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“Terrific hotel, but the dining room disappointed.”

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Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
144 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Terrific hotel, but the dining room disappointed.”
Reviewed May 29, 2013

This is the second time my wife and I have stayed at the Leisure Inn. I recommended it to our friends from South Australia. We had booked 3 rooms, for a group of 6 to spend 3 days, mid week. This time we used promotional coupons offered by Groupon. The Leisure Inn is beautifully laid out with 50 bungalows, each containing 2 units making 100 units in total. Each 1 bedroom unit has a large bathroom, well appointed kitchenette with all the utensils you would need, lounge room with table and chairs, lounge suite and large flat screen TV with Cable channels and separate DVD player. All are large and spacious. There is plenty of cupboard space for extended stays. The two units in any one bungalow have an interconnecting door which is ideal for families. And the lounge suite converts to a second double bed. There is a good sense of space between the bungalows amongst the trees. Together with the tennis court, games room and swimming pool and other amenities it is hard to fault it as a place to stay. Wi-Fi is available but is not free. Nicole on reception was friendly, organised and professional. The disappointment for us on this visit was the dining room, Cafe Pokolbin Hill. Maybe we caught them at an off time? We were offered as part of the promotional deal a credit of $80 per couple, to spend at the Cafe. The Cafe is open for breakfast 7 days and for lunch and dinner Wednesday to Saturday. The breakfast menu, while offering a good choice was let down by the quality of the cooking and untrained waiting staff. The breakfast is not a buffet, but table service from a menu. Two of our party ordered bowls of seasonal fruit while others ordered cereal. The cereal choice was limited to small packs of sugar based cereals. The cereal arrived promptly. The fruit did not. It arrived at the same time as the hot breakfast meals we had ordered which were placed on an adjoining empty table to go cold while we ate the fruit. The hot breakfast options offered were eggs, (poached, scrambled or fried) with toast. Add on choices for an additional cost were sausages, bacon, grilled half tomato, mushrooms, baked beans. The sausages were overcooked and dry, the bacon was cooked to be leather tough, the poached eggs were cooked to be very hard. One of us, who specifically asked for soft centre poached eggs, sent back the over cooked eggs. They were replaced with eggs that were only slightly less cooked. We had used over half our allocated $80 on the breakfast in the first day. Not wanting to waste the remaining money on our credit, we decided to have dinner that evening. After a day of touring the wineries and having a marvellous lunch at one of them, we were looking for a light meal and all of us ordered from the Entre menu. Four of us ordered the soup, one ordered the prawn linguini and one ordered pan fried scallops. The chicken and corn soup was a watery broth which small chicken chunks with some corn pieces and was chilli infused to give it some taste. After it arrived at the table, our impression was that the kitchen had one serve available and split it four ways. There was so little liquid in the bowl that after placing just one of the supplied two thin sliced small pieces of crisp bread into the soup the liquid was fully absorbed to expose the bottom of the bowl. My guess is there were about 3 soup spoons of liquid in the bowl. For a dish costing $17 it was a massive disappointment and nowhere near value for money. The linguini dish was good – taste and portion size. The scallops, all 3 of them, were well cooked and served on a dob of celeriac puree, but did not in any way go with the shard of toffee that was placed on top of each one – a very strange combination and at the price, was underwhelming. The waitress was under trained. She did not know anything about any dish when questioned. When asked what the Soup of the Day was, she did not know and had to leave and ask the kitchen. When it came time to pay, because we had the vouchers and the order was entered into their computer as a single order and they “do not split accounts”, confusion resulted that unfortunately involved us, the customer, in trying to resolve it. This happened both at breakfast and at dinner despite advising the waitress up front when ordering that we had vouchers. So, in summary – love the location and hotel, but this time, did not like the restaurant.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Foxey2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SWHG_Operations, Manager at Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill, responded to this review, June 27, 2013
Dear Foxey 2,
Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. I am glad that you find our rooms and resort grounds to your liking, we continue to strive to provide a great value for money resort with a great location. I am however, disappointed to hear about the issues you raised regarding the café. I know that there have been several staff changes and there are some new staff in training. I have spoken to chef and passed on your comments and can assure you they have been addressed as she is very proud of her work and is working with the breakfast staff to ensure the standards are met.
We hope you will return soon and see for yourself the huge range of works that have been and are in the process of being carried out to the grounds.
Best Regards

Wayne Brenton
Resort Manager
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1,005 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (134)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
195 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed May 25, 2013

We stayed for 3 nights so we could visit the wineries and all the surrounding attractions. We did many tastings, but we are not really wine drinkers (our friends are though) so we were more interested in the food. We travelled up to Muswellbrook, about 1 and half hours, to buy some oils from Pukara Olive Oil. It was wonderful. They have tastings of all their oils and a small coffee shop. The oils are just delicious.. A little expensive, but well worth it for the quality and tastes. You can do a round trip, which enables you to visit several wineries on the way there and back. We stopped at the Bluetongue Brewery as we are beer drinkers. You can have a paddle taster of 5 different beers for $15 with a free middle beer of your choice when you hand your paddle back in. They have a cafe, and the meals are very good. Pizzas look great. We only drank!!!,
Leisure Inn is across the road from The Hunter Valley Gardens and Pokolbin village. Great eating in Village. Highly recommend the cafe with the sculptured cows. Food is great and so are staff. Loved the soups, and the chicken breast burgers, and especially the corned beef wraps. Mmmmmmm
The relishes are delicious. You are 2 minutes from Tempous Two and the shopping village. There is so much to see and do. Make the effort and go up to Audrey Wilkinson, the view is beautiful. Try and get the rooms that overlook the dam at the back of the resort. Watch out for the kangaroos that come down sunrise and sunset. There is some noise from the road, but with windows shut you hear nothing.
Rooms have all you will need. We had the 2 bedroom with interconnecting door, which gives each couple privacy. All in Ll, it was a great few days helped immensely by location of Inn. Staff were more than happy to offer help and tips.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank penwar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
45 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2013

We were very impressed, it's a great location in the middle of the wine fields we stayed in a very comfortable villa. It had a large bathroom but had to exercise caution getting into and out of the shower as it is located in a spa bath. The BBQs were good and we dinned in on one night. We stayed using a coupon so it represented excellent value.

