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“Superb service, beautiful lodging and central location”
Review of Hermitage Lodge

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Hermitage Lodge
Ranked #2 of 9 Pokolbin B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Superb service, beautiful lodging and central location”
Reviewed August 2, 2012

We spent one night in a deluxe room at the Hermitage Lodge and were extremely pleased by the excellent service and pleasant room. The owners are very personable, attentive and friendly. Their homemade muesli -- included in the complimentary continental breakfast -- was heavenly. Also worth noting was the flawlessly working free wireless internet in and around our room -- pretty rare to come by free wireless that actually works! Definitely a wonderful place to stay in close proximity of many wineries in Pokolbin. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank TimSVH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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350 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (90)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Sydney
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2012

This is a great central place to stay in Pokolbin. Comfortable rooms, with lovely views across the estate vines and ponds, great Italian restaurant within stumbling distance of your room, and really attentive friendly service. The service was particularly warm and helpful.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank Arti712
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
148 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2012

My wife and I recently spent the better part of two days drinking our way around the Hunter Valley and booked ourselves in for two nights at the Hermitage Lodge. We booked the Romantic package, which included a bottle of sparkling wine (champagne, essentially, although you can't call it that in these parts!) and chocolate strawberries on arrival, plus a cooked breakfast on one of the mornings, and a three-course dinner at the excellent and much touted Il Cacciatore Italian restaurant located right on the premises.

The location: the best thing about the Hermitage Lodge is its location, being situated just off McDonalds Road, about 400 metres from the junction with Broke Road. This is really the heart of the Hunter Valley, with award winning wineries and cellar doors located literally a stone's throw from the Lodge. The town of Pokolbin is also a comfortable 10-15 minute drive away. We visited various wineries, such as Tyrrell's Wines, Brokenwood, Lake's Folly, Meerea Park and Thomas Wines, and these wineries were located no further than a 10 minute drive out from the Lodge. This meant that we were able to take in the best of the Hunter before getting slightly more adventurous and exploring the smaller, boutique wineries. The only other "star" winery that was some distance away was McWilliam's Mount Pleasant, located on Marrowbone Road on the other end of Pokolbin. Even then, that was only a comfortable 20 minute drive away.

A word on the breakfast: we were told that our package included one hot breakfast, and for the other day, a cold breakfast would be served. The cold breakfast was somewhat of a DIY-affair as the Lodge had pre-stocked the refrigerator in the room with all the essentials required for the cold breakfast, and all we had to do was to assemble it ourselves in the morning, in our own time. I've read several earlier reviews where some of the guests complained that this arrangement was unsatisfactory for whatever reason, but we didn't find anything wrong with this at all. The cold breakfast was fresh, hearty, tasty and filling. Portions of toast, jam, vegemite, butter, muesli, yoghurt and fresh milk were placed into the refrigerator, and in the dry larder freshly-ground coffee beans, a french press, kettle and toaster were provided, together with a full set of cutlery and crockery. Thereafter, it was a simple matter of setting the plates and cups out and making the coffee and toast - nothing more than you would do at home, anyway.

On the other morning, the hot breakfast (made in the Il Cacciatore kitchen, I was told) was delivered straight to our door at the appointed time. My wife had the "full English" option whilst I went for the blueberry pancakes. The food was absolutely amazing. Additionally, the refrigerator and larder were again stocked with all the cold breakfast items, which meant we had more food than we could finish. We ended up taking the yoghurt and muesli along with us for a mid-day snack.

On the subject of food, we also ought to mention the homely and unassuming Italian restaurant located on the premises. One would notice upon arrival the numerous accolades and gongs won by the restaurant over the years. Without a doubt, every single award is deserved. The food served up at dinner was amazing, to say the least. The restaurant ought to be Michelin rated. The portions were very generous and we left feeling absolutely stuffed. The only downside was the fact that the restaurant did not permit us to take our bottle of sparkling wine in for dinner without paying corkage on the pretext that the sparkling wine constituted "a separate part of the package and should not be used in conjunction with the dining vouchers". Oh well.

The cabin that we were given was simple, spacious and clean, with all the trappings of any reputable establishment. The DIY jacuzzi in the bathroom was a nice touch, and the hot lamps in the toilet were a welcome respite from the winter chill. If you are sensitive to strong smells, however, you might not appreciate the strong, perfumed smells that permeated the entire room. We tried finding the source of it, but could not and ended up concluding that the hand soap dispenser was the one responsible for giving the room its slightly overpoweringly sweet smell. There is nothing wrong with this per se, but it did take me a while to get used to the smell nonetheless.

On the whole, we thoroughly enjoyed our two nights at the Lodge and would recommend it to anyone spending some time in the Hunter.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank esquire84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2012

This was a beautiful spot to stay. I had a suite overlooking some vines. Breakfast was provided in the fridge. It was idyllic sipping a wine on the balcony. A short stroll around the pond is an amazing Italian restaurant on site. The owners were friendly and helpful. I would recommend this hotel for anyone looking for a little luxury at a realistic price.

