, what can a group of girlfriends coming to Hobart for a weekend away expect of a stay at Montacute?
After a busy working week, they might book out a four-bed bunkroom, staying in on the first night to enjoy fine Tasmanian wine, cheese and chatter by the open fire. Or perhaps they'll cook up a seafood feast to spread out over the 20-seat German Oktoberfest dining table. During summer they might mix themselves a round of gin-and-tonics and grab a picnic rug for the garden, or head to the upper cocktail balcony to while away the evening enjoying panoramic views of Mount Wellington.
Up bright and early, a five-minute stroll will take the girls right into the heart of the bustling Salamanca Market, where freshly-roasted coffee, croissants and pancakes abound. From there, they can jump on a bus for the two-hour round trip to the summit of Mount Wellington for breathtaking vistas of southern Tasmania. Back on the Hobart waterfront, it's a 250-metre walk to the MONA high-speed ferry. After a few hours in David's Walsh subterranean lair, the girls will be ravenous for afternoon tea. Delicacies await in MONA's numerous eateries.
Eating is a common theme of any trip to Tasmania, and the epicentre is back in the Salamanca precinct, where there is a choice of more than 40 restaurants, nestled amongst the artist studios, bars and live music venues on the Hobart waterfront. And why not enjoy the night – after all, home is just five-minutes walk away.
Now what’s on for tomorrow? A Pennicott Wilderness Journeys eco-adventure cruise alongside frolicking seals, whales and dolphins perhaps?
Montacute at a glance
•Private double rooms with queen bed
•Private, mixed and girls-only bunk rooms
•Free, super-fast, fibre-optic wifi
•Free off-street parking
•7-speed bikes for hire
•100% Tasmanian superfine merino wool blankets
•Spacious, well-equipped kitchen