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The Convent Hunter Valley
Ranked #12 of 15 Hotels in Pokolbin
Reviewed January 9, 2008

This is a very nice place by normal standards, but it needs upgrading to match it's price. Our (new) friends had to change rooms because the room they were given was in disrepair. Our room was very antique old but- not not necessarily in a good way. However it was very pleasant and worth the stay if you don't mind paying about $50 too much per night.

One of the things we really enjoyed was the cocktail hour where they present sparkling wine and hors d'ouvres to their guests so that they can meet and mingle. We met a nice couple from St. Ives and like them so much that we are still dear friends and have met in other countries to travel together. If you figure that the wine and snacks were around $50 each, then it averages out the price correctly.

The Hunter Valley was amazing and I highly recommend Sobels winery. If you live in the states, you can carry back a lot of wine with you, as long as it is carryon luggage. Most wineries will outfit your box with makeshift handles so that the airlines will take it as luggage. If you happen to go to the Hunter Valley and just happen to go to Sobels and just happen to live in the Los Angeles area, and just happen to have a little extra room in your luggage, please bring me back some of their sparkling burgundy!

  • Stayed: January 2004, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Soprrrano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 21, 2007

We spent 3 nights at this Peppers property in the Hunter Valley but we were originally scheduled to spend this time at Peppers Guest House where our reservation was originally made. Had visited the Guest House on 2 previous visits to Australia and always enjoyed our stays.

This time however when we arrived at the resort we were told by the management that they had a convention booked at the hotel and we were going to be upgraded to their Convent location just down the road. They said they had tried a number of times to contact us via email etc. but I told them that we had been traveling in Australia for the past 3 weeks which was why we could not be reached. They said that they thought we would be more comfortable at their other property because the Guest House was quite noisy etc. with this large group that was there.

We were rather disappointed as we had been looking forward to our stay there because of past experiences however we headed over to the Convent.

We were graciously greeted by Kerry and shown to our rooms ( 2 were booked because we were traveling with companions ) however our first room had a problem with a moldy musty smell and then a problem with the door lock so we were moved to a much smaller room for the night until a larger one became available the next day.
When we were finally in the third room we were very pleased as it was spacious, well maintained and on the 2nd floor with access to a lovely large balcony. Had a very nice view of the property.

Kerry and the other staff were as accommodating as possible which in the end made for a pleasant stay.

The breakfast served in the morning was of good quality and enough variety and the evening canapes and wine was a nice addition. They were also good with recommendations for restaurants for dinner as they do not serve evening meals at the hotel but did offer a shuttle service with their other Guest House Property. We did not have dinner at all at Chez Pok but chose to try other places in the local area and had some very nice meals.

In conclusion our stay at the Convent was positive.

  • Stayed: October 2007
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1  Thank JOP-TRIP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2007

Peppers Convent is a lovely small, traditional hotel, in a beautiful region of Australia. The hotel is an old convent (moved from it's original location and rebuilt in the Hunter Valley), and is extremely comfortable and well placed for touring the vineyards. The rooms are very nice, and many have large balconies. The hotel in general has very nice public areas, and a good breakfast room (good breakfast as well). The staff are attentive and helpful. There is a nice outdoor pool in the grounds - bit chilly to go in July though! We ate dinner in Roberts restaurant (not part of the hotel), which is just 5 mins walk away - the restaurant is very nice as is the service. The food was a bit disappointing considering the reputation, but pretty nice and not that expensive. Overall, excellent, and we would definately stay there again.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank itrapnell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2006

This is an absoloutely lovely hotel situated in the Hunter Valley. An old covent, Peppers is situated in a picturesque vineyard and is a haven of peace and tranquility. Recently refurbished, the rooms were light and airy, with mod cons such as IPOD dock, and personal touches such as homemade soap and cookies. Most rooms have an outside balcony or terrace overlooking the grounds.

You can use the hotel's free bikes to get around the Hunter Valley, perfect for winetasting ..if a little wobbly towards the end of the day...! Great breakfasts and for dinner, Roberts restaurant is a short walk down the drive ( and serves delicious food.) Highly recommended.

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2  Thank CHG30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2006

