Year Round Water Wonderland, Within an Easy Drive From Sydney

Over the years I’ve been fortunate to put my head down on some of the world’s most expensive pillows in some of the world’s most expensive hotels overlooking some of the world’s most iconic landmarks, enjoying an experience vastly different to home.

That’s why we travel. To leave the norm behind, to enjoy a change of scene, to indulge.

But these days we tend to seek overnight experiences in places that feel more like home, where a comfortable bed, clean generous sized bathroom, sitting area or deck and simple affordable furnishing ideas are on offer. A water view is a bonus but not as crucial as relaxation options, a place to sit and read and affordable, quality dining. Over the weekend, we found such a place.

Having first stayed at Peppers Hunter Valley Guesthouse when it opened back in 1984 and loving what we found, we took the opportunity to divert whilst visiting friends at Salamander Bay, to discover Peppers Anchorage, tucked away in Corlette just minutes, but a world away from Nelson Bay. How pleased we were.

With its magical Port Stephens vista and impressive marina housing some equally serious water craft, Peppers Anchorage sits discreetly at the end of an otherwise non-descript cul-de-sac.  

Low rise and sitting snugly between the vast bay and nature reserve behind, Peppers Anchorage reminds us of how we envisage a coastal retreat in the Hampshires, but rather than being greeted by white gloved formal staff, we are welcomed by young good looking team members keen to ensure we feel we belong.

The reception area is compact and bright not like those vast, sombre, soul-less entry points to many 5 star places. The furnishings are relaxed and fresh like your favourite room at home, the lounge divine with comfortable lounge and wing chairs overlooking the views or clustered around the library and open fire.

The snooker room, Captains Bar and signature restaurant Merretts each enjoy million dollar views where dolphins play. Downstairs the bright bistro spills onto the manicured lawns adjacent to the waterside pool making it the ideal spot for casual dining or high tea. When time comes, the health club and onsite relaxation centres are further relaxation options.

Whether your budget covers an Anchorage Room, Two level Loft rooms, Captain’s or Master Suite, you’ll not be disappointed as almost all offer tranquil waterviews.

Next time we are planning a getaway, we’ll certainly be thinking Peppers Anchorage followed perhaps by a nostalgic return to the Hunter Valley Guesthouse.  

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April 5 2011
David Fellows
Words&Deeds P/L
0412 146 256

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