The Vintage, Accor Vacation Club Apartments

Timeshare Travel Review – Grand Mercure The Vintage Hunter Valley Resort

Have a vine time

The Hunter Valley region of New South Wales is one of Australia’s best and most popular wine regions, with its first vines planted in the early 19th century. Accor Vacation Club’s apartments within the luxurious Grand Mercure The Vintage are ideally close to numerous cellar door experiences.

Put simply, its a great spot to stop, and enjoy a drop – or more – in this scenic part of the world.

Whether you are interested in a formal guided winery tour, or just wandering and exploring at your own pace, the region has a wine experience to suit casual drinkers to complete connoisseurs’.  Australian Shiraz, Semillon, Chardonnay and even Gewurztraminer. There are a range of styles to suit a variety of palates.

The list of wineries to visit is also potentially very long. Bimbadgen, McGuigan’s, Tyrell’s, Peppertree and Brokenwood. Winwood, Waverley and Ivanhoe – plus many more. It may pay off to do a little research online before heading out, in order to really target those that appeal based on style, production and preferred varietal.

 

Dig life

Exploring the expansive and fragrant Hunter Valley Gardens is a definite highlight for many visitors to this part of the world. Spanning some 25 acres, there are ten separate feature themed gardens to explore, including a spectacular Rose Garden with thousands of varieties on display. Overall there are 8 kilometres of garden trails to enjoy, with special features along the way such as a 10 metre high waterfall above a sunken garden, and a storybook garden for younger family members in mind. The Gardens host special events throughout the year, including a ‘snow time in the gardens’ and Easter event. Its famous Christmas Lights Spectacular, which is on from November 02 – January 26, 2019 is the largest lights display in the Southern Hemisphere!

 

Make for the market

Enchanting is one great word to sum up the experience at the Handmade in the Hunter markets in picturesque village of Pokolbin.

This country style market has the distinction of being the longest-running, genuine, handmade market in the vineyard area, so tis easy to see why many choose to plan their visit to the Hunter Valley around a visit to this charming venue.

There are many wineries come concert venues close by including Hope Estate, Bimbadgen and Roche, and Handmade in the Hunter Markets are held to coincide with concert dates and other major vineyard events.

 

Talk to the animals

The Hunter Valley Zoo makes a great day out for both bog kids, and small! Located just out of Cessnock, the Zoo features a variety of native and exotic animals, plus interactive encounters with farmyard animals plus favourites including Kangaroos, Koalas, wombats and birds.

Daily the Zoo offers a variety of free, educational and fun shows to get up close to pat or take a snap with selected wildlife. There are also paid experiences available on request – such as the Meerkat or Marmoset Monkey meet up for those who want a one on one encounter!

Free barbeque facilities are onsite too for those who want to bring a packed lunch and make a day of it.

 

Bunker down for some golf

As refined as its name suggests, The Vintage Golf Club in the Hunter Valley is widely regarded as one of the most elegant championship courses in Australia, and is home of the NSW Open Golf Championships, held each November.  This spectacular 18-hole, par 71 course (designed by Greg Norman) is rated among the top 2% of courses nation-wide. That makes it a must-play location for those who love the game. Described as “challenging but fair to all handicaps’, the course is an easy two hour drive from Sydney and provides a beautiful backyard scene for those Members staying at the Grand Mercure The Vintage, Accor Vacation Club Apartments. Convenience plus!

 

Apartment life at The Vintage

Accor Vacation Club’s apartments at Grand Mercure The Vintage in the Hunter Valley where beautified in 2019. The stunning update included new electric fireplaces, which are always sure to be given a workout over the winter season. Some other key changes included upgraded wall-mounted televisions and cabinetry, plus fabulous new artwork selected and displayed throughout the apartments.  In response to Member feedback, apartments now boast larger bathroom vanities and mirrors, alongside many other modern accessories and furnishings added to each apartment to complete the contemporary look. In living and bedroom spaces, expect to enjoy new lamps and lighting, scatter cushions, bed throws and brand new sofa beds for added convenience and comfort this summer.

