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Located in the heart of the Hunter Valley, the Château Élan golf resort feels both regal and welcoming. Guests are sure to be impressed by the attention to detail exhibited throughout the opulent building. It comes as no surprise that golfing greats from all over the globe place the Vintage on top of their ‘to play’ list of Australian courses. Greg Norman has designed a marvellous 18 hole Championship Course right here in the Hunter region for all to enjoy.
Take a stay and play golf holiday at the Château Élan on any tangent you wish. Make it a luxurious golfing sanctuary to enjoy with friends or perhaps a romantic (with a hint of hedonism) escape from the everyday. After a day on the green, a delightful meal and a restful sleep in your suite, one is bound to attest that this golfing haven is indeed one of the lucky country’s most prestigious golfing destinations.
The Spa Suites feature elegant furnishings and sweeping verdant views of the Vintage Golf Course. Expect five star facilities, a lavish king size bed, a deluxe in-room spa bath and fluffy robes embossed with token insignia – the ultimate lounging accessory. I adored the selected Rio de Janeiro themed books and artworks that subtly adorned the suite. Bonus points for the glam wine glasses, compact cocktail station and the all-important block out curtains.
Note: the Villa Studios offer more privacy. Whilst the Villa Apartments are a spacious alternative for larger parties.
The Pro Shop team evidently love their gig here. Smiling, friendly and eager to assist players at every opportunity. There’s a decent range of ladies golf clothing and equipment on show too - which is rather tempting should you feel like shopping pre or post tee off.
Tip: more experienced players will likely only need an iron for the first 5 or 6 holes. After that, the course opens up and you can get cracking with the driver. The Vintage is a long course measuring 6,310 metres; thus the GPS carts are mighty handy. Well maintained tees and greens makes this golf course an absolute pleasure to play for golfers of all abilities.
Beginners and/or players looking for refresher lessons would be wise to meet with renowned golf professional and Director of Instruction for the Vintage, Richard Mercer. Richard has played in golfing tournaments all over the world, including several British Opens. On the day Ladies Golf Magazine visited the Vintage driving range, we found him teaching a group of enthusiastic yet novice teenage golfing girls. The last thing I heard was him saying “What do you do before taking a swing?”. The girls sang back with “Check your grip and your set-up”. Richard playfully remarked “That’s right and if you ladies remember either of those tips, I’ll be happy”.
With 17 beautifully appointed treatment rooms, a comprehensive menu of services and a team that understands care, comfort and discretion, this award-winning spa offers the ultimate in indulgence. It’s one of Australia’s largest private spas with dedicated spaces for massage, facial & body treatments, exercise and beauty. It also features plush lounge areas for extended relaxation and socialising – hello post treatment vinos. The Hydro Lounge and deck section boasts two outdoor Jacuzzi’s. It’s a spectacular spot to admire the serene setting whilst enjoying a glass of bubbles and a moreish platter of local cheeses.
There’s a respectful nod to the game’s history by way of golfing memorabilia decorating the foyer as you enter to the aptly named Legends Grill. Once seated inside the restaurants grand dining room, it’s possible you’re going to have trouble deciding which dishes to order. I mean how does one choose between the entrée of Hokkaido scallops, lightly grilled with Malay tamarin flavours and a Kashmiri pilaf, when you just know the prawn & chilli ravioli in a saffron infused bisque is standout dish too? The answer is don’t – just order both and share with your companions.
As the weather cools enjoying a main meal composed of Riverina Angus Beef Tenderloin with garlic cream mash and a green pepper jus fits the scene quite nicely. And, for those who like a lighter meal with maximum flavour, I urge you to sample the Spanish style seafood paella. Of course, the wine list here features a clever selection of classic Hunter Valley varietals too.
Legends Grill is the resorts breakfast venue too, it’s best to make bookings in advance to secure a table inside. In saying that, I do find it just as lovely dining al fresco overlooking the 18th too.
By Roxanne Williams