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One Night is Not Enough - Weekend Special

Our Guide to Experiencing the Hunter Valley

If you’re in need for a bit of inspiration, check out the itineraries below. From romance to family fun there are so many different ways to enjoy the Hunter Valley, one night is simply not enough.

 

 

The best places for running, working out, or sitting still

‘Get active with a round of golf or wind down at the Ubika Spa. The hotel has several ways to invigorate yourself during your time here’.

Our Food and Beverage Director by day and 24/7 fitness enthusiast all ours in between, Marc, can share exclusive insider tips on staying fit while on the job, for the job. “The in-house gym is usually the first stop for most of our guests. It has all the essential equipment you could need, particularly for resistance and weights based training. But why stay indoors when the entire Hunter region can be your gym? I like to start my day with a jog around the Resort and through to the surrounding vineyards. Our bike path makes running or cycling a breeze, something about the crisp, fresh air makes you want to push your workout harder for longer”

“The worst kept secret at our Resort is how much everyone loves Ubika Spa. All you really need is to sit in the waiting room and allow the soothing scents and calming music to lull you back to your happy place. The wellness staff are fantastic and deliver a mean massage, treatment or facial, if you are so inclined”

Conquer the course

There are more than a few parallels between running a business and playing golf. You may view the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley golf course as a metaphor for challenge and strategy in business. Or you may simply enjoy the verdant hills, the solemn lakes, the surprising wildlife, and the majestic Brokenback Mountain Ranges that surrounds them all. If you’d like to improve your game, there are lessons at the academy. If you’d like to get competitive, we have weekly tournaments. Or if you’d just like to spend quality time with colleagues or clients, we can’t think of a better setting.

Recharge and reboot

A soothing sanctuary surrounded by vineyards, fairways and mountains, Ubika Spa is a welcome respite from a hectic day. Get nourished, restored and hydrated. Ubika is the Sanskrit word for ‘to grow’, and much like the neighbouring wineries, this Spa believes in planting seeds and nurturing them. These seeds of wellness take the form of body scrubs, back massages and beauty treatments. When it comes to physical, emotional or spiritual growth, things happen faster when you slow right down. If only business were the same.

Climb to the top

The best way to see the valley is from the sky. Depending on your budget and your stomach for adventure, you can take a Robinson R44 Helicopter beyond the wineries to the mountains, creeks and forests, or venture further out to the mining towns and the coast aboard a Bell Jet Ranger. The views will have you catching your breath and dropping your jaw. The tours extend to wine-tastings, picnics, brewery visits, horse rides through the bush, and mountain safaris. It’s an unforgettable ride and an outrageous way to make an entrance or an exit to your event.

 

Fuel for the brain and for the soul

“Guests don’t expect to be inspired on a business trip to the Hunter Valley so they’re often exceptionally surprised when they are.  There is a huge benefit in being situated away from a major city but on a Resort which is bursting at the seams with activity, in a region that comes alive from the moment the sun rises to the glowing of the sunset.  The Ogishi Craft Centre is a short distance from our Resort and an unassuming hub of art meets Japanese heritage. All of our local vineyards are constantly experimenting with each harvest, producing wines that are somehow able to taste even better than the last. The Hunter Valley is filled with purpose, which might differ from what our guests engage in for work, but that is precisely what invigorates them”

Learn new skills

A workshop, a studio, and an artist’s retreat, Ogishi Craft Centre demonstrates the skill and delicacy behind the art of glassblowing. Its eponymous owner is inspired by her Japanese heritage and by the textures of the surrounding landscape. She describes the process as a combination of music, sport, teamwork and expression. The gallery is an eclectic mix of colours and shapes. This offbeat and intriguing team exercise also offers craft workshops and glassblowing lessons.

Be a pioneer

In the 1890s, a 15-year old boy named Audrey took over the family vineyard and turned out some of the continent’s finest wines. This cellar door at the foot of the Brokenback Mountain ranges was voted by Gourmet Traveller Wine as one of the country’s best. At Audrey Wilkinson, you can choose a private tasting, a behind-the-scenes tour or a picnic among the vines. It’s an inspiring excursion for lovers of history and wine.

Escape into art

A heritage building that brings together scenic beauty, village culture and contemporary art from across the region. Maitland Regional Art Gallery is home to curious artifacts and inspired artistry. You can hire out the venue for staff events, exhibitions and workshops. Or just come along to immerse in painting, sculpture, interior design and photography.

