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Thursday 25 November 2021

Travel writer pivots into the accommodation business

Who would know more about curating the perfect holiday cottage than a professional travel writer? 

The River Haus – a luxe cottage in the historic river port town of Morpeth in the Hunter Valley - is the creation of travel writer Sheriden Rhodes and Tom Szecsodi, a property developer, who live in nearby Newcastle. 

The River Haus, due top open in December, is described as a "luxurious sojourn melding old and new" – it it just over two hours’ drive north of Sydney. 

The River Haus is set behind a white picket fence, is close to the Hunter River and overlooks the historic St James Anglican Church. 

Guests can stroll to Morpeth's heritage-listed main street, picnic on the river bank and dine at the lauded Boydell Cellar Door and Restaurant (which is just 50 metres from the back gate).

The country cottage accommodates up to four guests and has been designed with couples in mind and boasts a wood fire. 

There’s a fully equipped farmhouse kitchen, Nespresso coffee machine, Bosch dishwasher and stove, Smeg kettle and toaster, leather lounge, ducted air-conditioning, 65cm Smart TV and JBL sound bar.

Two identical guestrooms offer queen size iron beds with AH Beard mattresses, blackout blinds, quality linen and antique wardrobes. 

A separate office-cum-library (along with fast wifi throughout the house) allows guests to work from home. 

The outdoor entertaining space leads to a private rear garden complete with fire pit where guests can gather with glass of wine in hand. 

“We love Morpeth, Australia’s second-oldest river port," the couple says. "This quaint riverside town offers old school pubs, local artisans, sandstone buildings, cafes, the historic Arnott Bakehouse and a rare timber truss road bridge which spans the Hunter River. 

"You can take a carriage ride pulled by Clydesdales, shop at farm gates and taste award-winning small- batch wines. 

“We hope guests staying at the River Haus feel refreshed taking walks down country lanes, breathing in fresh air, sleeping on cotton sheets and waking to bird song and the peal of church bells. We also hope our new venture sheds light on Morpeth’s storied past and its significant role in the development of the Hunter and the fledgling colony.”

 Bookings from $525 per night (minimum two-night stay) through Airbnb.


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