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“Lovely Hunter Valley choice”
Review of Tonic Hotel

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Tonic Hotel
Ranked #10 of 15 Hotels in Pokolbin
Certificate of Excellence
London UK
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
92 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Lovely Hunter Valley choice”
Reviewed 17 July 2008

Stayed 2 nights at end of Dec so a bit late in posting. This is a fantastic and unique place to stay - miles away from rather chintzy B & Bs or large soulless corporate hotels in area. The rooms are funkily done out and have large bathrooms. with a big balcony to enjoy the views ( and kangaroos hopping around at dusk ! ) . The concept of the food is well thought out with a fully stocked fridge for breakfast and a wide range of prepared meals if you decide to stay in rather than sampling the areas many good restaurants. Nici the owner is so helpful and really went out of her way when I had to make an unscheduled trip to the local hospital one night. The overall area is great for discovering the local vineyards and cannot really be beaten - yes it might seem expensive on the surface for a B & B, but thats not a fair comparison and it is value for money and a real one-off.

  • Liked — Unique style
  • Disliked — The bed on wheels !
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank marty99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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145 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2008

If you are yearning for serenity and romance amongst the most peaceful and unaffected surroundings, then Tonic Hotel in the Hunter Valley is your remedy. Situated in the Lovedale wine precinct, Tonic is a 'child free' love getaway, where you can totally relax in your private 6 star lodge.

Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast on your private deck (inclusive in the tariff) before you and your loved one head out to visit Hunter Valley's finest wineries by day.

My partner and I have never experienced such wonderful hospitality yet at the same time completely unobtrusive. At Tonic the guests are paramount and you are left in privacy unless you wish to make contact with management or other guests! Totally unique!

The concept of Tonic is designed to have you feel as if it is your home, if only for a weekend.

There is a separate guest lounge if you really feel the need to leave your room! It is only a 50m stroll past the pool, to the log fire and has a lounge, guest kitchen and dining room - complete with supplies of fine foods and beverages!

Tonic leaves you with that comfortable feeling that your private abode is just that.

Having stayed in fine hotels all over the world, not one of them has come remotely near our Tonic experience.

See for yourself! You won’t be disappointed.

Stayed April 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank BecSydney_Australia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2007

We were very, very lucky to get a last minute booking over the holiday weekend. There was one room left and I'm so glad we managed to spend a couple of nights here on our trip.

It's such a relaxing, calming and friendly place to spend some time. Nici, the owner, has thought of absolutely everything to make a stay here just as you would expect.

There's no check in, just talk to Nici before you go and she gives you a code for your room, so arrive, let yourself in and enjoy the view from your room.

Breakfast is delivered to your room during the day. While we were there we had eggs, fruit, bacon on one day, and the next we had smoked salmon. The fridge is stacked full of goodies (breakfast items are included in the price of the room, and the things you pay for are clearly marked). It's a great way of taking breakfast - at your own pace on your own balcony.

The rooms are simple, but beautifully designed. Huge bed (a little hard for me); lovely bathroom with Aesop products (we went on to find an Aesop store in Sydney and bought a load of stuff); each room has a tranquil view. Everything about the rooms makes you feel relaxed, comfortable and right at home, and waking up to that view in the morning just makes you feel great.

There is a little pool which we didn't use (mainly because I'm a wimp and it was a little cold for me). There is also a lounge room with fire, comfy furniture and a fridge stacked with goodies. There's games, books and CD's to take back to your room.

There's also a very handy little map with some of the owners favourite vineyards so if you want to get away from some of the larger groups and visit more boutique options then this is great route to take. We took Nici's recommendation on eating at Leaves and Fishes which was a fab restaurant.

Quite simply - wonderful.

  • Liked — Design and Quality
  • Disliked — oh, just too hard to pick something!
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JMuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2007

My partner and I booked for 2 nights over the October long weekend for some r&r. We were really looking forward to staying in an ultra modern boutique hotel rather than the cottage style hotels that the Hunter Valley is reknowned for.

Nici - the lovely owner of Tonic - called us approx a week before our stay to introduce herself & offered an early check in.

We arrived on Saturday midday to a very ultra chic looking property entrance. We drove up the property's dirt road which wraps around a decent sized lake. We could see the cabins set above the lake & couples sitting on their verandahs sipping wine and looking very relaxed.

