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.

 

The Sebel Swan Valley The Vines, managed by Accor Vacation Club

Vacation time, amongst The Vines

It might be a quick 25 minute drive from Perth, but the spectacular Swan Valley is almost guaranteed to have you feeling a million miles away from your everyday cares on your next visit. Whether you are escaping for a mini break or extended holiday in the heart of the vineyards, this destination has something for everyone from manicured golf courses and scenic natural landscapes, to inspiring aboriginal art and historic colonial treasures.

Of course, let’s not forget the famous Swan Valley Food & Wine Trail, a 32 kilometre trail that explores more than 150 wineries, eateries and micro-breweries across this special region that produces some of Australia’s best Verdelho, Chenin Blanc and Shiraz varieties. An ideal destination for those with a ‘taste’ for culinary adventures!

 

 All cellar doors lead to The Sebel

Managed by Accor Vacation Club, The Sebel Swan Valley is the perfect choice for travellers who want to stay a while and indulge in the best of the Swan Valley at their leisure.

A true home-away-from-home experience, The Sebel is a hop, skip and jump away from some of Western Australia’s finest cellar doors and wineries, not least of all the world-class Houghton’s and venerable Sandalwood Wineries, and local fromagerie, the Cheese Factory.

 

Of course, we’re green with envy

Guests staying at Accor Vacation Club’s apartments are invited to play not one, but two challenging 18-hole golf courses, convenentally located at The Vines Resort & Country Club’s.

Thanks to the amazing presentation and experience enjoyed by players on the Ellenbrook and Lakes golf courses, The Vines is continually rated as one of Australia’s best golf resorts. The lush, manicured gardens and immaculate greens of these magnificent Swan Valley courses are surrounded by natural bushland, where you can expect to be joined by local wildlife – not least of all curious wallabies – as you play each course.

For those up for a challenge, The Vines internationally ranked courses are the real deal with unique bunkering and an interesting course layouts that follow the natural landscape making for a testing and enjoyable experience. There is also a driving range, unparalleled in Western Australia, featuring a fully grassed teeing off area and a multi-tiered green surrounded by bunkers, for those wanting to perfect their short game.

 

Practical Magic

Self-catering is definitely a popular option for most guests staying at The Sebel Swan Valley, given each apartment’s great kitchen and lifestyle features for entertaining. However, the nearby Novotel provides an easy alternative for those who prefer to pass on cooking while on a minibreak, providing dining options at the hotel’s award-winning restaurant and bar for breakfast, lunch, dinner or perhaps  a sundowner cocktail as the sun sinks over The Vines.

Guests staying at The Sebel also receive complimentary carparking, and access to Novotel’s outdoor swimming pool and heated spa, tennis and squash courts, a games room, barbeque terrace, hairdresser and massage services. Everything you need for a complete holiday experience.

For those who want to double their holiday fun, Accor Vacation Club offers two more great destinations in Western Australia, within driving range of the Swan Valley.

  

Endearing Margaret River

Set amongst exquisite, manicured gardens in the award winning Margaret River wine region of Western Australia, Grand Mercure Basildene Manor is a one-of-a-kind historic property, dating back to 1912 and classified by the National Trust and Heritage Council.

A three hour drive from the Swan Valley, Basildene Manor is a firm favourite with discerning travellers,

Now owned and operated by one of Australia’s leading holiday lifestyle programs Accor Vacation Club, the old manor house was originally built by the locally renowned Willmott family, 106 years ago, to be their stately family home.

Steeped in history and tradition, the modern Grand Mercure Basildene Manor offers 19 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, in addition to a restaurant that serves a delicious buffet breakfast (and the hotel’s famous Devonshire tea). There is also a fireside reading room, a sunroom and conservatory, a lakeside pergola and even a tennis court. So much to do without even leaving the grounds!

With so many beautiful beaches, caves and wineries within easy reach, Basildene Manor is an ideal home base to explore the natural splendours of Margaret River, beyond the main hotel.

 

The Sebel Swan Valley

Address: 79 Hermitage Drive, The Vines WA 6069

Phone: (07) 5595 3200

 

Grand Mercure Basildene Manor

Address: 187 Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River, WA 6285

Phone: (08) 9757 3140

 

Visit: www.accorhotels.com

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

Bowral Golf Club, a favourite with Accor Vacation Club members staying at The Sebel Bowral.

Fairway to Holiday Heaven

Teeing up great golfing experiences across Australia

Let’s face it – most families and friendship groups have at least one. That person who always insists on playing at least one round at the nearest golf course when away on holiday. Possibly, they are a true fanatic who’d prefer to leave a few essential travel items at home rather than leave their trusty golf clubs behind. Or maybe they are an up-with-the-sun golfer who welcomes sunrise with a swing and smile, before settling into sightseeing and happy hour when visiting somewhere new.

Well, golf lovers – this one is for you! This issue, we’ve put together an extensive Australian bucket list of great golf courses and golf-friendly Accor Vacation Club properties to help guarantee more ‘green’ time on your next trip away.

