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Saturday 8 December 2018

Is this the best-located accommodation in the Hunter Valley?

So you want to visit several cellar doors in the Hunter Valley without having to drive?

There are several hotels and motels close to one or more wineries but it is hard to beat the Mercure Hunter Valley Gardens Resort when it comes to location.

It's an old favourite within a very short stroll of the McGuigan and Brokenwood cellar door complexes, with the newly refurbished Wine House just across the road, as is the Roche complex (formerly Tempus Two), with drawcards including Tempus Two cellar Door, Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop, Oishii, Meerea Park’s Cellar Door and Goldfish cocktail bar.

Head in the opposite direction to Hunter Valley Gardens and Harrigan's Irish Pub. 

A slightly longer walk is concert venue Hope Estate, but there is still no need to worry about drink-driving.

I stayed at the Mercure this week and found it not only centrally situated but staffed by switched-on young people.

Each of the 72 rooms opens out onto a private balcony or courtyard and suites each feature a separate lounge, a fireplace and spa bath.

My room had a comfortable bed, mini bar, fast free wifi and a serviceable, if slightly old-fashioned, bathroom. All rooms are air-conditioned and have tea- and coffee-making facilities.

The buffet breakfasts are very good while éléments restaurant (which I did not sample) offers French-accented cuisine.

Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens is a premium 4.5 star property with a pool, sauna, spa with massage facilities, tennis courts and function space for conference and weddings.

It is 45 minutes' drive from Newcastle and two hours' drive from Sydney if the traffic gods are kind (which, to be honest, they are often not). 

Midweek prices this week were from $239 per night. Weekends can be more expensive. 


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