 

 To plan your next holiday escape visit www.accorvacationclub.com.au

 

Address: Grand Mercure The Vintage, Accor Vacation Club Apartments

            Vintage Dr, Rothbury NSW 2320

Phone: (07) 5501 7370

Visit: https://www.accorvacationclub.com.au/property/grand-mercure-the-vintage/

 

The information in this article is not personal financial advice and has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person.  Before making a decision to purchase or upgrade a membership in the Accor Vacation Club, you should consider the PDS dated 1 January 2017, issued by A.P.V.C. Ltd AFSL 245515 and available at www.accorvacationclub.com.au or by contacting A.P.V.C. Ltd on 1800 70 81 90. All hotel and cruise bookings are subject to availability.

 

Happy family taking a self picture at the sea shore on a sunny day

Good to KNOW membership FAQs

Top tips to keep in mind, courtesy of Accor Vacation Club’s Members Services team.

Have you taken advantage of the new GAP booking window?

We have listened to the feedback, provided through the 2016 Members Survey, at Members Workshops and over the phone. Changes have been made that deliver greater flexibility and provide more opportunities to make online reservations. Enter – GAP Bookings. Once the 7 night reservation booking windows for all levels of membership have opened, 10 months prior to check in, reservations shorter than 7 nights can be made when there is no availability either side of the shorter duration block using the new GAP booking window. Conditions apply, so contact Members Services for more on how to use this new Booking Window.

Ensure an always-happy anniversary!

We’ve all been guilty of forgetting about those important anniversaries. We want to help you make sure that never happens when it comes to your Accor Vacation Club Première Points. Your Accor Vacation Club membership anniversary and expiry dates remain the same every year and never change. Therefore, to keep those important dates top of mind, we recommend setting a reminder and planning ahead. Whether you prefer an old-school wall calendar or digital calendar alarm is up to you – just write them down and lock them in! That will help ensure that you never have to worry about having any unused points expire.

Remember, when you check in, your points check out.

Points for Club property reservations are deducted on the actual day of check in – not when you make the reservation. Première Points used for Accor Hotels Select reservations are deducted on the day of reservation allowing you to check in up to 90 days later.

Convert your Première Points with AVC Travel.

Don’t know what to do with your expiring points? Unable to check in to a Club property before they expire? Talk to us about exploring the Accor Hotels Select properties or converting your Première Points to Discovery Dollars. Use Discovery Dollars to reduce the cash component of hotels, cruises and packages booked through Accor Vacation Club Travel.

Coming clean on credits.

Running out of cleaning credits should never deter you from making a new holiday reservation with Accor Vacation Club. If you want to book a stay, but do not have enough cleaning credits available, you can purchase more at the time of making the Club property reservation. Alternatively, Members can choose to book an Accor Hotels Select property, which does not require you to use a clean credit at all.

Stay in touch.

Not receiving all the latest news from the Club by email? If you think you might be missing important updates, please don’t hesitate to call. Your Members Services team can check that we have your current email details, and ensure that you are subscribed to receive all of our important news.

Telephone Workshops.

We love nothing more than bringing Members up to speed on all the membership benefits they are entitled to, and helping use each and every point! Make sure you call Members Services to arrange an annual workshop, to help stay on top of the many benefits and maximise your Membership to its full capacity. Our mission is to ensure you can fit in as many holidays and experiences with

Accor Vacation Club as possible to create holiday memories that matter.

For more information or to answer any questions you may have contact your friendly Member Services Teamon AU: 1300 76 14 14 or NZ: 0800 76 14 14 (press option 2) or email info@accorvacationclub.com.au

To plan your next holiday escape visit www.accorvacationclub.com.au

Accor vacatoin Club Travel's Cool destinations - Goddafoss-Iceland

5 of the coolest destinations on Earth

Story by Jackie Hamilton & Kevin Montalbo

Looking for a change of pace? There’s more to our wondrous world than just the equatorial hot and steamy tropics. A light dusting of snow across any town or village and you have a winter wonderland in the offing. Think snow crested mountains, cruises to see sparkling glaciers and fjords soaring to the skies. Bundled up snow-boarders carving up white powdery ski-fields and the obligatory roaring open fires to snuggle up next to as you keep warm and toasty.