Basically the boutique hotel is made up of 3 large "cabins". 2 of which are divided into 3 x 1 bedroom suites with massive verandahs overlooking the vineyards & lake. The 3rd cabin is the 2 bedroom apartment which look fabulous. The landscaping was great too with lots of pebbles and tall grasses.

There is also a large house which is set above a gorgeous lap pool. This is the communal lounge area for the Tonic guests. It was one of our favourite parts of the trip because we would go and hang out in the lounge and not feel like we were combined to our room. The communal lounge is filled with lots of things to keep you amused such as a large tv, dvd player,stereo, dining table, brochures, bean bags, exercise balls, a large bathroom, fire place and the best part..... a massive kitchen stocked with wines, cheeses, dips, pates, chips and curries. The kitchen has everything you would need to prepare a proper meal if you didnt feel like dining at one of the local restaurants or whipping up a quick microwave curry meal. It would be great for someone who has food allergies/dietry requirements which is often difficult to travel with.

Ok onto the best part... the rooms...

We drove up to our room which is accessed via a pin code. No waiting around to check in etc etc. Once we opened the door we were greeted by a beautiful fragrance, candles burning and chill out music playing. There is a little gallery style kitchen when you first walk in and a fridge stocked with gourmet breakfast, drinks etc etc. The polished concrete floors look fantastic, there is great artwork on the walls and the whole apartment felt very very clean. The bedroom area is very large with a huge king sized bed, a table with 2 chairs, a TV & DVD player. It opens out onto a massive balcony with chairs and a table which is perfect to sit out on in the afternoon, watch the sunset and listen to the ducks quack from the lake all whilst enjoying a great glass of wine. The bathroom is also massive with heated limestone floors, a framless shower with the best shower head/water pressure in the world, a huge bath and double vanity.

Everything is very clean and open feeling. The room has a number of super modern designer knick knacks which look great. We loved the ironing board which was bright green and shaped like a person! We also loved the Aesop body products in the bathroom and the Sohum candles - yum! There were super fluffy robes and slippers which were very soft and comfortable. I could just keep going on...the attention to detail is fantastic.

We also loved the breakfast each morning... very gourmet and healthy. We LOVED the rice pudding with the fruit.

We also liked the location of the hotel because it is away from the large vineyards and busy roads. It was so unbelievably peaceful and tranquil at Tonic we could really feel our minds unwinding. There are a number of lovely smallish vineyards around the corner - we prefferred these vineyards to the larger ones as we found the setting softer and prettier and also the service was very friendly and helpful. It's nice not lining up for 20 minutes to try wines! There are also a number of great restaurants in Lovedale such as Leaves and Fishes which has its own aqua farm and a fantastic menu.

We can't wait to go back to Tonic and would not hesitate in recommending Tonic to anyone. It's a great boutique hotel, very intimate, very relaxing with a top quality finish.

  • Liked — Where to start?
  • Disliked — Having to leave!
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank joya16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 May 2007

We found this hotel on Wotif. The website for the hotel was fantastic, initial contact before our stay was very friendly and professional (there is no official check in, you are given a code to enter your room).
We arrived about 8pm after a long drive from Sydney on a Friday night and were greeted to a warmly lit room which smelt beautiful with music playing.
We quickly dropped our bags and went to a fantastic restaurant just up the road recommeded and booked for us by the owners called Leaves and Fishes. We eat out ALOT and I can honestly say this would now rate in our top 10 fave restaurants.
Back to the hotel - the attention to detail is incredible and so unique, Breakfast is left in your fridge and is easy to make up the next day (Niki is a fantastic cook!). The owners make you feel very welcome without being intrusive in any way.
All the wineries are a short drive away, Strongly recommend this new boutique hotel for those that love a weekend of indulgence and uniqueness.

  • Liked — Uniqueness, exquisite furnishings
  • Disliked — nothing!
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank TheHoneymooners2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2007

WOW! How do you put something into words that leaves you in awe and speechless? Let me try....

We had seen it on the internet and thought it looked very impressive. Booking directly with the property was easy and a few days before we arrived we received our code for our room. (There is no formal check-in or check-out).

