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“Home from Home”

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Spicers Vineyards Estate
Ranked #1 of 15 Hotels in Pokolbin
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Home from Home”
Reviewed 3 February 2013

We have just returned home from a wonderfully relaxing weekend at Spicer's peaceful, friendly retreat in the heart of the Hunter Valley vineyards. It is rare to encounter staff who continually go out of their way to make every moment of your stay special, but from our warm late night welcome to our reluctant departure, the team ensured we had every comfort and surprised us with their attention to detail. Our spacious and tastefully decorated king spa suite enjoyed charming pastoral views front and back, while affording every luxury from chilled bubbles and an assortment of goodies in the complimentary minibar, to the carefully laid fireplace. Cuddly bathrobes, superior toiletries and the heated towelrail were the perfect antidote to a wet weekend, as were the huge comfy sofas. Breakfast was a standout, effectively a four course meal prepared from fresh local produce including veggies from the property and served in the vineyard restaurant. No need for lunch! Our thanks to all who made our stay so enjoyable, we look forward to finding an excuse to return soon :)

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank SanctuarySeeker13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (108)
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English first
Albuquerque
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2013

We stayed two nights a Spicers and enjoyed two breakfasts and one dinner in Botanica. The rooms are nicely appointed and spacious. Quiet music was playing in the room when we arrived. The bathroom is exceptional with a huge garden jacuzzi tub and plenty of hot water. Botanica was exceptional for breakfast and one of the top three places we have enjoyed dinner around the globe (including fine restaurants in Napa, Los Angeles, New York, and France). The food was perfectly fresh and perfectly prepared. The easily delt with my Gluten Free problem while maintaining exceptional taste. When we returned to our room on the first night, the staff had filled the room with tea lights in honor of our 25th anniverisary (very nice touch.) The staff arranged a wine tour with Wendt tours that was absolutely outstanding. We had a fantastic time in a resort set in a vineyard at the beginning of a long vacation. You won't be dissapointed at this resort.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Liesure_Man
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 January 2013 via mobile

My partner and I stayed at Spicers last weekend. I must say as we drove up the driveway we were a little dissapointed with the front view of the estate. Maybe we were expecting too much but there was a lot of large trees and the vineyard wasn't exactly in front of the house (more in front of the restaurant botanica) and we expected the front to be more neat and tidy and better landscaping considering the price you pay to stay here.
In saying that when we stepped inside of the place the ladies were lovely and the rooms were all large and well appointed and very clean. I feel the complimentary mini bar could have done with less drinks and more snacks and they could have made it a bit more personal to really give the wow factor (strawberry coated chocolates/local chocolates) as you already drive around consuming so much alcohol in the Huntervalley anyways. The bathroom accessories are lovely and love the towel warmer.
Breakfast was REALLY good and so filling. We also dined at Botanica for dinner and it was delicious (especially the duck).
I think this place could be number one of they put some effort into landscaping the front to make it more inviting and attractive and also make the mini bar more personal.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Tithan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SpicersVineyards, Owner at Spicers Vineyards Estate, responded to this review, 30 January 2013
Dear Tithan,

Thanks you so much for taking the time to share your recent visit with other tripadvisor visitors. We are so please to hear that you enjoyed your experience with us and especially our beautiful restaurant, Botanica. We believe very strongly in continual improvement to our property for our guests benefit and as you approached the front of our guesthouse, you may have noticed that there are two new additions to the building that are not quite finished yet... For the last 4 months we have been working on a big building project so that we can present to our guests, 4 new luxury suites and a dedicated onsite day spa facility. During this time our Landscaping has been knocked around a little with builders onsite, however we are now at the finishing stage and currently have landscapers beginning works on creating a lovely oasis to complete the new buildings. An exciting new pool and internal courtyard will also be added over the next week which I am sure you will love.

With our complimentary mini bar, we have based the included items on the feedback we have gained from our guests, but perhaps you yourself would prefer more food and nibbles than beverages, and as we are all about service, we can at any time tailor your stay to your needs, including the items in the mini bar - just let me know what your preference is next time and we will make it happen!

Thanks you again for your review and feedback, and please know that we are putting lots of effort in to continually improve our guests experience, we look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

Warmest regards,

Belinda Stapleton
Managing Director/Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 22 January 2013

This place is awesome! The location of the vineyard is very conviniant, the accommodation was so nice and overly satisfying... The stuff were more then helpful and just made our stay very special! Definelty will be coming back!

  • Stayed January 2013
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Helpful?
Thank Ashmoxey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kariong, Australia
1 review
Reviewed 20 January 2013

Never such excellent service before, all the staff will go beyond the extra mile, even cleaning my partners shoes of clay with out asking!
with the on site restaurant with amazing mouth watering food the setting and amenities are gorgeous.
in built fire place, lovely king bed, air con, and spa bath top off the wonderful room.