Fortunately, great golf is par for the course at many of Accor Vacation Club’s destinations. Read on for a selection of our favourite golfing spots, plus ideas for non-golf related alternatives in each destination to make sure your travel companions enjoy the experience as much as you do.

 

GOLD COAST, QLD

In November 2017, Accor Vacation Club welcomed one of Australia’s original prestige golf-resort addresses, the Mercure Gold Coast Resort, to its Australian network. It has already proven a hugely popular addition to the Accor Vacation Club family over the past year, and is major coup for Members who love to stay and play a variety of top notch golf courses within short walking or driving distance of their accommodation on the Coast with the most.

The Mercure represents Accor Vacation Club’s fourth hotel location on the Gold Coast and is in close proximity to not one, but five affiliated premiership golf courses that together are referred to as the ‘Green Belt’. Take your pick from Lakelands, Palm Meadows, Robina Woods, Colonial and The Glades, designed by Greg Norman. A different golf course for every day of the working (or holidaying) week!

Since opening its doors 21 years ago, the iconic Mercure hotel has earned a strong track record in supporting major sporting events – not least of all, in conjunction with events associated with the adjacent world-class Palm Meadows course, which has hosted a wide range of international tournaments over the last 25 years.

As its closest golf course, Palm Meadows provides a truly tranquil backdrop for Members staying at the Mercure’s Accor Vacation Club Apartments. The property is also ideally located for visitors to explore other great attractions in the region – beautiful beaches, lush hinterland, thrilling theme parks, the Glitter Strip of Surfers Paradise, plus many restaurants, bars and shopping that make this destination so sought after.

Golfers will love: An amazing choice of five premiership golf courses on their doorstep when staying at AVC’s apartments at the Mercure Gold Coast. Plus, for those who want to lower their handicap and improve their game, an experience at Palm Meadows driving range is highly recommended. The Golf School is a leading club fitting centre in Queensland with on range data which enables you to see real ball flight using the best technology and fully trained expert PGA fitting professionals. The Pro team there is friendly and bound to have a few tips to get you playing the best golf of your life.

Everyone will love: Trying the Gold Coast’s newest attraction – Top Golf Gold Coast. This venue features fun and competitive golf games for all ages, with climate-controlled playing “bays” similar to a bowling lane. Fun for all members of the family. There is also an impressive food and drinks menu, HDTVs to watch your favorite sporting games live, and a music selection that will make every visit feel like a party. Not a traditional golfing experience, but one the entire gang will enjoy!

 

COUNTRY VICTORIA

For those Members who want to get in the swing on a rural retreat beyond Melbourne, then The Sebel Creswick Forest Resort is the place to stay, and play, in grand country style.

One of the best forest golf courses in Victoria, the 18-hole Creswick RACV Goldfields Course, is conveniently located next door to The Sebel, and is definitely one to challenge and inspire punters.

A true treasure in the heart of the goldfields district, this championship course has been designed by Tony Cashmore, who created it to highlight the stunning bushland setting and natural surrounds of the area.  Featuring sloping fairways, languid lagoons and a mixture of well-placed bunkers, it is the perfect playground for experienced golfers who don’t mind slightly hilly terrain. That’s not to say that newcomers to the game won’t enjoy the goldfields course too. The beautiful scenery and spectacular views alone, combined with gently sloping walking conditions, will keep players of any handicap strolling along quite happily.

Golfers will love: A full Par 3 course available on the Goldfields course, for those after a quicker round. It’s also ideal for those or who simply want to try something different after triumphing over the rest of the 18-hole course. There is also a practice driving range with grass tees, practice green and nets which is open to the public. It’s not necessarily a long course, but given it is quite hilly, we’d recommend checking out the golf carts on offer too for those who prefer to ‘drive’ the gold rush range! Love those buggies.

Everyone will love: The spa capital of Australia, located right on The Sebel’s doorstep! Golf widows will be thrilled to know that Victoria’s historic gold rush country is not only great for golf – it’s famous for being the nation’s mineral and day spa capital too. So if you prefer a green mineral mud mask as opposed to a golf green while on holidays, then you’re in luck! The destination encompassing Creswick and Daylesford has some of amazing natural mineral springs to explore. If modern day, state-of-the-art treatments and massages are more your thing, then they are very easy to seek out. Check out the amazing list of local boutique day spas on offer in the district to revitalize your body and soul, not least of all historic Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa which has been welcoming those seeking rejuvenation since 1895. For something close to The Sebel Creswick, Members can visit the boutique day spa on offer at the neighbouring Goldfields RACV Golf Course complex (charges apply).

 

SUNSHINE COAST, QLD

Sunshine and great golf abounds at The Twin Waters Golf Club, one of the top six courses in Australia, and of course the absolute best course on the Sunshine Coast.

Designed by five times British Open champion Peter Thomson and partner Mike Wolveridge, the course at Twin Waters has a challenging layout, enjoyed against a picturesque coastal backdrop. Immaculately manicured, players will see kangaroos and birdlife sharing the space guaranteeing an enjoyable game for all that play this tranquil course.

