While we had a wonderful weekend in the Hunter I continue to be surprised by the lack of good quality, high end, boutique and large hotels at a reasonable price. Most are dated and in serious need of refurbishment which is why I booked at Spicer's.
The design and furnishings in the rooms at Spicer's are well coordinated and the bedding comfort factor and linen is spot on. The open fireplace set perfectly was a nice touch as were the generous inclusions in the mini bar. But it's what you would expect of a boutique hotel at $500 per night.
The restaurant is a must visit if you're staying (and not just for breakfast). The dinner we had at Botanica was exceptional (and go say hi to the big gorgeous pigs down the back if you get time - they're really friendly).
What let this trip down was the room was on top of the reception so not nearly as private or quiet as you would hope (you could hear guests coming and going), it had no balcony or outdoor space, the tv reception was poor at best and the hot water was hit and miss and lacked any real pressure. While these things seem trivial, for a high end boutique hotel you expect a higher standard.
The extra little things they did made this stay go from average to quite good (mini bar, breakfast in our room on the sunday, cocktail in the evening and the biscotti on departure) but what would have made our stay better would have been explanation of room layout and locations to help guests understand the level of privacy and noise (or some better soundproofing) and reconsidering those shower heads and water pressure options. It also wouldn't hurt to sort out the tv reception and integrate an on-demand movie service. It's a hard balance to get a boutique hotel right however it couldn't hurt to upgrade a few of the facilities.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Personal service & attention to detail in every way! A luxurious Guesthouse, Spicers Vineyards Estate is set amidst its own private vineyard. Every suite features king beds, lounge area, open fireplace, spa en-suite, flat screen TV with CD/DVD and IPod dock, whilst the property boasts gourmet dining experiences at onsite Restaurant Botanica, Salt water pool & spa, guest lounge & boardroom, free wireless broadband and every guest is greeted on arrival with complimentary wine. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Spicers Vineyards Estate Hotel Pokolbin
- Vineyards Estate Pokolbin
- Vineyards Estate Hotel Pokolbin
- Spicers Vineyards Estate Greater Newcastle/Pokolbin