Spicing up wine country stays
Everything old is new again at the heart of Hunter Valley wine country, with a $30 million redevelopment transforming the 1980s-built Peppers Guest House into a five star luxury resort owned by Spicers Retreats. The 40-acre property was purchased by the boutique accommodation provider in 2016 before being closed for two years while extensive renovations were carried out on site. Renamed Spicers Guesthouse Retreat and remodelled in the renowned Spicers style of “relaxed luxury”, the Ekerts Road property was officially reopened to guests in November 2018 offering 49 accommodation rooms including a charming standalone four-bedroom cottage that is ideal for larger groups and weddings. A stunning infinity edge pool with breathtaking views over the Brokenback Range has proven among the most popular places for guests to hang out during the warmer summer season, while the inviting sandstone firepit is sure to come into its own as the temperature drops, providing the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine as the sun goes down. The redevelopment of the site has also transformed the former Chez Pok restaurant into a sumptuous new Italianinspired offering known as Eremo. Alongside an al a carte menu of contemporary dishes designed by multi-hatted Executive Chef Cameron Matthews, Eremo also offers an indulgent “avido” experience where diners are presented with a surprise selection of dishes to be shared amongst the table. Spicers Guesthouse Retreat is the company’s largest property and its second in the Hunter Valley, with its luxurious intimate Spicers Vineyards Estate nestled among the vines on Hermitage Road.