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“Great venue for food, wine and golf appreciation”

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Chateau Elan Hunter Valley
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Rothbury
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great venue for food, wine and golf appreciation”
Reviewed September 14, 2010

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.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank SydneyOrstralian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (272)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 29, 2010

We stayed at the Chateau Elan for my sisters hens night. She wanted something classy, relaxing and enjoyable. We arranged this 6 weeks ago. We were ALL very upset by the fact that we went to book some time at the spa to find out nothing was available. This is on top of not being able to play golf. So to find out the 2 main reasons we booked to stay at the Chateau Elan was for the golf and spa and to not be able to enjoy either was very disappointing to say the least. Inevitably it was our own fault to not look into golf course closures but to not be able to get a spa treatment because it was not mentioned on the many phone conversations to book in advance was terrible. There were many ways around the situation to make our stay enjoyable but for management to be rude and make the point of mentioning it was our problem was not okay in our books. Saying that all the other staff were a pleasure and lots of them were very helpful. I hope the hotel management improve so if we do choose to stay there again we will not be treated in the same manner. We will now also know to book the spa way in advance. All in all the place was lovely.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank styletravela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2010

Château Élan boldly advertises itself as “Australia’s finest golf and spa resort”. The Hunter Valley is replete with hotels that make ambitious claims and fall well short of the mark (unlike its restaurants, which rarely disappoint), and sadly Château Élan can be added to the list. Yes, the resort is fresh and modern (unlike some of its tired faux country cottage competitors), however it has the look and feel of a new housing estate. On the positive side, the rooms are large with very comfortable beds, and enjoy a nice view of the golf course (think suburban links rather than an immaculately groomed championship course), however most are some distance away from reception and the resort’s facilities. While the concierge staff who greeted us were enthusiastic and energetic, those on the front desk displayed the level of professionalism you would expect from students on work experience. In fact, they may well have been students - except for the cleaning staff, everyone I encountered during my stay was under 30. A lack of management leadership and experience could well explain the overall impression of a lackadaisical attitude towards customer service. Problems with attention to detail were reflected in the in-room service guide that claimed that my room came with a Nespresso machine (a mistake acknowledged by reception but not apologised for) and which also advised that therapeutic pillows could be obtained from housekeeping (none were available even though our request was made shortly after the standard check-in time). The 25 metre heated swimming pool seemed like a nice way of winding down from a day visiting the vineyards, however it was closed during my stay because an errant guest had apparently poured shampoo into the spa. I would have expected a 5-star resort to have addressed this problem as a matter of urgency, but I got the impression that it was merely added to the ‘to do’ list. After such a series of glitches, I approached the buffet breakfast the following day with some trepidation. The fact that front desk claimed that it was not included in my rate (fortunately, the sales office had already confirmed in writing that it was), didn’t add to my sense of confidence. On arrival just after 10 am we were told that no tables were available and we had to wait 10 - 15 minutes before one was free. This was made more inconvenient by the fact that check-out was at 11 am. While the hot food in particular was of good quality, the range of choices overall was limited for a 5-star wannabe, including a fruit platter you’d expect to see at an office Christmas BBQ. The promotional material promised espresso coffee, but neglected to say it cost $4 extra! Because of the delay in the restaurant, we weren’t able to return to our room until after 11 am. Unfortunately, our keys wouldn’t work because it was now after the official check-out time. For me, that aptly summed up the whole disappointing experience.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Memorioso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
52 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2010

Stayed in a one bedroom villa with my partner for a weekend getaway. It was a lovely setting and very spacious but lacked quality.
1) Staff members were inexperienced and lacked the 5 star warmth or professionalism. First they gave me a card that didnt' work at check in, and at check out because there were people queuing up it felt more like an enquiry desk at the bank.
2) Room as spacious and new but definitely more like a cheap Meriton apartment than a 5 star Four Seasons. Given there were tilings in the kitchen area, they should really provide slippers for the room because it got really cold at night time. Bathroom was ordinary. Overall lightly wasn't very romantic as white light tones were used.

