When I saw the room, I was tempted to rush to my laptop and bang out a truly negative review. I'm glad I waited until after dinner though.
The room I stayed in was clearly originally a two room suite, with what was the master bedroom now doubling as a sitting room. I say "sitting room", but as you'll see from the photo, the usual content of a sitting room, ie, a sofa, has been replaced by three old chairs, two by a teeny table, and one across a spacious room facing a large flat screen tv. The absence of any other furniture makes the sitting room ideal for games of twister, or 5000 piece jigsaw puzzles, which is good, as the tv receives no channels at all as far as I can tell.
The furnishing seems to be largely quaintly original. Put less kindly, the chair seat in the lounge room was badly frayed. The bedroom looked like the suite was in the throes of a make over, with new paint and attractive heavy weight curtains. The beds were comfyish, but bouncy enough to make a brace of seven year olds squeal with delight as they jumped on them. Fortunately, there were no seven year olds on my visit.
Sadly, it looked as if the makeover budget declined by the time they got to the bathroom, which looked as if the renovations had been done with bits picked up from a garage sale, with door knobs that don't match, and the toilet looked as if bits had been sawn in half and rejoined.
Back to the sitting room, the effect was completed by stained mesh curtains and a power point held on by cloth tape. I did take photos of all this, but it wouls seem cruel and churlish to post them all. I will post the one of the sitting room though, as it has a poetic poignancy to it.
Well, that's the bad. On to the good. The restaurant.
The restaurant delights in the same faded glory ambience as the rooms, but there the similarity ends. The food, not to put too fine a point on it, was the best hotel restaurant meal I have eaten in a very long time.
Scarred by my recent experience in another hotel that managed to make rib fillet tough and chewy, I chose bbq pork ribs with wedges, figuring that even if it was ordinary it would be edible. Instead of ordinary, what I got was a master piece of piggy goodness. A huge rack of deliciously tender pork ribs. The meat fell off the bone at the touch and melted in your mouth. The bbq sauce, topped with sesame seeds, was gorgeous, and worth sopping up with the amazing wedges.
Emboldened, I tried desert. It was, amazingly, even better. I had sticky date pudding done in a cast iron pot thingy, with sweet sticky sauce and butterscotch icecream on the side. The whole lot sizzled as I heaped the icecream and sauce onto the pudding. I'm a sticky date fan (no smirking, you lot!) and I can safely say this was a great sticky date pud.
I risked the coffee, and again a winner. My waiter asked how it was, and told me he had made it. The coffee was tasty and I'm glad I had it. The fact that the waiter was interested in how I liked his coffee was a very good sign, as coffee is often made by the disinterested, and it shows. This coffee was made by someone who cares about coffee. I'd also like to praise the restaurant staff who were friendly and efficient.
So, overall, I'm giving this property 4 stars. 2 for the room, balanced by 5 for the spectacular meal. I'd stay here again, just for the food.
- Also Known As:
- Hobart Rydges Hotel
- Rydges Hotel Hobart Tasmania
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Federation style hotel. ... more less
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