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“Needs strong management and resourcing” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley

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The Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   336 Oakey Creek Road, Pokolbin, New South Wales 2320, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 15 Hotels in Pokolbin
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Needs strong management and resourcing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2012

This place has obviously been let run down by Mirvac and is seriously understaffed with inexperienced juniors and oversighted by a poor management team that just does not care.
Everything is done on the cheap. Our 'free upgrade' room (although paid for 6 months in advance) was only given to us niggardly by a resentful manager. Why advertise a free upgrade???? The 'free upgrade' room absolutely stunk from something that had rotted and leaked out of the fridge. Major battle to have us moved to a clean room ( same standard) and only after they could not find any air freshner in three different storerooms. Not too much to ask for a clean room for three nights paid for six months in advance. Bumped into a guest that was given our old room and he complained about the smell and was told to like it or lump it as hotel was full. Disgraceful to give someone that room when management knew of the problems. As a concert was on nearby the carpark was inundated with visitors for the shuttle bus therefore no place for guests to park their cars. Fridge in the new room packed it in first day and no replacement was available therefore no cold drinks. Balconies were unswept and dusty with cobwebs, bird droppings littered the railings. Room service trays and empty bottles were left outside doors for two days (kid you not) but staff were successfully able to high jump them without disturbing the pile. Bar virtually unattended and the young kids had no idea what some drinks were or how to mix them- although knew how to charge at premium prices. Same vein no empty glasses or bottles were ever removed from the tables in the lounge unless you did them yourself. A cheese platter mysteriously appeared on our bill with a completely different signature although this was withdrawn. Free Tip to Management and staff - Check room number and get a signature! The hostess at breakfast was rude (not to us) to a group of elderly people who did not understand protocol for a table. Gardens were half completed and hedges half trimmed- quite hilarious actually. No romantic wedding photos amongst the vines or the pond as the vines had withered and the pond was stagnant.
Mediocre at best with a surly management team that does not care.

Room Tip: Seems pointless when you can pay 6 months in adnace and end up with a putrid room.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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388 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (96)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2012

Rooms in the west wing have a superb view of the valley, and the staff were exceptionally helpful. A great place to say.

Room Tip: As for the view!
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2012

We stayed in a Heritage room in the Manor House for one night while stocking up on wine for the coming year. A very pleasant stay in rooms with period furniture, and beautifully kept inside and out. It was also a very comfortable and quiet sleep.

We ate in the restaurant and thoroughly enjoyed it. While there might be some better restaurants food or value wise in the area if you want to drive, the restaurant served a lovely meal for the convenience of eating 'in house' and we would do it again.

While we didn't use the pool and gym we did check it out and it was impressive, rather we enjoyed strolling through the rose garden and fountains, sitting back in the lounge and sitting on our balcony watching the sunset with the spoils of that day's tastings.

We stay in the Hunter Valley wine region each January, and this has been our favourite place so far, and we will return. We did get a special internet rate which made the value for money unquestionable, but would still pay a more normal rate to stay again.

Room Tip: Manor House common interior was a highlight.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2012 via mobile

Had a wedding to go to, booked two months ahead of time due to being pregnant.

Location was very nice, grounds were clean and gardens were neat.

Hotel was clean, our room wasn't so clean. Hair in the bathroom and repairs wholes on the bathroom walls.

Bar area was very small, staff not there all the time. Price of drinks very high.

Wedding was very nice, a job well done.

Breakfast was great, the staff were to happy to assist you if you needed anything different.

I wouldn't stay again.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Dublin, Ireland
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2012

We stayed here for one night from the 21st till the 22nd of January and really enjoyed our stay.
We arrived early and got to check in way before check in time which was nice to relax and refesh a little.
The room was nice but nothing special except for the view of the gardens.
The girl at reception does a brilliant job, very friendly and helpfull and gave us some great tips which we end up doing and enjoying.
Breakfast was brilliant although thats what you expect for 45 dollars lol.
Overall I'd recommend this hotel, it was a great stay for the Hunter Valley but I do think it's overpriced.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bicester, Oxon
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2012 via mobile

We stayed at the Sebel Kirkton Park for one night as part of a mini tour of Port Stephens/Hunter Valley for our honeymoon as we wanted a 'special' night somewhere whilst we were in Oz getting married. We certainly weren't disappointed!

The location is absolutely stunning, the Hotel being made up of a collection of low rise colonial style buildings as opposed to one large building so it's all verandas and balustrading which enhances the overall feeling of space. Our room was a deluxe room which was part of a building behind the main hotel. It was clean, spacious, had a massive bath and a table on the veranda outside the French window with a magnificent panoramic view of the valley, mountains and vineyards. The hotel itself has a very calm and relaxed feel about it and the surroundings are very peaceful with odd benches dotted around in the grounds where you can sit and just take in the view and listen to the wildlife!

We ate in the restaurant that night and the food was absolutely superb albeit the service was a bit slow between courses. I got the feeling, however, that this might just be an Australian thing as it wasn't the only place we ate in where the service was a bit 'relaxed'. However, when you eat in highish end expensive eateries a certain level of attention and service is expected, by me anyway, and I felt this could definitely be improved on all things considered. Lovely meal though none the less, the pork belly was to die for!

As we were only there for one night we didn't use any of the facilities so I can't comment on those (pool, bar etc) but we passed by or through all areas and all looked very nice. We had spent the afternoon on a wine tasting tour which the hotel had booked us on. As a side note, the wine tasting tour is more a case of being driven around some vineyards and trying a little with the hope that you buy in their shops, you don't actually get shown the vineyards or any of the production etc. Not so sure it was great value at $55AUD each but when on limited time.....

