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“Nice for a short stay but needs an uplift”

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The Convent Hunter Valley
Ranked #11 of 15 Hotels in Pokolbin
Reviewed 14 January 2014

A lovely old building and grounds; the staff are very friendly and helpful; the buffet breakfast is quite good; and a short walk to Roberts Restaurant. However lots of seemingly small things prevent a better rating:

Superior rooms looking a bit tired and dated;

A light not working in the bathroom and not fixed during our stay;

No desk in the room;

Wifi not really workable in the room (staff told us to go to the foyer);

The quite small TV is located adjacent to a wall parallel to one side of the bed, making it difficult to watch from either the bed or the lounge at the other end of the room;

The pool has no umbrellas or shade which makes is very unpleasant in summer;

Pool towels not replaced when the room was serviced;

While canapes etc are apparently offered from 4-6PM I sat at an outside table for 40 minutes from 4.30PM and was not offered anything while the only other occupied table was served.

So overall just not the quality we expected from the description.

Room Tip: Superior room is larger
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank AMRFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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178 - 184 of 255 reviews

Reviewed 12 January 2014

My partner and I were up here in early December for my cousins wedding. We only had one night here but it was great.
Reception and staff are welcoming and very nice. We were taken to our room which was on the ground floor and hidden away behind the staircase. I found this to be quaint and loved the room we were given. The room we had was not overly big but was sufficient for our needs and very homely.
Definitely recommend a sort stay here as the location is very beautiful and quite close to Roberts Restaurant, which has very lovely food.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank BekkO93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2014

We booked for 2 nights and experienced 2 different superior rooms, 14 and 4. To describe it as luxury accommodation is, simply, wrong. The marketed description gives superior rooms wifi - only exists in the foyer - and extra lounge area. In neither room was there even a desk or a coffee table, indeed, nowhere to sit , read the paper and enjoy your morning coffee. The so called wardrobe in room 4 would not fit a suit bag and in both rooms, the only place to have the morning coffee was on a shared balcony - ok in summer. The TV is cheap flat screen.
We have rarely seen such badly configured and noisy accommodation. The staff are friendly and try to be helpful but are let down by sub standard planning.
Breakfast is basic - no individually cooked breakfast such as even a B & B will offer, hard centred eggs, juice from a can and do it yourself toast but in pleasant surrounds.
Decor is strong Aussie bland of developer beige rooms with no wall artworks or decorations and the same dreary curtains in all rooms. The magic of the original Peppers with its tasteful decoration and charm has disappeared in a sea of complacency. Never again.

Room Tip: Choose a different venue.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank JohnR63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2013

Stayed here with friends over Xmas and was a perfect location, very romantic with great comfortable rooms and an amazing vista. We bought some wine in peppers cellar down the drive to drink on the terrace with the canapes they brought to our room. I think they have refurbished a lot of the hotel, the only parts they missed were the bathrooms which were a little dated but still functional.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
Thank brightonbeachboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2013

The building is a nunnery that was constructed in the early 1900's and moved a few hundred kilometres to its present location. It contains many beautiful period details and is indeed a step back in time. Currently, it sits close to Pepper Tree cellar door and Roberts Restaurant, at the end of a gorgeous flowery lane.

The friendliness on arrival could definitely have been improved. The building, due to its age, comes with a few minor inconveniences (like lack of electrical outlets and wifi that actually works). We were rudely awoken by a loud drinking party on the shared verandah, but it was the middle of the afternoon and not late at night. We were just tired from our long drive and after a rest.

On the plus side, breakfast is ample and tasty, the free canapés and drink at cocktail hour were much appreciated, and for the most part the peace and beauty of the setting are worth it for a few days of tranquility. The Hunter location is also very good. Try Roberts Restaurant, Oishi Restaurant, and Hungerford Hill winery.

PS- I hear one of the nuns still resides in room 8 and doesn't care much for visitors.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank Jennifer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2013

Very picturesque surroundings, lovely and close to Roberts Restaurant, though we did drive the 100m as is was bucketing with rain at the time. The only negative is that whilst the rooms are lovely they open out onto a communal verandah, which would be fabulous if you were staying with a group of people, but not so fabulous if you are looking for some quiet alone time with your partner and people are standing on the verandah just outside your room. Also couldn't get wifi to work in our room, and a full length mirror would have been great, simple to put one on the inside of the wardrobe door. I really liked the wine glasses in the room, especially as this is wine country, actually went and bought myself some for Christmas. We found the signs were not really visible from the road, very low key, keep your eyes peeled.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank TravelQueenJean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2013

Disappointed in that it did not match our expectations which we had gained from friends who had stayed previously (Years ago?). Our bed configuration (twin) was not set-up as confirmed. To have the first night drink and canapés in the breakfast room was just not acceptable when the lounge (delightful) was not being used and on querying this arrangement were told it was due to "rules"?
Facilities in the bathroom (limited towel rails or hooks so that towels etc. were stacked at the end of the bath which had an overhead shower?). While our room had a sizeable (dining) table it could not be used there were no suitable chairs.
Wi-Fi only available in the lounge/breakfast room and not our annex room.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank John P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Convent Hunter Valley

Address: 88 Halls Road, Pokolbin, New South Wales 2320, Australia (Formerly Peppers Convent, Hunter Valley)
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Pokolbin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Luxury Hotel in Pokolbin
Price Range: £137 - £377 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Convent Hunter Valley 4.5*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape to the famous Wine Country and enjoy luxury boutique hotel accommodation at The Convent Hunter Valley. Just 2.5 hours drive from Sydney CBD, The Convent is nestled within one of Australia’s premiere wine regions - Polkobin. Our unique location offers expansive acreage views of the glamorous boutique hotel - The Convent, Pepper Tree Winery and Circa 1876. All venues are located on the estate and surrounded by rich, produce filled kitchen gardens, creating a tranquil culinary treat pleasing to lovers of both food and wine. Whether you are planning a romantic getaway, a weekend with the girls or your mates, or a fun-filled family holiday, our intimate and boutique Hunter Valley hotel offers something for everyone. Unwind and enjoy renowned local wines at Pepper Tree Winery and share the passion for organic produce and farm to fork dining at our hatted restaurant at Circa 1876. Explore the Hunter Valleys with the whole family and sample the region’s many attractions. With an onsite function room, a spectacular backdrop and a relaxing atmosphere, The Convent is the ideal venue for weddings, corporate events and celebrations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Peppers Convent, Hunter Valley Hotel Pokolbin
Peppers Convent Hunter Valley Pokolbin
The Convent Hunter Valley Greater Newcastle/Pokolbin, Australia

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