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Venue Crush: The Ship Inn is a Boutique Hotel with a Difference

The Ship Inn is a stunning boutique stay in the north-west of Tasmania that can't be missed.

The Ship Inn

In a weathered town along the wild coastline of Tasmania’s north-west, stands the old colonial Ship Inn. Unphased by the stunning (and at times harsh) landscape, the Ship Inn is one of Stanley’s most talked about boutique getaways.

A sophisticated stay with a story-telling style, Ship Inn honours Stanley’s local folklore. Tales of merchant sailors, local shipwrecks, English colonial gentry and the hardships of farming a remote land bounce off the walls in a stylish, and ever-so-elegant aesthetic that owners, Kerry and Alastair Houston, have gifted the place.

Still one of Stanley’s most iconic buildings, the Ship Inn has entered a whole new era that travellers from far-flung places are flocking to experience.

The Ship Inn, Marnie Hawson
Ship Inn Stanley, Marnie Hawson

The Ship Inn: Look & Feel

The vintage meets modern elegance vibe of the Ship Inn hits you before you even step through the door. The brightly-clad weatherboard exterior with white trimming is framed by the ever-present Nut Reserve, which looms behind it. 

The Ship Inn, Marnie Hawson
The Ship Inn, Marnie Hawson

It’s the kind of place that takes you on an adventurous journey that you may just not want to come back from.

A Captain’s portrait from yesteryear greets you in the spacious foyer, but it’s not until you reach the aged timber desk with maritime antiquities that you really start to appreciate the attention to detail that the team has gone to. This is a boutique stay with serious 'wow' factor. 

The Ship Inn, Marnie Hawson

Vintage pieces that tell a story in striking contrast to Ship Inn’s black and moody colours, white light-filled spaces, dramatic wallpapers, and earthy and natural textures of linen, wool, sisal and timber.

Don't be put off by the name because the Ghost of Old John Peacock Guest Lounge (an ex-convict who is believed to still be looming) couldn't be a more tranquil place to kick back. Weaving in the past and present in a rich tapestry that blends style with comfort, it's a peaceful space that nurtures the weary traveller.

With sumptuous velvet couches, sweeping views of the sea, and luxurious leather chairs, you'll be hard-pressed to pull yourself away from this intimate nook. Unwind with your companion or snuggle up with a good book. 

The Ship Inn: The Rooms

Since the 1800s, the Ship Inn has had many lives; a licensed hotel, a guesthouse and a private residence.

These days, under the ownership of Kerry and her husband Alastair (a stonemason and landscaper by trade), the Ship Inn is once again a place where curious souls can come to rest and recharge. 

The Ship Inn, Marnie Hawson
The Ship Inn, Marnie Hawson

Teaming up with styling gurus Inside Story, Kerry and Alastair took on the heritage-listed property, remodelling it into nine luxurious apartments and guest rooms. 

The brief to Inside Story was simple; utilise their extensive vintage art collection while sourcing modern and vintage pieces to create a bespoke, comfortable and stylish feel.

The Ship Inn, Marnie Hawson
The Ship Inn, Marnie Hawson

After two and a half years of renovations, the team unveiled the new-look Ship Inn at the start of 2021. And it's no surprise, they nailed the brief. 

From the moment you step inside the Ship Inn, you are swept away into times passed. It truly is a masterclass in the area's rich history, while ensuring every single aspect of a guest's stay is catered to. 

Each suite tells the story of a local character or place, using historical ornaments, original artwork, bespoke joinery and custom fittings. 

The Ship Inn, Marnie Hawson
The Ship Inn, Marnie Hawson
The Ship Inn, Marnie Hawson

Whatever room you end up choosing, there's one guarantee - you'll be lost in time with the space's uniqueness and elegance. Whilst all suites are different, they all share an impeccable attention to detail.

Comfort is crucial and you can rest assured you'll be well taken care of with luxe, quality linens, sumptuous feather and down pillows and mattress toppers, hand-stitched cushions, a contemporary ensuite with a walk-in shower, and divine Salus toiletries.

The custom kitchenette (and full kitchen in the apartments) comes with a microwave, coffee pod machine and bar fridge.

The Ship Inn, Marnie Hawson

The Ship Inn: The Gardens

Stanley’s most iconic landmark, The Nut (an ancient volcanic plug) is the backdrop to the Inn, and the turbulent waters of Bass Strait are only steps away.

Alastair has worked his magic, transforming the old stables into a guest gym and yoga room, as well as building extensive stonewalling on the property. 

The Ship Inn, Marnie Hawson

The rear garden is huge and backs onto the Nut Reserve with views over the bay. Wander through this magical place and get lost in your own thoughts and the lush green lawns.

Soak up the breathtaking view over the bay, kick back on the verandah, or channel your inner child on the wooden swing. The gardens of Ship Inn are a truly special place to breathe in the fresh air and be one with your thoughts. 

The Ship Inn, Marnie Hawson

The Ship Inn: The Neighbourhood of Stanley

A historic fishing village in Tasmania’s north-west, Stanley is a small community with a big heart. Only four and a half hours from Hobart and two and a half hours from Launceston, Stanley is on the edge of some stunning wilderness.

It’s an outdoor enthusiast's delight – the Nut Reserve and the waters of Bass Strait bring seals and penguins to the shores. Wedge-tailed eagles and peregrine falcons fly overhead, and the untamed wilderness of The Tarkine is close at hand.

Although a seaside town with easy-going vibes, Stanley has a sophisticated edge. Many of the old cottages and colonial buildings have been repurposed into cafés and restaurants that feature fresh, local seafood and shops and galleries that shine a spotlight on local artists. All this combined is why this little beauty ranks highly on Tasmania’s tourist trail.

The Ship Inn, Marnie Hawson

The Ship Inn is located at 16 Alexander Terrace, Stanley, Tasmania 

From $443 per night

Has this deep dive on the Ship Inn got you inspired to check out more of Tasmania? Take a look at our edit of the best luxury accommodation in Cradle Mountain. Then, have a read of our wrap-up of the best cafés in Launceston for brunch and beyond.

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