A free-spirit studying psychology at the University of Sydney.
Published October 28th 2013
Stay in luxury in New South Wales' famous wine country
The award-winning Crowne Plaza was a luxurious and cosy resort to call our home for the indulgent couple of nights we spent up in NSW's famous wine country, the Hunter Valley. With its easy access to the area's many vineyards, restaurants, and attractions, this resort made our weekend full of wining and dining amongst picturesque scenery all the more dreamy.
The Crowne Plaza occupies quite sprawling grounds, that consist of a golf-course, and a large number of rooms and villas. The grounds are large enough for you to drive your car across, and many of the villas have parking right out the front. Easier access to your car only makes for an even more carefree holiday, correct?
The types of rooms range from deluxe rooms, to suites, to two and three-bedroom villas. The three-bedroom villa will allow you to stay with up to five other people. We took a two-bedroom villa, which had a neat kitchen, two bathrooms (one en-suite), a spacious living and dining room, a porch with sun-lounges, and some of the comfiest beds ever. The sleep-ins in the well-curtained rooms were beautiful.
As already mentioned there is a golf-course - that is, a challenging 18-hole course extending across most of the resort grounds. All the equipment that you would need is provided by the resort's Pro Shop. Golf-cars are also available for your use. The friendly staff are eager to help out novice and experienced golf-players alike. One more thing about the golfing, try not to lose your golf-balls in the lake.
Entrance of the Crowne Plaza, overlooking some of the lake and golf-course.
The resort has many recreational facilities in addition to the golf course. My favourite thing was the gigantic pool attached to the main building. It provided some very refreshing splashes under the balmy weather that we were treated to upon our Hunter visit. There is a jacuzzi next to the pool, which was a relaxing place to watch the nightfall. Although, I was thinking that it could have been a tad more heated as the temperatures then began to fall. The resort also has a gymnasium, tennis courts, and a basketball court, all with equipment provided.
The Hunter Valley is renowned for its array of exclusive restaurants with gourmet food and beautiful wines awaiting you to try. The Crowne Plaza itself has a couple of indulgent dining options for you. With views of the golf-course, you can try the hotel's award-winning Red Salt restaurant. Alike many other places in the area, this place allows you to taste local produce in your dishes, accompanied by local wines. There is the Grapevine cafe and bar which serves gourmet snacks and meals everyday of the week (that also showcase local produce), as well as the Vista Lounge, a cosy and ambient place to enjoy cocktails, tasty sharing plates and desserts. As another alternative, you can order food straight to your villa.
Unfortunately, we didn't get to taste much of the Crowne plaza food as there were many other places around the area that we wanted to try. The only food we got a taste of was the room-service pizzas in the comfort of our villas. Nonetheless, this was pretty good quality - as is pretty much everything in the Crowne Plaza, and the Hunter Valley for that matter.
Beautiful Hunter Valley countryside - vineyards, with mountains in the background.