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It’s the final countdown…

December 3, 2014 - Hunter Valley

We decided to spend our last night at Château Élan. Whenever I mentioned Chateau Elan to anybody local, they’d have this look of awe on their face. When we arrived it was easy to see why!

This resort recently won the award for best luxury accommodation for the second year in a row. We experienced the attentive, personal service the minute we arrived with a seamless check-in before being escorted to our luxurious Spa Suite, where we found our luggage and a bottle of bubbly waiting for us. And did I mention Greg Norman designed the 18-hole golf course that surrounds it? Amazing!

Since we wanted the full pamper experience, we entered the on-site day spa for a couples massage. Little did we know that all packages include complimentary use of the hydrolounge (pool, sauna and spa) – talk about getting your money’s worth! We ended up spending a few hours there, sipping champagne, until our stomachs woke up and needed food. I hated having to leave; this place will forever be known as my sanctuary.

After lunch, we went back to Aqua Golf at Hunter Valley Gardens; we enjoyed it so much yesterday that we just couldn’t help ourselves. To be honest, a few hours away from the course didn’t magically turn us into pros, so it was still hilarious the second time around to get all prepared (posture, focus, correct hold of the club) only to have the ball roll down the grass in front of us, getting no air whatsoever. I assume this sports craving happens to a lot of people around these parts, since this place has been around for a whopping 35 years!

It was back to Chateau Elan after that (you work up a sweat when you’re having fun!), and the amount of children in the pool proved it was also child-friendly, which is something I wasn’t expecting at such a fancy place. I asked to take a quick look inside one of the family’s spacious villas – those villas are large enough to fit two families! Before 4pm, I hadn’t heard a peep from anyone, let alone littlies, which, being away for a romantic weekend, worked perfectly for me. But it was really lovely to see them having such a great time. I heard along the grapevine that there are going to be a lot of kiddy activities happening over Christmas, so make sure you keep up to date on their website!

A visit to Il Cacciatore was a spectacular way to end our trip. The cherry tomatoes in the twice-cooked chicken breast main had been ripened to perfection and burst in my mouth, like only those fresh from the vine would do. The dessert course brought with it a delightful trio of cannoli, complete with handmade shells. It had me wishing for a place near our home that could at least come close to the whole romantic dining experience we had there tonight.

Now it’s time to rest up in our massage bed at Château Élan before we head back to the rat race tomorrow.