Upon opening the door we were greeted by a chill out music cd already playing and a sweet smelling aroma.
When we stepped right in....I didn't know what to look at first!. The room was so modern and funky with all sorts of cool gadgets (you can buy almost everything in the room!). A blackboard with a welcoming message was a nice touch. A funky bean bag, a groovy teddy bear, fresh flowers and candles were things I've never seen in other hotels before.

A visit from one of the owners, Nici, was warm and welcoming. She popped in to say hello and dropped off our breakfast for the next morning - juices, breads/croissants/6 eggs, mushrooms, muesli, fresh fruit with a rice custard. And the next night she topped up the eggs, brought more bread/crossants, fruit with a cinnimon shredded coconut sauce, and salmon and more juices! Delicious!

The bathroom is gorgeously modern with a heated floor (must be in winter as I didn't notice it). Great aesop brand bathroom products. Lots of bath products to have a lovely relaxing soak :)

The $395 we paid per night was absolutely worth it. I have never experienced the tranquility and peacefulness I found whilst sitting on our deck eating cheese and crackers with a cold beer watching a storm off in the far distance.

The fresh country air, the lovely hosts, the funky zen-like living space of the room has been enough to make the decision that I HAVE to return again, hopefully soon!

I cannot recommend this place enough!!!!!

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — Can't find one single fault - LOVED IT!
  • Stayed February 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank Ryleeh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2007

Seeing as there aren't any reviews for Tonic yet I know my review is going to be fairly long - there are just so many good things to say. Hopefully more people will leave some too as it deserves it!!

I stayed at Tonic for two nights with my boyfriend just after New Year this year. After five nights in Sydney it was just what we needed - peace and quiet while still incredibly stylish and luxurious.

It was about 2 hours drive out of Sydney and very easy to get to with Sat Nav. Once you're there it's in a great location to visit the local wineries.

The 8 rooms are built into blocks of about two or three (with one 'apartment') and all face the same direction to make the most of the sunlight. This also means they are all very private. All the rooms have one way glass so even if one of your neigbours walks nearby they can't see in.

They have an amazing concept there which is beautifully modern but comfortable rooms, full of things that you would love to take home. When we walked in we were just jumping from one bit to another say "look at this" before realising that you could buy pretty much anything you wanted in the room if you liked - from the gorgeous furry slippers to the cushions or even the bed. It's not in your face though, just a really cool added extra. Fluffy towels, quality bathroom products, the lovely nic nacks and the welcome message on the giant chalkboard really topped it off.

One of the best bits for us though was the simplicity. There is a mini kitchen in the corridor with a fully stocked fridge. The ingredients for a breakfast of smoked salmon and eggs or chorizo sausage and tomato with bread are delivered to your fridge the evening before when they see you're out. Just what you need on a long holiday of restaurants and too many buffet breakfasts!

There is a small but perfectly formed pool next to a lovely communal 'house' with everything you'd need for a night in - videos, games, snacks, music, exercise balls - I could go on. The pool is not used that frequently because everone is off exploring the Valley so if you want a dip you're likly to have it to yourself!

The owners used to travel a lot and visited lots of hotels so it's the type of place where they really understand your needs. There's no 'check in' or 'check out' process, you just type in a pin code enter your room (although they are more than just rooms really with great bath & wetrooms) and then the owners just pop by and see you later. It's a refreshing change from the palava you get at most places! They also booked us in for dinner at two restaurants while we were there which was very helpful as places get very booked up quickly!

Overall Tonic is a fantastic, unique place to stay and I would completely recommend it!

Stayed January 2007
Helpful?
9 Thank Tatler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tonic Hotel

Property: Tonic Hotel
Address: 251 Talga Rd | Lovedale, Hunter Valley, Pokolbin, New South Wales 2320, Australia
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Pokolbin
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Pokolbin
#6 Spa Hotel in Pokolbin
#9 Luxury Hotel in Pokolbin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Tonic Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
tonic is - a place of uninterrupted relaxation and style, a place where you want to be a guest. A stunning spot - the Lovedale area of the Hunter Valley just 2 hours from Sydney. Simple modern surroundings - Australian design, steel and glass against native grasses. Non invasive service - discrete and informal, no formal check in and check out. Every luxury - crisp white linen, the best towels, groovy furniture and the latest in gadgets. tonic is opulent minimalism. we invite you to come and share ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tonic Hotel Pokolbin
Tonic Hotel Greater Newcastle/Pokolbin, Australia

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