 

Where to go to eat, drink chat and network

“Produce is what we are good at, not just wine but everything that goes well with wine. Our Redsalt Restaurant produces dishes which hero the very best harvest of the region with all the convenience of being located mere steps from your room. And speaking of wines, we have a craft beer brewery and distillery on-site should that be your particular vice. Our guests are encouraged to push the boundaries of their culinary experiences – I’d even suggest holding a meeting or a tasting out in the vineyards. Being outdoors while fuelled by incredible food is sure to stir up creativity”

Dine like a champion

Crowne Plaza’s award-winning grill house is known for fresh local produce, panoramas of the fairway and a hearty breakfast buffet. There are hot and cold dishes, juices, healthy options and eggs in every way you like. This tasteful space is good for a working lunch, but excellent for a work break. With an extensive menu that serves up corn fed chicken, grilled wagyu, and natural oysters it’s a feast at any time of day.

Follow your thirst

There’s more to Hunter Valley than wine, it seems. Filtered from the finest local streams, Lovedale serves up eight styles of beer from lagers to ales to pilsners to pales, and two ciders, many of which have been honoured with awards. You can tour the brewery next door or sit back with a cold one and watch the sun hitting the golf course. Great for informal meetings or for a bit of formal fun.

For a memorable night out

The Goldfish is perfect for lazy lunches, group dinners and late nights. The menu is designed for sharing and dishes up platters of seafood, steak and desserts. The pizza is famous; the cocktails and craft beers are legendary. The bar, the parlour or the terrace can be booked for functions, private parties and larger events. You can bond with your team, get to know some of the locals, or simply let off some steam after a hard workday.

 

Go on the Wine Trip of Your Life with The Urban List

The Urban List are Australia’s answer to curated guides and trusted recommendations. They’re here to tell you and their 2.25 million readers, that there’s nothing quite like a winter spent in the Hunter Valley. Check out their full roadtrippers guide.

Friday Afternoon

We loved that their first stop was Pokolbin’s The Smelly Cheese Shop, home to all things deliciously dairy. But you can never have too much cheese, so there they were at it again with an Epic Tasting Experience at Hungerford Hill Winery complete with matched wines and tasting bites by Muse Restaurant itself. Upon checking in at our Resort and in a Spa Suite, the team were able to live that luxe life with spacious lounge, dining and bedroom areas.

Saturday Morning

You’ve never seen the sun rise the way it does from a hot air balloon vantage point, The Urban List can testify to seemingly endless views of the region and they have the Beyond Ballooning in-flight photos to prove it. A champagne buffet breakfast at the end, courtesy of Redsalt Restaurant, wrapped up their perfect morning.

 

Saturday Afternoon

The team also rolled with the best wines after jumping aboard our Lovedale Bus Tour but not before sampling a pint or two from our in-house Lovedale Brewery. This packed schedule of eating, drinking and more eating doesn’t stop here. A tasting menu at EXP had their name on it that night with delicious local produce prepared by Frank Fawkner himself.

Sunday Afternoon

Sunday’s are certified lazy days and what better way for the team to have spent it than by taking a slow stroll through the Hunter Valley Gardens. They were able to release their inner kid by riding down with the mega ice toboggan and by being key instigators behind snow fights. With so many diverse experiences to be had at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley,  our friends at The Urban List can verify that indeed, one night is not enough.

 

 

 

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Saturday Afternoon

Feasting is synonymous with the Hunter Valley as the girls were soon to learn. They were truly spoiled for choice with the likes of EXP touting five-course and eight-course lunches, Muse, and our very own Lovedale Bar and Restaurant’s pizzas and salads tempting them at every meal. Whether it’s a long lunch or a longer dinner degustation, make sure you’re prepared to loosen those belts as it’s guaranteed to be a bountiful meal.

Sunday Morning

Sunday’s are typically lazy days and there’s no reason it should be any different up in wine country. The girls took a break at Ubika Spa, opting for a variety of treatments from facials to massages. A good alternative could be a relaxing game of golf at Hunter Valley Golf, even absolute beginners should take a swing with help from our experienced academy instructors. After that they went up on a helicopter tour and saw the region from a completely different perspective. If you are heights-adverse, take the road less travelled instead by way of a segway tour where you will hopefully spot a kangaroo or two. With so many options and so little time, one night is not enough.

 

Family Trips Are Always Better Together

Friday Afternoon

Travel educates the mind, enriches the soul and strengthens bonds between family members. Winter in the Hunter Valley is the perfect excuse to tackle all of the above. Bundle the kids into the car straight from school and away you go. Your mini entourage might be most at home at one of Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley’s two bedroom villas. It’s a triple threat of comfort, luxury and privacy with separate lounge and dining areas, two modern bathrooms and an outdoor terrace.

