In summary, not a 5 star property by any stretch of the imagination. I’d consider it if you can get a good, cheap last minute rate but don’t count on being able to use the open fire, check restaurant opening times and cancellation policy before booking.
We booked a spa studio via a last minute website (www.wotif.com.au). The price seemed reasonable for the room description but like all things in life you get what you pay for.
My wife became ill the day before we were due to travel and I contacted the booking agent to review the cancellation policy. We were more than 24 hours before our check-in time and the agent tried to see if there was some flexibility with our booking (not to cancel but the change the arrival date by a few days.) According to the booking agent these requests were flatly turned down by the property who weren’t prepared to entertain these requests in the slightest– in fact we were told they suggested we give the room away to a friend or neighbour to avoid losing our money - so we decided to go anyway!
The location is ok – I’d have preferred something a little more central but this isn’t really a big deal. Check-in was painless and we were shown to our room straight away.
The room itself had all of the features described – spa bath (big enough for two), open fire and four poster bed. First impressions were – very dark and very cold with no effort shown at all to make the room feel welcoming (this lack of warmth and no sense of hospitability sums up my thoughts on this property). Even at 3pm with all of the lights on and curtains open it was gloomy. The location of the rooms is very poorly though out and there is certainly no privacy due to the walkway – unless you want to close the curtains and make the room even darker.
All of the features advertised were there and working, the décor was more three star however. There was a large LCD TV with DVD player and they had gone to some lengths to try and simplify the process of switching on the TV by labelling each of the three remote controls and giving instructions – together with a warning that if you messed with any of the equipment you would be charged for someone to fix it!
As it was about 6 degrees c in our room I decided to light the open fire. I asked for some firewood but was told that it wasn’t the fire season yet (even though it was the last week of April and every other place we visited without exception had their fires lit) so the marshmallows I’d purchased were left unopened . Fortunately the reverse cycle AC heated the room up quickly.
The restaurant on the property (Splash) looked promising from the website and the menu provided in the room had our mouths watering. Sadly, it wasn't open on Tuesday and I felt this could have been made clearer when booking.
I wouldn’t stay there again or recommend this property. There are a lot better options for the same sort of money (or similar rooms for a lot less).
- 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