Overall, it is an excellent place to stay and I wish we'd had another night. The room rate was good however the dining is expensive (yet very nice) as is the breakfast ($30AUD for full buffet or $25AUD if you ask for a voucher the night before and it wasn't that warm and the plates were cold). We arrived early and they rushed to get our room ready for us and when we discovered that a couple of things were missing from the room clean (dressing gown, milk etc) the receptionist rushed down straight away herself to bring the missing items, the service was truly exceptional.

Any bad points? Well, not so much bad but two things were a little disappointing. Part of my consideration when booking was that complimentary wifi is advertised as being available in your room. This turned out not to be the case as there wasn't sufficient reception. When I asked about it they were aware and suggested I use the wifi in the main building which only appeared to work in the reception foyer. Not wanting to spend my time sitting in reception like a plum I didn't really use it. No biggie but if it's offered it should work.

Secondly, on check out I was offered a choice of paying in GBP or AUD. I opted to pay in GBP as I had done this at the Hilton Sydney the previous week with no extra charge. However, in this case the payment was processed by Travelex and I got charged a whopping exchange rate equal to about 10% of the entire bill which was by no means small in the first place. That did leave a bit of a bitter taste as we left the hotel and took the shine off it a bit which was a real shame, I really feel that this should have been explained to me before I paid.

Overall I would definitely recommend this hotel and would love to stay there again hopefully. Just keep your eye on your costs and enjoy!

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2012

Not usually our kind of accommodation, we came on a package that had been won by an aged relative and given to us. At first glance the aging colonial 80's built facade gave us the shivers and we wondered what we were in for.
however, the Sebel KP feels like 2 star budget is operating for a 3-4 star accom, pulled off mainly by the impeccable staff and cleanliness. Couldn't fault how hard they tried in every aspect to be friendly.
dinner in the restaurant was intriguing. We order a side dish of beans to accompany the steak only to find the steak arrived sitting on a large helping of beans.. Nitpicky I know, but that little detail was very annoying especially when we could have ordered something different. Never mind, the cheery waitress who insisted on calling us 'guys' cheerily laughed it off when she noticed we had barely touched the side dish.
The breakfast was stock standard to all continental breakfasts the world over - a big plus for the runny poached eggs- love a chef that gets some people are addicted to runny eggs! However, the choice of watermelon, honeydew etc looked like price had dictated the choice. We didn't t eat them
the Hunter Heavenly massage service also missed its price point. Looking forward to a relaxing and peaceful body scrub I got the fear of all weary weekenders.. A Talker.... And got called 'sweetheart', and I heard her life story and the story of 'Sally' who clearly runs the business and wasn't here this day.( must have been encouraged by my grunts) to top it off I also learnt she was 'still learning' massage and that her teacher told her she'd be no good for another 5 years at least. Wtf? I highly suspect shed been thrown into the job this day as the stop start nature of the treatment appeared to be caused by her working out what to do next. my full body scrub was a 4 limb scrub at best. still, I gave her a tip because I suspect it was more Sally's fault than hers for the quality of the treatment. I had to choke back the giggles as she tried to say the $10 tip was not necessary ' buy yourself a nice bottle of wine'- as I rushed out the door heading off to Tower Lodge's 'Nine' degustation experience @$250pp.
I probably sound like a snob, but if you are here for a concert and just need a bed, it's fine. If you are here for a wedding, well it's wedding central- with pretty views et al, but if you are into boutique accom and fine dining you'll be disappointed. with all the excellent and modern accoms popping up all over the valley I feel the Sebel could do with an external revamp to reposition themselves as a serious threat for business.

Room Tip: Room 66 and around them have gorgeous valley views
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley

Address: 336 Oakey Creek Road, Pokolbin, New South Wales 2320, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Pokolbin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Pokolbin
#5 Romantic Hotel in Pokolbin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley 4*
Number of rooms: 71
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
When you are looking for a close but elegant holiday away from the hustle and bustle of the city, we invite you to consider The Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley.The Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley is less than 2 hours drive from Sydney's CBD in the glorious, panoramic Pokolbin countryside. Featuring an excellent array of meeting, conference and event facilities, this stylish hotel combines the elegance of a bygone era with all the comforts and luxuries of a contemporary lifestyle. This romantic Hunter Valley accommodation is perfect for a couple's weekend away to reconnect, unwind and spend time with the one you love.Set within 70 acres of beautifully manicured gardens and gently rolling grounds with magnificent views over tranquil vineyards and the wineries of the Hunter Valley, The Sebel Kirkton Park offers exceptional accommodation and a superb array of activities for leisure guests, as well as the conference and incentive delegate. Elegant function rooms and stunning scenery make this the ideal venue for stylish wedding receptions.Couples and families will enjoy the manicured gardens, tennis courts and the many facilities at The Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley. With 71 beautifully appointed rooms and suites it is the ideal choice for romantic weekends away or time out with the children. There are several Hunter Valley accommodation wedding and weekend getaway packages available as well.The hotel accommodation rooms and suites are spacious and well appointed, majority with ensuite bathrooms, some with individual spa baths, complimentary cookies and tea making facilities, cable television, minibar and all rooms have broadband connectivity. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley Hotel Pokolbin
The Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley Greater Newcastle/Pokolbin

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