Anytime I spoke to reception nothing was to hard for them to track down for us.

I could only say you must experience their hospitality and stay here at least one night to enjoy it the way I did.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Allen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2013

This was our third visit to the hunter valley but the first time we had found a really good place to stay. This is a very small hotel ( currently 8 rooms, with two more being added). It is situated in extensive land/ vineyards set well back from the road and the restaurant is in a separate building so it was marvellously peaceful. We had a huge bedroom with all the little extras that are so appreciated when away from home ( mosquito repellent/ torch for example). Well appointed bathroom too.
Very nice gazebo with sun awning ; and huge outdoor chess and draughts. well designed plunge pool with chaises longues.
Service at dinner and breakfast very attentive and food lovely. Vegetables came out of their own garden , so were always very fresh. We were even treated at breakfast our second day to just- picked Chardonnay grapes.
The 2 day midweek break includes breakfast and dinner one night .
Would highly recommend.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank bridget m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SpicersVineyards, Owner at Spicers Vineyards Estate, responded to this review, 17 January 2013
Dear Bridget,

What a lovely review! Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with other travellers. We are so glad you have found somewhere you love to stay in the Hunter and the entire team are all excited to welcome you back again soon! As you mentioned, we harvested our chardonnay on Thursday morning and those little grapes we presented for you to try are now all happily pressed and working their way into a barrel. When you visit next we will have to try the wine once it has been bottled!

Until next time, all the team of Spicers Vineyards Estate and Restaurant Botanica wish you happy travels!

Belinda Stapleton
Managing Director/Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 11 January 2013

You can't say that a place like Spicers isn't gorgeous in its taste in furniture, nor it's quality!!! But there were questions about certain amenities before we arrived, as it is, in current reno's &yet stil Suprised to find that the Putt Golf Course had disappeared on arrival to boot, there was also No Net on the Tennis Court!! I thought I had dotted my i's before arrival, as it had "already" become apparent that what is advertised&what is actually available for use were 2Diff Things!! As comfy as the bed was, we culdnt see the TV from it, which is v.unusual for a Suite, usualy another TV wuld b visible from the bed, this is a Standard in 5Star Accommodation, even less?? I also felt, immediately upon arrival that swatting a fly wiv her folder on her desk was more important than a Heartfelt Welcome from the Front Desk!! Unfortunately, try as she may to be Professional&Available, we just felt lik keeping to ourselves, because they were unabale to help with a few early requests, as they obviously are only affiliated with a couple of companies &anything else would be competition for them!! On confirming my own Amanda's on the Edge booking, I received more info, ph no's & help from the owner Amanda herslf, in one phone call, than I had since we had Checked-In!! She also, served us throughout the nite, Amazing Amanda, this is a Business Woman leading by example!! Every afternoon we were then asked in a way that made us feel lik we had asked for the world all day, when we hadn't requested one single thing(this was our 5th Stay @the Hunter, we knew where &what we wanted to experience, but would've loved some new Hot Tips!!!) if there was anything else we would be needing before her departure at 6PM..?! we didn't realise that they shut up shop so early, even thou Sharon was always on the go, visible from the Parisian Fab Brekkie, where she insisted ev1 eat outside in the Heat with the Flys, it was funny watching people move indoors or ignore her request totally... We did not receive one Reccomendation to any Wineries &when one of 2 Tours suggested on their site was booked, they couldn't suggest one of so many others operating!!! Frustrating... On arrival there was a card saying they were going to spoil us rotten!!! Yeh, at a price!!! They convinced me to purchase a Cheese Platter on arrival, pitiful&a total ripoff!! Also, complimentary MiniBar was missing a few items &only one was offered back in response to the query., I didn't bother saying anything more... We had stopped at Tempus Two on the way in, thank god& stocked up on decent cheese &had a lovely cocktail @Goldfish!! To arrive at that..!! Not sure why there was no air con up the stairs, until we entered our rooms &why our door wouldn't lock!!! Again, we never mentioned this!! But for the Owner to not introduce herself once &esp Afta all the contact we had had prior to our arrival, was baffling to me!! She made time &offered bottles of water on departure to a man who had only stayed the one night, while we struggled with all our wine&luggage whilst trying to open the door in the Blistering Heat!! On paying balance on Departure, Belinda, magically disappeared &there was a new face on the Desk!! Very Poor Form as an Owner, we could overhear her instructing staff of some duty, surely this could of waited, and she could've introduced herself &checked to see if our stay was to our satisfaction!! I feel that she already knew the answer to this... We were stuck for transfers on the first nite &resorted to driving, on our wine tour a much cheaper accom offered transfers to Restaurants, Hot Tips, u name it, to a lovely couple we had a ball with on my Husbands Birthday!!! As I had been tossing up between Spicers &Chateau Élan, we stopped in there on our way home &was given an amazing Tour of what the Suite would've been &all that was available, around the clock, that we had been looking at &then was passed on to the Day Spa Manager, who blew me away with the Facilities of their Treatment Rooms& again such professionalism &making us feel special&comfortable!! Upon leaving, no luggage in hand, yet the Front Door was opened for us on Departure... Think I know where our next stay will be!! Spicers thank God you had Botanica &its Staff, not sure why you haven't matched this Standard in your Accommodation?!!! Very confusing to say the least....

