When visiting a major city I find that one of the most important things to do is make sure you try and stay in accommodation that has high impact and gives you a special feeling for what that city is about. Of course any sensible person will need to take budget into consideration and staying in a place with those attributes screams expensive, but sometimes it’s nice to spend a little extra to stay in a location that will make your stay feel a bit more special. Somerset on the Pier in Hobart is one of these locations with the apartment hotel located on the Elizabeth Street pier right on the famous Constitution Dock in central Hobart.
Somerset on the Pier at a glance
Price: $202.00 per night
Car Parking: Free on request
Somerset on the Pier is an old converted pier warehouse with serviced apartments lining down both sides of the pier. One side is lined with apartments with a small balcony and views of the Derwent River and Constitution Dock, while the appartments on the other side do not have a balcony but they have impressive views of Mount Wellington and the Salamanca area of Hobart where the famous Salamanca Market is held every Saturday.
I spent four nights at Somerset on the Pier with a Mount Wellington view apartment located in the centre of the pier just above the main entrance. All apartments are a split level with the downstairs containing a bathroom, kitchen, lounge/dining with a staircase taking you upstairs to what feels like a hovering bedroom overlooking the apartment and a view out the window to the water.
VIDEO: Time lapse looking out from Somerset on the Pier
The apartments are close to all the facilities you will need for your stay; a couple of blocks away and within easy walking distance is a Woolworths Supermarket or even closer is an independent grocer in Salamanca Place. There are plenty of restaurants nearby, with a couple located at the city end of the pier under the apartments and many different options within Salamanca Place or within walking distance in the Hobart CBD. The apartments also have access to paid wifi, but with my stay this was included as part of the package so I only needed to log into the wifi system with my room number and surname and I was set for the next four days with speedy reliable internet.
This is also a great location to use as a base for doing daily activities. From here I was able to dedicate one day to driving up to Mount Wellington, then head over to the Port Arthur Historical Site for the afternoon. Car parking is limited but is available if you have brought your own car or have rented one like I did. Reception will provide you with a parking pass for the dedicated spaces at the end of the pier.
Another activity easily accessible from here in Hobart is visiting the MONA Museum. You have two options, if you have hired a car you can drive there and this will also allow you to visit the Cadbury chocolate factory while down in this area of Hobart if visiting on a weekday. However the best way is to catch the ‘MONA Roma‘ catamaran that leaves from pretty much the next pier over from the apartment. The view from my apartment meant I could watch the ferry services going in and out all day long.
One afternoon I returned to the apartment after being out all morning to relax a little, looking outside into the water a seal was swimming right in front of my window. I was so excited I grabbed my camera to capture the seal going about his business, clicking away I realised I had taken my memory card out to download my photos for the day and by the time a put the card back in some people walked by scaring it off, so I missed out on getting some great photos.
This is what makes Somerset on the Pier a fantastic place to call home for however long you plan to stay in Hobart. It can be a bit expensive for some especially if you book a room with a balcony, but for me it was one of these occasions where I felt I should spend a little extra for staying in a different part of the city.
I would definitely stay here again if I were visiting Hobart again as it is in a unique location on the pier and you can have unexpected moments like the one above when a seal is swimming by your window on a lazy afternoon unexpectedly.