The day of visiting Moss Hotel, it is a freezing Salamanca Market morning. It's early, but already buskers are starting to strum guitars in spite of frozen fingers, stall holders are willing themselves to stay warm in oversized puffer jackets, and shoppers are shuffling around or waiting for their first hot coffee of the day.
This market day scenario is familiar - the din is almost white noise to me after working at this market for years. It isn't until entering Moss through an unassuming glass door and being enveloped into a rainforest green, warm quiet cocooned entry that I realise the bustle outside.
Immediately, there is a sense of sanctuary. The door closes behind me and I intuitively follow the softly lit staircase up to the reception area, feeling invited and welcome. I come to a relaxed, informal lobby with low lounges and open fireplace and am greeted by Moss General Manager, Rod Black. Rod shows me one of the guest rooms, before giving me free rein of the Moss shared spaces and halls (!!!) to take photos and wander to my hearts content.
Moss Hotel has barely been open for a month but the staff have already been busy hosting visitors through the Dark Mofo festival season, with guests continuing to snap up boutique rooms in the coveted location of Salamanca Place.
Moss Hotel ticks all the boxes for good, functional interior design. Functional, beautiful, and many elements are sourced locally or produced in partnership with people from Tasmania. The culmination of this is a pleasing aesthetic that any one would find hard to fault... but there is something beyond this which brings a sense of locality and honestly, and it takes me until the next day to realise what it is: My memory brings forward a visit to another, although entirely different, Tasmanian accomodation location - the Derwent Bridge Hotel. On a short visit, albeit snack pit stop en route to Queenstown, I break from playing pool in front of the giant central fireplace to find the bathroom. Printed photos of the rugged West Coast landscape and portraits of trout fishermen are displayed proudly in the hallway, giving a representation of real people and places who lived there. Walking through the hallways of Moss, I am reminded of the Derwent Bridge Hotel in this way. Printed, unframed photographs of people, maps and landscapes which are recognisably Tasmanian are displayed as focal points in the halls, or they capture your eye when entering a room. There is nothing overly loud about these photographs, but they are something that you notice if you were from here or have spent time in the landscape. Interpret spaces and peoples interior choices how you will - but this clever, understated nod to place struck a chord with me. Decisions like these are honest, emerge from connection, and maximise room for curiosity, understanding and belonging for visitors.
Links: MOSS HOTEL