Not sure where to stay in the Hunter Valley? You’ll definitely find a place to suit you among these 10 luxury hotels, cottages, guesthouses, lodges and winery stays. Now all you have to do is find the right wine for you…
1. Lillians on Lovedale – Shiny elegance
A magnificent white-panelled creation straight out of Mississippi’s deep south. Lillians on Lovedale is ideal for lovers of shiny, stylish, spotless elegance. Dazzling walls, gleaming floorboards and wide open-plan spaces make this a place of light, air and supreme comfort. Self-contained with two bedrooms on a 25-acre tree-studded property, the tariff includes a free bottle of wine on arrival.
Where: 132 Lovedale Road, Lovedale, 02 4990 6958 – lillians.com.au
2. Redleaf Wollombi – The country manor
You will feel like the lady or gent of a country manor at this elegant Italian-style guesthouse, set on a 100-acre property, with 10 acres of manicured gardens (including lavender gardens). With six bedrooms and three bathrooms accommodating up to 12 people, it’s perfect for families and groups. It is beautifully furnished, with pieces sourced from around the globe, as well as all the essentials (Appelles products, plush linens, boardgames). And with a fully equipped kitchen, a cosy fireplace, library, art gallery and swimming pool, you’ll want for nothing.
Where: Three kilometres past Wollombi village down a quiet country road. Find it on airbnb.com.au
3. Billabong Moon – Privacy and water views
Five exceptional self-contained (and very private) cottages about 15km north of downtown Pokolbin. Among the five are the two-bedroom Casuarina Cottage (hidden in a thick casuarina forest); the gorgeous two-bedroom Billabong Cottage, perched over a peaceful dam with two large decks; and the sublime Treetops Cottage, set three metres aboveground with wraparound verandahs and an outdoor bathtub.
Where: 393 Hermitage Road, Pokolbin, 02 6574 7053 – billabongmoon.com.au
4. Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley – Group central
Smack bang on the corner of Wine Country Drive and Lovedale Road, it’s the first choice for large groups wanting easy access to everything in the region. Set near the stunning Brokenback Ranges with onsite golf course. Home to possibly Australia’s most ridiculously large and enjoyable swimming pool
Where: 430 Wine Country Drive, Lovedale, 02 4991 0900 – crowneplazahuntervalley.com.au
What’s it really like? Review: Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley
5. Peppers Convent Hunter Valley – For the in-house restaurant and the heritage
Synonymous with the Hunter, Peppers’ Guesthouse attracts visitors almost as much as the wineries, a classic, with 17 spacious rooms and wide balconies in this relocated, restored convent. Elegant on the outside with a delightful courtyard and manicured gardens. Tariffs include breakfast and pre-dinner drinks and canapés, but, best of all, is the superb Circa 1876 restaurant nearby. Plus Pepper Tree Winery is right there too.
Where: 88 Halls Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320, (02) 4993 8999 – peppers.com.au/Convent
6. Valleyfield Escape – The designer retreat
Valleyfield Escape is located in Laguna 5 minutes south of Wollombi. The designer retreat is a large, modern villa with a fully equipped kitchen, log fire, and a freestanding bath with lovely floor-to-ceiling views over the property.
Where: 3471 Great North Road, Laguna, 02 4998 3312 – valleyfieldescape.com.au
7. Cedars Mount View – Secluded mountain luxury
Five deluxe dwellings (Vue, Terrace, Ridge, Gums, Edge cottages) are dotted throughout this dense, 40ha valley perched on the side of a mountain valley. Completely secluded from one another, this is one of the most private and luxurious boutique outfits in the Hunter. With simple exteriors and expansive verandahs, each cottage’s interior is a study in clean, simple, modern elegance. Closest winery Tallavera Grove.
Where: 60 Mitchells Road, Mount View, 02 4990 9009 – cedars.com.au
8. Tower Lodge, Hunter Valley – For the individual
The Spanish Mission-style Lodge feels like a mix of Moorish palace and Roman villa. Each of the 10 rooms (encircling a central courtyard), is different in layout and style, decorated with eclectic oriental curios. Relax in the heated outdoor pool or arrange a massage and sauna to, followed by a splendid feast at on-sight Restaurant Nine or nearby Circa 1876. Splash-out on one of the suites: the Oriental (complete with a Picasso) or Chairman’s (with a 300-year-old four-poster).
Where: Corner Halls and Broke roads, Pokolbin (on Tower Estate), 02) 4998 4866 – towerestate.com.au/tower-lodge/
9. Hermitage Lodge – The quality all-rounder
A solid option across most budget levels is covered across Hermitage’s 20 rooms – from plush, modern suites ideal for top-end groups to serviceable Lodge Rooms for penny pinchers. The spacious Vineyard Suite is specially designed for wheelchair access and is a real credit to the Lodge. As is its award-winning Italian restaurant, Il Cacciatore (a consistent performer that’s very popular with the locals – always a good sign).
Where: 609 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin, 02 4998 7639 – hermitagelodge.com.au
10. Lavender Ridge – The secret boutique winery
Lavender Ridge is a boutique winery located in Broke. The Mews is a romantic one-bedroom stone cottage, while Two Doors is a modern two-bedroom retreat, both with kitchenettes and lovely views of the 100-acre property.
Where: 618 Milbrodale Rd, (about 7km north-west of) Broke, 02 4998 6961 – lavenderridge.com.au