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.

 

Accor Vacation Club travel tips for long flights

Long Flight Survival Tips for Families

Going on a family trip, especially with very young children, can be stressful and costly. While becoming a member of Accor Vacation Club is a great way to minimise drama on the ground with great apartment accommodation serving up space and amenities perfect for those with kids, the fact is you may still be left with the stress of air travel to get to your destination. Sorry!

But there are some travel tips that you can employ to make even very long journeys with children easier on everyone concerned.

 

Other People.

First of all, think about other people, as counter-intuitive as this might seem. If other people get upset with your children, this can lead you to become anxious – and children pick up when their parents are upset and this can lead them to behave poorly. To avoid this vicious circle, take stock of the people around you and speak to them, letting them know that you want their journey (and yours) to be peaceful and that you are going to work on achieving that. People will often be understanding if you give them the chance.

To this end, be prepared for the whole time of the flight or voyage (trains and buses offer the same cramped conditions as planes, with almost the same restrictions on easy movement), and make allowances for delays too. Bring toys and games – many can be found in travel versions so pieces do not get lost and pieces will stay in place during play. Bring along pens and paper too, most children love to draw, and the pen and paper can be used for other games if necessary.

 

Make sure that you prioritise your children during the journey.

If you are driving, make time for plenty of stops along the way for toilet breaks and leg stretches, and if you are confined to public transport, make sure the children move around a little (subject to the rules and directions of the carrier) – it is not healthy for anyone to sit still for hours on end. Let the children know what is happening, and tell them some of the exciting things that they will be doing during their Accor Vacation Club holiday.

 

Take a Change of Clothes.

Travelling is a sticky, sweaty business, and sitting in sticky, sweaty clothing is not comfortable for anyone. Change the children’s clothes when needed, and carry plenty of wet wipes so you can all arrive cool and clean, in good condition and ready to go. Any family trip can be enhanced by simply taking a breather, acknowledging discomforts and dealing with them as best you can, rather than ignoring wails and protests to ‘push through’ and get there!

Food & Drink.

Even if the flight or journey offers food, make sure that you take some of the children’s favourite foods so they will have something to eat that they know and like – and that will not upset their tummies. Make sure that you read up on restrictions on the transport of food and drink, especially for those visiting different countries, but also sometimes across state lines. Air flights are more likely to have restrictions on some products, so do make sure that you check – there is nothing more devastating than preparing plenty of food and drink for the family, only to have to throw it all away, and rebuy those exact products once through the security checks.

Also one of the more important travel tips when it comes to air travel with youngsters, do not forget something for the children to suck on or chew while the flight is climbing or descending. The sudden change in air pressure can make our ears pop, but can be very painful for young children and babies, those whose ears are more sensitive than adults’.

These travel tips should help your family trip be one that is remembered fondly, with smiles, rather than with a shudder of horror!

 

 

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.

Multi generational travel with Accor Vacation Club

Talkin’ bout multi-generation (travel)

So, it’s official. Multi-generational travel is THE top trend for 2018. Some might argue that holidays that include three or more generations – be it grandparents, parents, children and even cousins and uncles and aunts – have always been a popular option. However, the phenomenon was officially identified by tourism authorities as an emerging ‘travel trend in 2015, and has been on the up and up ever since.

If you don’t quite believe us, then a recent report from travel experts Virtuoso might convince you!

You can check out the full Forbes article here, which reports that, Taking the kids — and even grandma with you — that’s the top travel trend for 2018, according to luxury travel network Virtuoso. It has revealed that the families continue to travel, in search of experiences that create closer bonds and lasting memories. Connecting with family through travel is one of 2018’s must-have experiences.”

Think back to your own childhood experiences. We bet some of the best (and the hilariously worst!) were spent with extended family! Accor Vacation Club is possibly ahead of the curve when it comes to the trend to take grandma, kids and cousins along for the trip.

Indeed, many Accor Vacation Club Members already use their memberships to take advantage of the great apartment accommodation on offer across the Club’s network to spend quality time with extend family regularly throughout the year.

Here are our top five reasons for jumping on board this trend – if you haven’t already.

 

  1. Getting serious about family time

Let’s face it. In our modern world, time is our most precious commodity, and spending it with the people that matter most to us should be a priority. We schedule work time, gym time, even me time – but what about time with extended family members? While social media, phone and email is a great way to stay in touch with those you love, nothing beats scheduling holidays together for actual face time and real contact. Seeing each other in the flesh, sharing a hug, conversation or just hearing each other laugh is the ultimate for creating memories based on shared experiences.

  1. Built in babysitters

For many parents juggling careers and family, grandparents have become more essential than ever to the family mix, lending a hand in the childcare stakes and for emotional support. That of course goes for time spent on holidays too. If a date night is hard to come by, then a multi-generational holiday offers a great opportunity for a mum and dad who have little chance to spend time together the perfect excuse for a mini-date escape. And let’s not forget the other relatives also on hand to keep a watchful eye on little ones, to give Nan and Pop a break too. A million memories are made from playing with cousins and that hilarious uncle or auntie who provide entertainment value for days!

