In a pocket of pristine wilderness, at the southern tip of Australia, Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park is home to some of the cleanest air and waters in the world, with internationally acclaimed coastline, unparalleled landscapes and produce that is envied the world over. Most recently it became home to arguably the best boutique hotel in the world, referencing its bountiful surroundings with a class and sophistication second to no other.
Once a hidden gem on the map, Australia’s island state is now setting a new standard in luxury accommodation. Saffire Freycinet is an intimate, 20-suite luxury lodge completed in 2010 by multi award-winning Tasmanian architect Robert Morris-Nunn and his partner Peter Walker. The driving concept of the $32 million development was to seamlessly connect the lodge with its surrounding environment, and to protect the site by sympathetically interpreting its unique qualities.
Saffire takes its inspiration from the colours and textures of the surrounding peninsula and incorporates local products, designers and natural materials such as timber, stone and leather into much of its exterior and interior design. The buildings themselves are conceptually organic: the suites present like the gentle waves of Great Oyster Bay, whilst the main building’s roofline frames the peaks of the majestic Hazards Mountain range – an uninterrupted view from every window. The granite mountains shift from pink to violet to blue-grey, depending on the light, offering an ever-changing backdrop and a comforting sense of solitude and privacy for guests.
Saffire’s deference to the environment gives it an integrity that would appeal to the most discerning traveler. Efficient water and lighting and natural cycle air-flow systems combine with the lavishness of floor-to-ceiling, double-glazed windows in every suite and pavilion (the latter with plunge pools), private decks with spectacular views, marble bathrooms and mini-bars stocked with the finest Tasmanian produce, wine and whisky, all complementary.
Perhaps what really sets Saffire apart is the superb food and wine produced on its doorstep, delivered by superstar Australian chef Hugh Whitehouse. The east coast of Tasmania has long had an enviable reputation for premium aquaculture and agriculture, and its Mediterranean-like climate also produces crisp, cool-climate wines of international acclaim.
Gaining international attention for their innovative yet simple approach to food, Palate at Saffire Freycinet delivers the best of premium local produce. Seafood plucked straight from the waters of Great Oyster Bay, succulent grass-fed meats, seasonal fruit and vegetables – all are chosen daily by Whitehouse’s team. Guests are welcome to create their own dining options, and even to summon their own private chef to their suite!
But perhaps you’d prefer to don a pair of waders and shuck oysters straight from the bay yourself, accompanied by a glass of Tasmanian sparkling wine? You could visit Saffire’s open-range Tasmanian Devil enclosure and learn about the now endangered species and the fight to save them. Maybe a guided walk to Wineglass Bay (regularly heralded as one of the world’s best beaches), wine tasting, canoeing, archery or mountain biking is your preferred past time; the list of Saffire’s complimentary “experiences” goes on, and all are quintessential to the area. This is a truly special destination, a class above the rest.