Friday Evening

Dress yourselves and your usual Friday nights in with a family dinner out at the award-winning Redsalt Restaurant. It’s renowned for its fresh, local ingredients, fine wines and innovative cuisine. Kids at Redsalt even get the VIP treatment with a kids-only menu that boasts the likes of grilled lamb chops and fillet steak, served with the all important confit vegetables. Treat it as an education in Hunter produce and in delicious dining that even the pickiest of eaters couldn’t say no to.

 

Saturday Morning

After a restful night’s sleep and everyone is (finally) dressed, head on down to Redsalt Restaurant once more to fuel up buffet items such as pancakes from our pancake machine and eggs from our egg station. The little one in the family is going to need it to keep up on the off road segway tour by NSW Segway that you’ve arranged in advance. The adventure begins at Hunter Valley Resort and ends with a venture through the vineyards.

Saturday Afternoon

For your afternoon activity, have a lazy one together in our games room which features a variety of arcade games from first-person shooters to claw machines. Or get active and stretch your legs at the icy wonderland that is the Hunter Valley Gardens’ Snow Time. Skate their rink, ride their mega toboggan or start a snowball fight, we won’t tell anyone.

Sunday Morning

It’s your last day here and you’re after a bit of one-on-one time with your significant other, so you’re both headed to Hunter Valley Golf to tee-off a 9 hole game. Meanwhile the kids are having a good time at the supervised Water Dragons Kids Club. With such an enriching weekend of activities for everyone, it’s no wonder that one night is not enough.

 

 

A Romance Unlike Any Other

Friday Evening

Nothing quite rekindles the flames of love like a surprise Winter escape to the Hunter Valley. Pick up your significant other from work on a Friday afternoon with bags sneakily packed and head straight for check-in at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley. Relax in contemporary comfort and chic in an indulgent spa suite, designed to reflect the peaceful, laid back atmosphere of its surrounds. If you don’t believe us, try looking out at Hunter serenity from your private balcony, instant zen.

Saturday Morning

You’ll both be up bright and early the next morning because you’re catching the first sight of sunrise with Beyond Ballooning. Their Daily Balloon Flight special will have you quite literally walking amongst the clouds and taking in views like you’ve never seen before. Once the hour is up, it’s time for a soft landing and a champagne buffet breakfast back at Redsalt Restaurant. It’s still morning so it will all feel like a dream, but don’t worry, you’ll have the digital in-flight photos to remember it.

 

Saturday Afternoon

You’ll both need a nap after that somewhat strenuous morning. Take an insider tip from us, there isn’t a better place in the Hunter Valley for a bit of a lie down than Ubika Spa, an intimate sanctuary surrounded by picturesque vineyards and golf greens. A 50-minute Aromatherapy Massage for two is just what you’ll both need. You’ll be at the mercy of the Spa’s highly qualified therapists who will utilise Swedish techniques to relieve muscle tension and dissolve all your stresses away.

Saturday Evening

Come dinner time, the two of you will be pleased to unwind at The Lovedale Bar, our casual little eatery located on-site. Indulge in comfort foods such as burgers, pizza and beers that have been brewed right next door. The team’s personal favourite is our namesake, the Lovedale Lager. A fancy cocktail or two at the Vista Bar might be needed after this (are you thinking Semillon Sours, Blackberry Espresso or Tiki Rum Punch?) but it’s looking like an early night. With such an adventure packed weekend of activities, it’s no wonder that one night is not enough

 

 

A Girls Weekend Away with The Urban List

Our friends at The Urban List are famous nationwide and beyond for crafting some of the most incredible getaways. They’re back this time with a Hunter Valley trip tailored for you and your girlfriends. Check out their step-by-step guide for the ultimate girls’ weekend here.

Friday Morning 

The Urban List girls took a day off to give themselves a complete long weekend up in the Hunter Valley. They opted for our 2-bedroom villa accommodation which comes with expansive living areas, bedrooms and kitchen area. This was the perfect choice to get everyone staying together for one big luxurious slumber party.

Friday Afternoon

After settling in, they took a self-guided tour on wheels of the Hunter region by renting our bikes available at our Concierge. If you’re not feeling up to the peddle, take it easy with one of our Lovedale Bus tours that will whisk you away to some of the best wineries in the region. True wine lovers should save the date and make a trip up during the Hunter Valley Wine Festival on June 24 where the region’s best wine will all come to you.