Winding round a foothill of the iconic Broken Back Range, surrounded by some of Australia’s best wineries and home to its own championship golf course, Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort has so much to offer the Hunter Valley visitor that wants it all.
To resort or not to resort – that’s often the question travellers face when they’re looking for holiday accommodation. And it really boils down to which kind of resort it is.
At its best, a resort means everything is someone else’s problem and you never need to be too far from your relaxing milieu. Options for your own enjoyment abound and – most importantly – you are left to your own devices.
Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort is one of these.
Sprawled over an enormous 300 acres (almost 227 football fields for the non-farmers among us), the resort has some incredible facilities.
Two restaurants, two bars, three swimming pools, a jacuzzi, two tennis courts, a fully equipped gym and a golf course offer plenty to do.
And even if you’re not a golfer, the 18-hole championship course here is beautifully kept and its manicured landscape contrasts well against the rugged backdrop of the nearby mountains.
And then there’s the accommodation itself.
Staying at the Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort
Rather than hotel-style rooms, the resort offers villas – self-contained two-storey suites – where you can really stretch out and make yourself at home. There are one- two- and three-bedroom villas available.
In a nod to its wine country location, the resort has given its streets wine-related names: Shiraz Terrace, Chardonnay Terrace, Cabernet Terrace…
We spent the weekend in a two-bedroom villa on Vintage Avenue.
On the ground floor, the comfortable lounge has a gas fire and large ottoman coffee table. There’s also an enormous dining table and a fully equipped kitchen. There’s also a handy powder room down here too.
Upstairs is shared between the two bedrooms, both with spacious ensuite bathrooms. The large dining table and w/c downstairs tell you that these villas are perfect for a more communal holiday as well as romantic retreats.
The villa takes advantage of its location too. There’s a veranda that runs the full width of the villa with a big table there too. Looking out through the trees down across the golf course for its elevated position, the deck gives you both privacy and views.
One bedroom also has its own private balcony, which is a lovely touch.
More about the Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort
Joining the resort to the golf course is the reception building which doubles as the clubhouse. Its high-vaulted pitched roof, exposed wood ceiling and big stone fireplace make this vast room feel cosy, giving it an alpine apres ski feel.
There’s a large deck that looks out over the main lake of the golf course here, as well as seating below. Resort guests can also access the pools and loungers here.
Breakfast is served downstairs in the restaurant, though if you’re here at the weekend, heed the resort’s warning and get there before 8am. After that, the queue becomes very long indeed. If you’re here midweek, you don’t need to worry as much.
Breakfast is as close to a good ol’ hotel buffet as you can get in these Covid times, with staff serving all the hot food classics (you can even choose the crispiness level of your bacon), with breads and fruit still on a help-yourself basis.
Wifi is freely available throughout the resort – though we did have some issues in our villa. We didn’t mind though, especially with a full Foxtel package available on all the TVs in our villa.
Surrounded by so much greenery and with the mountains in the distance, it can feel like you’re a long way from anywhere here at the Cypress Lakes Resort. But being right in Pokolbin, you’re actually in a wonderful location to explore a lot of the Hunter Valley.
Closest to the resort is the Elysia Wellness Retreat, which offers everything from spa treatments to yoga sessions. We’ll be telling you more about this place soon.
From the front gates of the resort, you’re an easy walk, easier bike ride and even easier drive to some of the very best wineries in the country.
Brokenwood, Tulloch, Scarborough, Audrey Wilkinson, Tyrells… these household names and so many more are all on your doorstep.
Here’s a list of Hunter Valley wineries that the winemakers here love.
Also very close by is the Wine House – a kind of cellar door for wineries that are too small to have their own. The Wine House also has some of the best wines in Australia here to taste and to buy.
In fact, these guys host an amazing opportunity each year for the Hunter Valley Wine and Food Festival, where they pitch the best of the Hunter Valley against Penfold’s Grange. It’s a lot of fun.
Dinner, if you don’t feel like cooking, is only spoilt by choice.
Cypress Lakes has two excellent restaurants onsite – their bistro and bar has a more casual feel, while Oak and Vine is a more refined Hunter Valley dining experience.
Further afield, there are some multi-award-winning restaurants to choose from. Esca at Bimbadgen and Margan are incredible, and the Blaxland Inn will make you feel welcome as you arrive and full as you leave.
Finally, a top tip if the line for breakfast at the resort is too much to bear, head to Cafe Enzo. It’s also just round the corner, and does great food and coffee.
Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort
15 Thompsons Road
Pokolbin NSW 2320