If you're after service and luxury, then this is definitely not the place for you. If you want to play house with your partner while you're on holidays then this probably would suit you.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank eLasticbarbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
300 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2010

We spent last weekend at Chateau Elan in a 2 bedroom 'villa' with 1 other couple. These are not really villas at all but separate buildings with 4 'villas' in each one - 2 upstairs and 2 downstairs - there are 10 villas like this, so 40 villas with villas - confusing, yes? Anyhow, the location is gorgeous - right on the golf course with lovely afternoon sun and resident kangaroos. This is supposed to be a 5 star property so I was very disappointed not only to find no robes in the wardrobe (my friends had them in theirs!) but always look forward to fluffy robes and these were light cotton waffle - no slippers either (just as well I had taken my own from Wolgan Valley:-) ). The towels are tiny - why not add a bit extra and supply bath sheets instead of these baby sized towels? The room is lovely and spacious but it is impossible to find out where to light the gas fire so a member of staff had to come and show us - very annoying. The bed was very comfortable but the pillows far too high for most people. There is a pillow menu but when we asked for different pillows for the 2nd night we were told there were none left. I don't think this is 5 star standard really.
The staff are very helpful and seemed to be generally efficient apart from the fact that, despite reserving a table at Legends Grill when we booked the hotel (about 6 weeks earlier), there was no reservation at the restaurant when we arrived.

My friend and I had a 2 hour spa treatment and it was wonderful - lovely staff and a lovely atmosphere in the spa.

The breakfast at the Vintage golf club house was OK, but nothing special.

Having made all these negative comments I would still return as we had a great stay.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank ilab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
Reviewed August 1, 2010

Celebrating our one year anniversary... my partner and I decided to spoil ourselves by going somewhere a little special. One of our friends reccomended the Chateau Elan and I can tell you that this facility did not disapoint!

This ultra modern facility had everything we needed right at our door step without the need (with wine high on the agenda) to drive.. From a quality designed golf course, extensive spa treatment packages available, Legends Grill restaurant, the Chateau Elan offered much more than your standard hotel experience.

The service was impecable. My partner and I being the indecisive and unorganised people that we are had not planned anything for our trip.. I can honestly say the staff at the Chateau went above and beyond trying to book us on a winery tour at the eleventh hour!

I could go on about the massive room sizes, fluffy towels, quality toiletries, pillow menu, 'real coffee' ... but I guess there's only one way to know for sure and that would be to go and experience it for yourself.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jonvel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2010

Booked a spa suite at the Chateau Elan for my 15th wedding anniversary. The room was lovely and the staff were friendly. If you are used to spending a lot of money for hotels then this might be fine. However, at $340.00 per night I was expecting something really special and this was not it. It was very impersonal.

My husband and I arrived early for a massage, we left our bags with reception and off we went. Following the massage (which was lovely) we were required to return to the front reception to check in. Given that we were wet from the spa I asked if there was a way we could check in without having to return to the reception area, it would have been much nicer if they could have let us return to our room for a shower first . Despite the room boasting a private bridge from spa to room to avoid having to go through the reception area, we were not offered this. So wet and disheveled we returned to the reception. We were then led to where our bags had been held and we carried our bags to our room. I would have expected that given we were a few hours in the spa area, the staff could have taken our bags to our room. So far there was nothing special about the service.

I had ordered a bottle of champagne to be in our room on arrival, this was not done. when I queried this they told me they were short staffed.
With our massage there was supposed to be a body cream to take home, this was not given to us and I later had to ask about it. It was sitting on the floor behind the reception desk. They had just forgotten.
The pillows were far to big and impossible to sleep on, so the next morning we asked for different pillows. By late that night they still had not arrived and I had to ask again.
Room service costs an additional $10.00 and pay TV comes at an additional cost of $20.
Breakfast one morning was cold, the next morning it was very nice.
there was not much of a mini bar, my husband wanted a coke, there was none so we rang room service, they were happy to get one for us however to avoid the $10 room service charge we needed to pay $3.50 for the coke in cash which we did not have. My husband ended up driving to the local store to get one.
Overall while the staff were pleasant and the rooms were nice, there was just not anything extra. We did not feel like we were given any special treatment and the constant having to ask for things that had previously been organized put a damper on the whole experience.
When paying this much I had expected a really fabulous experience and it was not. I would not recommend this hotel.

The restaurant was lovely although it had paper over the table cloths, and the dinner was very nice.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank HedgesAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chateau Elan Hunter Valley

Property: Chateau Elan Hunter Valley
Address: Vintage Drive, Rothbury, Cessnock, New South Wales 2320, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Cessnock > Rothbury
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Rothbury
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Chateau Elan Hunter Valley 4.5*
Number of rooms: 100
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

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