Words by Chris Soulidis / Photo’s by Sam Shelley
All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up – Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Boulevard”
I must tell you a secret. It’s a little hidden gem. It’s a bit of tranquility in a world of madness. Or if you like it’s a bit of superstar for the girl-next-door. But because it’s located in the next big thing you’re going to have to be quick if you want to take advantage of it!
Next time you are in Hobart you absolutely must stay at this little to-die-for boutique hotel in the heart of the city. The Alabama Hotel is just the cutest! Whether I’m in town for business, pleasure or a combination this is the place I always choose to stay.
If you want my opinion the whole hotel just screams Old Hollywood glamour. It has just been fabulously restored with a big bunch of personality. It’s not like those run-of-the-mill chain hotels that cost a fortune and give you a cold feeling. No, in fact, the Alabama Hotel is just the opposite! You can tell that it has been there forever. It just feels old and comfortable. Now don’t get me wrong just because it’s old doesn’t mean that it’s crumbling around your ears. It’s just been restored and only re-opened in late 2013.
But seriously, the layout is divine. The owners have kept the same layout from the 1850’s and there is this cute 1930’s deco on the front of the building which is a handy identifying feature when you’re returning late at night! There is a real vintage feel about the place. And not nasty vintage like your grandma’s couch cushions but a good vintage like that expensive porcelain china tea set you got for a bargain price at Vinnie’s. It’s quality without too much compromise. I know, it’s such a rare thing these days.
To be honest when I first heard about the hotel I was a little teensy bit put off by the whole idea of a shared bathroom. Now that I’m a grown up and left my university days behind me sharing a bathroom really isn’t something that appeals to me these days. I truly value my privacy however; the sad reality is that these days most places in a similar price range also require you to share the loo and showers with others. To be honest, sharing a bathroom at the Alabama Hotel is not as horrific as I thought it was going to be. The bathrooms are actually clean and given that there are only 17 rooms you don’t have to share with an excessive bunch of unwashed people. And there are a number of bathrooms on each floor. It certainly is not like those stories you hear of hostels in Amsterdam where both sexes shower together. Like the rest of the hotel it’s classy and the sexes use facilities according to gender so no room for unwelcome surprises!
So now I know what you’re thinking that I’m confused and I’m really just staying at a backpacker’s hostel and I don’t know the difference. But I have to correct you and let you know you are totally wrong. The Alabama Hotel fits squarely in a niche market halfway between a hostel and an expensive hotel. It takes all the ideal hostel qualities which makes backpacking so great and combines them with some class and sophistication borrowed from the chain hotels delivering a hidden gem tucked away in Hobart’s heart.
The Alabama Hotel offers far more privacy, security and peace and quiet than any backpackers could dream of offering! Each of the 17 rooms is uniquely decorated with original a rtwork a nd p ersonality. Y ou c an t ell t hat t hey actually thought about what they were going to put in each room. And a huge bonus is that a night in the Alabama Hotel comes with free wi-fi. And even better the wi-fi is actually fast!
It’s really nice coming back to accommodation where people ask about your day. It’s rare these days to find people who care about you and your stay. At the Alabama Hotel it’s almost like you’re family.
And when I feel sociable I can join in conversations with other travelers in the common area. This one actually is a place I don’t mind hanging out in. It is always nice to trade stories with others staying there.
So now that Hobart is becoming a real tourist destination I guarantee you this little gem won’t stay hidden for long so get ahead of the trend and visit soon!
72 Liverpool St Hobart TASMANIA
0499 987 698