Hobart Astor Hotel
On my last visit to Hobart I was a little bit demanding. I wanted a private room somewhere that was comfortable, centrally located (but not too noisy), and much nicer than a backpackers ... and all for much cheaper than a motel. A tall order, perhaps, but the Hotel Astor ticked all the boxes.
Normally I avoid hotels because of the cost, but the Astor is priced very reasonably for a hotel if you don't need an en-suite bathroom. In fact, with the reduced winter rates, a room there was slightly cheaper than a room at the Adelphi Lodge YHA hostel, 3km from Hobart's centre. I stayed at Adelphi Lodge once before - and while it's a good hostel in a quiet area, it's not quite up to the standard of the Hotel Astor, and not as conveniently located.
The Astor is within walking distance of just about anywhere you'd want to walk in central Hobart. However it avoids the noise and antisocial behaviour which can sometimes be a disadvantage of central city accommodation. The Elizabeth St bus mall and waterfront areas, which seem to be Hobart's nearest thing to night time trouble spots, are not close enough to be a concern.
Comfortable, cosy and clean also describe the place. The rooms I stayed in were tastefully decorated but basic by hotel standards, but luxurious by backpacker standards. Most importantly, the beds were comfortable. Radiators kept the rooms warm, but what I appreciated was the option to go without heating and open the window - something not possible in many flashier places.
Some rooms are en-suite, but the cheaper rooms make use of shared toilets, and shared individual shower rooms. All were clean, and the showers would have to be the most satisfying I've used in Tasmanian accommodation.
Breakfast is included in the rate, consisting of self serve cereal, toast, juice and tea/coffee in a shared dining room. Also shared is a cosy lounge room with TV, refrigerator and small book exchange - some of the communal benefits of hostels which you normally don't get in more up market places.
A great asset of the Astor is Tildy, the woman who runs it. Her delightfully unique character ensures the place is both well run and welcoming. Another asset is the outlet of Jackman and McRoss - one of Hobart's best and most popular bakeries. While separate from the hotel, it is downstairs in another part of the same building: perhaps a little too convenient if you're trying to lose weight!
If you're looking for somewhere in Hobart that's comfortable, central but not too expensive, and combines the best elements of hostel, hotel and B&B, I can recommend the Astor. I hope to stay there again some day.
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