Hospitality is an art in the Hunter. Book your indulgent stay at one of these refined places
What Named Time Out's best boutique hotel in regional NSW 2008, Tonic has six double rooms with decks looking across the lake to kangaroos and vineyards. Each room is styled with rustic antiques and designer furniture and everything from the artwork on the walls to the slippers on your feet is available to take home. There's no check-in or check-out; when you leave you just shut the door behind you and that rug you just had to have will be added to the bill.
How much Doubles $425 a night; apartment (sleeps four) $850 a night. Both include breakfast. Minimum two-night stay at weekends.
What Boutique-style rooms include the Classic, Vintage Room and the Heritage Suite. The suite has a separate lounge area. If you want complete seclusion, the Homestead, a four-bedroom cottage, has a private kitchen, pool, courtyard and two bathrooms. Bike riding, tennis and boules are all available.
How much Weeknights Classic/Vintage Room $328 a night; Heritage Suite $428 a night. Minimum two-night stay on weekends $792/$992 respectively. Breakfast included.
What This 38-room property also houses the Arrowfield cellar door and the Binnorie Dairy. It's a versatile place, equipped with conference and function facilities. There are two types of rooms, the Olive Grove (OG) and the Vineyard View (VV). The former are Tuscan in style, with wooden queen-sized sleigh beds. The latter are more spacious and feature their own private courtyards.
How much Saturday one-night stays available (limited availability). All rates include breakfast. Midweek: OG $240, VV $265. Weekend two-night stay: OG $595, VV $635.
What An all-in-one, 72-room resort with pool, spa, billiard rooms and wedding chapel. Rooms are well appointed, each with a balcony or terrace for all. The Mercure is as city-in-the-country as accommodation gets out in the Valley, with cafes, bars, cinemas and the Grand Mercure Hunter Valley Gardens village all in the resort.
How much Midweek: average $180 a night; Saturday $259 average.
What Boasting the 2007 Hunter Regional Tourism Award, this gem's 10 Lodge Rooms are adorned with antiques and spacious bathrooms with double-spa bath. The Chairman's Suite is a freestanding complex with its own small tower and vineyard viewing platform. Tower Lodge has a lounge bar, sauna, golf course and Robert's Restaurant.
How much Two-night minimum stay Friday/Saturday nights. Lodge Room $595-$810; Deluxe Lodge Room $770-$860; Oriental Suite $800-$890; Chairman's Suite $860-$950 a night.