Our History

Our heritage-listed venue plays host to almost two centuries of stories, scandals and secrets to be explored.  The floor boards whisper of the hotel’s rich and often tumultuous history.  The halls house memories of gentlemen’s lunches, nights of cabaret, and the most marvellous soirées.  The very fabric of the property is woven with tales of convicts, entrepreneurs, celebrities-past, and countless other patrons of days gone by.  Some such figures include Sir William Don (1862); Tasmania’s first royal visitor, the Duke of Penrieve, France (1866); Dame Nellie Melba (1909); Antarctic explorers Douglas Mawson (1911) and Roald Amundsen (1912); and a host of visiting governors, premiers and prime ministers. See our Extended Guest History for further information..

So where did the Hadley’s story begin?

In 1862 former convict, John Webb had combined his recently purchased Marquis of Waterford (1849), originally the Golden Anchor Inn (1834) and existing former pastry cook’s shop (1843)-turned-hotel, the Bedford Arms (1854), and began operating Webb’s Family Hotel.  Many innovative improvements – (including Hobart’s first roller-skating rink! (1867) –  and successful years of operation later, John Clay Hadley became landlord following Webb’s death in 1881.  A name change to Hadley’s Orient Hotel and further renovations ensued, during which electric lighting, telephones and one of Australia’s first electric elevators were installed.

The Hadley family purchased the property in 1890 from Webb’s Executor.  Reportedly, the mortgaged property was twice offered as a lottery prize in an attempt to reduce the debts of the collapsed Van Diemen’s Land Bank (1895,1896), however both times was withdrawn and the questionable lotteries failed.   1910 saw the installation of hot water to the hotel. In 1935 the property was purchased by a consortium of business people and whilst it retained the Hadley’s name, the Hadley’s family was no longer involved.

Since this time, the hotel has known many owners and leasees, none of particular success.  It was offered (voluntarily this time!) twice more as a lottery prize (however the winner opted for a cash prize instead on both occasions), and at different stages has incorporated a ball room, mirror room, theatre restaurants, discothèques, a Chinese restaurant, numerous bars, and anywhere between 64 and 200 guest rooms.

Tasmanian entrepreneur and current hotel owner, Don Neil, acquired Hadley’s Hotel in September 2013 after the hotel had been placed in receivership and fallen into a state of disrepair.  In close consultation with an expert advisory panel comprising of historians, architects and designers, no expense was spared as the National Trust listed property was authentically restored to reflect the grandeur and decadence of the Victorian era.  Relaunched as Hadley’s Orient Hotel in November 2014, the restoration was celebrated by the Tasmanian tourism industry, historic society, business community and general public alike.  And so a new chapter began in the enduring story of this intriguing property.

Hadley’s is committed to providing a unique guest experience – delivering genuine heritage accommodation and signature experiences of unsurpassed quality in Tasmania.  Exemplary customer service complements outstanding facilities and graceful design.  The charming venue boasts 71 elegantly styled accommodation suites (officially rated 4.5 star by Star Ratings Australia) and is home to a collection of historically significant spaces such as the  stunning Leadlight Room and distinguished George Cartwright Room.  At the heart of the hotel,  the sun-bathed Atrium offers a delightful setting for the renowned Hadley’s Traditional Afternoon Tea Experience.

Located in the heart of the historic CBD amidst an array of boutique shops and chic eateries, Hadley’s Orient Hotel is just a short stroll from a range of some of Hobart’s most popular activities, attractions and cultural experiences. But the property is so much more than just a place to stay whilst exploring Hobart – Hadley’s is an experience in itself.