In reviewing the course last year Golf Australia magazine wrote, “Complementing the quality of the design are the beautifully manicured playing surfaces. The greens and fairways are consistently presented at a high standard, which is one reason why the PGA of Australia has hosted more National Finals of the Holden Scramble here than anywhere else in its 25-year history.”

In addition to its second to none presentation, those Members staying at Twin Waters Sunshine Coast, Accor Vacation Club Apartments will also appreciate the close location of this 18-hole, 72 par championship golf course. Highly convenient, as are the facilities of sister resort, the Novotel Twin Waters, situated next door).

So whether it’s warm sunshine, championship golf courses, sandy-white beaches or wilderness walks there is always something for everyone on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

Golfers will love:  Twin Waters wide fairways and large putting surfaces. Be warned…this course might not appear to be too difficult on first look, however it plays much tougher than first impressions, so  park your ego with your buggy and enjoy the challenge!

Everyone will love: Mudjimba’s patrolled surf beach, the perfect complement to our brilliant beach houses. Accor Vacation Club’s selection of sophisticated self-contained beach houses and apartments are a short walk from one of the Sunshine Coast’s best ‘hidden gems’, Mudjimba Beach. This secluded beach is bound by the Maroochy River on one side, and the Pacific Ocean on the other. Best of all, this aquatic playground is patrolled daily, 365 days of the year, which is reassuring for any casual beachgoer. Along the beach you’ll find excellent fishing spots in the rip gutters and at the river mouth just south of Twin Waters. For surfers there are consistent surf breaks along the beach with better banks towards Point Arkwright. The patrolled parts of the beach are perfect for the kids’ boogie board adventures.

 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

For the best of golf in the West, jump in the car and take the simple 35 minute drive from Perth to The Sebel Swan Valley the Vines. Accor vacation Club’s apartments at The Vines are the ideal place to base yourself to play not one, but two challenging 18-hole golf courses located at The Vines Resort & Country Club’s.

Thanks to the amazing presentation and experience enjoyed by players on the Ellenbrook and Lakes golf courses, The Vines is continually rated as one of Australia’s best golf resorts. The lush, manicured gardens and immaculate greens of these magnificent Swan Valley courses are surrounded by natural bushland, where you can expect to be joined by local wildlife – not least of all curious wallabies – as you play each course.

For those up for a challenge, The Vines internationally ranked courses are the real deal with unique bunkering and an interesting course layout that follows the natural landscape making for a testing and enjoyable experience. There is also a driving range, unparalleled in Western Australia, featuring a fully grassed teeing off area and multi-tiered green surrounded by bunkers, for those wanting to perfect their short game.

A short drive from The Sebel Swan Valley The Vines is another popular course with Perth locals and travellers alike, Collier Park Golf Course. Located just 10 minutes south form the heart of the city, this local course offers 27 holes uniquely designed to offer three stand-alone, nine-hole courses. Worth checking out for players who want the option to practice three different strategies and techniques on shorter courses.

Golfers will love: Playing some of the largest greens in Australia, and following in the footsteps of some of the world’s most legendary golfers who have played The Vines. Over the years the courses have been visited and played by golfing greats from around the world, including Greg Norman, Ernie Els, Annika Sörenstam, Michael Campbell, Bernhard Langer and John Daly. The Vines was home to the Heineken Classic from 1993 – 2001, the Johnnie Walker Classic 2006, the LPGA Lexus Cup 2007 plus the Johnnie Walker Classic in February 2009.

Everyone will love: Sampling the Swan Valley’s finest wines. Let’s face it. The only acceptable way to ‘whine’ about golf when on holidays with a golf fanatic is at an actual vineyard! Fortunately for those that do indeed love a ‘wine’, the Swan Valley is Western Australia’s oldest wine growing region. With a viticulture heritage dating back 180 years, the Swan Valley is an intoxicating destination that has long tempted travellers’ seeking out the finer things in life.  An easy 25 minute drive from Perth’s city centre, and 10 minutes from the domestic airport, the Swan Valley is best known for producing specialty Verdelho wines (among Australia’s best), plus Chenin Blanc and Shiraz varieties. From fine wine to great food and culture, the Swan Valley will surprise and delight with more than 150 wineries, distilleries, micro-breweries, restaurants, art on its doorstep.

 

HUNTER VALLEY, NSW

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!

The winding course offers a relaxed scene, serving up a feast for the senses for players – a mix of regal vineyards and bucolic views in the distance, punctuated by eucalyptus forests, wetlands and peaceful creeks at different twists and turns.  The first nine holes are a good selection of short par 4s, while the rest of the course demands more accurate shots that will test your putting prowess but certainly boost your ego if successful.

Golfers will love: Playing the ‘wine and vine’ seventh hole. According to Golf Digest magazine, “The par-5 seventh takes you on a viticulture tour, up a steep hill from the tee, and then down it all the way to a slippery left-to-right sloping green. Miss the fairway or green left, and your ball could end up in the neighbouring winery’s next ‘vintage.” We prefer to think of it as the seventh heaven hole – a win/win situation, whether you end up direct on the green, or scrambling to the nearest winery for your ball, and a cheeky refreshment along the way!

Everyone will love: Exploring the expansive and fragrant Hunter Valley Gardens. Far from your typical flower patch, the amazing Hunter Valley Gardens span some 25 acres with ten separate feature themed gardens to explore – not least of all the prized 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 gardenss’ 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!

 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

No golfing trip to South Australia is compete without a round on the Links Lady Bay golf course.  As the number one resort, and public, course in the state, its clever design, vistas and local wildlife make it something special to experience.

The well designed 18-hole golf course was masterminded by a trio of golfing greats – Jack Newton, John Spencer and Graeme Grant. It is considered a genuine ‘St Andrews’ style sand base course, and features subtle bent greens in the style of its Scottish cousin. A championship course where the untamed natural elements meet meticulously manicured fairways.

The Links Lady Bay Resort Accor Vacation Club Apartments is a must-stay property for Members who love the dazzling views of a dramatic coastline almost as much as a dramatic game of golf.  Situated on a coat hanger shaped strip of land that encapsulates the Fleurieu Peninsula, the property offers truly spectacular views, and most importantly for golfers, shares it home with the golf course. Almost too easy to fit in an early round before brunch, isn’t it?

Despite being just an hour’s drive from Adelaide, Links Lady Bay will have you feeling a million miles away from city life. The spectacular landscape and long, rugged coastline provide a visual feast, while off the golf course there are plenty or peaceful coastal hamlets, local wineries, restaurants and nearby sandy beaches to indulge your other senses for a truly satisfying holiday experience.

Links Lady Bay resort itself has a range of great facilities too, that complement Accor Vacation Club’s fully self-contained apartments, including an outdoor swimming pool, children’s playground and tennis courts.

Golfers will love: Trying their skill against the wind on the signature 17th hole. While some of the short holes on this course are said to rival some of the most famous links courses in the world, it is Links Lady Bay’s 17th hole that is perhaps its’ most challenging and satisfying to complete under par. With the honour of being one of ‘Australia’s best holes’, the 17th tests players agility and skill, requiring them to drive into the wind in order to achieve its ambitious par 3 score. May the force – or the wind – be with you!

Everyone will love: The chance to take part in a little penguin tour, after dark. Less than half an hour drive from Links Lady Bay is Granite Island Recreation and Nature Park – home to a small colony of wild Little Penguins, who return home from their day in the ocean at dusk. Granite Island Nature Tours are the best way to see Little Penguins in their natural habitat. But it’s not only Little Penguins you will see, with all the Islands natural wildlife to discover after dark. Visiting the island for 2 hours after dusk is only available via guided tour to protect the wild penguin colony. It is important to note that the guided penguin tours are subject to seasonal availability, as during February/March the penguins go through an annual moulting period. Bookings are essential and each night’s tour close at 4pm. Members can check out the specifics of taking a guided penguin tour by visiting the Victor Harbor Visitor Information Centre at the Causeway.

 

PALM COVE, TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

The Great Barrier Reef off North Queensland’s coast offers a world of colour to explore, thanks to its abundant coral gardens and marine life. But, let’s face it – for vacationing golfers, green is the only colour that really matters! It’s a good thing that Palm Cove’s signature colour is indeed green, with several great golf courses to tempt you away from the beckoning big blue of the reef.

For Accor Vacation Members staying at The Sebel Palm Cove Coral Coast or the Coral Coast Resort Palm Cove Accor Vacation Club Apartments, the Novotel Palm Cove provides an excellent 9 hole paid golf course in close proximity to your apartment, and great facilities. Set amidst 45 hectares of gardens this course welcomes visitors, and features lush fairways fringed by mountains and graceful melaleuca gums.  Watch out for the numerous water hazards as you play this course, and play to win!

Wedged between the Great Dividing Ranges and the Coral Sea is a public access course, the Palm Cove Country Club, which also offers nine-holes in a friendly and relaxed environment.  Perfect for casual players who don’t take the game too seriously, this course features seven par threes and two par fours. The highlight is a great par four ninth hole, back to the club house.

For more serious players, it’s worth checking out the 18-hole championship golf course at Paradise Palms. This course is host of the Mercedes-Benz Cairns Classic on the Australian PGA Pro-Am circuit which attracts some of Australia’s best professional golfers. Designed by Graham Marsh and Ross Watson, Paradise Palms is currently ranked in the top 50 public access golf courses in Australia by Golf Digest. But be warned – Marsh and Watson were commissioned by the original Japanese owners, Daikyo, to create Australia’s most difficult tournament venue when they designed this course– and they successfully met the brief! Having said this, the course is in fact suitable for golfers of all levels, and features wide fairways and peaceful surroundings.

Golfers will love:  Multiple tee options available at Paradise Palms, depending on your comfort level. Paradise Palms is a par 71 course, however offers multiple tee options, so players of all levels can confidently enjoy a round. Following its update in 2017, almost 250 metres has been added to the length of the course with new tees being built on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 10th and 18th holes, bringing a number of hazards and bunkers back into play.

