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“Relaxing weekend at Grand Mercure”

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Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens
Ranked #7 of 15 Hotels in Pokolbin
Sydney
Level Contributor
119 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Relaxing weekend at Grand Mercure”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2008

We just returned from a weekend away at the Grand Mercure and we were overall impressed.From the moment we checked in through to check out we found all the staff friendly and helpful.Our room was comfortable and in good condition with its own courtyard and a full bathroom with sunken bath which was a nice touch.The grounds of this hotel add to the pleasure of a stay,as does the proximity to the Hunter Valley Gardens.The only shortfall on our stay was at breakfast which is fairly standard Accor fair and definately a good idea to arrive early.
This was our first visit to the Hunter Valley in 4 years and when we return we will definately return to this hotel.

  • Liked — Comfort and Quality
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank aussiefamilySydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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849 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (117)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2008

This hotel recently changed hands. Couldn't really tell, service was very good. Rooms recently updated. All have cute little patios. I stayed in a spa room, with a big jacuzzi tub, updated bathroom. Lovely common area off the lobby called the library. Free wi-fi here, big bonus. Good location, I actually walked to four wineries, the irish pub, and the cheese shop. Right next to a cute area full of shops, cafes, and the gardens. Staff very nice and accomodating. Restaurant just changed as well. I ordered a filet at the bar, was very good as was the wine. Thanks a bunch, had a great stay.

  • Liked — Location, patio
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Julie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level Contributor
51 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2008

The Tallawanta Lodge (or Grand Mercure Hunter Valley Gardens as it is now known) is located beside the Hunter Valley Gardens, which makes it quite central for the cellar doors, pokolbin 'village', the hunter valley gardens and Harrigans pub. (the latter 2 are only 5 minutes walk)

We arrived early and were not able to check in, we were told to come back at 3pm. Fair enough, however the guy at the front desk acted like he would rather be anywhere else but there and couldn't care less, in fact he is probably the worst front desk member of staff I have come across in any of my travels! We had the same guy at check out and he he actually just grunted at us, he didnt even ask if we had a nice stay and or wish or well on our departure!

All the other members of staff however were helpful, not what you would call friendly or welcoming, but helpful none the less.

Like previously mentioned by other reviewers this hotel looks like a motel from the outside and you park right outside your front door.
We stayed in a superior room and it was quite nice, there was a big bed and the usual TV, desk, lamps and mini bar. My only complaint about the room is that the pillows are awful and the mini bar was not fully stocked. Make sure to check yours. When we alerted staff to this they restocked the mini bar for us promptly.

There was also a lovely bathroom with a sunken bath big enough for 2 tall people. The advertisements claim that there is an 'atrium' celining in the bathroom, this is in fact just a skylight, there nothing atrium like about it! It is still a nice touch though as you can lie in the bath and look out at the sky.

Out the back we had a verandah with a table and two chairs, which was nice. I would recommend that housekeeping clears the spiders though as although they were small there were lots and lots and lots!! They didnt bother me too much, but I know it would put off some people from being out there.

The verandah led out onto the pool area. There is a small heated pool, which is 1m deep. There was also a tiny kids pool about 50cm deep and a reasonable sized jacuzzi, which was good. I enjoyed and evening dip and jacuzzi while there.

The restaurant onsite has a limited menu and they were unhelpful in meeting our dietry requirements sdo we ate at The Cellar restuarant in the Hunter Valley Gardens village (5 minute walk) and were glad we did as it was fantastic!

I had a restless sleep as the air conditioning made a few loud cracks and bangs in the night. It was otherwise quite unobtrusive and quiet though.

The big disappointment (apart from the grumpy guy at reception!) was breakfast. If you dont get it as part of your package then eat elsewhere as it is appauling. There is the usual selection and it is served until 10am. However we were there at 9am and they ran out out coffee, all types of juice, cereal bowls, fruit, glasses, certain typs of bread, items from the grill.... There seemed to be one member of staff there who was doing her best, but was just overwhelmed. There were a LOT of disgruntled diners gagging for a cup of coffee I can tell you. After 'eating' there we ended up going over to a cafe in The Gardens village and getting a great brekkie and delicious coffee!

all in all, I dont think I would stay here again as I have stayed in much nicer places in Hunter Valley (Broken View Estate is so far the best!) and this is overpriced and overrated in my opinion, however the location is excellent.

