While Tasmania is growing and diversifying and becoming more appealing to tourists day-by-day, it also remains fairly wild and rustic. Luxury travelers may be pressed to find enough options that meet a higher standard, especially if you are looking for polished, high-end finishes typically found in a true 5-star hotel. The previously mentioned Macq01 hotel may not even make the cut if the criteria are too stringent. One clear winner on the Tasmania luxury front is Saffire Freycinet. This property is a hiker’s haven, luxurious lodge, restful retreat, and foodie’s fantasy all rolled into one jaw-dropping hotel.
Upon arrival, you will find yourself standing in the lobby entrance just staring out the big windows overlooking the stunning landscape; you won’t be able to tear your eyes away from the beauty. The location is 100% what makes this property possible. The Freycinet Peninsula is found on the eastern coast of Tasmania. It is home to a stunning national park, wineglass bay, and the Hazards mountain range. This area is famous for its briny oysters, abundant wildlife, and several hiking paths with rewarding views. It is also home to Saffire Freycinet and sets the standard for Tasmania luxury travel.
While the location is the big draw, it also creates some logistical challenges. Visitors have several options for traveling to Saffire and the decision for what works best for you will depend heavily on what else you intend to see/do in Tasmania (or Australia as a whole). The drive from Hobart is approximately 2 hours and the beautiful scenery helps it go by fairly quickly. You can easily break up the drive with a stop for a picnic lunch and wine tasting at one of the several vineyards along the route. The lodge is also an easy driving distance to Launceston where you can drop your car and catch a flight to the Australia mainland very easily. For a real “WOW” experience and a true dose of Tasmania luxury, I recommend a helicopter sightseeing tour/transfer; a rental car can even be arranged at the lodge to allow for a one-way helicopter transfer.
The location itself is worth the effort to get to, but the lodge is what makes this destination a must for any luxury traveler to Tasmania. The all-inclusive format means that once you’ve arrived, you have nothing else to worry about. You will be completely cared for by the warm and capable staff. To fill their days, most guests will opt to take advantage of the included activities including a visit to a working oyster farm complete with a wine paired tasting, an open-range Tasmanian Devil sanctuary, and guided walks into Freycinet National Park. But, we also insist you allow some time to simply sit, relax, perhaps catch up on some reading, and take in the incredible views!
Dining is a cornerstone of the experience at Saffire, of course. Breakfast and lunches are casual and dinner can be a bit more of a formal affair, but that is all up to you. I was happy to learn that my site-inspection included lunch, which consisted of a cold buffet with a variety of freshly prepared salads and local fruits and cheeses along with a few options from the grill. Because we were driving, I refrained from enjoying the plethora of bar selections, but it was impressively generous. Do not let the “all-inclusive” designation turn you off, this is a world away from wrist bands and watered-down cocktails; this is true Tasmania luxury. This form of inclusive dining is more about removing the stress and mechanics of an a la carte experience; at Saffire, you are invited to relax and feel at home and the staff is close at hand to help you decide on just the right indulgences for your mood! Even the minibar in the room is stocked with local snacks and beverages so you never have to reach very far for a refill!
Oh, how I hated to say goodbye at the end of my lunch. I would have preferred instead to head to the spa for an afternoon treatment! Tasmania had already earned a distinguished spot at the top of my list of places requiring a return trip and Saffire is definitely where I’ll be spending some quality time on that return trip!