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Tonic Hotel
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Reviews (154)
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All reviewsbanana breadlarge pondmuesliluxurious bedan abundance of wildlifehunter valleytext messagetv receptionlast minute bookingloved our staylovely weekendlounge roomtwo couplesself containediandamfridge
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Reviewed 31 October 2009

Somewhat akin to staying in a toilet cubicle.Cannot believe that some magazines and newspapers are bother to review this place.Scouts and girlguides would love it-not the price however.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank possHawksNest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2009

We stayed here recently for a 3 night stay on a visit to attend a fantastic John Farnham concert at the Hope Estate in the Hunter Valley. This was the second time we have stayed here, the first being shortly after the Tonic Hotel was opened. Previously we stayed in the larger Apartment, this time we stayed in a standard room. We were every bit as happy with our second visit here as we were the first time. Our flight arrived into Sydney around 5.30pm and we drove straight up to Tonic in a Rental Car. On arrival at 8.45pm we were able to walk over to the Tonic Lounge and select some yummy curries & some rice & take it back to our unit to heat up – this was so convenient for us as we hadn’t eaten the meal on the plane (inedible gloop) & we were too tired (& late) to dine out anywhere. There is a big kitchen at the rear of the Tonic Lounge with a selection of Curries, Pate’s, Cheeses & all the “munchies” you could ever require with crackers, etc… to go with them. You can heat the curries up there or take them back to your unit as we did. There is also a big selection of Wine in the Lounge but you have a 10 bottle selection in your room “maxi” bar anyway.

When you arrive here you have already been told which room you are staying in and given a code to unlock the door so there is no check-in – what a wonderful idea to dispense with tiresome form filling & having to keep to schedules! This continues with your breakfast already in your refrigerator to have at your leisure the next morning. Nici makes the most wonderful breakfasts & to us it is much preferable to have brekkie when we want it, not between hours stipulated by a Hotel which may be convenient for them but not for you. You have to heat & serve the breakfast yourself – a good opportunity for me to sneak a slightly bigger portion than my wife!! The breakfasts we had ranged from Smoked Salmon with ricotta to be served on hot toast with scrambled eggs to Mushroom ragout which was so tasty we fought over it!!

The “Aussie Bush” appearance of the accommodation which looks a bit like a tin shed in the bush is carried over onto the interior with polished concrete floors and a roomy interior with high ceilings. As you would expect here everything works well from the Air Conditioning to the water pressure/temperature; the huge bed is wonderfully comfortable as are the pillows, the bed linen & bath towels are high quality as are the bathroom soaps & shampoos. The place is immaculate and kept spotlessly clean and we could see no wear apparent in the two or so years since our last visit. Servicing of the room is unobtrusive – they see you go out and they then service your room.

The concept of the “maxi bar” is very different. Basically there are a lot of items in your room that are for sale. This ranges from Candles to soaps, even Ironing boards and soft toys. We took a fancy to a cute little bear & had to have one. We just scribbled a note on the blackboard & when we arrived back after lunch that day there he was!! Nicci will assist with anything you require & she suggested a meal at Bistro Moline’s. This is a must not only for the “to die for food” but for the view from the top of Mount View over the vineyards on the hillside, amazing. If there are two couples going to Tonic I would recommend the larger Apartment as you have a big central Lounge/Kitchen with two completely self contained bedroom suites coming off either end of it, you will have more room & if it is Winter a cosy gas fireplace to sit in front of. Unusually I can not think of a single thing to criticise about Tonic & I guarantee you if you treat yourself to a break here you will not be disappointed!! For better photos especially of the Apartment look at www.flickr.com/photos/kiwiexplorer and go to the set Hunter Valley 2007

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank KiwiExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tonic251, owner at Tonic Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 29 October 2009

Hi

thank you for taking time to write your tonic review - love all your detail and your photos are amazing.. So thrilled you loved your stay !!

Come and visit us again soon !!!

