A touch of Provençal style on the D’entrecasteaux Channel near Hobart

Villa Howden offers a touch of Provençal style just south of Hobart

Last weekend, just before the snow hit Southern Tasmania, I had the pleasure of visiting Villa Howden, a charming boutique hotel located an easy 20 minute drive south of Hobart on the shores of North West Bay and the D’entrecasteaux Channel.

The property, originally built during the 1970s as a health spa, has been lavishly renovated to blend the rustic charm associated with the south of France or Tuscanny in northern Italy with a well-upholstered and sybaritic comfort.

Having just a few very comfortable rooms mean that it’s never crowded and it offers dining for both guests and the public in Bruni’s restaurant (named for Antoine Raymond Joseph de Bruni d’Entrecasteaux, the eighteenth century French naval officer and explorer who commanded a major voyage of exploration around these parts; the French connection is still apparent in many placenames around Tasmania).

Villa Howden also offers weekend afternoon high teas, which draw visitors and locals alike to soak up the atmosphere along with tea and scones. The hotel is also popular for wedding parties.

 

The terrace offers the right balance of open air and shelter
The terrace offers the right balance of open air and shelter
Rather than signs, there are 'do not disturb' bears to leave outside the door when privacy is required
Rather than signs, there are ‘do not disturb’ bears to leave outside the door when privacy is required
The view from an upper floor room
The view from an upper floor room
Weekend high teas are a draw for visitors and locals alike
Weekend high teas are a draw for visitors and locals alike
The indoor saltwater pool has views across the D'entrecasteau Channel to Bruny Island
The indoor saltwater pool has views across the D’entrecasteaux Channel to Bruny Island
A striking chandalier adds glamour to the main hall
A striking chandalier adds glamour to the main hall
The gardens match the style of the hotel
The gardens match the style of the hotel
Architectural details at Villa Howden are reminiscent of Provence or Tuscany
Architectural details at Villa Howden are reminiscent of Provence or Tuscany