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  • Writer's pictureJing Lens

My Stay at Islington Hotel

A Boutique Hotel Merges Heritage Opulence with Contemporary Luxe





Islington Hotel first hit my radar because it is listed on small luxury hotels of the world. It was a late-night check-in. I dragged my small suitcase all the way up the steep hill. I had been listening to a Chinese song by Jay Chou, titled 青花瓷 along the way. It's a song imbued with oriental and ethereal aesthetics, seamlessly blending in with Hobart's heritage allure and artistic charm .It was the theme song carried through my entire trip in Tasmania. Music has always guided me to my destination safely, and I always hold gratitude for that.


I buzzed the intercom, and the gate slowly opened. I was under the vague impression that it is a boutique hotel situated in a private yet proximal location, exuding an intimate and inviting home vibe. A young man awaited me in the entry of the hallway. The moment I walked in, I experienced that entry "wow" factor. A crystal chandelier hung from the high ceiling, and the statement piece was a massive weaving rug. Just a quick glimpse into its mixed collection of artwork and interior décor around the foyer, the word 'eclectic' popped into my head—an ultimate mix and collage-like interior style.

I took a sneak peek into a room on my left-hand side. It was a formal breakfast room & library wall featuring opulent antique furnishings. Having just checked in at the Victoria Mansion the night before and visited a Greek Revival Museum house during the day, I wasn't intimidated by the ostentatious and grand interiors. However, I did feel a moment of being overwhelmed by its eye-popping palette and full-on embrace of antiques.


Entry "wow" factor: Crystal chandelier , Statement woven rug ; Breakfast room& library wall featuring opulent antique furnishings


If this room on my left-hand side is shrouded in hints of serious dignity and quiet luxury, a game room on my right-hand side plays mastery of interior maximalism and boldness. The saturated color scheme, themed in red hues, and the heavy use of pattern and texture lured me into a space of imagination and vibrance. The room is embellished with capacious sofas generously adorned with cushions, rugs, table lamps with fabric shades, fabric curtains, antique tables, and patterned elements.

A curated and edited art collection is always emotionally appealing because it is built over time with thoughtfulness and intention. It forms a true bond between humans and objects, becoming a style that is enduring, classic, and perpetually evolving. After further research, I discovered that the art collection in Islington was curated from 30 years of traveling around the world, encapsulating Islington's historic essence and the original owners' family history in Tasmania.

Overall, the furnishings embody a very palpable global influence—a mix of English country house and oriental mystery. Let’s just say, paintings by Matisse strike an unexpected but compatible balance with Chinese ink drawings in the game room. As a Chinese, a self-portrait artwork of Chairman Mao seamlessly integrated into the art collection instantly stood out to me. This historic stately home transported me through centuries of iterations, with its impressive collection of fine art and antique furnishings.


The game room plays mastery of interior maximalism and boldness


Overall, the furnishings embody a very palpable global influence—a mix of English country house and oriental mystery


While historical touches and ornate decorations are embellished throughout, a small door opening at the entry leads up to a glass conservatory featuring contemporary cool in juxtaposition with the grand opulence of other rooms. The glass conservatory is approximately 100 sq/f, serving as the restaurant and bar. Full-height glass panels from floor to ceiling blur the threshold between indoor and outdoor. Avant-garde sculptures infuse whimsy and playfulness into the atrium. Meticulous attention manifests through all design details, from the color matching of dining chairs and sculptures to the transition in floor materials from wood to mosaic tile. The warm fireplace and cozy leather sofas enhance the ambiance. Above all, ambient lighting was instrumental in creating an unparalleled immersivethe and enveloping moment for me on the spot.

I can confidently say that what hit mtoy core and put me at ease is the always marriage of heritage preservation and contemporary revamping, a blend of old and new. It’s a place where reminiscent storytelling meets new encounters. Time and space evolve into a reimagining future through centuries of iteration.

A glass conservatory featuing contemporary cool in justaposition with grand opulence of other rooms


I checked into the loft suites, an attic on the top level of the hotel. Meticulously-designed boutique hotels always connect me to a sense of intimacy akins to the feeling of a home sanctuary. I have a very personal and arbitrary five-second rule to determine whether a hotel room and I hit it off or not lol.

The wall behind the bed is claded into wood panels with bedside tables adorned with warm, ambient lamps, and Matisse's painting injects a burst of joy—these details create a symphony of aesthetics. A pink leather chair, strategically paired with a wood lacquer-finished desk, strikes a harmonious chord, inviting an aura of approachable luxury and delicate charm. Now, I recall my bedding was outrageously comfortable. Turns out they are Islington's famous custom-built Angel beds, meticulously crafted by A.H. Beard, the oldest bedding manufacturers located in southern Tasmania.

