The Hunter Valley is a longtime favourite escape for Sydneysiders. Less than three hours from the heart of the city and peppered with some of the country's best wineries—a weekend escape among the vines is never a bad idea.
When it comes to finding the perfect spot to stay, for a touch of luxury complete with manicured golfing green and day spa, Chateau Elan near Pokolbin and Lovedale is one of the Hunter's few resorts—and easily one of its best. Set on rolling lawns in the heart of wine country, Chateau Elan has a touch of European charm about it and it's perfect for couples keen to put their feet up and enjoy a little top-tier service.
We love the roomy suites with enormous spa baths, fireplaces, and wide balconies that overlook the Greg Norman-designed 18-hole championship golf course and surrounding vineyards (this is all the more magical at sunset).
There are also larger villas to book and classic resort facilities like a huge outdoor swimming pool perfect for hot summer afternoons, an on-site day spa, and a fitness centre to clock some gym time in between wine tasting.
Chateau Elan's restaurant, Legends Bar & Grill, is loved for its generous edit of Hunter wines and impressive seasonal menu, here your meal comes complete with a view of the picturesque golf green, native kangaroos, and gorgeous sunset across the surrounding vineyards. To eat, expect modern Australian fine dining with ingredients that showcase the best of the Hunter: Angus beef tenderloin, corn-fed chicken breast, and wagyu Tajima striploin. Legends is also where you'll find the sprawling breakfast buffet.
Being a golf resort, naturally, this is a spot for golf enthusiasts to indulge a bit before or after hitting the neighbouring cellar doors. Chateau Elan is typically home to the NSW Open Championship, so the course is pro-grade but friendly and picturesque enough for novices to enjoy too.
During your stay, keep a lookout for the large family of kangaroos that hop freely around the lawn.
Need To Know
Drive time from Sydney: Approximately two hours
Price: From $170/night
Pros: A little bit of luxury without the hefty price tag and a hard-to-beat location for exploring the best of the Hunter. Also perfect for keen golfers.
Cons: Interior design fiends might find the decor a bit dated.
Book your stay: Here
For our guide to the Hunter's best vineyards and things to do (besides sipping wine), head over here.
Image credit: Chateau Elan
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