Break away from the bustle of Sydney to wile away in the Hunter Valley for the weekend. A mere two-hour drive will bring you to resort accommodation Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, and it’s most certainly an ideal getaway to explore the wine region.
Sleep It Off
The twin bed deluxe room is reasonably sized, furnished with soft twin beds and plenty of pillows. An unrestricted view from the balcony out to the resort added a touch of serenity to my stay.
A couple of years ago I stayed in a three-bedroom villa, which promises quite a different experience. The self-contained, more isolated villas are equipped with a full kitchen and living room – perfect for groups of friends or a family looking to lodge together in private.
Hang poolside with a cheeky beverage and let kids play in the pool. It’s very shallow and kid-friendly – I wade across the entire pool to get to the deeper end. Tee off at the resort’s 18-hole golf course amongst lush greenery and rolling hills or practice your serve on the tennis courts. If relaxing is more to your liking, the spa is at your disposal.
Unwind at Ubika Spa
A tranquil sanctuary away, Ubika Spa offers a wide range of treatments from massages and facials to their signature vintotherapy. Dating back to the 1970s in France, vinotherapy involves applying wine by-products like grape seed and grape skin in treatments. A few of the benefits include anti-aging, anti-inflammation, and stimulating new cell growth.
I head into Ubika Spa for a 50-minute Vinotherapy Spa Facial ($130), a treatment that starts with cleansing and exfoliating, then finishes with moisturising and a relaxing scalp and neck massage. I step out of the treatment room feeling incredibly relaxed (to the point of almost falling asleep) and with skin that feels rejuvenated.
Kickstart your morning with an abundant breakfast buffet at the resort’s signature restaurant, Redsalt. The variety is impressive – eggs are made to order (try the eggs Benedict!), Vittoria coffee is barista made, and you can freshly juice your own concoction at the juice station. I’m a sucker for an Asian breakfast, so the congee is my first pick after perusing the hot food offering. Redsalt’s breakfast buffet is undoubtedly solid – the only potential improvement would be to have some real artisan bread on hand.
Redsalt transforms into more refined menus for lunch and dinner. With sprawling views across the pool and golf course, it’s a fine spot to enjoy local produce, washing it down with a glass of wine from the region. The Lovedale is a more casual affair with pizzas, salads, and burgers on the menu. Settle down with a beer or two from neighbouring Lovedale Brewery and Distillery to make the most of your experience.
As it’s located in the heart of the Hunter Valley, the Crowne Plaza is a great option to escape the city and delve into the food and wine that the Hunter region has to offer.
The nightly rate at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, at the time of writing, is from AUD $293 for a deluxe room.
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley
Address: 430 Wine Country Drive, Lovedale NSW 2325
Phone: 61 2 4991 0000
The writer stayed two nights as a guest of Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley.