This imposing lodge, a cross between a castle and a Tuscan villa, is the place for an indulgent getaway. It was opened in 2001 by the late Len Evans, a legendary winemaker of the Hunter Valley, who furnished it with many of the antiques and curios he picked up over a lifetime of collecting, including the Moroccan front doors. Each of the 12 rooms (including two suites) is decorated differently, and each opens onto a private terrace or small courtyard. The free-standing
Chairman's Suite is the largest, and comes with its own minitower and viewing platform and has a 300-year-old bed from Rajasthan, India. The pick of the lodge rooms (for many) is the French Provincial room with buttercup walls and exquisite furnishings. Breakfast, a delicious afternoon tea, and evening drinks are part of the tariff. Nine restaurant (so named as it is 9 feet below the lounge and library area) was once Evans' private cellar. Now it serves a seasonal degustation menu ($A190 for nine courses and A$260 with matching wines). Nearby is Tower Estate winery and Blaxlands Inn, a steak restaurant, all under the same ownership.