Saffire Freycinet is a boutique luxury hotel tailor-made for its extraordinary setting on Tasmania’s Freycinet Peninsula.
Story By Don Fuchs
Arrival at Freycinet is orchestrated to impress. It begins at Hobart airport, where a lounge is set up exclusively for Saffire guests. The two-and-a-half-hour drive along Tasmania’s east coast increases the anticipation.
It is, however, the last few minutes of your arrival that will stay in your memory: a walk up a stylish ramp, automatic doors swing open and then the revelation and celebration of one of Tasmania’s most famous views. Guests find themselves suddenly inside the monumental main lodge with a three-storey top-to-bottom glass front offering panoramic views over Great Oyster Bay and the five granite peaks of The Hazards. It is a view made for postcards and coffee-table books; a view, with its ever-changing moods, that enhances practically everything at Saffire: the lounge and bar, the restaurant, the library and the suites.
Ever since Saffire opened in 2010 it has drawn those who enjoy top-end hospitality, dedicated gourmands and lovers of modern architecture and extraordinary, exclusive locations. Prominent Tasmanian architects Robert Morris-Nunn and Peter Walker designed the $32 million resort, built in an unbeatable location on the site of a derelict caravan park right next to Coles Bay Conservation Area.
From above, the main lodge resembles a manta ray floating in shallow, light-flooded waters. Inside is a curved cathedral ceiling of Tasmanian timber, a rustic looking library and a crafted waterfall bordering wide stairs that lead to the lounge and restaurant. Sophisticated indirect lighting scales down the enormous space at night, making it more intimate.
A row of villas, connected by roofed pathways, is visible from the top level of the lodge. Despite the size of the main building, there are only 20 suites accommodating a maximum of 40 guests. That makes Saffire a boutique resort that can cater for almost every whim – whether the desire is for absolute privacy or an unusual culinary experience.
The suites come in three categories: luxury, signature and private pavilions. They seduce with elaborate lighting and, yes, that view, celebrated once more with panoramic windows and an elevated bed to guarantee an unobstructed vista. Every villa has a private courtyard in front, sheltered from the outside world by high walls. The simple space, with raked pebbles and clean lines, resembles a Japanese Zen garden. At the back, overlooking bushland, a deck provides space for quiet contemplation.
This story excerpt is from Issue #89
Outback Magazine: June/July 2013