The Convent, Hunter Valley, NSW

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There is a lot of accommodation to choose from in the lower Hunter, particularly for a romantic getaway, but for an atmosphere of history ideally located to the major tourist sites and wineries, The Convent is one to consider.

  • Location: In the Lower Hunter near Pokolbin.
  • Accommodations: There are just a handful of guest rooms across a mix of types, ranging from basic Deluxe Rooms, through to oversized Premier Rooms and Garden Suites.
  • Dining options: Breakfast, afternoon tea, and dinner can be enjoyed in the airy Restaurant Eight Eight, while the iconic Circa 1876 is just minutes away on foot down the driveway. Just ask the staff and they will make a reservation for you.
  • What else is there: The Convent has gorgeous gardens ideal for a relaxing and a romantic stroll, and a lineup of other facilities including a massage treatment room, a synthetic tennis court, and a small kidney-shaped outdoor pool, all tucked away in the gardens behind the main building. 
  • What’s nearby: The entire Hunter Valley including wineries and restaurants is accessible by car. Pepper Tree Winery is also just a short walk down the driveway. If you're feeling active, you have the option to explore locally by renting a bike.
  • Why go: It’s the place to go if you're looking for a very quiet, traditional and romantic Hunter Valley experience, within close range of the region's major wineries and sights.

The Space

Stick a pin in a map of the Hunter Valley's Pokolbin, and you'll most likely hit a resort, a B&B or vineyard cottages ideal for a romantic getaway. The Convent is a little bit different, however. A former home of the Brigadine Order of nuns in Coonamble, central NSW, it’s now a boutique hotel packed with original features including genuine antiques, and was built in 1909. For today's visitors it fuses the ambience of a French Baroque hotel with the character of an Australian country inn, grandeur on one level, with casual comfort and romance on another. The two-storey building is set in peaceful, leafy gardens and is of an eye-catching traditional design; bright blue painted wood with ornate white detailing round the eves, doors and windows, with long communal verandas on the ground and first floors. It's the kind of place where you can truly sense the history in every nook and cranny; the timber of the building creaks and moans as the day warms and cools. You also get the feeling you should move around quietly and respectfully.

Where We Stayed

Our room for the night was a Deluxe Room on the first floor at the front of the property, opening out to one of the deep and long covered wooden verandas with sweeping views down the driveway. It was cozy with a traditional decor; soft creamy walls, a rich purple patterned carpet, heavy drapes on the window, padded headboard, and cream furniture including a free standing wardrobe. There were French doors leading to the terrace, which had wicker furniture where you could relax in the fresh air and take in the view. Modern touches included a mini-bar, hidden in the wardrobe, and a small flat screen TV on the dresser, and hand held hairdryer. The specious bathroom was entirely traditional in style, with a decent tub which doubled as a shower, and bathrobes were provided. Loves 

  • The huge verandas.
  • The location, which is handy for the majority of major Pokolbin wineries.
  • Circa 1876, which is a fine dining experience.

Insider Tips  

  • If you’re looking for more privacy, opt for one of the Garden Suites located on the ground floor. They have king-size beds, a spacious contemporary bathroom, a private lounge area, and sun-room with estate views.

The Details

The Convent is located at A:88 Halls Road Pokolbin, NSW 2320,



Joanna Hall