Room Tip: Try and have one with a view of the water.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Peter M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wickham Nsw
Level Contributor
38 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2013

Pleasant setting and some lovely sunsets down by the lake, but had the most uncomfortable lounge I have evr encountered. easy to hurt oneself on the metal bars. when I informed the manager on duty,he absolutely agreed! At dinner I requested my lamb to be cooked medium rare and was informed that is how they always cook it, but when it came it was very well done. Replaced it with someone else's order, which obviously meant they would now have to wait longer for theirs.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cary7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SWHG_Operations, Manager at Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill, responded to this review, June 27, 2013
Dear Cary7,

Thank you for taking time to provide feedback, we have addressed the issue of sofa bed as raised and we apologise for the inconvenience.
In regards to the lamb, I have spoken to chef and yes there was a mix up in the orders and in fact the well done was a special order and was inadvertently sent to your table. Chef apologises for the error, we hope that we can see you again soon and If you would like to contact me directly I will ensure you have a great stay.

Best Regards
Wayne Brenton
Resort Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2013

My wife and i have stayed here a few times and always found it pleasant; comfortable, clean, quiet and friendly hosts. It is a good venue to start exploring the vineyards; just over the road from the Hunter Valley Gardens and a range of speciality shops (Bliss coffee is great), a short walk to Harrigans pub, and strolling distance to half a dozen cellar doors. Perfect base for concerts 'on the green' (at Hope or Bimbadgen). We are quite happy to stay here again.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jp2033
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 4, 2013

Stayed there for a wedding, everything was sweet.
Spa bath was awesome especially when you load it up with the body soap provided!
Harrigans is pretty much walking distance, so good location if you don't mind a few drinks.
Prob not that ideal for a romantic get away, but definitely for family's or groups.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Robdog12585
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Main Beach, Australia
Level Contributor
122 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2013

We stayed for two nights primarily to visit the Hunter Gardens and our deal included $60 worth of credit in the cafe towards food and drink.
The room was very good; comfortable bed and pillows and it was quiet although there was no one staying in the adjoining unit at the time. The rooms include a great lounge area with TV, dining area and kitchen and a large bathroom with spa (shower over the spa). We were very comfortable in the unit and would stay here again as it is within walking distance (about 15 mins) of the Hunter Gardens which are excellent.
On the first night we ordered takeaway from the cafe and was advised by the very nice lady there that there would be a wait as there was 12 people before us in the cafe and that there was just one chef - this was OK. Our order included a toasted sandwich which was barely toasted, dry and the filling was not warm - it was really quite poor. For breakfast the next morning the cafe offered a la carte only so we checked out tripadvisor and ended up at Cuvee at Petersons - excellent.
On the next day for breakfast continental was available for $17.50. There was no fresh fruit - just the standard tinned variety - cereals, breads, yoghurts, stale muffins and croissants. Not good value for money in my view.
When we came to check out I had awkward moments at the front desk as there was some confusion over how my $60 food and beverage voucher should have been used - be carefull if you arrive with a voucher and make sure you use it correctly as they are a bit touchy if you do the "wrong" thing.

Summary: Good location but the cafe is average and overpriced and the front office staff are pedantic.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank geebob1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill

Property: Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill
Address: Cnr Broke and McDonalds Roads, Pokolbin, New South Wales 2320, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Pokolbin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 40 Specialty Lodging in Pokolbin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill 3.5*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill is a picturesque retreat set on 25 acres of tranquility in the heart of the Hunter Valley Wine Country. With many cellar doors and attractions such as Hunter Valley Gardens within easy strolling distance, Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill is the unbeatable location to base yourself.Marvel at the truly stunning views over local vineyards and Brokenback Ridge – you might even enjoy a visit from the local native fauna and birdlife. This picturesque backdrop is the perfect setting for a relaxing and peaceful stay in the Hunter Valley. Self-contained Studio, One and Two Bedroom Villas. Take some time-out in our air-conditioned studio, one or two bedroom apartments sprawled across the landscaped gardens of the property. All apartments feature private patios looking out to the 25 acres of peaceful hotel grounds and vineyards. To enhance your stay at Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill, our Superior Rooms have been upgraded with new beds, LCD TVs, WiFi access, modern kitchen and bathroom fittings and soft furnishings. The perfect way to finish a great day of wine tasting and sightseeing is to sit back on your veranda and with a cheese platter and glass of wine or sink down and relax in your in-room spa tub. Take a stroll to the local restaurants or cook a romantic meal (full kitchen facilities available in one and two bedroom apartments). Guests are also welcome to relax by the hotel’s outdoor heated swimming pool, play a game of tennis, or have a BBQ in our undercover BBQ area surrounded by lush gardens. Guests can awake to a delicious breakfast or relax over a superbly prepared meal served at the onsite cafe & restaurant (under new management). Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill is the ideal location for a romantic break or a trip with friends and family. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill Hotel Pokolbin
Pokolbin Hill Chateau
Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill Greater Newcastle

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