MACq 01 Storytelling Hotel – WHAT THE..?! TRAVEL REVIEW

MACq 01 Storytelling Hotel?

You might be thinking ANOTHER Hobart WHAT THE..?! Travel Review (?!), but as I’ve mentioned our Hobart trip in 2018 was rife with WHAT THE..?! moments. Therefore, I’d like to share this last one that happened to us at MACq 01 Hotel before I move onto Vanuatu, Darwin, Greece, and Japan.

Besides, the quirky and stylish MACq 01 Hotel is a unique, luxury hotel with plenty of personality that in my opinion deserves a featured review. Also, it’s one of’s TOP HOBART PICKS and “RATED BEST VALUE IN HOBART”.

MACq 01 Hotel Review - Enjoying the wharf outside MACq 01 "Story Telling" Hotel

Outside MACq 01 Hotel

N.B.: Bold turquoise words are links (but not this sentence 😉 )


About MACq 01 Storytelling Hotel

MACq 01 Hotel opened June 2017 in Hunter St where the Macquarie Wharf 01 is located, hence the name. (There are five Macquarie wharves in that area.)

As you can see above, MACq 01 Hotel is situated right on the water’s edge. Consequently, it overlooks the Derwent River, Sullivan’s Cove. In addition, this swanky hotel is in a top spot that gives you instant access to the Hobart piers and waterfront district, while being within easy walking distance from the CBD. 

Our first impressions of MACq 01 Hotel

Upon our arrival, the hotel entrance and lobby exuded a delightful quirkiness mixed with cool luxury. Furthermore, the professional hotel staff appeared to be genuinely enthusiastic and inherently proud to be part of the new MACq 01 experience.

MACq 01 delighted our senses with perfect sights, sounds, smells, touches, and also tastes. For example, when we entered our room we found a generous offering of local gourmet chocolates and a Nespresso coffee machine shone from the bar flanked by a selection of pods.

(If you’d like to have this little luxury at home, click on the images below to check out prices at Amazon Australia.)

MACq 01 Hotel Travel Review - Nespresso Coffee Machine
Breville Nespresso Vertuo Plus Coffee Machine, Black Deluxe, BNV420BLK


MACq 01 Hotel Review - Dingo Nespresso Coffee Pods
Intense Pack for Nespresso®* – 180 Australian Fairtrade Coffee Pods by Dingo Republic


In fact, the room was so pristine (yet chill) that it felt like we were the very first guests to stay in this particular “Superior Waterfront Room” (from $410AUD, 2018).

MACq 01 Cocky Billett Superior Waterfront Room
Superior Waterfront Room: colourful, quirky, classy and oh, so comfy! The bed is divine.


MACq 01 – A hotel full of stories

On top of all these good reasons to stay at MACq 01, my husband Jim wanted us to stay there because it’s Australia’s first storytelling hotel and he knows how much I love stories. (You can probably tell too.)

However, little did we know that we would come away from MACq 01 Hotel with our own strange story to tell.

Our (mainly Jim’s) inexplicable and absurd WHAT THE..?! experience occurred on our first night’s stay and would colour our entire week there.

Although Jim’s story is somewhat personal, he has given me the go ahead to share this hilarious incident with you.

Jim gives the green light for telling his somewhat personal WHAT THE..?! at MACq 01 Hotel
Thanks, Jim xo

But before I reveal Jim’s MACq 01 WHAT THE..?! :

More on MACq 01 Storytelling Hotel

“Every script needs a stage. Every traveller needs a pillow. Every hero needs a villain. Every story needs a start. Your chapter awaits.” MACq 01 Storytelling Hotel

MACq 01 exudes an intriguing, relaxing style of luxury rather than one that’s stiff and pretentious. For instance, you hear voices of historical characters like yesteryear prostitutes, politicians, convicts and inventors making comical and controversial comments in the lifts day and night.

(By the way, about the lifts, when we stayed there the lift doors clenched guests before re-opening. They gripped me once. Another time an older woman got wedged for a moment. She squealed and her son cried, “Oh, no. Squashed Mum!”)


MACq 01 Hotel Characters

Furthermore, every accommodation floor of MACq 01 Hotel is home to a special group of colourful Tasmanian characters. This means that each of the 114 hotel rooms is attributed to and in honour of one of these notable historical people. These were the characters on our floor:


Colourful characters at MACq 01 Hotel
MACq 01 Hotel – Home to historic Tasmanians with big personalities and colourful lives (click image to enlarge).

The 114 characters are divided into five personality types, so there are five different interior-designed styles of rooms:

  • Grounded yet exceptional
  • Fighting believers
  • Curious and creative
  • Hearty and resilient
  • Colourful and quirky

By chance we got colourful and quirky and his name was Cocky Billett. (Find Cocky in the line up, above!)

More on Our “Superior Waterfront Room”

We entered the room to find Cocky Billett’s boxing gloves and squirt flower in a glass box embedded into our MACq 01 Hotel room wall. (Click  image to enlarge and read about cocky Cocky.)

Cocky Billett's boxing gloves and squirt flower in a glass box in our hotel room wall.

In addition, our room radiated Cocky’s eccentricity, brazenness, and humour using colour, materials, furniture style, textures, and sounds so that we could hear, see, touch and ultimately feel Cocky’s presence.

The colourful, quirky wall behind our bed radiated Cocky Billett's personality.

Our Cocky Billett “Superior Waterfront Room” was indeed colourful and quirky;

the perfect setting for Jim’s wacky WHAT THE..?! incident!