The chef's homemade baked treats and cheese platter paired with wine (the best cheese I've ever tasted!) in the Mini-Bar was a delightful surprise for my taste buds. Yet the ultimate unwinding moment can only be achieved through the spacious marble bathroom featuring a bath and a rain shower. Despite being hopelessly nostalgic, the contemporary livability of a hotel is essential for me to feel at home sweet home LoL.

Islington Hotel truly prioritizes guests' comfort and convenience, placing it at the core and forefront with its full range of modern amenities, thoughtfully curated design, and unpretentious presentation. It was a night of sound sleep.

Meticulously-designed boutique hotels always connect me to a sense of intimacy akins to the feeling of a home sanctuary


The next day, I woke up to breathtaking sweeping views of Mount Wellington and took a relaxed stroll through Islington Garden. Islington's heritage silhouette was unveiled in the natural sunlight and seamlessly dissolved into its mountain landscape. Built in 1847, Islington Hotel retains its original Regency architectural features, keeping its white-painted stucco façade intact.I truly appreciate that the dwelling's heritage elements are sustained and intertwined with contemporary sophistication, adhering to the ethos of honoring the home's history without compromising its modern aesthetics.

Boldness and playfulness are woven into the opulent interior embellishment and further extend to its exterior structure. Award-winning architects Robert Morris Nunn and associates adopted a robust and refined approach, pulling the new elements together, evolving its original form, and transforming the Islington property into a hotel pavilion with an amazing new wing: the conservatory. What struck me the most was the sense of openness and lightness introduced and incorporated into this space, achieving an intimate dialogue with the natural surroundings.

The selection of materials and in-depth textures feature a seamless blend of historical roots and contemporary ethos, striking a distinct yet complementary balance throughout. The interplay between the brick wall and glass door panel stands out as a prodigious display of creativity. Overall, the conservatory addition alters the perceived scale of the inner volumes and binds them together as a singular, bold expression. Another essential element here is lighting. Transitioning from natural lighting during the day to ambient lighting at night plays a pivotal role in orchestrating a distinct experience for its guests.

A robust and refined approach was adopted to evolve its original form, transforming the Islington property into a hotel pavilion with an amazing new wing: the conservatory.


I had my most relaxing and evocative breakfast experience in this conservatory, facing massive glass panels that lead to beautifully landscaped gardens set against the backdrop of a panoramic mountain view. I was treated to the finest culinary experiences by Islington Kitchen. The cuisine is crafted with locally sourced ingredients and fresh produce. Here, I encountered my life-changing fruit yogurt bowl. Not a hint of exaggeration, but one day after returning from my trip, completely out of the blue, an inexplicable craving for that yogurt bowl hit me so strongly that I rushed to the supermarket. I somehow managed to find similar oats yogurt and fresh fruit to recreate that bowl. I don’t generally consume yogurt or cereals for an unknown reason, despite being a big advocate for a healthy lifestyle and wholesome diet LoL. However, oats yogurt has now become a daily intake that I add to my diet staples , alongside a box of cucumber and berries, and at least 2.5 L bottle of water.

I think it's quite worthwhile to delve into this yogurt bowl and unpack some of the profound impacts of travel on us. I anchor my life with a certain amount of certainty through built-in habits, discipline, and structure, but I also consistently explore and search for a fresh ' bowl' that injects uncertainty and fluidity into my life. I have come to a point where I no longer perpetuate the idea of chasing a completely new reality but truly embrace the present, creating as many experiential moments for myself as possible. As long as I continue to show up in the world with curiosity and openness, I believe I will always encounter an unexpected ' bowl' along the way. These 'bowls' serve as catalysts that may prompt me to nurture new habits, develop new perspectives, and ignite my inner light. So, are you ready to embark on your journey of connecting with your fresh 'bowl' ? My own answer is a firm and strong yes!


I encountered my life-changing fruit yogurt bowl here. These fresh 'bowls' serve as catalysts that may prompt me to nurture new habits, develop new perspectives, and ignite my inner light


Sorry for getting a bit off track. To circle back, I also want to give a shoutout to the hotel's top-notch hospitality. From the reception to the chef, they serve their guests with the highest level of sincerity and consideration. I guess it’s valid to say that the most important aspect of any hotels lies in its hospitality. What I found incredibly evocative is that the patient approach in lieu of contemporary practices deeply applied to Islington’s architecture transformation, interior design, and connection to outdoor living, creating a retreat-like and immersive experience. This philosophy also extends to the hotel's service ethos—controlled and measured, discreet yet organic. The chef served each dish and hand-made coffee at a well-tuned pace with meticulous attention. It allowed me to embrace a rare 'slow down' mode, spending hours and hours just savouring a cup of coffee, food, and nature.