  1. Sharing is caring

The beauty of bringing more family members along for the ride? There are more people to delegate to and collaborate with!  Sharing duties has to be one of the best perks of organising a holiday with an assortment of different family members involved. Cooking, cleaning, and even divvying up who is driving or researching different day trips can be a godsend. It means everyone can actually enjoy some time off, with each person bringing something different to the party. Collaborate and celebrate.

  1. Forging strong next-generation relationships

As we get older, we start to realise just how fragile life can be, and how important creating a legacy and establishing meaningful bonds truly is. Parents age. Children grow up quickly. Other family members move away as ‘life’ and new opportunities beckon. It’s so important not to wait until someone is sick and unwell, or until all your school and work commitments are completed, before planning that special holiday together. An annual trip is another brilliant way to ensure that special bonds are formed, encouraging a lifetime of love, support and of course a lust for travel with the people who know and (still) love you!

5. It’s FUN!

Ok, we admit it. Sometimes family time can be challenging. But in the scheme of things, holidays spent with family also represent some of the most rewarding and beautiful times you’ll ever have the privilege of enjoying. Embrace the crazy – and your family – and enjoy all the fun times that family travel represents.

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

 

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.

 

School holidays travel – tried and true ideas for a tear free trip

In need of a survival guide to get you through the upcoming school holidays? You are not alone. Family holidays are meant to be about making time and creating memories that your children will carry with them for the rest of their lives (ok that might be aiming too high…at least into next term!). But often, school holidays can be fraught with stress and problem solving that can easily sap the energy and magic right out of your vacation.

Here, we share a few ideas to help smooth the way to a fun – not frightful – trip away with your children.

  1. Book early!

We can’t stress this enough. Let’s face it, everyone with school aged children will be planning to travel and book accommodation at the same time as you, so thinking ahead and making that travel booking needs to be done as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.  As they say, the early bird gets the worm (or the room as the case may be.)

  1. Select a destination to suit the ages and interests of your family.

It pays to have a good think about your kids’ ages, and how well the destination you have in mind might meet their age requirements and keep them best occupied. If younger members of the family are entertained and happy, it gives you a chance to relax and enjoy yourself too.

Overseas favourites like Bali and Fiji have great reputations as family destinations for those with younger children and babies, with good reason. The staff generally go above and beyond to entertain young guests while Mum and Dad kick back and have a chance to finish off breakfast at the restaurant buffet in peace! If your kids are older, perhaps a road trip and more adventure style options will seem less daunting. For example, the Gold Coast is famous for theme park fun if you think your kids are old enough to appreciate an action packed trip full of rollercoaster action. Melbourne offers everything you need to inject a little culture into your children’s lives. And the alpine regions of NSW and Victoria have adrenalin and snow adventures in easy reach, ideal for both summer and winter breaks that get you back in touch with nature and the great outdoors. It all depends on your family, so it pays to spend some time to consider your options in order to get this right.

  1. Apartments versus hotel rooms.

Let’s face it. Sometimes more is just, well, more! To make sure your holiday vibe remains chilled, an apartment can be a great option, offering a true home away from home experience with the added benefit of more space. Often, apartments also include several separate guest rooms, kitchen and laundry facilities. Especially great for those with larger families, who might not fit a traditional hotel room style configuration.

  1. Consider inviting friends and family.

There are definite benefits to travelling with family (including grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles), or close friends. By agreeing to travel to a destination with your wolf pack, you can ensure there will always be trusted friends to join your kids in the pool for a game of Marco Polo, a mate to bring you a drink while you are slaving over the barbecue, and an extra set of eyes to watch your brood while you duck away for that much need afternoon holiday nap. Plus, you get to share your holiday experiences with people you care about, with stories to reminisce over for years to come.

  1. Pack a carry bag with essentials, treats and surprises.

We all know that life happens, even to the best of us. To take the stress and drama out of excursions, day trip, flights and road trips always pack a carry back with you so that all the essentials you require are in reach. That includes first aid and toiletry essentials, and an extra set of clothes for each person (just in case!). Prepare your travel entertainment in advance too (charge those devices and pack those books and pencils!), and don’t forget some new gadgets or surprises to build moral and keep little minds engaged should you encounter delays on already long trips.

  1. Plan ahead… and then plan B (and in some cases, C)

The most organised trip can easily get derailed, so it’s important to stay flexible, adapt to changes, have a plan B ready to go to if unforeseen problems crop up. A sense of humour is also essential to face issues with a smile and set the tone for your little ones! In terms of itineraries, it’s always a good idea to plan some structured time into your day to give focus and have something to look forward to, even if it’s as simple as a daily beach walk or board game. For more packed itineraries that have you out and about in your destination, don’t forget to factor in some down time to simply relax and veg out with your crew. Sometimes it’s the unplanned moments where true holiday magic and memories happen!

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

 

 

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.