Travellers now demand more than mere luxury accommodation. The usual luxury ‘must haves’ are now givens. Now, the stay has to be an experience in its own right. Everything, especially the views, have to be supremely instagramable. And the food and wine must be on trend and socially responsible, as well as delicious.
Every element must be an individual experience. Then these are bundled into what becomes the ‘accommodation experience’.
So, what is new? It is about time that the world caught up with Woodbridge. We first referred to it as ‘The Woodbridge Experience’ way back in 2007. Staying at Woodbridge has always been an experience.
Guests stay in one of Australia’s oldest houses, steeped in history, and resplendent with original wooden floors and original elements. Moreover, Woodbridge is in New Norfolk, one of Australia’s oldest towns, and Tasmania’ first ‘capital’. Much of New Norfolk pre-dates Port Arthur, the penal colony. Elizabethtown became New Norfolk because convicts relocated from Norfolk Island refused to call it anything else.
Woodbridge is the original ‘story telling’ hotel. We didn’t have to invent the concept because Woodbridge just naturally oozes stories. We even have a convict lock-up reimagined as a very different wine cellar.
Following the story of the restoration of Woodbridge in 2004-2006 is another guest favourite. Guests love our PDFs and photo history. They imagine themselves inside a TV programme like Grand House Restoration, and ‘live’ the experience.
Woodbridge is also an ‘art hotel’, and was one long before the term was coined for marketing purposes by others. She is filled with original artworks, some commissioned, some made from artefacts retrieved in the restoration. Additionally, there are many other art works on loan from the owners’ private collections. How many hotels display an original ‘(sorry can’t publish the detail)’.
Additionally, the historic Willow Court Barracks, just a 5 minute walk from Woodbridge, will soon house an excitingt art installation.
Then, of course, there is the river and those views. Woodbridge boasts absolute river frontage and the river has always been part of its history. New Norfolk was the original ‘capital’ of Tasmania because here is the top of the tide needed for safe anchorage.
And now the river is integral to the soft adventure experience for which the Derwent Valley has become renowned. Woodbridge offers guests an array of soft adventure options.
Woodbridge is in the Derwent Valley, Tasmania’s up and coming foodie paradise. Premium wineries, whisky, gin, vodka and rum distilleries, and artisan breweries abound. And the local produce is superb. It is no accident that both Sally Wise and Rodney Dunn chose this corner of Tasmania. Sally Wise’s cookery school is a 10 minute drive from Woodbridge. It is a mere 5 minute walk to Rodney Dunn’s Agrarian Kitchen Cookery School and Eatery .
But most significantly, Woodbridge is not run like a ‘usual’ hotel, because we believe that ‘usual is over-rated’.
Woodbridge is often described as “like being given the keys to a friend’s country manor”. Guests are indeed given the keys to the house, because The Mansion is the guests’ domain. Staff are based in The Pavilion, coming and going as required, so guests can enjoy the The Mansion without intrusion.
Guests love that Woodbridge operates in the style of the grand houses of yesteryear, but with a very modern twist.
Woodbridge certainly is a fine example of an experiential hotel in Tasmania.