The Hotel: The Novotel Vines Resort & Country Club
Nestled in WA’s oldest wine-growing region, Novotel Vines Resort in the Swan Valley and lies just 35 minutes’ drive from Perth. Rooms include all the trimmings needed for a fuss-free stay, along with balconies or courtyards where guests can watch kangaroos graze on the grounds come evening. Both rookie and experienced players can challenge themselves at one of the two golf courses or putt on the state of the art mini golf course. The 25-metre pool provides a place to cool down in warmer months and features a heated spa, sun lounges, and shaded areas. For more energetic pursuits there are several outdoor tennis and indoor squash courts along with a fully-equipped gym. Head to the award-winning Keishi Spa at the resort or float away your troubles at the new float pods at Float Swan Valley.
Gourmands head to Muscat’s Restaurant for breakfast daily or dinner Thursday - Saturday, while those fresh off the fairway have a post-golf meal at Greenside Café. Sip on an exotic cocktail at Muscat’s Bar or sample light snacks at Vines Café and Bar. Groupies stay in a Resort Room, with queen beds and a balcony or terrace made for relaxing. The bottle of wine on arrival helps to set the mind in the holiday mode, while a 12 pm late checkout keeps things nice and relaxed to the very end of the stay.
- Bed size/type: Two Queen Beds
- Standard occupancy: two people
- Maximum occupancy: two adults and one child under 3 years old (using the existing bedding)
- The room features a balcony/courtyard access, satellite/cable TV with pay per view movies, and minibar
The Area: Swan Valley WA
Travel just 30 minutes from Perth and escape to the Swan Valley, a region celebrated for its award-winning wines, deep-set history and gourmet pleasures in myriad shapes and forms. Stretching west from Guildford, the locale hugs the meandering swan river and encompasses sprawling national parkland, picturesque riverside reserves and enough food producers to satisfy the palates of even the most discerning connoisseurs. This is the place to pick up a bottle of boutique Verdelho, bag of roasted coffee beans, bunch of fragrant lavender and pot of fresh creamed honey all in one day.
With all the buzz around the area’s gourmet delights, travellers hop straight on the Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail to discover just what all the fuss is about. Drive on scenic roads between vineyards, breweries, cafes and producers and be sure to visit Houghton Winery, one of the earliest established vineyards and WA’s biggest producer of wine. Part of the Valley’s charm also lies in the small roadside vendors who sell whatever is fresh and in season – expect to see bunches of colourful flowers, strawberries, stone fruits and grapes at the little stalls.
The Swan Valley is also steeped in heritage thanks to its colonial past, with a multitude of options to enchant culture-seekers and amateur historians. In Guildford head to the Old Gaol and Taylor’s Cottage for a sense of convict life, then down a brew at the Rose and Crown Hotel close by. Join a heritage walk trail to learn even more about the area’s roots, passing by buildings of note and learning about the characters who made their stamp on the region.