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Hotel review: Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill, Hunter Valley


Affordable, private accommodation a stone's throw from Hunter Valley Gardens and top cellar doors.

Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill details

  • Where: 485 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin NSW
  • When: 6–7 August 2022
  • Room type: 1-bedroom queen apartment
  • Guests: 2 adults, 1 child
  • Cost: $220 per night
  • Hotel star rating: 4-stars
  • Book: Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill through Finder Hotels

My review, in short

  • My star rating: ★★★1/2
  • Cost: Fantastic price for the area and quality of stay
  • Location: Central – it's right across the road from Hunter Valley Village Centre
  • The room: Clean and spacious
  • Decor: Modern, simple and recently refreshed
  • Check-in/out process: Quick and easy
  • Facilities: Kids' playground, outdoor pool, tennis court and laundry. Wi-Fi is available though the connection was poor. Each room has its own parking spot. In-room treatments are available via Heavenly Hunter
  • Food: None on-site

Escaping from the big smoke, my family and I pointed our compass north to the Hunter Valley for a weekend of rest, relaxation and yes, a few bottles of wine.

While bottles of wine aren't included in your stay at Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill (there are more than enough wineries within a stone's throw for you to grab a drink from, anyway), you can order an in-room treatment from local wellness partner Heavenly Hunter.

Which is exactly what I did.

Not surprisingly I left feeling like a million bucks.

The cost

Studio rooms start from $153 per night. This is a fantastic price for what you get: a private apartment with a spa bath, patio and private parking.

If you're travelling with a kid, I recommend upgrading to a 1-Bedroom Spa Queen Room. These are massive and feature a living room, dining area, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom with a spa bath. The kid can either sleep on the couch or a portacot can be booked and placed in the bedroom or the living room.

1-bedders start from $207 per night on a weeknight or $220 on a weekend.

Check and compare current prices below:

Leisure Inn bedroom

The location

Smack bang in the thick of it, Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill sits opposite Hunter Valley Gardens and Hunter Valley Village Centre and within walking distance of numerous cellar doors, including McGuigan Wine, Roche Estate and Meera Park.

The hotel itself is set amongst a backdrop of sprawling green space, local flora and a pond that you can catch breathtaking sunsets over.

Leisure Inn Apartment

The room

Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill isn't your traditional hotel. In fact, Leisure Inns tend to be more like retreats – which is quite an accurate way of describing this place.

It consists of 50 stand-alone buildings. Each is divided into 2 apartments. You can book 1, with the interconnecting door locked. Or larger groups can book both.

As we were travelling as a family of 3, we only needed 1.

When we arrived, our interconnecting door wasn't locked and we could access our neighbour's room. A quick call to reception sent staff running to rectify this.

Aside from that hiccup, the stay was lovely. The apartment was spacious and clean. The dining area is perfectly placed in a sunny spot and the queen bed is extremely comfortable.

The kitchen comes well-stocked and the bathroom was clean with refillable amenities. I took this as a positive nod toward sustainability.

My main criticisms were in the bathroom where I found the water pressure was weak and the dispenser for the body wash was broken. In its place were little minis which is fine except instead of putting them next to the shower/spa tub they were placed by the vanity which I only realised AFTER I'd hopped into the shower.

Leisure Inn x Heavenly Hunter

Leisure Inn Massage

For the ultimate pamper surrounded by the tranquility of wine country, I can't recommend an in-room massage with Heavenly Hunter highly enough.

The team is professional and thoughtful. My masseuse Mandi was constantly making sure I was comfortable by adjusting the room temperature and asking if the pressure was too much.

Her specialty is the Hawaiian massage style Heartworks Lomi Lomi. This is a flowing full-body massage that feels as though a thousand hands are dripping over you like honey.

By the time she was done with me I was floating on air.

Prices start from $198 per hour for on-call treatments though there is a 10% discount for Leisure Inn guests.

The decor

The styling is modern and simple. Dressed in a neutral palette of greys and whites, the apartment felt open and inviting.

On closer inspection, it looks to have recently been given a fresh lick of paint which made a huge difference in my impression of it.

Leisure Inn Bathroom

The check-in/check-out process

The reception was undergoing renovations during our stay and was moved to the side of the building.

The instructions to locate it were simple and the check-in process was a cinch, requiring a form of ID and credit card to secure the room.

A $50 hold was placed on my card and released a week after check-out. This felt excessively long to me, however the amount was never charged and I had plans to call them up about it if it was.

Overall the service was friendly, though very casual.

Check-out was a quick key drop-off.

The facilities

Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill's facilities are geared at active travellers. There's an outdoor pool, a tennis court, playground and laundry room.

Being winter, my family didn't chance a dip in the water but our daughter enjoyed the playground. It's well-sized for a toddler with a small slide, see-saw and spring rocker.

Sadly, it is overdue for maintenance as the see-saw was broken.

There's free Wi-Fi but we could never get a connection. We didn't bring this up but the renovations to the main building may have contributed to this.

The verdict

This hotel ticks all the boxes for a relaxing road trip to wine country.

It has private rooms where you can relax on the patio, has parking right on your doorstep and is so close to cellar doors you could walk to them and back.

The rooms are spotless and homely and the staff are friendly and easy-going. However, the rooms could do with some maintenance.

Book your stay at Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill

Stephanie Yip stayed at the Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill as a guest of the hotel.

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