I wholeheartedly recommend Islington Hotel to art enthusiasts, solo travelers, and those seeking respite from the city hustle.





Shownotes

Islington Hotel first hit my radar because it is listed on small luxury hotels of the world. It was a late-night check-in. I dragged my small suitcase all the way up the steep hill. I had been listening to a Chinese song by Jay Chou, titled 青花瓷 along the way. It's a song imbued with oriental and ethereal aesthetics, seamlessly blending in with Hobart's heritage allure and artistic charm . It was the theme song carrying through my entire trip in Tasmania. Music has always guided me to my destination safely, and I always hold gratitude for that.

I buzzed the intercom, and the gate slowly opened. I was under the vague impression that it is a boutique hotel situated in a private yet proximal location, exuding an intimate and inviting home vibe. A young man awaited me in the entry of the hallway. The moment I walked in, I experienced that entry "wow" factor. A crystal chandelier hung from the high ceiling, and the statement piece was a massive weaving rug. Just a quick glimpse into its mixed collection of artwork and interior décor around the foyer, and the word 'eclectic' popped into my head—an ultimate mix and collage-like interior style.


I took a sneak peek into a room on my left-hand side. It was a formal breakfast room & library wall featuring opulent antique furnishings. Having just checked in at the Victoria Mansion the night before and visited a Greek Revival Museum house during the day, I wasn't intimidated by the ostentatious and grand interiors. However, I did feel a moment of being overwhelmed by its eye-popping palette and full-on embrace of antiques.

If this room on my left-hand side is shrouded in hints of serious dignity and quiet luxury, a game room on my right-hand side plays mastery of interior maximalism and boldness. The saturated color scheme, themed in red hues, and the heavy use of pattern and texture lured me into a space of imagination and vibrance. The room is embellished with capacious sofas generously adorned with cushions, rugs, table lamps with fabric shades, fabric curtains, antique tables,and patterned elements.


A curated and edited art collection is always emotionally appealing because it is built over time with thoughtfulness and intention. It forms a true bond between humans and objects, becoming a style that is enduring, classic, and perpetually evolving. After further research, I discovered that the art collection in Islington was curated from 30 years of traveling around the world, encapsulating Islington's historic essence and the original owners' family history in Tasmania.


Overall, the furnishings embody a very palpable global influence—a mix of English country house and oriental mystery. Let’s just say, paintings by Matisse strike an unexpected but compatible balance with Chinese ink drawings in the game room. As a Chinese, a self-portrait artwork of Chairman Mao seamlessly integrated into the art collection instantly stood out to me. This historic stately home transported me through centuries of iterations, with its impressive collection of fine art and antique furnishings.


While historical touches and ornate decorations are embellished throughout, a small door opening at the entry leads up to a glass conservatory featuring contemporary cool in juxtaposition with grand opulence of other rooms. The glass conservatory is approximately 100 sq/f, serving as the restaurant and bar. Full-height glass panels from floor to ceiling blur the threshold between indoor and outdoor. Avant-garde sculptures infuse whimsy and playfulness into the atrium. Meticulous attention manifests through all design details from the color matching of dining chairs and sculptures to the transition in floor materials from wood to mosaic tile. The warm fireplace and cozy leather sofas enhance the ambiance. Above all, ambient lighting was instrumental in creating an unparalleled immersive and enveloping moment for me on the spot.

I can confidently say that what hit my core and put me at ease is the always marriage of heritage preservation and contemporary revamping, a blend of old and new. It’s a place where reminiscent storytelling meets new encounters. Time and space evolve into a reimagining future through centuries of iteration.


I checked into the loft suites, an attic on the top level of the hotel. Meticulously-designed boutique hotels always connect me to a sense of intimacy akins to the feeling of a home sanctuary. I have a very personal and arbitrary five-second rule to determine whether a hotel room and I hit it off or not lol.

The wall behind the bed is claded into wood panels with bedside tables adorned with warm, ambient lamps, and Matisse's painting injects a burst of joy—these details create a symphony of aesthetics. A pink leather chair, strategically paired with a wood lacquer-finished desk, strikes a harmonious chord, inviting an aura of approachable luxury and delicate charm. Now, I recall my bedding was outrageously comfortable. Turns out they are the Islington's famous custom-built Angel beds, meticulously crafted by A.H. Beard, the oldest bedding manufacturers located in southern Tasmania.

