The dream of living in a designer eco-retreat on an unspoilt wilderness island can now be a reality with the new ‘Beach Houses & Villas of Tasmania’ collection, which is being launched by Turquoise Holidays and available on our website from 1st July.
The hideaways are part a new breed of ultra-chic accommodation created by talented architects and craftsmen from the world over, many of whom have found Tasmania, Australia’s southernmost island state, through their passion and endless searching for unspoilt wilderness and extraordinary locations in which to bring their personal dream to fruition.
James Bell of Turquoise Holidays says: “It is a real privilege for our clients to stay in private houses that are the vision of award-winning architects. Increasingly we are building itineraries for couples and groups of friends who are seeking something really special from their travels rather than just another hotel, or just another tour. Properties like these, in a place as aspirational and mystical as Tasmania, enable them to feel a real connection with the place and its people.”
The beach houses and retreats featured by Turquoise are each unique in design, and range from uber-chic to charmingly eccentric. Some are coastal and some are buried deep in the Tasmanian highlands. The houses generally provide private accommodation from two guests up to ten, and despite their designer label, come with a price tag from just £60 per person per night.
Newly-opened this year on the east coast is Rocky Hills Retreat, a richly furnished forest cabin for a couple with its own artist’s studio and open-air Huon pine tub big enough for two (Rocky Hills Retreat); also just built is The Lair; a jaw-dropping 30 metre wide, two bed roomed glass-walled structure perched high on the edge of a hillside that draws in the 180 degree vista of Great Oyster Bay and the Hazards Mountains, one of the most stunning views in Tasmania. Eagles Nest Retreat I & II are the dreams of a dairy farmer-turned-house designer Des Brown and his daughter; both are idyllic yet very different lakeside hideaways at the foothills of nine mountain ranges, one with a lakeside spa bath and a fire pit for late night warmth, the other with a 360 degree revolving sofa and star-gazing ceiling for admiring the unpolluted skies. They are appropriately located close to the hamlet of Paradise; and they called Eagles Nest Retreat for a reason; white bellied eagles soaring in the massive skies are a daily spectacle.
Many of these locations have been described as being among the most beautiful spots on earth. “Pure theatre” says Rick Bzowy, owner and architect of The Lair, as he rolls back the glass doors to their full 30 metre width. A glitter ball hangs over the designer kitchen and a huge fire throws out heat on cool evenings from the centre of the AU$2 million 2 bedroom house, while the Hazards mountains reflect off the deck pool and a Jacuzzi with i-pod docking station awaits at the rear of The Lair, with views through to the front. A ‘loo with a view’ doesn’t come better than at The Lair, although the al fresco bath shares the same bay-to-mountain vista which changes colour as the sun rises and sets.
The houses are all filled with the owners’ favourite works of art, mostly by Tasmanian artists; antiques, books and games; many have log fires for cool evenings and decks with barbeques for balmy nights. Most of the beach houses and villas have been built to the highest of green credentials with more than a hefty clutch of awards between them.
James Bell continues: “With Tasmania’s wide open roads and landscapes, these houses can form the basis of a fantastic self drive holiday; combined with Tamania’s isolation they are a most civilised escape from the modern world, and a wonderful touring base. We are offering them to honeymooners, groups of friends and even families who wish to travel around Tasmania experiencing total immersion with nature, wildlife and the locals, both two legged and four.”
The properties can be stocked with the guests’ choice of fresh, local produce, wines and beers; many offer the services of private chefs add massage therapists, and local restaurants can be booked on request. Those on or close to water provide fishing, kayaking and boating, with pods of dolphins, migrating whales, albatross and sea eagles for company. Inland properties promise unequalled walking, biking, star gazing, trout fishing and wildlife spotting, with quolls, wallabies, wombats pademelons, echidna and endemic birds in abundance, and occasionally a chance encounter with the endangered Tasmanian devil.
Turquoise Holidays will shortly be adding a range of Penthouses to the collection, providing a new style of city accommodation in Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, which is already known for Australia’s only art hotel and which will shortly be the home for the largest private collection of art in the Southern Hemisphere when MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art) opens in January 2011.
The website ‘Beach houses of Tasmania’ goes live on 1st July. For further information in the meantime contact Turquoise Holidays on T 01494 678 400.
For more information about Tasmania visit www.discovertasmania.co.uk