Chateau Elan at The Vintage Hunter Valley is a Spa-goer and Golf-lover’s haven. While I fit into the former category, it is always a treat to stay anywhere in the picturesque Hunter Valley of New South Wales. Nestled among rolling vineyards and lush countryside, Chateau Elan offers a stunning setting for a relaxing getaway, even before you set foot in the Spa.
The centerpiece of Chateau Elan (aside from the Spa) is its elegant French-inspired chateau. If not for the kangaroos bouncing across the lawns, you could easily think you were in the Loire Valley, France.
The resort is designed to reflect the opulence of a European estate, with manicured gardens, grand architecture, and charming interiors. The overall ambiance is country manor, making it an ideal retreat for those just wanting to kick back and enjoy the slower county-pace. You can enjoy a few rounds of golf, a quite wine by the fire and a treatment at the Spa.
For the keen Golfer, Chateau Elan is home to an 18-hole championship golf course, designed by Greg Norman. You can enjoy a challenging hit while taking in the scenic vistas of the Hunter Valley. Additionally, the resort features a fitness center, tennis courts, swimming pool and quiet roads for bike rides… for the not so keen golfers.
While there are fully serviced suites in the main Chateau, if you want something more spacious and private, I’d suggest one of the self-contained villas. They are beautifully designed with separate living, dining, bathroom (with bath) and bedroom spaces. Large windows allow for natural light and stunning views, and some also have a balcony or patio where you can enjoy the fresh air and take in the morning sunrise. And for the cooler months, a fireplace for the ultimate pairing with red wine.
The villas also come with a fully equipped kitchenette or kitchen, in case you want to eat in…. as well as all the other mod-cons making them the complete home-away-from-home. All villa guests have access to the resort’s amenities, which include the swimming pool, fitness center, tennis courts and spa.
The Spa was a surprise… a good surprise. Yes, it has a nice ambiance, soft lighting, calming music, and aromatic scents to set the tone of relaxation. Most Spas do! It even has an infrared sauna and mineral spa on the outdoor deck so you can take in the view as you reduce your toxins. But it was the treatment I had that was the diamond in the crown.
Normally opting for a body treatment, I thought I would try a facial instead. On the advice of my therapist (after appraising my skin), I went with the Rejuvenation Facial. My skin was feeling a little lack lustre, plus it had been a while since my skin had a proper and professional exfoliation. The CV for this facial read like it was written for my skins needs!
‘This Vanessa Megan Facial is designed to leave your skin feeling refreshed, nourished, and rejuvenated. The combination of cleansing, exfoliation, massage, and targeted product application helps to improve skin texture, clarity, and radiance. This treatment will leave your skin feeling deeply cleansed, hydrated, and revitalised, with a noticeable improvement in its overall appearance.’
Yes, yes and yes please!
My therapist choose the products that would best deliver the results I was after/needed, and then began the treatment. Not only did the products feel and smell good, straight away my skin was thanking me. The absolute best part of this facial, actually the three best things (all worthy of a mention):
The therapist’s hands. And the fact that these extremely skilled hands did not leave my body. While the hyaluronic-rich mask was doing its thing on my face, I was given a tension easing foot, hand and arm massage. This should always be the case in a facial. Therapists who do not do this while the client has a mask on their face, to use a golf analogy, are sub-par!
- The facial massage was incredible. While machines can do things to the deeper layer of the skin and deliver incredible results, I am still a sucker for a really good facial massage. There is nothing like the human touch to bring on that ahhhh feeling.
- The products. This was my first facial using Vanessa Megan products and I can 100% put my hand on my heart and say it won’t be my last. They not only feel and smell great on my skin…. they are really powerful.
- Post treatment, I literally bask in the glow of my facial in front of the fire in the relaxation lounge… my skin hasn’t felt this good in a very long time.
n addition to individual treatments, the spa also offers spa packages that combine multiple treatments or experiences for a comprehensive wellness journey. You can also become a member – instead of a round of golf, I’ll have a round of Spa thanks!
Chateau Elan is located in the heart of the Hunter Valley wine region, so it would be rude not to venture out and experience the region. Here are some of the things you can do close to the resort:
Wine Tasting and Cellar Door Experiences
The Hunter Valley is renowned for its world-class wineries and vineyards. Take the opportunity to explore the nearby wineries and wine tastings, cellar door experiences, and vineyard tours. You can sample a wide variety of wines, learn about the wine-making process, and support them by purchasing your favorite drop to take home.
Hot Air Balloon Rides
Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Hunter Valley from above by taking a hot air balloon ride. Drift gently over the vineyards and enjoy panoramic views of the lush countryside and rolling hills. It’s a unique and memorable way to appreciate the region’s natural beauty.
The Hunter Valley is known for its exceptional culinary scene. Explore the region’s gourmet restaurants, cafes, and eateries, many of which offer farm-to-table cuisine and locally sourced ingredients. Indulge in delicious meals paired with exquisite wines for an unforgettable dining experience.
Cooking Classes and Food Experiences
If you’re interested in honing your culinary skills, the Hunter Valley offers cooking classes and food experiences where you can learn from talented chefs. These hands-on classes often focus on local produce and wine pairing, allowing you to discover the flavors of the region and take home some new culinary techniques.
Scenic Drives and Nature Walks
Take leisurely drives through the picturesque countryside, enjoying the stunning landscapes and vineyard vistas. The Hunter Valley also offers various nature walks and hiking trails, allowing you to immerse yourself in the region’s natural beauty. Keep an eye out for wildlife and enjoy the fresh air as you explore the surroundings.
Vintage Drive, Pokolbin, New South Wales, Australia
If you are driving from Sydney, the journey to Chateau Elan takes approximately two hours. Take the M1 motorway northbound from Sydney, then merge onto the M15 Hunter Expressway. Continue along the expressway until you reach the Lovedale Road exit. Take the exit and follow signs to The Vintage Hunter Valley.
If you are coming from Newcastle, the drive to Chateau Elan takes around one hour. Take the M1 motorway southbound from Newcastle, then take the Lovedale Road exit. Follow the signs to The Vintage Hunter Valley.
The closest airport to Chateau Elan is Newcastle Airport (NCL), which is approximately a one-hour drive away. From the airport, you can rent a car or arrange for a private transfer to Chateau Elan.
If you are arriving at Sydney Airport (SYD), it is approximately a two-hour drive to Chateau Elan. You can rent a car at the airport or arrange for a private transfer.
Additionally, Chateau Elan at The Vintage Hunter Valley has a dedicated concierge service that can assist with transportation arrangements, so feel free to reach out to them for further assistance.
For more information or bookings:
By Kris Abbey
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