The chef's homemade baked treats and cheese platter paired with wine (the best cheese I've ever tasted!) in the Mini-Bar was delightful surprise for my taste buds. Yet the ultimate unwinding moment can only be achieved through the spacious marble bathroom featuring a bath and rain shower. Despite being a hopeless nostalgic, the contemporary liveability of a hotel is essential for me to feel at home sweet home LoL.

Islington Hotel truly prioritizes guests' comfort and convenience, placing it at the core and forefront with its full range of modern amenities, thoughtful curated design, and unpretentious presentation. It was a night of sound sleep.


The next day, I woke up to breathtaking sweeping views of Mount Wellington and took a relaxed stroll through Islington Garden. Islington's heritage silhouette was unveiled in the natural sunlight and seamlessly dissolved into its mountain landscape. Built in 1847, Islington Hotel retains its original Regency architectural features, keeping its white-painted stucco façade intact.I truly appreciate that the dwelling's heritage elements are sustained and intertwined with contemporary sophistication, adhering to the ethos of honoring the home's history without compromising its modern aesthetics.


Boldness and playfulness are woven into the opulent interior embellishment and further extend to its exterior structure. Award-winning architects Robert Morris Nunn and associates adopted a robust and refined approach, pulling the new elements together, evolving its original form, and transforming the Islington property into a hotel pavilion with an amazing new wing: the conservatory. What struck me the most is the sense of openness and lightness introduced and incorporated into this space, achieving an intimate dialogue with the natural surroundings.


The selection of materials and in-depth textures feature a seamless blend of historical roots and contemporary ethos, striking a distinct yet complementary balance throughout. The interplay between the brick wall and glass door panel stands out as a prodigious display of creativity. Overall, the conservatory addition alters the perceived scale of the inner volumes and binds them together as a singular, bold expression. Another essential element here is lighting. Transitioning from natural lighting during the day to ambient lighting at night plays a pivotal role in orchestrating a distinct experience for its guests.


I had my most relaxing and evocative breakfast experience in this conservatory, facing massive glass panels that lead to beautifully landscaped gardens set against the backdrop of a panoramic mountain view. I was treated to the finest culinary experiences by Islington Kitchen. The cuisine is crafted with locally sourced ingredients and fresh produce. Here, I encountered my life-changing fruit yogurt bowl. Not a hint of exaggeration, but one day after returning from my trip, completely out of the blue, an inexplicable craving for that yogurt bowl hit me so strongly that I rushed to the supermarket. I somehow managed to find similar oats yogurt and fresh fruit to recreate that bowl. I don’t generally consume yogurt or cereals for an unknown reason, despite being a big advocate for a healthy lifestyle and wholesome diet LoL. However, oats yogurt has now become a daily intake that I add to my diet staples , alongside a box of cucumber and berries, and at least 2.5 L bottle of water.


I think it's quite worthwhile to delve into this yogurt bowl and unpack some of the profound impacts of travel on us. I anchor my life with a certain amount of certainty through built-in habits, discipline, and structure, but I also consistently explore and search for a fresh ' bowl' that injects uncertainty and fluidity into my life. I have come to a point where I am not obsessed with chasing a completely new reality anymore but truly embrace the present, creating as many experiential moments for myself as possible. As long as I continue to show up in the world with curiosity and openness, I believe I will always encounter an unexpected ' bowl' along the way. These 'bowls' serve as catalysts that may prompt me to nurture new habits, develop new perspectives, and ignite my inner light. So, are you ready to embark on your journey of connecting with your fresh 'bowl' ? My own answer is a firm and strong yes!


Sorry for getting a bit off track. To circle back, I also want to give a shoutout to the hotel’s top-notch hospitality. From the reception to the chef, they serve their guests with the highest level of sincerity and consideration. I guess it’s valid to say that the most important aspect of any hotels lies in its hospitality. What I found incredibly evocative is that the patient approach in lieu of contemporary practices deeply applied to Islington’s architecture transformation, interior design, and connection to outdoor living, creating a retreat-like and immersive experience. This philosophy also extends to the hotel's service ethos—controlled and measured, discreet yet organic. The chef served each dish and hand-made coffee at a well-tuned pace with meticulous attention. It allowed me to embrace a rare 'slow down' mode, spending hours and hours just savouring a cup of coffee, food, and nature.


I wholeheartedly recommend Islington hotel to art enthusiasts, solo travelers, and those seeking respite from the city hustle.

Shownotes



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