Everyone will love: Having your choice of beachside or rainforest paradise, right on your doorstep.  Accor Vacation Club’s apartments are located just a short stroll to a tropical palm-fringed beach. The unspoilt paradise lies parallel to the beautiful Great Barrier Reef and is within easy reach of the renowned Daintree Rainforest and tropical Atherton Tablelands for your choice of daytrips. The Kuranda SkyRail is a must do.

 

COFFS HARBOUR, NSW

What is better than having direct beach access from the resort you’re staying at? How about having your very own 9-hole golf course to practice on? Pacific Bay Resort, Accor Vacation Club Apartments offer you both those things, ensuring your friends will be ‘green’ with envy on your next golf holiday.

Enjoyable, interesting and well maintained, the Bay Golf Course is ideal for beginners of professionals wanting to improve their short game.

For serious golfers those wanting to explore further afield after playing the resort course, try the Bonville Golf Course, a short 20 minute drive south. Widely regarded as ‘Australia’s most beautiful mainland golf course’, Bonville is home of the Australian Ladies Classic and has a great restaurant onsite for those who want to make a day of it. The Coffs Harbour Golf Club is another nearby option, a championship course offering 27 with three different layouts for the touring golfer to try.

When it comes to accommodation, Pacific Bay Resort, Accor Vacation Club Apartments provide guests with the perfect balance between fun and relaxation in a peaceful location, convenient to the heart of Coffs Harbour. In addition to the golf course, the resort has three tennis courts, and three heated swimming pools, offering everything you could want in a place to get away from it all.

Golfers will love:  Just enough hazards on the Pacific Bay course to keep things interesting. For those keeping things casual and local, the resort course has a great putting green to warm up on, and offers stunning views and a welcome coastal breeze. The signature 9th hole is an exciting way to wrap up you game, surrounded by water and enticing players to aim for an ‘island’ shot to make par.  Golf accessories and a cafe are also within the Pro Shop.

Everyone will love: Ticking a sunset camel ride on the beach off their bucket list! Forget the big banana. If bunkers have been giving you grief all day, then it might be time to let a camel deal with the sand underfoot for a change. If you want to try something fun, relaxing but entirely different, then perhaps a Coffs Coast Camel Ride is for you.  Coffs Coast Camels has 20 camels hailing from Alice Springs at the ready for beach rides, sunset and twilight tours and camel safaris, which last around 30 minutes. It’s something couples and families can equally enjoy.

 

SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, NSW

With scenery reminiscent of rural England, the Southern Highlands is something special. A classic retreat from all that is urban and suburban, exuding heritage charm, gorgeous gardens, rolling hills and forests at every turn.

For this very reason, The Sebel Bowral Heritage Park is one of Accor Vacation Club’s most popular addresses, with modern, fully self-contained apartments just moments from the heart of town. Keen golfers will be pleased to know that the Bowral Golf Club is even closer – right next door in fact! Not only does that mean that Members can enjoy views over the beautiful fairways from the comfort of their fireplace, but there are no excuses for missing tee off during your next stay.

More than 115 years in the making, the Bowral Golf Club is considered one of the best country courses in New South Wales. The course layout suits all levels of golf, so novices are in luck. One of our favourite features has to be the beautiful arbours and avenues of old English and native trees that border the fairways. Stunning in any season! If you are keen to test drive this course on your next visit, Accor Vacation Club Members can pre-book tee times through the Club, to plan the experience in advance.

Back at The Sebel, Members and guests have complimentary use of the hotel’s heated swimming pool too, which is a great way to unwind and rest your weary muscles after a day on the course.

Golfers will love:  Trading their golf club temporarily for a cricket bat to explore the Don Bradman Museum. Ok, it might not be exactly the right sport, however surely one great sportsperson can appreciate another?! Sports fans and history buffs will be impressed to know that the famous Bradman Museum and the International Cricket Hall of Fame, are both within walking distance of The Sebel in Bowral, ensuring that this attraction is a must visit destination.

Everyone will love: Finding a treasure at Dirty Jane’s Emporium. A popular haunt for stylists, designers and bargain hunters alike! Lovers of vintage and antique wares should definitely stop by the iconic Dirty Jane’s in Bowral. There are more than 75 dealers across three impeccably presented warehouse spaces, so be prepared to shop until you drop, or just window shop the vintage furniture, jewellery, clothing and homewares on display. There is even an ‘artist-in-residence’ and Tea Salon. A civilized way to spend the day.

If you are interested in booking a golf holiday at any of these locations, please call Accor Vacation Club’s friendly Member Services team on 1300 76 14 14 and select option 1 to discuss.

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

 

 

The beach opposite The Sebel Palm Cove Coral Coast

Timeshare travel review – The Sebel Palm Cove Coral Coast

While the rest of Australia is awaiting a pre-winter cold snap, Tropical North Queensland is still enjoying gorgeous weather, helping it stay on top as one of our favourite year round destinations.

