Review: Somerset on the Pier, Hobart: fantastic apartment hotel

Overall Rating

By John Walton, September 21 2012
Somerset on the Pier, Hobart: fantastic apartment hotel





Somerset on the Pier


Apartment hotel


Premier 1BR apartment

The Good
  • spacious, light apartments
  • beautiful heritage building
  • apartment hotel conveniences
The Bad
  • not set up for working
  • you might not like the upstairs bedroom idea
  • harbourside location


There's a dearth of decent mid-to-upper end business hotels in Hobart, so we're always interested to check out further options in Tasmania's capital.

I especially like the flexibility and extra space you get from an apartment hotel -- and the location of Somerset on the Pier, extending right out into Hobart's gorgeous waterfront, was a real draw.

Location & Impressions

Heritage boat outside heritage dock: Somerset on the Pier is a must for yachties and maritime history fans.

Somerset on the Pier is perched on the old Elizabeth Street Pier in a converted heritage warehouse, with all the atmosphere bonuses that brings.

It's a convenient walk to just about anywhere you're likely to be doing business in Hobart, with the exception of the Wrest Point conference centre, which is stuck out on its own a couple of kilometres to the south.

Reception is about halfway down the ship-strewn pier. Arriving by taxi, I was swiftly checked in by the very helpful checkin desk team and headed up one floor in the lift to my north-facing room.


I really liked that the room didn't feel as corporate as many of the other apartment hotels I've stayed at.

The hotel's rooms are spacious and airy open-plan duplexes, with the bedroom upstairs and everything else downstairs. I enjoyed the split-level living -- especially when holding informal meetings with contacts -- but people with limited mobility will want to check availability of the accessible rooms.

To your right as you walk in is a fairly humdrum (but large) bathroom in beige, with the usual apartment hotel washer and dryer in a small cupboard. Be aware that the dryer really makes the bathroom humid.

The main room downstairs includes a well-equipped kitchen nook on the right, with all the basics you'd need.

In the centre of the room is a comfortable double sofa, a small desk and chair, a strangely uncomfortable red armchair and a two-seater dining table by the floor-to-ceiling sliding doors leading out to the lovely north-facing balcony.

Up a flight of stairs is the bedroom loft area, with a comfortable bed, large built-in wardrobe, luggage rack, TV and standing fan.

Alas, no easily accessible power points at the side of the bed to charge your phone, but it's easy enough to unplug one of the side lights.


The desk is a disappointment: not really ergonomic enough for business travellers who need to work on it.

The small desk and dining-style chair aren't especially great for long periods of work, so since I had things to get done I ended up shifting my laptop between the sofa and the dining table.

Wireless and wired Internet is available, but the speeds were fairly slow: 2 Mbps down and 0.4 Mbps up, with a ping of 61 ms.

If Hobart's flight schedules mean you're checking in early or checking out late, there's a small lounge area where you can set yourself up and get some work done.


It's not massive, but everything you'd need to put yourself together some lunch or dinner is there.

While you could easily cook for yourself in the well-equipped kitchen nook, there's a charge-back facility available at the excellent (if irritatingly punctuated) "Tavern 42degrees south" that sits at street level underneath the hotel.

Breakfasts are very much café-style -- and delicious -- while lunch and dinner are good solid bistro stuff. I really enjoyed the crispy squid, so much so that I had it twice during my stay.

Of course, the very central location means that the fantastic bars and restaurants of Salamanca are just a few minutes' harbourfront walk away, and there are numerous fish-and-chip type places nearby if the weather is cooperating.

The hotel will also pre-fill your fridge for you, so you don't even have to go shopping.


Watching the boats go by: the ideal way to chill out in Hobart.

There are few things more pleasant on a sunny Hobart evening than relaxing above the harbour on the balcony of your waterside apartment with a nice cool glass of something.

The whole harbourfront area is your proverbial oyster, so take a stroll around the place in the evening or go for a nice jog. The staff can suggest routes.

(Less relaxingly, since an airline had broken my suitcase, I needed to find a replacement and take care of the paperwork. The staff were exceptionally helpful and knowledgeable, and they took care of researching where I'd likely need to go.)

If the weather is less clement, the sofa is comfortable and ideal for kicking up your heels with a good book.


I love apartment hotels, and this is a real gem. The heritage building and helpful staff help it avoid suffering the apartment hotel curse of being corporately bland (except for the super-beige bathrooms), and the balconies are well worth the price upgrade in the summertime. Among its competition in Hobart, it's up there with the very best.

John Walton was a guest of the hotel

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Oct 2012

Total posts 2

I have stayed here before and thought it was great except for the the airconditioning. The room only had an airconditioner on the ground floor, meaning all the hot air was trapped upstairs in the loft bedroom. The airconditioner was extreamly noisey and did a poor job of cooling the room. For this reason alone, I would not stay here again. I sugested to reception that they consider instaling an airconditioner in the bedroom.

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 665

Huh, interesting -- while I was there in the heat of the summer, I didn't find it hot at all, and I hate the heat.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Oct 2012

Total posts 2


I have stayed here before and thought it was great except for the air-conditioning. The room only had an air conditioner on the ground floor, meaning all the hot air was trapped upstairs in the loft bedroom. The air conditioner was extremely noisy and did a poor job of cooling the room. For this reason alone, I would not stay here again. I suggested to reception that they consider installing an air conditioner in the bedroom.

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