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“Awesome Experience Again”
Review of Tower Lodge

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Tower Lodge
Ranked #14 of 15 Hotels in Pokolbin
Reviewed 1 February 2011

Last week my hubby and I again went to Tower Estate for a quick getaway from the kids while my parents were happy to take the kids for a couple of days.
This is our favourite place in the world and like a home away from home.
I was shocked to see the bad review on this place but some people are just never going to be pleased.
It is the most expensive place in the valley, but comparable to any 5 star hotel in a city and this is easily better than any of those boxes.
We stayed in room 7 this time which is a split level room overlooking the winery. This was great as the winery is in vintage at the moment and there was plenty of action happening. I will point out that it is about 150m away so you can't hear it.
The manager drove us too and from the Restaurant called Roberts where the meals were sensational. We had a table in the little cottage that was built in 1870 of there abouts. Everything was great but they didn't have my favourite wine on the menu but there are plenty of others to choose from.
We were offered a tour of the winery which I jumped at. It was great to see the behind the scenes working of this place. I now have a new favourite wine and that is the Tower Estate Semillon. Yummy. Hubby likes the shiraz. I had a massage in the afternoon with a lady called Sally and it was amazing while hubby played golf. He came back grumpy so I guess he didn't do too well. Nothing a Pinot Noir didn't fix. Dinner in the room and headed off early the next morning.
This place is so good that we save up our money and parents babysitting times for every opportunity to get there. I see it just got voted Worlds Best Lodge so just don't take my word for it.
While I was there Getaway were about to do a story on it so I will be looking out for what they think.
Do yourself a favour and go and experience bliss.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank wickedweekender
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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64 - 70 of 129 reviews

Reviewed 28 January 2011

I travelled with a friend staying in separate rooms. The hotel has an unusual decor, apparently Spartan in the entrance lobby, but with more and more eclectic design as you go to the various parts of the hotel. I was surprised to read negative reviews, because I found it to be a very well run hotel, with enormous and beautifully decorated rooms. My spa bath was wonderful, and the Molton Brown products excellent. I found the breakfast superb (even the criticised cooked breakfast which was delicious). There was a slight wait on occasion (for a squeezed orange juice - for example), but nothing overly concerning.

The pool is wonderfully secluded with a very funny honesty bar (full of Fosters cans - well, I found it funny). My room was calm and cosy, so comfortable and secluded that I didn't even bother with just-in-case ear-plugs, which I usually have by the bedside when staying in other hotels.

Nine restaurant was magnificent. Very cosy and quiet (apologies if our chatter disturbed anyone). The service was impeccable, and the food delicious. It is extraordinarily expensive, and unnecessarily so, but I forgave them because I had such a good time.

As to location... perfect for doing the vineyards, and even possible to do quite a few local wineries on bicycle, as long as it's not too hot. Perhaps leave that for the winter.

Thanks so much. I will certainly return.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Gaffeur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2011

Where do I start? 5 star its not!
On arrival, we were greeted to a very stark, depressing building - we were not even sure it was a hotel, apart from the Relais and Chateau sign on the wall.Looks nothing like the pretty courtyard photo in the brochures and website. We made our way through the door and were greeted by members of staff that, although nice, were rather inept.
The room was a bit of a shock - rustic, lots of furniture, but not practically laid out, nice linens, but an itchy, scratchy blanket. Not exactly high-tech, don't even attempt to get WiFi in your room, you have to be in a certain part of the bar to get any reception at all.
The bathroom was awful, very dated and nowhere to put any toiletries apart from stacked up around the bath.
When I had a bath, the jacuzzi jets spewed out scum, they had obviously not been sterilised for some time.
We went back to the bar for a drink and the manager, Andreas, introduced himself to us. Thereafter he was noticeable by his absence.
The hotel information promised wine tasting with the manager nightly at 6.30pm, but he was not around and we had cocktails instead, the barman Ryan was chatty and very pleasant.
Breakfast buffet was laid out the next morning, and was very nice. However, my husband and I ordered some 'hot' items, bacon for him and Eggs Benedict for myself. We waited half an hour!, despite there being only two other people in the restaurant. We were presented with cool bacon and eggs benedict comprising two just warm eggs atop cold smoked salmon straight from the fridge, topped off with two dollops of congealed Hollandaise. The waitress tried to tell me that this was a classic 'room temperature' hollandaise.Still no sign of Andreas, the 'live in' manager!
We passed on eating at Roberts the restaurant on site - given the breakfast experience. We ate at Blaxlands the first night, lovely home cooking and Amanda's On The Edge - lovely views, very accomodating and nice food.
The next morning we were surprised that they were just starting to set up the buffet when we walked in, I had to ask for butter, was not offered tea\coffee, and the buffet items were still not laid up past 8am.
We settled our bill, eventually, no-one being on reception, no-one could help us with directions, and still no sign of Andreas.
There must be somewhere nicer to stay in the valley