One standout holiday gem along the coast has to be Palm Cove. For those seeking out a restful retreat with the sound of the ocean to lull you to sleep each night, this quaint beachside village is just the ticket. Far from the maddening crowds, and beyond the hustle of the busy tourist strip of downtown Cairns some 30 minutes south, it is the perfect place to stop, drop and finish that novel or crossword you’ve been putting off. Swaying palm trees, sundowners’ and sandy-heeled walks all par for the course on this holiday.

 

Speaking of courses…

Did we mention that golfers have a choice of 13 different golf courses in and around Palm Cove and Cairns to choose from for those keen to work on their game between cocktails? Beyond the call of the fairway and fishing pier on its famous beachfront, Palm Cove actually offers holidaymakers so many options when it comes to exploring the region. So keep your schedule clear before happy hour to make sure you pack as much (or as little) in as you can handle.

 

 It’s only natural

For those that visit Palm Cove and the top end for the first time, undoubtedly the thing that surprises them most is just how amazing the natural attractions of this destination really are. Most people underestimate the impact of their first encounter with the Great Barrier Reef, or how small they feel when they encounter the ancient trees of the Daintree Rainforest or wilderness of Cape Tribulation. A range of National Parks are within driving distance of Palm Cove for great day trips from your resort.

For an up close and (not too personal) encounter with fauna indigenous to the area, Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure Park is worth checking out. It boasts the largest collection of crocodiles in captivity and hosts a crocodile attack show to set your pulses racing. The park also offers encounters with koalas, cassowaries, and an educational wetlands cruise.

 

Picturesque Palm Cove beach

Palm Cove is well known for two things – being one of Far North Queensland’s cleanest beaches, and one of its cleanest. Protected 500 year old Melaleuca trees line the length of the beachfront, a beautiful sight, but also practical offering shade for beachgoers throughout the day. No beach umbrella required here. They are such an important part of the beachfront, that local buildings have been built around them, ensuring they remain an iconic and memorable part of the Palm Cove experience.

Swimming at Palm Cove is great at all times of the year, but just as a precaution its best to only swim inside the swimming enclosures during Stinger season from mid-November to mid-May. Of course, at all times of the year it is advisable to swim between the Surf Life Saving rescue flags, coloured yellow and red. Catamaran, sailing, kayaking, paddlewheel bikes and jet skiing are other great activities you can do direct from Palm Cove beach.

If fishing is more your thing, the Southern end of the beach is favoured by fishermen (and families) who seek out the pipis that populate the area. The pipi shuffle is a popular sight in Palm Cove as people young and old dig their heels in and twist ‘60s style to unearth the sea creatures from the wet sand!

Fishing from the shore is also possible, but many prefer to make use of the picturesque jetty for this activity.  The sunset and sunrise views from the jetty is a must see activity all year round, and the perfect destination for you daily beach walk. Don’t forget to take a souvenir selfie.

 

See food – and eat it!

There are so many dining options to tempt on the Palm Cove Esplanade, and for many seafood is the preferred choice, given the beachfront location of many cafes, bars and restaurants.  Once the sun starts to dip down over the horizon, it’s the place to be to be for happy hour, into the night. The ambiance is second to none, with gentle ocean breezes, great cuisine, and candlelight combining for a memorable holiday dining experience. Standout restaurants include the much acclaimed Nu Nu Restaurant, al fresco dining on the deck at the Reef House or the Palm Cove Surf Club for convivial, casual dining.

 

No man is an island

After a few days unwinding in Palm Cove, often a day trip is in order for a little sun, sand, and the chance to mix with other holidaymakers or locals. Fitzroy Island is a popular option. Departing from Cairns, it’s an all-rounder destination with something for everyone. Great snorkelling, sea kayaking, hiking and a range of bars and restaurants to enjoy a meal under the sunshine and watch the world go by.

 

Pull up at The Sebel Palm Cove Coral Coast

The Sebel Palm Cove Coral Coast is a great place to base yourself while visiting Palm Cove. Accommodation options include a choice of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments. Facilities include an outdoor pool, tour desk, complimentary car parking for guests, floodlit tennis courts, a sauna and golf.

Address: Coral Coast Drive, Palm Cove QLD 4879

Phone: (07) 7 4059 8000

Visit: www.accorvacationclub.com.au/property/the-sebel-palm-cove-coral-coast/

 

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.

 

The Links Lady Bay Accor Vacation Club Apartments

Fine designs on Links Lady Bay Accor Vacation Club Apartments

 

 The Fleurieu Peninsula’s sandy beaches and dramatic, rugged coastline has provided design inspiration for a major renovation program undertaken by Accor Vacation Club at The Links Lady Bay in South Australia.

Designed and furnished by architecture firm, Jessica Street Design, with building by McDas Construction, the extensive refurbishment touched on every component of Accor Vacation Club’s 15 upscale apartments located within the hotel. The result – exceptional quality for Accor Vacation Club Members, and a new standard in upscale accommodation for the destination.

“We’re not just talking about a simple room update here,” explained Accor Vacation Club CEO Craig Wood. “Each apartment boasts a complete chef’s kitchen, extra-large bathroom, full lounge and dining area, plus a master bedroom, so the scale of each space to be renovated had to be carefully considered in order for the project to be successfully completed on budget, and in keeping to our expectations for a superior, high-style finish.”

