I have to admit, I was a little disappointed by this hotel. I had heard there was a hotel on the site (Port Arthur) and this was it. I was so excited to think that the rooms overlooked the site and I imagined looking out my window over historic Port Arthur, admiring the ruins during the day and especially overnight.
Certainly the hotel itself advertises the fact that it overlooks Port Arthur, and it does.
I need to point out a few things though;
The rooms overlook the very side of the site - in fact I would say you aren't really overlooking anything much except some trees and some green grass. Don't be fooled!
The restaurant at the hotel , which is what you can see in most photos of the hotel from Port Arthur, is actually the bit that overlooks the site and is, I have to admit, quite amazing, but you could easily go there from another hotel for a meal. I would suggest that you do visit it for breakfast, lunch or dinner as it sincerely does look over the good bit of the site and has outside seating that I can imagine would be lovely on a hot summers night.
At check-In the staff were really lovely and friendly, and we got to our rooms easily where you can park your car right outside. However the rooms are very small, very basic and not all that comfortable to be honest. I was sadly disappointed to not have a view over the good bits of the site, but to have a sad view of grass and nothing much else.
You pay extra for the officers row rooms and if you insist on staying there, don't pay the extra - take the cheaper guards row, there's nothing to look at and I personally don't think its worth the money to take the Officers Row rooms.
The restaurant stops taking orders at 7.30 so be sure to get in early, our friends missed out! The breakfast only runs from around 7.30am to 9.00am also and staff didn't inform us it was extra for the cooked breakfast. We happily served ourselves, with no indication we'd have to pay extra. It would have been nice to have this pointed out to us at the start, however it was quite a good breakfast and once again you can look over Port Arthur while dining which is really nice.
The hotel does have a gate in to the site (Port Arthur) at the Church end, you get a tag on your room key that lets you in. However nobody told us this. We actually went around to the visitor centre and paid extra to gain access (as it was a little closer and we didn't want to walk down the hill from the hotel gate) but if it had of been pointed out to me by hotel staff about the little tag on the room key I wouldn't have paid twice! It was only pointed out to me by a local later on.
I should also say that if you want some entertainment at night. Be sure to hang out at the bar of the hotel and talk to the locals that are there, they are not only warm and funny (and slightly inebriated) but they tell great stories of the local area and great ghost stories about walking around the site at night.....mind you, I'm not too sure what state they were in when they saw the ghosts but its one of the highlights of staying at this hotel - anyhow, once night time comes there's not much else to do unless you are booked in for a ghost tour.
I would like to also stay that in the photos of the hotel (on various websites), you see a balcony...this is not a private balcony and all the rooms (officers row) run onto this balcony...there's no way you'd sit out there like they show in the photos. I was staying on a beautiful sunny, warm day...nobody was out there as every other room is viewing you and I wouldn't think its as inviting as they make it out to be.
The bathrooms are also very small, but overall it was clean and quite alright for the one night stay which we had. I know there is lots of better accom around Port Arthur so if you are after somewhere a bit nicer then don't feel like you are missing out on anything as I sincerely don't think you will.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Port Arthur Motor Inn is amazingly situated in the Port Arthur Historic Site precinct, it is this location which makes the hotel unique. Walk to all your tours direct from the hotel. Our great chef Eugene Kennedy makes dining in a really good experience. Dining room has the finest view over the historic site, relax by the fire in winter and out on the terrace in summer. We cater for most budgets, with our Guard row rooms and our Officer row rooms. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Comfort Inn Port Arthur Hotel Port Arthur
- Port Arthur Comfort Inn
- Port Arthur Motor Inn Tasmania