Located on a private vineyard in Polkolbin, with views rolling out to the stunning Brokenback Mountains, the Estate is the ideal base from which to explore the Hunter Valley.
Spicers Guesthouse sits squarely in the middle of the Hunter Valley, with several wineries only a few minutes’ drive or a cycle ride away. The guesthouse’s cluster of vine-trimmed, white-brick, chalet-like buildings crown a small hillock. Neat lawns, outcrops of native forest (mostly eucalypt and paper-bark trees) and fields wrap around the property, you can also often see kangaroos bobbing among the grass in the evenings. There are 49 rooms, all of which are tastefully decorated in a relaxed and contemporary style. Within the elegant grounds you’ll find an infinity pool and tennis courts, and, if you wish, you can use the spa at their sister property, Spicers Vineyards Estate (a free shuttle goes between the two). You can take out the hotel’s bicycles to explore the surrounding area and wineries — we particularly recommend their electric bikes to help tackle the rolling hills around the property. The hotel’s restaurant, Éremo, serves innovative contemporary Italian dishes or alternatively, you can dine at Restaurant Botanica at Spicers Vineyards Estate.
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The hotel’s 49 rooms are divided between king and deluxe rooms, two types of suites (the Garden and Hunter), and a self-contained cottage with four bedrooms. All rooms are en suite and decorated in a palette of greys and whites, with lots of clean lines and an unfussy, contemporary feel. You can expect lots of attention to detail, including big squidgy pillows, volumes of Rupi Kaur poetry on your bedside table, and real milk (for tea and coffee) stored in a glass bottle in the fridge. All rooms include a well-stocked minibar, Wi-Fi, flatscreen TV and air-conditioning.
The guesthouse occupies a prime spot in the Hunter Valley, roughly a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Sydney. A small retail complex, Peppers Creek Village, is located a five-minute walk away, where you’ll find a good cafe and gift shops. Many wineries and even the Hunter Valley’s only organic distillery are located a couple of minutes’ drive away.
Food and drink
The hotel’s signature restaurant, Éremo, serves contemporary, stylish Italian dishes, with a good range of meat, seafood, and vegetarian options. A buffet and an à la carte breakfast is served in the restaurant (try and get a spot in the conservatory), and offers less traditional options such as ‘breakfast gnocchi’. You’re also within walking distance of a good local cafe, Café Enzo.
Facilities and activities
If you’re interested in cycling to the wineries near the hotel, we recommend taking out the guesthouse’s electric bicycles which are free to rent. To the rear of the property is an infinity pool surrounded by pampas grass and overlooking the forest, and a Jacuzzi. The guesthouse also put on welcome drinks, and a fire pit is lit some evenings.
The hotel has a couple of wheelchair-accessible rooms.
Environmental and social responsibility
The hotel makes a noticeable effort to do its bit. We like, for example, how rooms have refillable glass carafes for drinking water, and all toiletries in the bathrooms (shampoos, body washes and conditioners) are kept in refillable containers. The hotel also tries to use wines from smaller-scale, boutique producers.
This hotel’s prime location in the middle of the winelands, combined with its calm and chic ambience (which gives it the feel of a retreat), make it one of our preferred places to stay in the Hunter Valley.
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Alternative places to stay nearby
Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.