Influenced by direct Member feedback, the renovation of The Links Lady Bay Accor Vacation Club Apartments notably included major work within the bathrooms, in order to provide a separate the bath and shower for increased accessibility and a more luxurious feel for guests.

Other key design features included the addition of intricate Master bedroom bedheads above new Sleepmaker beds, custom-made timber and marble bedside tables and drawers, diamond buttoning on the upholstery, ornate bathroom mirrors and LED lit iridescent sheer curtains. “The curtains were embellished to create the most luxurious effect, without compromising the budget,” said Mr Wood.

To reflect its seaside location, the overall colour palette in each apartment leans towards muted blues and pearly creams, reflective of the relaxed yet dramatic coastal environment that surrounds The Links Lady Bay Accor Vacation Club Apartments.

Golden holiday moments – the Gold Coast, uncovered

If you think it’s time to visit – or revisit – the iconic ‘coast with the most’, then prepare to be inspired!

Famed for its bright lights, breathtaking beaches and theme parks, the Gold Coast is undoubtedly one of Australia’s most popular hotspots. The destination has certainly come a long way since it first surfed the beach culture wave to fame back in the 1950s, evolving into the diverse, high-end, holiday haven it is today.

Whether you prefer scenic hinterland drives, epic beach breaks and paddle boarding, or taking in an action-packed calendar of cultural and sporting events (not least of all the 2018 Commonwealth Games), there is no better time than now to rediscover the Gold Coast .

Welcome to Paradise

Surfers Paradise comfortably maintains its position as the good-times hub of the Gold Coast, The new foreshore is bustling throughout the day with walkers, cyclists and skateboarders taking advantage of this beachfront boulevard vista overlooking the surf and sand. Like the Surfers Paradise of yesteryear, beachside shopping, dining, bars and clubs continually offer the complete holiday experience all in one compact destination package.

Fairway to heaven

The Gold Coast is not only a ‘Surfers Paradise’, but a golfers’ paradise too, boasting more than 40 of Australia’s finest golf courses.  Nestled between Lakelands and Palm Meadows golf courses, Accor Vacation Club’s newest address, Mercure Gold Coast Resort, is the perfect resort for a golf holiday, partnering with five golf courses all within a ten-minute drive from the resort. Play at one course, or enjoy five different locations. Guests can take advantage of Mercure resort’s booking service to arrange tee times at their preferred course. If you are after some professional advice to up your game, check out The Golf School at Palm Meadows Driving Range.

Sky is the limit

Arguably the best way to take in the magnificent Gold Coast is from above. A twilight experience on Australia’s highest external building climb, Skypoint, is a must-do, lasting 90 minutes from the beginning to the end and featuring an awe-inspiring, open-air adventure atop one of Queensland’s most recognised land marks – the iconic Q1 Building. The Skypoint Observation Deck is available for those who wish to watch their friends and family climb, without donning the harness themselves! Rising 270m into the air, SkyPoint Climb is Australia’s highest external building climb and provides unparalleled 360′ views of the Gold Coast and beyond. For a less pulse racing, but equally stunning, view of the coast from above, a hot air balloon ride is also unforgettable. Balloon Aloft Gold Coast has been showcasing the Gold Coast and its spectacular scenery for over 20 years. Departing from the Mercure Gold Coast Resort, you will have the chance to float like a cloud as you witness the sunrise climbing over the stunning panorama, from high-rises and shimmering waterways to the Hinterland.

Surfing the menu

The increasing sophistication of the region has brought a serve of top-notch restaurants and cafes for visitors to try. Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach, and Surfers Paradise all offer an exceptional choice of eateries, from prizewinning pizza places and gelato bars to fine dining options, such as ocean facing The Fish House ay Burleigh Beach. In a league of its own, The Fish House Is credited with introducing a style of dining that put the Gold Coast on the food map nationally and sparked the beginning of the dining revolution. Palm Beach is the latest emerging dining precinct of the Gold Coast. The once sleepy suburb is now the new destination for discriminating diners. For those who want to taste test the GC themselves, there are a number of locally led food and wine tours available.

This little tourist went to market

The Gold Coast offers a fascinating and diverse array of markets to satisfy every need, from art and craft to fashion, seasonable fresh produce, gifts and knick knacks. A trip to any one of the Gold Coast’s markets can mean a shopping bag full of edible souvenirs, gourmet products and other delights. For early risers, the Gold Coast’s bustling markets serve up delicious paddock-to-plate inspired breakfasts from 6.00am at Palm Beach, Bundall and Helensvale. For those staying in Surfers Paradise, The Esplanade Surfers Paradise offers market stalls between 4pm and 9pm every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night.

