It's frustrating knowing that I'll inadequately be able to convey to you the blissful vibe that you'll find in the Hunter Valley, more specifically, at The Sebel Kirkton Park.
It's just something you must experience yourself, there's no other way to do it justice.
Sydneysiders are privileged with a plethora of handy getaway options on their doorstep, and on our recent trip with Tesla to the Hunter Valley, we were quickly reminded how often we should be making the time to get there.
We arrived late, the Friday afternoon traffic simply slipping our minds after all the excitement around the Tesla. The electric vehicle rolled down the quintessential curving country driveway, lined with juvenile pine trees, in a timid silence. The cobblestone courtyard with a tiered fountain and ambient lighting greeted us at the entrance.
The Sebel Kirkton Park is a low-key, meticulously appointed boutique country estate that spares no expense when it comes to space, spreading itself out across the provincial style property rather than stacking higher than a single floor. It's all too common for hotels to be utilising every bit of available room, so it was nice to feel like you were a guest at a rich uncle's rustic vineyard, rather than a crammed inner city hotel.
The Accor Hotels property has recently undergone a large upheaval. Since the refurbishments were completed for the start of the year, The Sebel Kirkton Park has become the slickest new option in the region for everything from a relaxing getaway to a destination wedding.
The running colour scheme is a calming combination of blue and white, with a touch of gold trim to accentuate the finer amenities of the hotel. We were lucky enough to be upgraded to the 'Signature Suite,' a huge open plan ground floor room on the edge of the property overlooking the lush green fields and rolling hills. The floor to ceiling windows make it bright and warm, and in front of the huge king-sized bed and slightly smaller sofa bed, there was enough floor space to park our car inside.
In case you hadn't already guessed, this suite was really designed for couples, less so for a couple of the Boss Hunting boys taking a fast car away for the weekend. Two waterfall showers stand side by side, and a freestanding bathtub sits by one of the windows so you can unwind with a view.
Impeccably maintained rose gardens line the primary courtyard, and the trickle of tiered fountains dotted around the estate break the country silence. The sunrise view across the valley was one for the books, a low-lying layer of fog concealed the hot air balloons before they broke through the canopy, the valley's ridge line poked out in the distance. Half a dozen kangaroos meandered in the far fields and the glint of the morning dew lit up the grass during golden hour.
If you're in the Hunter to experience all things wine country, then stay tuned for our Hunter Valley Weekend guide coming later this month. If you're just keen to detach yourself from the daily grind and breathe a breath of fresh air into your lungs, The Sebel has plenty of ways to fill your day all within the bounds of the estate.
After overeating at the extensive buffet breakfast, you might just like to sit in the The Conservatory overlooking the courtyard and read the last chapter of that book you've been dying to finish.
Alternatively, the huge Roman-style pool house is a great place to pump out some quick cardio in the small gym, and then take your pick from the steam room, hot tub, or pool. Or you can skip the gym like we did. The pool is enclosed by massive arching windows casting light over ancient-style statues that are evenly placed around the perimeter. Everything about this hotel is designed to keep your resting heartrate well below the chaos of your mid-week experiences.
If you're with a few mates, the half court is a great way to fill in your afternoon shooting hoops, and there's a tennis court too if you want to switch it up with a doubles match.
Come nightfall, you still don't need to leave the hotel unless you'd like to. The Locavore dining experience offers an exemplary paddock to plate menu, and the Epoche Lounge & Bar the prime spot for wood fire pizzas and crafty cocktails.
Alternatively, take a delicious cheese platter and a bottle of local reserve shiraz to your deck and watch the twilight colours slowly change as the weekend disappears for another five days.
To book your next weekend away in the Hunter, visit The Sebel's website.