The moment that our rental car turned off Halls Road and onto the driveway leading into The Convent Hunter Valley, my heart skipped a beat. What was in front of me was absolutely beautiful; a long stretch of driveway perfectly lined with tall, lush green trees and at the end of it stood a majestic Victorian-style manor house. Built in 1909, this dusty blue building was once the home of the Brigidine Order of nuns in Coonamble before relocating to Pokolbin in 1990. Now surrounded by vineyards and beautifully manicured gardens, The Convent has 17 elegantly decorated rooms.
Stepping through the stained glass front door was like stepping into a different era, as The Convent explains that it has a 'European luxe meets Hamptons Long Island' vibe. Our room, located on the ground floor, was quaint and well-appointed. If you are looking for accommodation with impeccable furnishings and modern touches, this place perhaps isn’t right for you. There were parts of the cabinet where the paint had been scratched off, I could hear the creaking sound of floorboards above our room, but to me, all that just add to the nostalgic feel of the room. Dressed with heavy curtains, the set of French doors in our room opened onto a spacious verandah that offered views to a garden. When we woke up the next morning, the three of us took a walk around the hotel grounds which were absolutely beautiful. There were flowers blossoming everywhere and the herb gardens next to Circa 1876 are worth checking out. Oh, and Minibun George was super excited when he saw chickens having their morning feed!
Buffet breakfast at Restaurant Eighty Eight was included in our package. There was a good spread of hot and cold food options, as well as juices. The coconut yoghurt with mixed fresh berries was delicious! Our package also included pre-dinner canapés, although we didn’t get a chance to enjoy that as we had a reservation at Muse (early dinner for us now as Minibun George needs to be in bed by 8pm). If you have time, definitely make a reservation at Circa 1876 for a meal. We had lunch there and the food was absolutely divine.
Check in and check out were no fuss and we found the service to be friendly and efficient. Previously a Peppers property, The Convent Hunter Valley was recently taken over by The Escapement Group, known for their collection of hotels in the Blue Mountains including The Hydro Majestic Hotel. If we return to the Hunter Valley for another trip, we would definitely stay at The Convent again.
Bunnies’ Travel Notes
Bunnies’ Room Number: 5 – Deluxe Room
Bath products: Appelles Apothecary & Lab
Perks that we loved: complimentary late checkout
Check-in/check-out times: 2pm - 11am
Time of stay: October 2016
What we paid: $380AUD for one night