The Hunter Valley is a well known wine, coal mining, and race horse breeding area about 2 .5 hours north of Sydney. I am on a work trip and am happliy tucking into a bottle of wine at the affordable yet luxurious Branxton Hotel in the Hunter Valley. Australian Traveller‘s Top 100 things to do in Australia lists “Stay in a Country Pub” as one of the items. Well, if you would like to tick that one off your personal list, this place rocks!
A Hotel in Australia is generally a pub. Well, this one is no exception… except it isn’t a pub anymore (though there is a cheerful one across the street). The facility of a 100 year old country pub with a lush make over- endear this place. It is ideal for a holiday base camp to explore the regions vineyards and history. The free in-room Broadband internet, Foxtel/Austar, the best hotel Gym facility I think I’ve ever seen, a full breakfast option and some uber friendly local staff make this place an amazing business travel stop as well. Sales Reps and Contract Engineers take note!
I am in the Queen Mary Room, excellent quality beds and linen punctuated by lovely fluffy bathrobes are only half of the story. In traditional Aussie style, there is a gorgeous verandah accesible by French doors in my room to take in the mountainous horizon and enjoy a bit of early evening breeze. Click here for more information or call 02 4938 1252.
A word on the Hunter Valley itself- it does not have the immediately impressive views of a Napa Valley. The charm is more subtle and requires a bit more effort. Take some time, really explore the little towns there is generally more to them than the highway. The vineyards and back country are beautiful, you just have to get their first. My advice- take a tour.
A note on Branxton. It is a small village just 20 K’s from both Singleton and Cessnock. I have driven through it many times without thinking twice. However, upon staying here, it is a country town that has retained much of its history while still having modern conveniences. Definately worth a consideration.