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“Relaxing and quiet”
Review of Hermitage Lodge

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Hermitage Lodge
Ranked #2 of 9 Pokolbin B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Sapporo, Japan
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Relaxing and quiet”
Reviewed 9 July 2012

We only stayed one night, but after arriving earlier than expected in the afternoon, the friendly staff showed us to our room early. We were pleasantly surprised at the style and comfort and the view over the small vineyard was a great place to have a glass of wine or fresh cup of tea. Conveniently located to many of the wineries.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank surf2sn0w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (93)
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English first
Sydney
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2012

My wife and I stayed here for a long weekend getaway recently. The first night was in a basic room which was tiny. We upgraded to a one bedroom suite for the remaining two nights and it was much better. If you are planning a relaxing weekend away and want to unwind in the room a little, I strongly recommend the larger suite – they are obviously a little more expensive but you will appreciate the extra space. The rooms themselves are well maintained but are basically just cabins. As with all accommodation in The Hunter (and all high demand locations for that matter) it is hard to get value for money i.e. most accommodation is overpriced.
There is quite a decent restaurant onsite which is very convenient and saves driving around at night – many of the roads in the Hunter are poorly maintained. One thing that really bugged me about the restaurant is their lack of support for local wineries. The wine list contained very few Hunter wines - I would say that less than 20%. They name all their cabins after local wineries but then do not support them in restaurant. In other words, they are happy to use the local wineries for their own marketing purposes but won't support them where it counts i.e. wine sales. I think this is very poor form. When I visit a wine region, I want to experience and taste as many local wines as I can – that is why I am there.

Room Tip: Pay the extra and book a one bedroom suite.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ozmanian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Owner at Hermitage Lodge, responded to this review, 27 June 2012
Thank you for your review and thank you for choosing to stay at Hermitage Lodge. It puzzles me that you have referred to our rooms, studios and suites as cabin. We have never referred to our accommodation as cabins as this would be totally misleading. You are correct in that the suites are larger with a separate king bedroom and large living room with fireplace, which is why they are more expensive than the open plan studios or rooms. If having an impeccably clean, carpeted room with either a king or queen bed with a feather and down pillows and doona, a dining table and chairs, a coffee table with locally written books and magazines, a two seater sofa or arm chairs, corner spa bath tub(in your original room), bedside tables and lamps, a hair dryer, an iron and ironing board, a coffee plunger and ground coffee, mini bar fridge stocked with in-room continental breakfast and beer, red and white wine, soft drink and water, kettle and toaster, bowls, glassware, cutlery, a deck overlooking the vineyard with outdoor furniture, etc. is your idea of ‘basic’ then we don’t know what more to put in a room to make it not ‘so basic’.
We were shocked to read that you thought our wine list is made up of only 20% local wines and that we do not support our local wineries and only too happy to ‘use’ them for ‘our’ marketing purposes. Each of our rooms is named after a local winery and we have never approached any of these wineries asking them for money to pay for the signage. We see this as promoting them not the other way around. The only thing we asked of the wineries was to provide a logo or template. The wine list is in fact compiled of almost all Hunter Valley wines. Not all grape varieties do well in the Hunter, and for this reason, we offer a few wines from other regions where those grape varieties do better and the result is a better wine. For example, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling do not do well in the Hunter. We therefore offer one Cabernet Sauvignon from each of McLaren Vale and the Coonawarra, a Riesling from the Clare Valley, South Australia and a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. We try to choose wines that best represent the variety whether they be from the Hunter or elsewhere. We have 50 locally grown or locally made wines and 12 from other regions. These include a small selection of wines from Italy, which we thought appropriate seeing as how we are an Italian restaurant. We are committed to offering a good range of Hunter wines; however we also like to offer our diners, especially our locals, the opportunity to purchase a wine from another region or country. If our guests didn’t purchase the wines from other regions or countries, we would not continue to carry them on our wine list. Of the Hunter Valley wineries we feature on the wine list, the following have at least two or more wines on our list: Keith Tulloch, Bimbadgen, Margan, First Creek, Scarborough, Brokenwood and Allandale while other wines on the list are from Tyrrells, Vinden, Lucy’s Run, Andrew Thomas, Lakes Folly, Audrey Wilkinson, Pepper Tree, Gartleman’s, Hope Estate, Little Wine Co, Tallavera Grove, Hungerford Hill, Tempus 2, Stormy Ridge, Catherine Vale, Saddlers Creek, McWilliams, DeBortoli, Draytons and Tamburlaine. If this is not supporting our local industry I don’t know what more we can do. In fact, in the last financial year, we have spent more than $110,000 on local wines. I believe this is supporting local industry where it counts. The Hunter Valley wines on our list may not have been to your particular liking, however we feel they represent an excellent cross section of Hunter Valley wines.
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2012

Cold dust covered rooms, warm shower, great view from the terrace, brilliant resturant and comfy bed.
To sum up the experience upon check out I entered reception in a smiling happy mood where I was greeted by an accomodating gentleman. I turned to the mature lady to the side of him and greeted good morning ! To my reply, I was grunted at.