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank lovelongboatkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TowerEstate, General Manager at Tower Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 14 January 2011

Dear Mr and Mrs S,

Thank you for your honest and direct account of your stay with us at Tower Lodge, without comments such as yours, we would not be able to refine our service level to our future guests. We will certainly take your comment on board and will take action to ensure those little things will not happen again. I do apologise that Tower Lodge did not meet your expectations on this occasion and I have forwarded onto you in a separate personal email a more detailed apology.

Yours sincerely
Andreas Breitfuss
Maitre de Maison

P.S. I hope you have received the goods that you left behind at the Lodge.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2011

Andreas and his staff, led by sommelier Mel, provide the complete experience in respect to getting away and enjoying a superb culinary experience along with an equally appealing wine selection. We experienced Christmas, but imagine it is a Christmas experience 365 days each year.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Mothie1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2011

My husbad and I spend our NYE here. It was fantastic. Our room was beautifully appointed, with the most comfortable bed ever. The minute you walk through their big wooden doors you are made to feel special. The staff are always helpful and extremely polite. It is a private oasis away from business pressures and noisy (but beautiful) children. I love that it is a small hotel therefore you never have to wait for anything - room service, food, drinks, and best of all the pool was quiet and relaxing. We will always return here, it is perfect.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ilona1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2011

We had a very nice stay at the tower lodge, with a quiet and relaxing atmosphere that reminded a "chateau atmosphere". The resort is very unique and decoration and furniture chosen with very much taste.
However we were surprised over small things for a 5 star accommodation, the bill couldn't be printed for our departure, we couldn't get good advice about a nice walk in the area, sauna wasn't working and couldn't be fixed over the 2 days and no alternative proposed (for example discount on spa treatment or other)
Breakfast was nice, so was the free afternoon tea with cakes and wine tasting.
But be aware that they have a strong non cancellation policy and you have to pay 50% if cancellation is made less than 30 days before, and that they are not flexible about that. Unfortunately one of our relatives had a terrible accident and unable to fly to Australia because of surgery, there was no way of refund 20 days before.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank anafromsydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2011

This was our second New Year's Eve at Tower Lodge and it was fabulous. The food and wine were outstanding and the company was fun. Overall, we had a very relaxing time and were very well looked after, as usual. We plan to visit again this year and highly recommend Tower Lodge to anyone looking for a unique experience in the Hunter Valley wine country.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Judy_from_Stanmore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tower Lodge

Address: 6 Halls Rd, Pokolbin, New South Wales 2320, Australia
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Pokolbin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Luxury Hotel in Pokolbin
Hotel Class:5 star — Tower Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tower Lodge is the only truly intimate World class luxury Lodge in the Hunter Valley region, accommodating a maximum of 24 guests at any one time. The Lodge is not only luxurious, but also offers a stage to create your own special experience, one that will become your benchmark for years to come. Located at Tower Estate in the Hunter Valley, Australia the Lodge was recognised as the best "Luxury Lodge" for 2010 at the World Luxury Hotel Awards. Tower Lodge represents all that is Unique, Intimate and Luxurious. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tower Lodge - Relais And Chateaux
Tower Lodge - Relais & Chateaux Hotel Pokolbin
Tower Lodge Pokolbin
Pokolbin Tower Lodge
Tower Lodge Greater Newcastle/Pokolbin, Australia

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