Camden on the door step of Sydney is the perfect weekend getaway. You are only an hour from the Sydney CBD but you feel as though you are visiting a quaint, rustic country village. The main street is home to many gorgeous boutiques, cafes and pubs with some of the buildings dating back to the 1800s. This rich agricultural area is also home to some very fine wineries including Gledswood Homestead. A visit to this historic property should be on your to do list when visiting Camden as you will catch a glimpse of our rich agricultural past, whilst sampling lovely local wines. The Camden area is also home to Hot Air Ballooning. If you stay the night in Camden make sure you wake up early to see these majestic balloons floating in the sky or book a champagne flight yourself with the award winning Balloon Aloft.
The Crown Hotel/Motel is the perfect spot to stay after a day's touring the local area. It offers travellers welcome respite after a busy day by way of refreshing drinks, decent food and a very comfortable bed. The exterior of this historic pub has been beautifully restored to its former glory with the upstairs boasting a large verandah with gorgeous old iron lace work around the edges. Once you step inside the interior you will see that it has been transformed into a modern venue, equivalent to many trendy inner city pubs.
The large bar and lounge area are perfect for a lazy drink and long chat for adults. If you are visiting with your children you can sit inside the spacious restaurant or out the back on the alfresco deck. The Crown Hotel is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. The menu combines both typical pub food as well as some posh alternatives. The breakfast menu ($4 - $15) is very reasonable as is the bar menu ($7 - $18). However the a la carte menu for lunch and dinner is a little on the pricey side, but in saying that all of the portions are huge ($17 - $35).
Catch of the Day ($32) Prawn Linguini ($22) Asian Tiger Prawns ($26)
The restaurant is child friendly in that it offers a well-priced kids' menu ($10 including soft drink and ice cream) there is room for prams, they provide high chairs and all drinks come in plastic cups. The welcoming staff are well trained in the art of hospitality, they were friendly to both children and adults alike, with nothing being too much of a problem for them.
The modern motel at the rear of the hotel caters for the solo traveller as well as couples and families. The building itself in non-descript in comparison to the lovely façade of the hotel but inside the motel rooms are very comfortable, clean and recently refurbished – this isn't your typical dodgy pub accommodation. The rooms have lovely views over the rustic chook pavillion at the local showground and also the outdoor seating area of the hotel.
All of the spacious motel rooms have large bathrooms, tea and coffee making facilities, TVs, WIFI, hair dryers, toiletries and ironing facilities. The rooms can sleep up to 4 people with their largest room having a queen and 2 singles – perfect for the family. If you prefer a wee bit more luxury, there are deluxe rooms available for one or two people that offer all of the above facilities with a queen bed only plus a spa bath, Ipod docking station, DVD player and lounge area.
You access the motel via the driveway down the side of the hotel. The Reception for the motel is located in an office at the front of the motel building. If this is unattended you need to pop up into the hotel and check in at the bar. Just to let you know, the rooms are located on the 1st and 2nd floors of the motel, so most definitely not suited to those in wheel chairs or people who have problems climbing stairs. Plenty of free car parking is available on the ground floor.
I will be honest here, you do hear a dull thump of music coming from the hotel during the night. Depending on how aurally sensitive you are, it may be best to request a room at the far end of the building where you will be away from the actual hotel. Other than that the only noise that should disturb you are the birds when they open into full song at day break, the sound of champagne popping in a balloon above and if by chance you are staying there during the Camden Show time (early April) you may be woken up by a crowing rooster or cackling hens.