Yes, you read correctly – vineyards, wineries and work (all together). I recently visited and stayed at the Hunter Valley in New South Wales for a few days to attend a work conference so we were surrounded by beautiful vineyards. Welcome to wine country! For those who don’t know, it’s about a 2 hour bus ride/car drive from Sydney airport.
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley was home for those few days and I was pretty impressed with the size of their accommodation. The 2 and 3 bedroom villas were the size of a regular townhouse, so there was plenty of room to share and perfect for families. It actually felt like you were staying in someone’s neighbourhood. Complete with golf course, day spa, swimming pool, lots of privacy and more. Any downtime I did have, it was generally spent by the pool. The only thing that was a bit of a bummer – phone signals weren’t working the best in that area and you’d have to consider paying for their WiFi. However, food was good and so were the staff which always makes for a pleasant stay.
We (my co-workers and I) also spent an afternoon at one of the wineries close by for an extended afternoon lunch – at Lindemans. Not a bad little spot, and the surrounds were really pretty. Being a little OCD, I do like the appearance of neat rows in the vineyards from afar (yes, weird I know), and all that greenery. Unfortunately, I’d have to say that lunch was just ‘ok’. The service at this place could have been a bit better. Maybe they were overwhelmed with the number of people that were there and maybe I just happened to be at an unlucky table, but I must say, people at my table, including me, were a little disappointed that we managed to miss out on some food and the service we got wasn’t the best either. Bad day, or bad table perhaps? It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t the best. I still enjoyed the food that we did have though, so that was ok. It just goes to show, preparation is key.
Overall, it was a great few days stay and a really nice place to visit – especially for the wine lovers, golf lovers, or for those looking to stay somewhere with a bit of peace and quiet.