The MACq 01 Story Bar and Old Wharf Restaurant


Wherever you are in MACq 01 Hotel, there’s a story to enjoy.

For example, in the Story Bar historical newspaper articles with attention grabbing headlines hang down over the bar.  In fact, they’re great conversation creators and they relay some of the unusual aspects of Hobart’s lesser known past.

Unexpectedly, we were casually ordering a drink at the Story Bar when out the window loomed


In the Story Bar window appeared a huge cruise ship!
The size was eerie. The proximity was startling. (Click image to better feel this photo and get a close up of the cruise ship passengers docked at Macquarie Wharf 02.)


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More stories lie in the large glass encasement in the Old Wharf Restaurant, where you can discover splendid, intriguing historical pieces that reference tales of another time.

Even when you go to the Story Bar/Old Wharf Restaurant loo, there’s a WHAT THE..?! tale on the back of the door. This story tells of the seedy, slummy district that used to be in this part of Hobart once upon a time, and of the theatre that used to be situated right where you are, but was flooded and washed away into the Derwent River.

MACq 01 Breakfast

By the way, the daily buffet breakfast – included in our accommodation package – wasn’t a vast selection, but the offerings were good quality and satisfying.  Alongside this, we ordered some interesting gourmet dishes from the breakfast menu. As part of our guest package, these cost next to nothing.

What’s around MACq 01 Hotel?

For some of the things that Jim and I did in Hobart with MACq 01 Hotel as our base, look out for my post Our Hobart Things to See and Do.

Hobart Things to See - Danae with the Sydney Hobart yachts docked in front of MACq 01 Hote, Hobart
MACq 01 Hotel, so close to the waterfront action and CBD. Danae with the Sydney Hobart yachts, Franklin Wharf


Jim’s WHAT THE..?! at MACq 01 Hotel

Click through the PDF pages below!

Jim's MACq 01 WHAT THE Story


Subsequently, several MACq 01 questions jumped into our heads…

MACq 01 Hotel Review - question marks
Icon vector created by freepik –
  • Had the startled hotel guest reported Jim to management?
  • Would staff knock on our door at any moment, demanding to know what Jim had been doing in his jocks in another guest’s room at around 3am and how he’d gotten in?
  • Did management already know about Jim’s WHAT THE..?! via hotel camera surveillance? Had they watched with amusement or horror?
  • We tested our automated self-closing door open at various widths; the door still self-closed and locked when open only a few millimetres wide. How could Jim have gotten through such a door without a key? 
  • Had Jim taken a completely accurate leak, considering it had been dark and that he was half asleep?
  • Which hotel guest was it and what would happen if we encountered him in the lift, for example? Would he and Jim recognise each other? What if the guest became confrontational?

MACQ 01 Hotel Review - Detectives silhouettes


Our eyes were peeled…

For the rest of the week, we kept a lookout for thirty-something-year-old males of Asian appearance.

During this time we scanned the hotel lobby, the lifts, the Story Bar, the Old Wharf Restaurant at breakfast, outside around the hotel, the CBD streets, the docks, other restaurants and bars…

Every time we saw such a man Jim and I would glance at each other, but Jim would say too short, or too chubby, or too tanned, or too old, or too young

MACq 01 Hotel Review - Confused Columbo

There was one instance at Constitution Dock when a man of Asian appearance walked past us while Jim was looking at his phone.

The man glanced at Jim, walked on, then stopped and turned back to stare. I gulped and held my breath.

Jim was still fiddling with his phone and I was thinking Jim, don’t look, don’t look.

MACq 01 Hotel Review - Oh oh

Jim looked.

He must have sensed the man’s gaze, but not my thoughts. What would happen next?

However, the man turned away and walked on. Then Jim and I stared at each other.

“Too short,” said Jim.


Despite our search, the hotel guest in question eluded us all week. Had he left the hotel out of fright?

The Irony

At the end of our stay, we bustled into the lift with our luggage to head down to the lobby and check out.

However, before the lift doors closed a woman of Asian appearance with a baby in a stroller came into view.

So Jim pushed the lift button to keep the door open for her. Consequently, she hesitated, looked away, and then decided to enter.

Out of the blue, her husband appeared around the corner and got in too. Jim’s eyes widened and he glanced at me.

I gasped. This was THE man!

MAcq 01 Hotel Review - eyeballs

The lift moved and then the doors opened.

“Are you getting out?” Jim asked.

“No,” the man replied, with a hint of cool indignation.MACq 01 Hotel Review - unemotional face emoji

We awkwardly shuffled past them with our luggage, out of the lift and the doors closed behind us.

“That’s him,” cried Jim. “That’s him.”MACq 01 Hotel Review - happy face emoji

“Can you believe it?” I exclaimed. “We fluked him, just before we left. So, his wife and baby were in the room with you, too.” MACq 01 Hotel Review - laughing emojiJim nodded, aghast. Then he looked around. “Hey,” he said. “We’re on our floor again instead of down in the lobby. “MACq 01 Hotel Review - raised eyebrow emoji

“The lift must have gone up instead of down,” I exclaimed. “No wonder they didn’t want to get out! We were still on our floor!”

I shook my head.

“Haha! They must think we’re ABSOLUTE NUTTERS.”MACq 01 Hotel Review - crazy laughing emojis

If you’d like to find out what we did and saw while staying at MACq 01, go to my next post here.

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