Alabama Hotel

· Wednesday December 18, 2013

The Alabama Hotel is where you stay if you're heading to the Apple Isle for a cultured escape. This 17-room, three-storey joint on Liverpool Street pitches itself as “boutique budget accommodation catering for guests looking for something more upmarket than a backpackers and less sterile than a chain”, which happens to be a damn accurate description.

“We used to rent the spare room of our apartment out on Airbnb, and really noticed an increase in demand for accommodation after the opening of MONA,” says co-owner and manager, Kelly Cloake. So, it seemed appropriate for Kelly and Aeden Howlett (partner, co-owner and local artist) to take out the lease on the Alabama Hotel — a monstrous 183-year-old building that for the last decade was home to UTAS students. For $80 a night the Alabama offers standard twin-share or double rooms with cupboard space, immaculate sheets, shared bathroom facilities (complete with Corrynne's Natural Soaps) and a custom engraved room key for each guest.

There's also a light-filled communal space with a coffee machine and small bar where you can have a read of a National Geographic on the couch, put a Dolly Parton record on, or simply admire the local art — ranging from a painting found at the South Hobart Tip by Aeden (who decked out the majority of the hotel) to wall-sized murals by local artist Tom O'Hern.

Southern charm is rich as ever. PS – Bill Murray pillows.