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The Lane Retreat Review


There’s an exciting new discovery awaiting in Australia’s oldest wine-growing region.

The Lane Retreat launched in late 2023, located in the heart of Hunter Valley Wine Country. The stunning bush setting with its old vines, mountainous landscape and peaceful surroundings offers a restorative stay complemented by a splash of local wine and contemporary cuisine.


First Impressions of The Lane Retreat
Arriving just as the sun sets, long shadows stretch across the scorched earth and a mob of kangaroos hop languidly across the road from one paddock to the next, providing a quintessential Australian bush welcome.

The Lane Retreat is set on Bimbadgen’s original Palmers Lane vineyard, encompassing 15 hectares of natural bushland and home to old vines planted back in 1968. Sixty chic villas are dotted across the property, facing the iconic vines with a swimming pool, wedding venue, gourmet pantry and retail offering rounding out the onsite facilities. With time, the newly planted landscape will soften the currently stark surroundings.

The sleek black façade of the villas is your first hint that this a modern and contemporary retreat. Keyless entry adds a touch of convenience, allowing swift entry to our dedicated digs. We find a bottle of Bimbadgen sparkling wine, the perfect welcome, ready for sunset sips.

Rooms at The Lane Retreat
The King studio style villas (also available in twin share and fully accessible options) are ideal for a short, decadent stay in the Hunter Valley. The interiors reflect the natural landscape, with cool greys, lush greens and earthy terracotta furnishings. The modern, clean lines and picture windows allow the beauty of the vineyard vista to really shine.

The well designed villa discreetly hides appliances and essentials, and we happily discover the kitchenette laden with quality breakfast provisions for our stay including granola, organic yoghurt, fresh fruit, cold pressed juice and banana bread. Likewise, the minibar is stocked with an enticing selection of quality local goodies including Bimbadgen’s wine and spirits.

There’s a small table set for two and a flat screen TV, but we gravitate to the outdoor table and chairs on the private deck, opting to enjoy the peaceful panoramic view. If you favour a cosy night in, the TV offers chromecast, ready to stream your favourite movie.

The bathroom is generously proportioned with double sinks and rain showers and boasts luxury amenities by natural skincare company Hunter Lab.

Drinking & Dining at The Lane Retreat
Start your day with an espresso coffee from the cheery onsite barista at ‘The Pantry’. It’s also your go-to for a curated collection of homewares, deli and pantry items perfect for creating a local gourmet platter.

Just a few minutes up the road, don’t miss a visit to Bimbadgen, your mecca for drinking and dining in Pokolbin. Book ahead for a tasting with the expert team for a Signature Experience, tasting Bimbadgen’s single vineyard Semillons and more. Also, worth trying the new(ish) range of vodka and gin under the Night Merchant Distillery brand, made onsite in the still of the night.

For casual eats, Wood Fire Pizza is a quick and delicious option for tipsy tourists. Sitting under the vine-covered terrace overlooking the rolling hills, which at times are transformed into a sea of concert goers during A Day on the Green event periods, but today it’s a delightful alfresco spot to soak up the view…and the wine.

Elevate your dining experience upstairs at Esca Bimbadgen. We indulged in a signature 5-course tasting menu, thoughtfully paired with exquisite wines. You won’t go home hungry, with generously proportioned courses like woodfired peaches with local Binnorie Duetto paired with a crisp Vermentino and grilled salmon gravlax matched with a buttery Chardonnay amongst the many highlights.

Stepping Out
Continue to sister winery, Emma’s Cottage in Lovedale where the winery has had a blush pink glow up, creating a welcoming cellar door with a modern vibe. Here you’ll find Bimbadgen’s alter ego: Alter Wines, with the Chardonnay our favourite sip of the day. If you are a Chardonnay lover, head to Broke for a tasting at Winmark Wines, who specialise in the varietal. These charming vineyards in Broke, offer a down-to-earth experience with the opportunity to meet the maker.

The Lane Retreat demonstrates its commitment to sustainability through various initiatives. Solar panels adorn all villa rooftops, alleviating the guilt associated with air-conditioning use, particularly in the west-facing villas prone to heat. Other eco-conscious practices include rainwater collection for irrigation, a ‘naked pool’ devoid of added chemicals, provision of reusable water bottles for guests, refillable amenities from Hunter Lab, biodegradable slippers, and recycling bins in every room.

The Verdict
A retreat is somewhere to unwind, relax and recharge and The Lane Retreat delivers on this promise. The Lane Retreat is the perfect Hunter Valley accommodation for romantic getaways, wedding guests, concert goers or a girls’ getaway to dine, sip and stay in the heart of wine country. This retreat seamlessly blends modern luxury with wine country hospitality.

The Hunter Valley is easily accessible from Newcastle Airport or a 2-hour drive from Sydney. Book The Lane Retreat here for an unforgettable escape.

The writer was a guest of The Lane Retreat. Main image: supplied. 
A Little Bit of Broke is Back

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