 

1. Russia and the Baltics

“Fascinating and astonishing”. This is how you’ll describe the scenes of Red Square, Catherine’s Palace, numerous onion-domed churches, St Petersburg, the world-class magnificent Hermitage Museum and more.

You won’t need to go in the Northern hemisphere winter, because it’s pretty much cool year-round! Want to make the most out of the experience? Go in for a Baltic Cruise. You’ll explore gorgeous seascapes and beautiful towns and cities in North Europe with a blanket of white highlighting the cityscapes.

From Sweden and Denmark, to Russia and Estonia, you’ll soak up the rich histories of these iconic cities from berlin and Moscow to Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo and beyond.

 

2. Alaska, USA

Known as America’s last frontier, Alaska is home to seemingly untouched winter landscapes, with distinct panoramas that will leave you in awe. Alaska’s famous Inside Passage, generous glaciers, and an abundance of wildlife like you’ve seen before – and you can discover all this on an Alaska cruise expedition departing Vancouver, Seward or Whittier (Anchorage). You could even cruise from San Francisco or LA, if you happen to be there.

Explore the Inside Passage, befriend seals and whale watch, and, if you’re up for it (literally), board a helicopter over the gargantuan Juneau Icefield, Mendenhall and Taku Glaciers!

As an addition, we would highly recommend extending to Denali National Park, which plays host to various winter activities such as dogsled races, wildlife watching, and stunning landscapes towered over by Mount McKinley, America’s tallest mountain.

Of course there is always the Rocky Mountaineer Rail Journey, showcasing otherwise inaccessible wilderness of the Rocky Mountains in all of their magnificent glory. Secret haunts of bear and caribou, families of deer and soaring high in the sky, bald eagles.

Excited yet? You should be!

 

3. Japan

Japan is considered a year-round destination, exuding timeless beauty whatever month you may visit. Since it belongs to our cool list, there’s no doubt that the Land of the Rising Sun is simply stunning during wintertime. Ski-fields run over with so much powder snow you could ski or snowboard your way to Hakuba, Niseko, and Sahoro, each flourish with silky ski tracks, grab a snow-mobile, discover snow-monkeys in nearby hot springs (yes, there really are such a thing as snow-monkeys! Very cute.) The list is almost endless, and don’t forget to sample the freshest sushi or ramen noodles and a little saki… to keep yourself warm of course. You’ll be thanking us for this.

 

4. Austria

For a classic European winter, say hello to Austria. Outside of winter, the scenery is already set to inspire you with landscapes dotted by fairy-tale villages, green fir forests, and deep mystical lakes. Now imagine all of that with a blessing of powder white snow… simply marvellous! Other cultural treats to enjoy include the very popular Christmas markets where you’ll find delicate handmade souvenirs, the ubiquitous gluhwein (hot mulled wine), cream coloured ponies and crisp apple strudels, doorbells and sleighbells and schnitzels with noodles… OK these ARE a few of my favourite things!

And, with a trip to Austria, they are likely to become yours too.

 

5. Iceland

Love winter? What better way to celebrate the chilly season that to go to Iceland? Here, you’ll get the full experience of winter, as temperatures get really low while you see spectacular views of the Northern Lights from this island nation. Warm yourself up in the island’s naturally occurring volcanic hot springs and geysers (Did you know that most of Iceland’s power is geo-thermic making use of the numerous volcanoes that still today spew forth sparks aplenty, along with the creation of new land). Plus, for the thrill-seekers among you, the ultimate winter adventure snorkel (yes you heard right, I said snorkel). Don you mask and fins, and a “dry” suit to keep you warm and snuggly as you push out into Thingvellir National Park Silfra Fissures’ clear waters. Why? I hear you ask… this is where the tectonic plates between Europe and America merge – and how cool is that! Another country to add to your adventure bucket list!

 

These adventures are available as part of Accor Vacation Club Travel (for eligible Premiere Plus members).

 

To enquire about the benefits of an Accor Vacation Club membership, visit www.accorvacationclub.com.au

 

Grand Mercure Puka Park, managed by Accor Vacation Club

Timeshare Travel Review – Grand Mercure Puka Park

Call of the Coromandel

 Pristine beaches, gorgeous mysterious forests and an overall relaxed atmosphere make The Coromandel Peninsula on New Zealand’s North Island is an ideal place to escape the daily grind.