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 5StarLovers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SpicersVineyards, Owner at Spicers Vineyards Estate, responded to this review, 17 January 2013
Dear 5Starlovers,

Thank you for your feedback on your recent stay, and I am sorry if you felt your did not get to use facilities you were expecting. After working with some issues in maintaining the putt putt course we previously offered, we determined that for the benefit of our guests, it is better to update facilities to offer great quality over an unmanageable putt putt course. We have actually created a fabulous outdoor games pavilion area with sun roof & outdoor lounge, and life sized chess and checker boards, which was available during your stay. The tennis court will soon be upgraded also following storm damage so the net had been removed to ensure guest safety, and we have ensured that both the tennis court and the golf putt putt are not listed on our website.
We are a bit perplexed by your comment that we only use other operators that are not in competition to ourselves as our team offer a full concierge service and book every and any request our guests present to us. We recommend and support many many Hunter restaurants and service providers and yes, we do have our favourites – for they are the ones that look after our guests the most! On the Monday evening you mention, our team actually did book restaurant transfers for you per your request, only to be asked to cancel them for you when you said your husband changed his mind. Our team are on hand to provide information and advice on the local area 24 hours a day. We do visit our guests around 6pm each evening simply to offer an evening turndown service and to see if there is anything else our reception team can do for you before departing for the day, however as listed in our compendium and described on arrival, there is someone onsite 24/7 who can assist with anything after our reception team members depart, simply by dialling our guest services team on your in-suite phone.

Without trying to respond to every single comment in your review, most importantly I am sorry that I didn’t get the chance to meet you, this seems to have been very important to you. We promote an entire team of people who are passionate and truly interested in looking after our guests, and it has been commented by a review in the past that they were disappointed not to ‘meet the owners’ but the reality is, it is impossible for me to meet with every single guest. We operate a 7 day, 24 hour business and with both a young family and a complex business (hotel, restaurant and vineyard) with a large team, it is impossible for me to present myself to everyone – I absolutely wish I could. But I am very proud to have such a loving team to take great care of our guests and I trust them implicitly with your needs – which has just been demonstrated today when we were awarded the No.2 Hotel in Australia for Best Service on tripadvisor.

5starlovers, in reading over your feedback, recalling your visit and discussing with our team, I think that perhaps our service style is just not yours. Our team did feel they tried to go out of their way to spoil you for your husbands birthday – Sharon placing a candle in his breakfast on the morning of his actual birthday and the restaurant team presenting you with complimentary bubbles on arrival to the restaurant from me for his birthday being just two examples. I know the team would have on any occasion met your requests for bookings of local information any time you asked. Chateau Elan is a lovely large hotel and I know they will take great care of you should you choose to stay there next time – and please feel free to contact me personally for any future assistance you require when next visiting the Hunter Valley -perhaps we can welcome you back to another wonderful dinner experience in Restaurant Botanica. Please feel free to contact me any time on 02 6574 7229 or belinda.stapleton@spicersgroup.com.au

Regards,
Belinda Stapleton - Managing Director/Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Spicers Vineyards Estate

Property: Spicers Vineyards Estate
Address: 555 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin, New South Wales 2320, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Pokolbin
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Pokolbin
#1 Luxury Hotel in Pokolbin
#2 Romantic Hotel in Pokolbin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Spicers Vineyards Estate 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Personal service & attention to detail in every way! A luxurious Guesthouse, Spicers Vineyards Estate is set amidst its own private vineyard. Every suite features king beds, lounge area, open fireplace, spa en-suite, flat screen TV with CD/DVD and IPod dock, whilst the property boasts gourmet dining experiences at onsite Restaurant Botanica, Salt water pool & spa, guest lounge & boardroom, free wireless broadband and every guest is greeted on arrival with complimentary wine. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Spicers Vineyards Estate Hotel Pokolbin
Vineyards Estate Pokolbin
Vineyards Estate Hotel Pokolbin
Spicers Vineyards Estate Greater Newcastle/Pokolbin, Australia

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