Our first stay at a Peppers & our last! We booked 4 nights at Peppers Convent between Xmas and New Year as part of our five week trip to N.Z. & Aus. Due to the time of year the hotel insisted we book five nights even though we only required 4. An expensive option but we decided it was worth it to enjoy the ‘peace & tranquillity of the Convent’ (their words not ours). We were shown to our room, No. 7 in the grounds, there was no offer of help with our luggage, but we were proudly told all the rooms had recently been refurbished. Unfortunately we encountered problem after problem. On our first evening we tried to draw the curtains across the lovely picture window, they refused to meet, leaving a four foot gap. The frame of the mesh screen in the bathroom was broken,(great for letting mossies in) the bathroom blind was covered in cobwebs and after retrieving an item dropped behind the bathroom table we discovered a graveyard of flies. The shower curtain had rings missing & there were screws sticking out the wall below each bathroom light. To hang something on perhaps? There was a very large door stop in the bathroom, and when the door was closed it sat in the middle of the floor - I tripped over it twice in the first few hours. We even had to ring reception for a sink plug! We reported all these problems to the staff, who brought in a maintenance man. He fixed the curtain so well, that although we could now close them fully, opening the one he had fixed proved impossible. The mesh screen was replaced but we then found the latch hanging off the window so were unable to open it. You would have thought he might have noticed this when he changed the screen! This is an awful lot of problems for a recently refurbished room. One staff member indicated our room had only been back in service for two weeks, and since the refurb. they had encountered a lot of problems. On December 28th a wedding was held at the Covent, & on our return from dinner the guests were in the garden right by rooms 6 & 7. We went off to bed just as the music started, not exactly what we had envisaged from a hotel describing itself as an intimate retreat. The music was still in full swing at 1.45 am. By which time a number of guests had already complained. The music finally stopped a 2.45 am when we understand guests in No.6, who had a young child, complained yet again. However, people remained outside chatting until 3.30am. The following morning the staff were very apologetic, and we were told the problem was ‘being addressed’. We had no idea what that meant, the damage was done our nights sleep disturbed.
Service within the hotel appears erratic. They were very helpful with restaurant bookings and thanked us for our patience whilst they rectified the problems with our room. Our first try at room service brought tinfoil covered hot club sandwiches, an ice cold coke and beer with ice cold glasses. All very well presented. By day three we were brought half cold ‘hot’ club sandwiches a warm coke and beer, we had to ask for glasses. We don’t drink out of bottles at home we certainly don’t expect to in a hotel. Its is also worrying when you see your cups, saucers & glasses being washed up in the bathroom sink, and put back in the cupboard, instead of being removed to be put in the dishwasher! By day four we left the room at 10.00 am putting the ‘make up the room’ sign on the door only to return at 2 pm to find it had not been done. As you can tell we are very unimpressed with the so called luxury accommodation we booked & paid for in advance. If we had not already paid our travel agent we would have left after 2 nights.
Please don’t put us down as winging poms we are not. We have stayed in many top hotels around the world and know and appreciate good service when we receive it. If there is a hotel manager here we have not come across him/her and maybe that is the problem, no guidance from above.
Roberts Restaurant is still disappointing. The food was bland, service passable but badly let down by the kitchen. We have never waited so long between courses. There are other restaurants close by which are considerably better.
If you are still considering the Convent after reading this, check to make sure there are no wedding bookings during your stay!!

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank W&M-TRIP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peppers5, Owner at The Convent Hunter Valley, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2007

We are very sorry that this guest did not enjoy their stay. We did complete a major refurbishment over that period and admittedly there was some fine tuning going on.

Our poilcy regarding weddings on the property has been changed and they now need to take the whole property to have a wedding at the premises.

We have contacted the guest directly and resolved both the incorrect information regarding a minimum stay given by an agent and the property related issues.

We genuinely listen to our guests feedback in order to constantly improve our business.

Regards

The Owners


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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2006

We definitely enjoyed our weekend break at Peppers. This lovely guesthouse has a charming history, is nicely furnished and has pretty gardens.
The good points were: great staff, comfortable bed and relaxed atmosphere. It's close to Roberts restaurant and a short drive to all the major wineries. The bathroom was well appointed, fluffy towels, lots of space and good lighting over the mirror.
There were only a few drawbacks; the main one being the location of the room. Room 1, the chapel, is situated right at the front of the house. Privacy is a real issue. I would suggest booking an upstairs room, or one of the rooms that are separate and at the back of the house. There was also a lack of wardrobe space in the room, but as we were only staying two nights we managed.
Roberts restaurant was a bit disappointing and we're hoping it was just an 'off' night. While the service and ambience were excellent, the food was tasteless and my veal was very, very tough. We didn't bother staying for desert.
I would definitely like to visit again, but in different room and we would give Roberts another try because of it's reputation.

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Lovingagoodholiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2006

We stayed at this hotel for the queens birthday long weekend. The scenery and the gardens took our breath away. The place was peaceful and plain beautiful. The great thing about this place is the restaurant on site as well as pepper tree winery.
When we arrived at the convent, the staff were so friendly and very helpful. One note, if you wish to dine at Roberts restaurant, ensure to book ahead as we missed out that night.

The one problem is that the convent only houses 17 rooms, hence facilities and services are limited which is understandable.

Our room was located on the second level which had breathtaking views of the vineyards. The room was nice and relaxing, although it could do with an upgrade as the decor appeared to be a little run down.

There was a cosy common lounge area downstairs and sitting back relaxing or reading next to the fireplace was a lovely way to end the evenings. The complimentary port was also very nice.

If you are looking for a peaceful weekend away, this is the place to be.

  • Stayed: June 2006, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank annakay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Convent Hunter Valley

Address: 88 Halls Road, Pokolbin, New South Wales 2320, Australia (Formerly Peppers Convent, Hunter Valley)
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Pokolbin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Luxury Hotel in Pokolbin
Price Range: $191 - $450 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Convent Hunter Valley 4.5*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape to the famous Wine Country and enjoy luxury boutique hotel accommodation at The Convent Hunter Valley. Just 2.5 hours drive from Sydney CBD, The Convent is nestled within one of Australia's premiere wine regions - Polkobin. Our unique location offers expansive acreage views of the glamorous boutique hotel - The Convent, Pepper Tree Winery and Circa 1876. All venues are located on the estate and surrounded by rich, produce filled kitchen gardens, creating a tranquil culinary treat pleasing to lovers of both food and wine. Whether you are planning a romantic getaway, a weekend with the girls or your mates, or a fun-filled family holiday, our intimate and boutique Hunter Valley hotel offers something for everyone. Unwind and enjoy renowned local wines at Pepper Tree Winery and share the passion for organic produce and farm to fork dining at our hatted restaurant at Circa 1876. Explore the Hunter Valleys with the whole family and sample the region's many attractions. With an onsite function room, a spectacular backdrop and a relaxing atmosphere, The Convent is the ideal venue for weddings, corporate events and celebrations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Peppers Convent, Hunter Valley Hotel Pokolbin
Peppers Convent Hunter Valley Pokolbin
The Convent Hunter Valley Greater Newcastle/Pokolbin

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