Just a hop skip and jump across the gulf from Auckland, it rightfully earned its place as one of New Zealand’s favorite holiday spots – and with Accor Vacation Club members too who choose to check out the Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort!

 

Underwater love

The area is famous for diving and snorkeling, with an underwater world rivaling anything you’ll find above land.

Whanguanui-aHei Marine Reserve in Mercury Bay, is a popular location, with calm waters and beautiful reefs just below the surface. The 7 islands of this bay boast a diverse range of underwater life including turtles, moray eels, stingrays, marlin and kingfsh, and submerged caves and drop-offs will delight divers who like a challenge.

Novice divers and snorkelers will revel in Gemstone Bay, where a beginners’ snorkel trail is available pointing out the way and key details with the use of buoys and information panels. Want to know what fish just swum by? There’s a panel for that too!

There are also multiple boat cruises, kayaking tours and fishing spots to explore if admiring the ocean from above is more your style.

 

Walk the Walk

If you love exploring new regions by foot, then check out the Coromandel Coast Walk. A 7 hour return hike, this coastal walk is truly spectacular allowing an opportunity to appreciate the peaceful natural beauty, beach vistas and sparkling bar highlights from the ridges of the Peninsula. Stony Bay and Fletchers Bay mark the start and end points of the track, and both are hidden jewels in their own right.

If you are looking for a more leisurely option, there are many shorter walks or more casual strolls available. For example, just 3 kilometres from the Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort lie the golden sands of Pauanui Beach, one of the most popular on the Coromandel coast. The beach is perfect for a morning or afternoon walk, as well as ideal for an ocean swim, surfing, boogie boarding and stand-up paddle-boarding. Or maybe just sitting and watching the world go by…

 

Put a spring in your step

If spa life is more your thing, then the natural variety is not to be missed when in this part of the world. The Lost Spring Geothermal Spa in Whitianga is a naturally heated spa with rejuvenating thermal waters reaching the surface from the deep earth below. Combine this with soothing waterfalls and beautiful floral and you’ll be blissed out before brunch time! For those who prefer a traditional spa experience indoors, the destination boasts many great day spas with a range of local and traditional treatments to enjoy.

 

Treetop serenity and stargazing

Solitude and quiet nature are usually what people love most about staying at the Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort, one Accor Vacation Club’s most popular hotel destinations for Members.

This luxury lodge is an ideal base to explore the Coromandel Peninsula and its surrounds, set on 25 generous acres of mostly untouched, pristine New Zealand bushland on Mt Pauanui.

Two-hours drive from Auckland the resort is touted for its seclusion and ambiance. Many a guest has spent their evenings stargazing from their private decks, with some selected chalets offering a memorable treetop experience!

 

Resort features

Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort completed a soft room refurbishment in 2018, introducing some beautiful, fresh soft furnishings and accessories for Members to experience on their next visit.

Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort combines boutique elegance with retreat style tranquillity. It offers the ultimate environment for you to take time out to restore, indulge and completely relax.

There is also an award winning restaurant on site, Miha, for those who want to enjoy great dining in an unsurpassable location, an onsite tennis court, heated pool with views of the Coromandel Ranges as a backdrop, and gymnasium, spa and sauna facilities.

The resort’s elegant bar is welcoming, complete with majestic fireplace for those cosy cooler evenings, while a stunning sunlit deck off the main building is the perfect place to soak up the view before the sun sets below the treetops.

 

To plan your next holiday escape visit www.accorvacationclub.com.au

 Address: Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort

Mount Avenue, Pauanui Beach, Coromandel Peninsula

Phone: 0064 (0) 7 864 8088 

Visit: https://www.pukapark.co.nz/

 

The information in this article is not personal financial advice and has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person.  Before making a decision to purchase or upgrade a membership in the Accor Vacation Club, you should consider the PDS dated 1 January 2017, issued by A.P.V.C. Ltd AFSL 245515 and available at www.accorvacationclub.com.au or by contacting A.P.V.C. Ltd on 1800 70 81 90. All hotel and cruise bookings are subject to availability.