  • Liked — The Location
  • Disliked — The guy at front desk and the breakfast
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank atob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level Contributor
45 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 January 2008

I recently spent a long weekend at the lodge and it was awesome, the room was very clean and stylish. I had a room with 2 double beds, which was handy with 2 young children. The pool area was excellent as well, it has a real tuscan feel to it, it's almost like you've stepped into a charming little italian village. The whole vibe of the place was really relaxed, and we will be returning in the near future. As always the hunter valley itself was beautiful, and seems to be getting better with each visit.

  • Liked — The room and the pool area.
  • Disliked — Nothing, It was all good.
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Monterey_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sydney
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2007

We stayed at Tallawanta Lodge for one night on a saturday in a studio room which contained 2 double beds...we have very young children and found it hard to find accomodation which catered for one night & kids as most hotels have a minimum 2 nights stay on the weekends and most cater for couples but found a great deal on wotif.com for this hotel so it seemed perfect and it was.
A very elegant and cosy hotel with a fireplace in the lounge area and also bookcase and bar area all very elegantly furnished.
There is a live pianist that plays from 8pm near the firplace.
The pool area and grounds in general are immaculate and formally kept with trimmed hedges and water features,etc.
The rooms were a bit small but very clean and seemed very new...beautiful furnishings and bathroom was very elegant although also a bit small...all rooms had a balcony which was very nice. Our balcony overlooked one of the lakes of the valley.
position was perfect...right next to the hunter valley gardens which we took the kids to and of course all the wineries were surrounding us....there is also a very nice italian restaurant on site but we didn't realise you need to book before you actually get to the hunter valley....most of the restaurants were booked out for that night so we drove to cessnock and ate at the Swagmans Restaurant which had a smorgasboard buffet.Next time I will make sure I book in advance before we go..Most of the restaurants seemed like they were fine dining which I think would not have suited our children as they get restless very quickly.
All in all I cannot fault this resort as it is very much close to a 5 star and at the price we paid I think we got a good deal.

  • Liked — location, cosy feel of the resort
  • Disliked — small rooms
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank littletravelbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 January 2007

We stayed in this hotel on Good Friday (April 14th) of 2006 for a girls' weekend away. The whole Hunter Valley is bustling with tourists at this time, which added to the general atmosphere of the place. Tallawanta Lodge was part of the Hunter Valley Gardens complex, so we really enjoyed shopping for crafty things and gifts as part of our weekend. By the way, if anyone is wondering, these shops are open on Good Friday; however many of the wineries are not open and the whole area is a bit quiet until Easter Saturday.

Tallawanta Lodge itself was lovely. We were staying in a garden studio room, which is intended for two people, but we fit three people comfortably. The room configuration for three was a fold-out double bed and two single beds (which we assumed would be joined together to make a king size bed if there was a couple staying in the room). The room had a courtyard behind it, which it shared with 1 (or maybe 2) other rooms.

The complex has a pool, sauna and spa which were clean and private, away from the rooms so it didn't feel like we were being watched while we were using them.

The highlight of the stay was the library and bar area. The night we were there, there was a live piano player. The library has a fantastic selection of board games to pass the time. We ran into a couple that one of the girls knew, so really enjoyed spending the evening drinking coffee, playing Scrabble and making requests of the piano player.

The only potential negative of staying at Tallawanta Lodge might be the price. The normal price of a garden studio is $345 per night, and it wouldn't be worth nearly this much. We got a great deal from wotif though - $171 per night - which is much more along the lines of what I would want to pay. Anything up to $230 would be quite reasonable in my mind.

Stayed April 2006
Helpful?
2 Thank chellak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2006

We stayed at this place for 1 night in October. The room was good - clean, tidy & modern. Our room was a little on the small side but we took the last room available on a busy weekend (although we did negotiate our breakfast into the deal).

The Hotel lounge area was very comfortable with a live pianist and a large stone fire place. It had the feel of a cosy old manor house.

Breakfast was good with a range of cooked and continental foods.

We would stay here again for the right price.

  • Stayed October 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Andy00001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens

Property: Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens
Address: Cnr Broke & McDonalds Roads, 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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Pokolbin
#3 Family Hotel in Pokolbin
#6 Luxury Hotel in Pokolbin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens 4.5*
Number of rooms: 72
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens Hotel Pokolbin
Mercure Hotel Pokolbin
Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens Greater Newcastle/Pokolbin, Australia

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