Room Tip: Pay $20 more for a suite overlooking the vines. Well worth it
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank JanetSyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sapporo, Japan
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2012

We only stayed one night, but after arriving earlier than expected in the afternoon, the friendly staff showed us to our room early. We were pleasantly surprised at the style and comfort and the view over the small vineyard was a great place to have a glass of wine or fresh cup of tea. Conveniently located to many of the wineries.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank surf2sn0w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2012

My wife and I stayed here for a long weekend getaway recently. The first night was in a basic room which was tiny. We upgraded to a one bedroom suite for the remaining two nights and it was much better. If you are planning a relaxing weekend away and want to unwind in the room a little, I strongly recommend the larger suite – they are obviously a little more expensive but you will appreciate the extra space. The rooms themselves are well maintained but are basically just cabins. As with all accommodation in The Hunter (and all high demand locations for that matter) it is hard to get value for money i.e. most accommodation is overpriced.
There is quite a decent restaurant onsite which is very convenient and saves driving around at night – many of the roads in the Hunter are poorly maintained. One thing that really bugged me about the restaurant is their lack of support for local wineries. The wine list contained very few Hunter wines - I would say that less than 20%. They name all their cabins after local wineries but then do not support them in restaurant. In other words, they are happy to use the local wineries for their own marketing purposes but won't support them where it counts i.e. wine sales. I think this is very poor form. When I visit a wine region, I want to experience and taste as many local wines as I can – that is why I am there.

Room Tip: Pay the extra and book a one bedroom suite.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ozmanian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Hermitage Lodge, responded to this review, June 26, 2012
Thank you for your review and thank you for choosing to stay at Hermitage Lodge. It puzzles me that you have referred to our rooms, studios and suites as cabin. We have never referred to our accommodation as cabins as this would be totally misleading. You are correct in that the suites are larger with a separate king bedroom and large living room with fireplace, which is why they are more expensive than the open plan studios or rooms. If having an impeccably clean, carpeted room with either a king or queen bed with a feather and down pillows and doona, a dining table and chairs, a coffee table with locally written books and magazines, a two seater sofa or arm chairs, corner spa bath tub(in your original room), bedside tables and lamps, a hair dryer, an iron and ironing board, a coffee plunger and ground coffee, mini bar fridge stocked with in-room continental breakfast and beer, red and white wine, soft drink and water, kettle and toaster, bowls, glassware, cutlery, a deck overlooking the vineyard with outdoor furniture, etc. is your idea of ‘basic’ then we don’t know what more to put in a room to make it not ‘so basic’.
We were shocked to read that you thought our wine list is made up of only 20% local wines and that we do not support our local wineries and only too happy to ‘use’ them for ‘our’ marketing purposes. Each of our rooms is named after a local winery and we have never approached any of these wineries asking them for money to pay for the signage. We see this as promoting them not the other way around. The only thing we asked of the wineries was to provide a logo or template. The wine list is in fact compiled of almost all Hunter Valley wines. Not all grape varieties do well in the Hunter, and for this reason, we offer a few wines from other regions where those grape varieties do better and the result is a better wine. For example, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling do not do well in the Hunter. We therefore offer one Cabernet Sauvignon from each of McLaren Vale and the Coonawarra, a Riesling from the Clare Valley, South Australia and a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. We try to choose wines that best represent the variety whether they be from the Hunter or elsewhere. We have 50 locally grown or locally made wines and 12 from other regions. These include a small selection of wines from Italy, which we thought appropriate seeing as how we are an Italian restaurant. We are committed to offering a good range of Hunter wines; however we also like to offer our diners, especially our locals, the opportunity to purchase a wine from another region or country. If our guests didn’t purchase the wines from other regions or countries, we would not continue to carry them on our wine list. Of the Hunter Valley wineries we feature on the wine list, the following have at least two or more wines on our list: Keith Tulloch, Bimbadgen, Margan, First Creek, Scarborough, Brokenwood and Allandale while other wines on the list are from Tyrrells, Vinden, Lucy’s Run, Andrew Thomas, Lakes Folly, Audrey Wilkinson, Pepper Tree, Gartleman’s, Hope Estate, Little Wine Co, Tallavera Grove, Hungerford Hill, Tempus 2, Stormy Ridge, Catherine Vale, Saddlers Creek, McWilliams, DeBortoli, Draytons and Tamburlaine. If this is not supporting our local industry I don’t know what more we can do. In fact, in the last financial year, we have spent more than $110,000 on local wines. I believe this is supporting local industry where it counts. The Hunter Valley wines on our list may not have been to your particular liking, however we feel they represent an excellent cross section of Hunter Valley wines.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2012

Cold dust covered rooms, warm shower, great view from the terrace, brilliant resturant and comfy bed.
To sum up the experience upon check out I entered reception in a smiling happy mood where I was greeted by an accomodating gentleman. I turned to the mature lady to the side of him and greeted good morning ! To my reply, I was grunted at.

Thank you for the experience :-(

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lovynlife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Hermitage Lodge, responded to this review, June 26, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to review our property. We were disappointed to read that your overall experience was let down by myself (the mature lady) on departure. I am quite surprised by your comment, as I wasn’t doing check outs on Sunday morning. I was doing administration work on another computer where I had no interaction with anyone, and although the door may have been ajar I didn’t hear your greeting. If I had heard you say ‘Good Morning’ I would have definitely said ’Good Morning’ back, not grunt. I can assure you I do not grunt at anyone.
It is our intention to ensure that each and every guest leaves our property feeling great. We hope they leave with good memories, tell their friends and family about their wonderful stay and return in the future. I apologise to you for spoiling your overall experience, I was very pleased to read that you enjoyed the views, that the bed was comfy, you had a fantastic dining experience and that Mark was accommodating on check out. I apologise again if my failure to respond to your greeting, which I obviously didn’t hear, spoiled your stay.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hermitage Lodge

Property: Hermitage Lodge
Address: 609 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin, New South Wales 2320, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Pokolbin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Pokolbin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hermitage Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The award winning Hermitage Lodge is nestled on 25 acres in the heart of the vineyards of the Hunter valley, and is within walking distance of many of the areas popular wineries and tourist attractions. Hermitage Lodge is the home to the Italian Restaurant Il Cacciatore open 7 nights a week. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hermitage Hotel Pokolbin
Hermitage Lodge Greater Newcastle/Pokolbin

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