I have to confess I’m a fan of the show Grand Designs. When I arrived at Peppers Silo in Launceston, I immediately thought that this hotel created from four original grain silos should have been featured. Constructed in 1960, the Kings Wharf silos were used to store imported grain for bread production. In later years they fell into disuse and the site was abandoned until 2016 when construction began to rejuvenate and transform the silos into a state-of-the-art Peppers hotel. And it’s impressive.
Arriving on the last fight into Launceston, I didn’t need to worry about finding Peppers Silo as it stood out against the Launceston skyline. Located on the banks of the Tamar River, the hotel is a 15 minute walk to the city centre and a 20 minute drive from the airport. As you enter the building, it’s hard to see the old mixed in with the new as the outside of the building from this side seems quite plain but as you exit the elevator on the first floor, you’re presented with the first of the four Peppers’ silos which curves around the reception area. It’s such a clever use of an old building.
Even though it was late, we couldn’t resist having a quick look at the silo housing the bar and the rest of the spaces on this level. At reception, we were greeted by a friendly staff member who gave a quick outline of the facilities of the hotel. We were staying in a Gorge River Deluxe Room on level seven and as we discovered, there was no need to look hard for the room number as was stencilled into the carpet in very large numerals. If only every hotel had this!
The hotel has 108 rooms and suites with 52 of these housed in the actual silos, with choices ranging from contemporary kings and twins located in a new build of the hotel to Gorge River Deluxe Rooms and Suites taking up the old silos. When you enter the silo rooms you can’t help but be in awe of the sheer size of the accommodation which takes up half a silo, coming in at a massive 50 sqm. Our room had a polished concrete curved wall and views of the city and Cataract Gorge. The decor is a pleasing and soothing blend of soft browns, greens and off whites that reflect the local Tasmanian environment.
The eight suites on the top floor have enclosed balconies screened off from the bite of Tasmania’s cool weather. Our Gorge River Deluxe room also had a comfy king size bed, chaise lounge and chair, mini-bar, tea and coffee maker, work desk and large tv. The walk in shower was so huge there was enough room in there to swing a couple of Tassie wombats.
Dining at the hotel is catered for at The Grain of the Silos Restaurant and Grain of the Silos Cafe, both located on level one. The restaurant serves modern Australian fare with a paddock to plate focus. We didn’t have breakfast included in our package so we grabbed a freshly baked muffin and espresso coffee one morning, both of which were excellent.
Woody’s Barrel Bar is also located on level one inside one of the silos and is perfect for grabbing a local wine or Boag’s beer and heading to one of the lounge areas located in the modern section of the hotel. In summer the hotel also has extensive outdoor seating areas and lounges that would be perfect for alfresco dining and drinks with friends overlooking the Tamar River and surrounding hills.
Before heading out in the morning, we dropped into reception to meet a very dedicated staff member who doesn’t just jump up to greet guests but also presents himself for pats and maybe a tummy rub. Archie, the black Labrador, is a permanent and much loved four legged employee at Peppers Silo Launceston. He didn’t make it as a guide dog but found a home at a lovely hotel and isn’t just dedicated to his job of making guests feel welcome, but also available for walkies at the park outside. If you are worried you’re going to miss Archie too much when you leave, you can even buy a plushie.
We loved our stay at Peppers Silo which is perfect for guests like us who would prefer to skip staying downtown in favour of a truly unique stay with beautiful views and excellent service. Carparking – and pats and walkies with Archie – are yours for free.
Disclosure: The writer stayed at Peppers Silo as a guest of the hotel and fell in love with Archie.
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