Thank you for the experience :-(

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lovynlife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Owner at Hermitage Lodge, responded to this review, 26 June 2012
Thank you for taking the time to review our property. We were disappointed to read that your overall experience was let down by myself (the mature lady) on departure. I am quite surprised by your comment, as I wasn’t doing check outs on Sunday morning. I was doing administration work on another computer where I had no interaction with anyone, and although the door may have been ajar I didn’t hear your greeting. If I had heard you say ‘Good Morning’ I would have definitely said ’Good Morning’ back, not grunt. I can assure you I do not grunt at anyone.
It is our intention to ensure that each and every guest leaves our property feeling great. We hope they leave with good memories, tell their friends and family about their wonderful stay and return in the future. I apologise to you for spoiling your overall experience, I was very pleased to read that you enjoyed the views, that the bed was comfy, you had a fantastic dining experience and that Mark was accommodating on check out. I apologise again if my failure to respond to your greeting, which I obviously didn’t hear, spoiled your stay.
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Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2012

Definitely a property we will be returning to. This is a pure haven where anyone can relax. A great base from which to explore the Hunter Valley and surrounds without destroying your bank account. We stayed in a studio apartment, which surprised us with it's generous size, large comfotable bed, huge bathroom and a balcony overlooking the vineyards.
Parking was immediately located at the back door and the property boasts a brilliant restaurant on site. For us it is the complete package.

Room Tip: This property has rooms of varying sizes and features, on our next trip we will be looking for one o...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ropesbasstard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra ACT
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 13 June 2012

An excellent travel experience. Large comfortable suite. Great location. Very friendly helpful staff. Tranquil and beautiful

Room Tip: If you want extra space the suite is the way to go
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank patriciaact
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2012

We have stayed in many places & thought at $270 per night we would be getting something a little bit in the upper market for accomodation. We had the deluxe room which was a stock standard room. Both of us found the bed & pillows extremely uncomfortable. The breakfast was just in room continental (small bag of museli, small tub of yogurt & a muffin) and after drinking alot of wine the night before and getting ready for wine tasting all day we would have preferred a big cooked breakfast however this is not available (have to go out to get something).
The restaurant for dinner was outstanding, bit pricey but definitely worth it the food was superb.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank csm941
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2012

An excellent stay here for a couple of nights. This lodge is placed right in the middle of the vineyard and wine making area which is so convenient. The premier suite is well worth the money, plenty of space and very well appointed for a romantic time away. The only two small peeves were:
1. the onsite restaurant which was unreliable and suggest you must book (although the phones were not working whilst we were there)
2. The breakfast supplied could have been better to include local eggs and bacon

Room Tip: Ask for the Bingaren (sorry for the spelling) Suite, is an excellent location
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank hero360travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Owner at Hermitage Lodge, responded to this review, 21 June 2012
Thank you for your lovely review, pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay. We would have to agree that Bimbadgen Suite is a beautiful suite.
With regards to the restaurant being unreliable, Il Cacciatore is one of the few restaurants in the valley open 7 nights a week. We do not advertise a closing time as sometimes mid-week we are all finished and packed up at 8pm, other times we may still be serving meals at 10pm. It is why we always recommend reservations, because then we know who is coming in and at what time. The night you wanted to come in was a very cold and wet Monday night. There were only a few reservations and it seemed unlikely that there would be any late ‘walk-ins’ being in a rural location. In addition, it was a Public Holiday and we cannot afford to have staff just waiting around on ‘ Public Holiday’ rates in case someone wanders in. You came in an hour after the last reservation. The last orders had already gone out, the grill and ovens were off and the chefs had cleaned up, signed off and had gone home. You were offered some meal options by our restaurant staff however you decided that wasn’t what you wanted.
Regarding the phones, you are right they were not working. At 8.30pm on Friday night the whole phone system ‘crashed’; three incoming lines and thirty internal extensions in all. When the problem was reported to the service company that night, we were advised that they did not service this brand of equipment after hours, leaving us with no phones over the entire June long weekend. The phones were diverted to a mobile (single line) and a note was left in every room advising guests of the situation and apologising for any inconvenience. The note advised guests to call the hotel number to get in touch with Reception. Yes, we’re sure it was inconvenient for our guests however it was a total nightmare from an operational point of view.
All our literature indicates that our room rates include an ’in room continental breakfast’. Guests preferring cooked breakfast can find information in the room binder/compendium, along with the breakfast order forms. The cooked breakfast options include Bacon, Eggs, tec., Omelette of Choice, Pan Cakes with Blueberry Syrup and French Toast with Bacon. Our guest feedback indicates that most people are very happy with the continental breakfast. In the 6 years since these rooms were opened (only two rooms have cooking facilities), we have never been asked to supply bacon and eggs for guests to cook their own breakfast. We would be happy to provide them if someone wanted to do so. It seems as though guests prefer to have a delicious cooked breakfast delivered to their door on a tray at the time they request.
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Additional Information about Hermitage Lodge

Property: Hermitage Lodge
Address: 609 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin, New South Wales 2320, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Pokolbin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Pokolbin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hermitage Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The award winning Hermitage Lodge is nestled on 25 acres in the heart of the vineyards of the Hunter valley, and is within walking distance of many of the areas popular wineries and tourist attractions. Hermitage Lodge is the home to the Italian Restaurant Il Cacciatore open 7 nights a week. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hermitage Hotel Pokolbin
Hermitage Lodge Greater Newcastle/Pokolbin, Australia

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