We recently had a two night weekend stay in a spa suite at Chateau Elan. At about 2 and a half hours north of Sydney, it's a great getaway location for us.
It would be a great stop though for travellers wanting to try the wine area of NSW on the way to somewhere else. The suite had a washing machine dryer in it (which I found a little surprising in a hotel room) and I guess that there is an aim to catch that market.
The suite was superb, with a full kitchen, lounge, separate dining room (with a nice fireplace in between - a bit superflous given the air conditioning, but a fabulous mood maker) and a large balcony offering a view onto to the 10th fairway of the Vintage - a wonderfully challenging golf course that never dissapoints in any conditions.
Bedding and linen were top quality and service was largely excellent. Check in and out are clearly modelled on European 5 star and were efficient and quick.
The $10 surcharge for room service is a bit much, but as the rooms are pretty much self contained, I think that is a matter that one should be prepared for. I guess that the explanation might be that the layout puts the suite buildings at some distance from the hotel main building and the kitchen appears to be part of the golf course rather than the resort itself - delay and cost are probably inevitable, but are detracting from the overall effect.
Given the fitout of the room (which included a full size refrigerator rather than a mini bar fridge), we certainly stocked up on everything that we thought that we might want (drinks, munchies etc). Mini bars and room service are always items that I view with distrust anyway.
The Hunter, like most wine districtss, is spread out and really to get anywhere from anywhere, while there, one needs a car. If dining out, one thing to be aware of is that cabs in the Hunter are extraordinarily expensive. $80 each way for a 20 minute trip (to Molines - which is admittely a bit off the beaten track), was unexpected, but it's probably cheaper than drink driving.
Overall - Chateau Elan provides luxury service and accomodation at a great location on the Vintage. Its points of difference are probably the room size and fitout , each of which are excellent.
Rack rate is comparitively high for the area, but so is the quality of the accomodation. We did not try the spa and cannot comment on that - although it looks great. I note that other reviews suggest that spa visits be booked ahead to avoid dissapointment.
On Sunday morning, we awoke to balloons landing in the field next to the resort. They pretty much topped off a lovely stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Chateau Elan at The Vintage is Australia's finest golf and spa resort. Located in the heart of Hunter Valley wine country, Chateau Elan offers luxury retreats for up to 200 guests.The Spa at Chateau Elan has 17 treatment rooms and a vast range of specialised treatments available. Guests can choose from 3 types of luxury accommodation - Spa Suites, One bed bedroom self-contained Villas and King Rooms. The hotel overlooks the fairways of the Greg Norman-designed course Vintage golf course. Chateau Elan is 2 hour drive north of Sydney. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Chateau Elan Hunter Valley Hotel Rothbury
- Chateau Elan Hunter Valley Greater Newcastle/Rothbury