Hinterland fling

Springbrook and Mt Tamborine are just two highlights of the local hinterland and rainforest region that form the beating green heart of the Gold Coast. Ideal for day trips (a 45 minute drive from the tourist strip), the hinterland offers numerous walking trails, or for those who prefer to cruise, breathtaking scenic drives. You’ll see views waterfalls that tumble down into the depths of the canyon, cool rock creeks that flow into swimming holes and some of the oldest trees in Australia. For a change of pace, there are several local wineries to stop by including Tamborine’s Witches Falls cellar door, a brewery and even a mountainside distillery Add to this award-winning restaurants, art galleries, sweeping coastal views and that delicious mix of old and new-world charm for a perfect day out.

Modern Family 

Ready to release your inner child? The Gold Coast is home to a literal world of theme parks – think Movie World, Dream World, Sea World, and even White Water World. And let’s not forget that family favourite, Wet & Wild for the summer season, and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (where a Koala cuddle is almost obligatory). With so many aqua attractions splashed around the Gold Coast, it can be hard to find a beach that best suits children. Tallebudgera Creek offers a sandy bottomed lagoon, crystal waters and plenty of shade for afternoon lazing. For kids a little older and eager to learn, Currumbin Alley Surf School is perfect for a family-friendly surf session on some of the best beginner waves on the GC. When heading out with the kids seems too hard, keep in mind that Accor Vacation Club’s Turtle Beach Resort on Mermaid Beach offers a holiday kids’ club for 4-12 year olds.

 

Handy holiday tip…It’s easy to forget just how widespread the Gold Coast actually is, so planning ahead is important, especially when driving between the beaches and hinterland, from Coolangatta airport in the South, or to the theme parks in the North.

 

Accor Vacation Club Apartments to explore:

 

 

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.

Timeshare travel review: The Sebel Swan Valley

With a viticulture heritage dating back 180 years, the Swan Valley is an intoxicating destination that has long tempted travellers’ seeking out the finer things in life.  An easy 25 minute drive from Perth’s city centre, and 10 minutes from the domestic airport, the Swan Valley is best known for producing specialty Verdelho wines (among Australia’s best), plus Chenin Blanc and Shiraz varieties.

From fine wine to great food and culture, the Swan Valley will surprise and delight with more than 150 wineries, distilleries, micro-breweries, restaurants, art on its doorstep.

 

Where to stay.

Most travellers will find it makes sense to spend a few days, or at least overnight, to make the most of their time in the Swan Valley. Of course, while the region is proudly home to Western Australia’s oldest vines, contemporary is definitely the preferred way to stay when choosing a home away from home amongst the spectacular vineyards.

The Sebel Swan Valley The Vines is one of the destination’s premier resort options, offering a peaceful and private experience for guests. Think modern yet casual comfort, with all the flexibility afforded by serviced apartment living. With views over The Vines golf course and local native bush land, expect to see Kangaroos and wildlife greeting you daily from the comfort of your room!

Managed by one of Australia’s leading holiday lifestyle programs Accor Vacation Club, The Sebel Swan Valley features a selection of 32 sophisticated and spacious one-bedroom, two-bedroom and studio apartment options.

For singles and couples, studio apartments sleep up to two people, and include a convenient kitchenette. Studio rooms have been designed with an indoor and outdoor seating area to enjoy views over the fairway and bushland.

The Sebel Swan Valley’s spacious one-bedroom apartments sleep up to four guests, with a practical two-way bathroom and central dining table for meal times together. For those needing extra room to move, the larger two-bedroom apartment configuration is ideal for small groups and families, catering for up to six people. Each two-bedroom apartment includes one large bathroom plus a separate ensuite off the master bedroom. Both the one and two-bedroom accommodation options feature full kitchen facilities, and an internal laundry. For a truly carefree experience, Accor Vacation Club also ensures each apartment is serviced at the end of each stay.

 

Out and about

The Sebel Swan Valley, managed by Accor Vacation Club, is ideally located within easy driving distance to award-winning vineyards and cellar doors, not least of all the world-class Houghton’s and venerable Sandalford Wineries, and the locally renown Cheese Barrel. It’s the perfect place to kick off an adventure on the Swan Valley Food & Wine Trail, a 32km tourism loop that helps uncover local aboriginal and colonial historical, art galleries plus fresh, seasonal and local produce.

Most people visiting the Swan Valley choose to self-drive, and explore the region at their leisure. For these guests, The Sebel extends complimentary onsite car parking.

However, for those looking for things to do close by, The Sebel also offers access to two championship golf courses and numerous bar and dining options within walking distance, including at the neighbouring Novotel hotel. Whether you are looking to start the day with a delicious buffet breakfast, indulge in an afternoon cocktail or delicious a la carte meal, you will love Novotel’s award winning restaurant or, for those for entertainment, Novotel’s lounge bar offers live music every Saturday night.

Beyond dining, The Sebel Swan Valley’s guests also have access to Novotel’s outdoor swimming pool and heated spa, tennis and squash courts, a games room, barbeque terrace, hairdresser and massage services. Everything you need for a complete holiday experience.

 

Address: 79 Hermitage Drive, The Vines WA 6069

Phone: (07) 5595 3200

Visit: www.accorvacationclub.com.au/property/the-sebel-swan-valley-the-vines/

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.