Regards Nici

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2009

this was not initially my first choice but ultimately am glad that I stayed here & might even come back!

the pros:

1) cute quiet hotel on Talga Road, 10-15 min drive from Pokolbin, lovely country roads without the large tour buses & the crowds, an easy drive to local restaurants (i.e. Leaves & Fishes)
2) homemade breakfasts (even though you do have to microwave & warm it up yourself, I did like the ability to eat in my room without having to order room service)
3) very relaxing & nice open scenery especially when you have the place to yourself (i.e. neighbors not sharing the decks with you)
4) in room candles, Aesop goodies, CD player & etc a nice touch, decor is simple & chic
5) I loved the no check in check out, you feel more like you're staying at a friend's/relative's place (but your friend/relative is not there), getting in via a code was great, I loved not having to worry about the hotel key ( been infuriated one time too many by card keys that stopped working for no reason)
6) nice electrical blankets to warm up the mattress
7) the rooms all face southwest & the ponds so you get great views of families of kangaroos & birds (even at 9:30 am) & a lovely sunset (bring a good camera! I only had my iphone camera so couldn't capture anything really)

cons
1) the hotwater for the bathroom sink (not the bathtub nor the showers) didn't work right away (as in when I first arrived I was freezing in the room & couldn't get the hot water to work)
2) the deck area -- Mine unfortunely was sandwiched between 2 other rooms & since we all could all see/hear each other through the wooden screens, there was not much privacy to speak of when/if we all decided to hang out at the deck at same time.
3) rooms were not dirty but could be cleaner (ie I don't really like seeing previous guests' hair follicles in the bathroom/tub area)
pre-arrival, the hotel helped out with restaurant reservations & suggestions of things to do.

I personally liked the fact that I could check in / out without seeing a soul, but for travellers looking for more attention/pampering this may not be the place for you.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled solo
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1  Thank Anilegna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2009

I have to agree with all of the reviews so far... both good and bad.

Nici is a lovely lady with a friendly and approachable Hotel however, you can never find her when you need her which led me to think that the 'no check in check out service' is based more around her desires not the Hotel clients. I tried to come see her three times during a one night visit and failed on all counts.

There was rodents in the room in our very expensive purchases of the day which she calmly put down to mice which apparently are all around the Hunter right now... I have family who work in three other wineries and said they have had no problems. We spent until 1am getting them out of our room and throwing all our goodies out. When we told them thenext day she agreed it was not very nice and a nuisance .... and walked away.
There were also unwashed plates in our room, not just not washed properly, these plate s had not seen soap or water in a while.

The bathroom is gorgeous however unsuitable for two people... pillows were great, bed hard and tv too small for my eyes anyway.

The luxuries were great when they were there. Loved the Aesop, cool toys and gadgets like candelas. Although the concrete floor look nice, it is cold and gets dirty easy.

I agree with the previous comment on breakfast, for someone who is after a romantic two year anniversary I didnt want to get up and go to the kitchen in the pouring rain and cook breakfast. We were not given microwave instruction as the babove user and if we had been given them we would not have microwaved eggs and three pieces of bacon.. yuck. the musli was nice though.

the view is lovely and it is an ok location, not as good as pokolbin but still nice. I asked for a map and when told there was one in the magazine in the room I couldn't find it. As mentioned above, we tried to find Nici but couldn't and so drove around in the dark, rain with no map trying to find a restaurant we had not reservation for because we couldn't find Nici... All would be find if there was a phone in the room, but no such luck.

It is a nice looking resort but the little things count... I don't think I would come back based on this stay but I can see it has potential... it is anovelty hotel with romantic potential and I encourage poeple to try it... unfortunately i don't think it deserves 5 stars.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank GILLYtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2009

Tonic is minimalist but luxurious. Great bed, fabulous bathroom in a wet room style, flowers, scented candles, Aesop toiletries (fab!), a stylish pool area and private deck. Certainly the floors are polished concrete, as the previous review states, but to make that the main descriptor really misrepresents Tonic, in my view. If you like tizzy you won't like it, but take a look at their website to see if it's your style - it is an accurate representation. We really liked the understated luxury. There are nine rooms set in a paddock, basically, but it is utterly peaceful while being a short drive from all sorts of great dining experiences, wineries, etc.

The one criticism I have is the breakfast, but I am not interested in cooking breakfast at any level when enjoying a weekend away. Nici leaves breakfast in the fridge with cooking instructions, which are basically microwave instructions. If I have a cooked breakfast I want that, not a reheated one. I'm sure the food is great, but we ignored it. Please, either knock $20 or 30 off the price and provide no breakfast, or knock $10 off and provide coffee & croissants, or provide a voucher for a local restaurant that will cook for you.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank teachers_on_tour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tonic251, Owner at Tonic Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 17 June 2009

Thank you so much for your tonic hotel review on trip advisor - I LOVE getting feedback of all types. So glad you enjoyed your stay. Can relate re breakfast - thank you for your comments re the choice of not having breakfast - good idea!
Hope you will come back and visit us soon !

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