Review: MONA Pavilions, Hobart Tasmania

The MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Hobart Tasmania is not only a fantastic museum to visit–you can also stay in a limited number of exclusive pavilions. On a recent trip we stayed in “The Brett” and “The Walter”, which are not only two different pavilions, but also two totally different designs. Pictures, explanations, and thoughts are below.

Benefits of staying in the pavilions:

  • VIP Museum Access on both days of your stay (the day you check in, and the day you check out)
  • Access to the museum grounds after closing. You can see the James Turrell piece light up at sunrise and sunset, and also enjoy the views!
  • Included excellent breakfast at “The Source” restaurant
  • You will likely see wallabies hopping around in the early evening
  • There is a heated pool and sauna, as well as a small gym
  • Free wine tasting on grounds
  • Very nice and cozy accommodations

Let’s dive in. First we review The Brett, then the Walter, then talk about the differences between the pavilion styles, and whether you should stay there (hint: you should!)

The Brett

Each pavilion is clearly marked and named after various artists.

The Brett has a fantastic view and an old style modernist vibe–it is clearly older than some of the other pavilions, which we will get to later.

The first bedroom is on the main floor and attaches to the living room. It’s a comfortable and cozy room, with a view of the trees. Don’t be surprised if you see wallabies hopping by!

The stairway downstairs to the second bedroom has a beautiful view. One of the staff members said the Brett has the best view of all the pavilions. While I haven’t been to any others except the Walter, I think she was probably telling the truth!

Cozy and clean bedroom in the Mona Pavilions.

Waking up to sunrise with this view was surreal in the best way possible.

Even better, there is a bath with a jacuzzi feature with the same view. The MONA Pavilions helpfully come with bath salts, which you can see in the little container to the right of the tub.

There is a heated pool available for guests to use. When we toured it in the morning, it was actually hot. When we went back at 8 PM, it was almost cold! Maybe someone turned off the heat by mistake.

Staying at the pavilions comes with a free wine tasting, which is located over the central picnic area.

All the wines were great, I particularly liked the sparkling and the red, but I am not much of a a drinker now.

One other perk of staying at the MONA pavilions is free access to most of the outdoor facilities at night. This means you can see the sunrise and sunset illumination of one of the James Turrell pieces which flanks the museum. It lights up with many colors at night, and is a spectacular sight.

In the morning we woke up to this view from the Brett, which was just incredibly peaceful. I am still feeling more peaceful, somehow, deep in my soul, days after leaving.

The breakfast was also fantastic. Served at the source restaurant, there were many vegetarian and vegan items.

They even made me breakfast tacos without eggs!

The pancakes were also fantastic!

Art is everywhere at the MONA, and one of the tables at The Source features a Picasso bowl under glass.

The Walter:

The Walter has a modern, glass box sort of feel. It is very nice in the day, but at night, if a light is on, you can’t see anything outside because of the glare from the interior light (and the lack of lights outside).

Nice TV, which we never used.

Both the Brett and the Walter have fully usable kitchens, with dishwashers, cups, pans, a stove, oven etc. You could live in these. They are much closer to houses than hotel rooms.

A picture of the bathtub in the downstairs bathroom. There seems to be a TV in the wall but I couldn’t get it to work.

The upstairs bathroom.

 

The spectacular view from the upstairs bedroom in The Walter.

The stairway back to the main level.

Another view of the living room on the main level.

A view of the bedroom on the main level. Unlike in the Brett, in the Walter, only one bedroom has a view of the river. This bedroom’s “view” is of some shrubs and the parking lot. It is not unpleasant, but it’s not spectacular.

This James Turrell artwork lights up at sunrise and sunset. Since the museum is 10-5, you can only see it in its full glory if you stay at the hotel, work at the hotel, or are David Walsh himself.

This cute cat kept hanging out at our pavilion. Note the little baby cat off the deck!

This is the view out of the Walter. Still nice, but not as spectacular as The Brett.

Should you stay at the MONA Pavilions?

Yes, if you can afford it. It is not cheap. but it is a truly fantastic experience, with great food, great staff, and great views. It is so nice to be able to experience the Mona without rushing around.

What are the differences between the pavilions?

By my estimation, four of the pavilions are older and cozier, and four are newer with a more modern design.

Older and cozier: The Brett, The Charles, The Sidney, The Arthur

The Brett and The Charles appear to be functionally the same. They have similar designs and both have two bedrooms. The Sidney and The Arthur appear to be similar to the Brett and the Charles, except they have one bedroom each. The Brett definitely had a better view than the Walter, but I can’t say for sure if all the older pavilions have better views. 

Newer and “cooler”: The Walter, The Roy, The Robin, The Esmond

The Walter is a 2-bedroom modern pavilion. The Roy, which is marketed as a “penthouse equivalent” is also two bedroom and appears similar, except it has a third level and outside bathtub. The Robin and Esmond appear similar in vibe to the Walter, except they are one bedroom units. While I have only stayed at the Brett and the Walter, if you are considering the other units, this review will still have some value.

Closing Thoughts:

Staying at the MONA Pavilions for a night is a fantastic way to experience MONA and enjoy your time in Tasmania. The staff was so kind and friendly. The breakfast was great, the museum was so fun. This would be a fantastic romantic getaway, or a fun way for a small family to stay together in a cabin-like atmosphere.

This review was unpaid, unsponsored, and I have no association with the MONA, except that I like it. You should go!

If you appreciated this review, or want music to listen to on your flight to Hobart, check out my band, Lonely Singles on Spotify! I love sharing these songs with anyone who will listen. 

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