Australia's first dedicated art hotel, the Henry Jones is also a hotbed of history. The hotel occupies the oldest waterfront warehouses in Hobart, Tasmania, which served as a jam factory—H. Jones and Co. IXL Jams—from the 1890s to the 1970s. The factory, started by George Peacock and later acquired by the ambitious Henry Jones, helped pull the seedy Sullivan’s Cove district out of poverty. Today the area is known for art, 19th-century architecture, and harbor views. The hotel is a beautiful blend of original sandstone walls, wood beams and columns, and tin roofing counterbalanced by modern stainless steel fixtures, glass bathrooms, and silk accents. Original paintings, prints, photos, and sculptures by some of Tasmania’s leading contemporary artists fill the property. Upon entering the lobby, guests’ attention is quickly directed to a large painting of a steam pot, which evokes the sweet smell of jam that once wafted through the neighborhood.
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Sullivan’s Cove was once a playground for military servicemen, convicts, whalers, and sealers. The “Old Wharf” area, as it was known, became notorious for brothels, taverns, and “wickedness.” The H. Jones and Co. jam factory, which stood where the Henry Jones Art Hotel is now, helped clean up the area, paving the way for the working harbor that travelers see today, studded with boats and fish markets. It’s a short stroll to downtown shopping and food haunts as well as Salamanca Place, beloved for its art galleries, restaurants, and the Saturday Salamanca Market. The Henry Jones hotel has strong ties to such attractions as the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, about a block from the hotel, the Female Factory, and the Port Arthur Historic Site, just outside town. The ferry to the world-renowned Museum of Old and New Art is also on the hotel’s doorstep.
Need to Know
Rooms: 56 suites. From $307. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: 10 a.m. Dining options:Henry’s restaurant is a classic red-walled space with white tablecloths and curtains that drape from wood columns. The cuisine straddles French and Italian, made with top Tasmanian products such as local oysters, Flinders Island lamb, Bruny Island pork, and grass-fed beef from Cape Grim—an area that lays claim to the world’s cleanest air. Before or after dinner, guests can grab a glass of Tasmanian wine or a cocktail mixed with local single-malt whiskey at IXL Long Bar, which pays homage to the old jam factory with a wall of fruit labels. The best place to glimpse the building’s former glory, however, is at the Jam Packed Café, housed in the original, sunlit atrium. Coffee, breakfast, lunch, ice cream, and drinks are all offered in this space where ancient jam-making equipment remains. Spa and gym details:There’s a gym on-site for fitness fans, and massages can be arranged in-room. For guests looking for the full spa experience, the concierge recommends Endota Spa across the waterfront.
Who's it best for: Art lovers, business travelers, and culture seekers who want to experience all that Hobart has to offer. Our favorite rooms: Built in 1823, the Peacock Terrace is the oldest building still standing in the “Old Wharf” area, and it features Tasmania’s earliest spiral staircase. It was the original home of Jam Factory founders George and Margaret Peacock, and later, Sir Henry Jones. The antique decor as well as the artwork hanging amid original sandstone walls relates to the settlement years. The art nouveau H. Jones suite is another beauty, boasting a modernist ceiling and walls crafted from Tasmanian blackwood as well as original skylights from the former H Jones and Co. boardroom. Many of the lower-tier suites feature original sandstone, wooden beams, and tin ceilings plus glass-enclosed bathrooms with oversized soaking tubs and beautiful views of the harbor and Mount Wellington. Those who like their sea breezes should book a Superior Harbour View Room, the only accommodation with a balcony. Good to know: Special exhibitions that highlight emerging or established Tasmanian artists are often installed in the Studio Lounge, the Art Installation Suite, and the IXL Atrium, and most works at the hotel are for sale. History liaison Emma Devlin can help guests trace their ancestors back to Tasmania and offers customized tours of the hotel and environs.