Change Overnight: the hotel that lets you do a good deed every night

Compared to a normal hotel, booking a stay at Change Overnight requires one additional decision. Should the partial proceeds from your stay fund 210 breakfasts at an orphanage in India, protect 10 square metres of critical Tasmanian habitat, or perhaps provide one therapy session to a victim of abuse?

This stylish new hotel in Launceston, Tasmania opened in July last year as part business, part social enterprise. Its passionate team of four millennial entrepreneurs encourages guests to make a positive change in the world, even while they sleep. Every night booked at the hotel includes a donation to one of eight diverse, hand-chosen causes. For each cause, the charity’s work is explained, along with the exact benefit of your stay.

Review: Change Overnight, Tasmania
Image: Change Overnight

The day before arriving in Launceston, I receive my personal security code to access the hotel’s front door and our three-bedroom penthouse apartment. Although the hotel has no reception, an on-call receptionist is ready to attend to any requests.

From the carpark, we trudge up a somewhat dingy stairwell to a featureless hallway where we are surprised by recorded sounds of a bustling Indian city. These deliberate design elements serve to remind us of those we’re here to help.

Although it seeks to inspire philanthropy and conscious living, this is a modern, luxurious hotel. Contrasting the entrance, our spacious three-bedroom penthouse includes a full kitchen, king-sized beds and two sleek black bathrooms with sustainable amenities. A wall of windows overlooks inner-city Launceston and the 1950s Scandinavian-style furniture includes accents of light timbers.

Review: Change Overnight, Tasmania
Image: Change Overnight

Relaxing in the private courtyard, we sample the minibar’s craft beer and locally made snacks, then choose what to pay for them (guidance is provided; anything additional is for charity). The well-researched compendium directs us to local attractions and excellent Tasmanian food.

Striking mural-style portraits by Launceston graffiti artist Pat Camino adorn the walls, depicting faces of those the hotel aims to assist. My bathroom door graffiti reads “You’re not here to play the game, you’re here to change it,” and other inspiring slogans are splashed across other walls.

Review: Change Overnight, Tasmania
Images: Change Overnight

Change Overnight offers 18 rooms across four categories. The Game Changer and the Life Changer are one- and two-bedroom units respectively, while the three-bedroom penthouse takes the moniker World Changer. The Heart Changer is a wheelchair-accessible studio room.

As I leave the hotel through the Indian street noises, I hope my stay has helped in some small way. I wonder what other small differences I can make during my day, and smile as it dawns on me. This is exactly what the owners intended.

Rates start at $150 for two people per night.

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This story first appeared in Vacations & Travel magazine, Autumn 2020, issue 114

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