tower lodge hunter valley

Heavenly Hacienda 

Nestled in the heart of the Hunter Valley, Tower Lodge is a little slice of Spanish Basque Country.

Imagine whiling away the weekend with friends in a palatial hacienda in the Spanish countryside. Indulging in fine wine, delicious local produce, clear country air and stimulating conversation. Now transport that enticing scene in your mind to a stunning location just outside Pokolbin. You’re picturing one of the Hunter’s most enduring and iconic properties – Tower Lodge.


With its roots in the Hunter’s fine winemaking history, Tower Lodge was conceived in the late nineties. By the famous wine taster and restaurateur, the late Len Evans AO OBE, and a small group of leading winemakers. Inspired by the rustic architecture found in the hills outside Pamplona, the art deco stonework, shuttered mullion windows, trickling water feature, earthy brick patterns and ornate pillars all combine to create a relaxed yet refined aesthetic in a typically Australian bush setting.

It’s ideally suited to our warm summers and cool winters.


Hope Estate owners and Hunter Valley celebrities Michael and Karen Hope purchased the property together in 2013. Following a $6 million refurbishment in 2019, today Tower Lodge is designed as a warm and stylish family estate. Where guests are welcomed as friends. It’s very much a family affair, with son Sam Hope looking after the guest experience and elder son Jonno supplying the free-range Angus beef from the family’s farm in the Upper Hunter.


According to General Manager Joanne Mitchell, Tower Lodge aims to provide a luxurious yet informal stay for guests. “We want them to feel pampered and special but still relaxed and ‘at home’, as if Tower Lodge is their own private getaway,” Mitchell says. “With its Spanish-style architecture and rustic-refined interiors, it’s ideally suited to our warm summers and cool winters. It’s a place where friends and families can gather to share a meal or a special occasion. Long lunches, lazy afternoons and decadent dinners are all on the menu.”


For the recent refurbishment of Tower Lodge’s exterior and interior spaces, the Hopes worked with Newcastle-based Space Design Architecture. “Michael and Karen also brought their own personal style and furnishings to the property to create a welcoming, homey feel,” Mitchell adds.

tower lodge lounge room
tower lodge outdoor

Tower Lodge’s restaurant has recently been reimagined with the appointment of Hope Estate Group Chef Anthony Fullerton who’ll make the most of the Hunter Valley’s premium produce on his menus. “We’re looking to create more shared dining experiences and incorporate some hyper local produce including our own Angus beef and the harvests from the kitchen garden,” Mitchell says. “We have so many exciting plans for Tower Lodge including personally guided in-house masterclasses and tastings of wine, whiskey and gin,” she adds.

Long lunches, lazy afternoons and decadent dinners are all on the menu.

If you like a spot of adventure in-between lazy lunches and delicious dinners, there are plenty of options in the area. Hunter Valley Helicopters offer a range of scenic flights, picking you up and dropping you off at the Lodge.


Or how about a sunrise hot air balloon flight? Beyond Ballooning will take you on a peaceful flight, gently drifting over the picturesque cellar doors of Pokolbin, Lovedale, Rothbury or Broke. Feel the sensation of no movement at all as you glide effortlessly through the crisp morning air.


For those who want to get out and explore on wheels, grab a mountain bike and take a tour of the local sights around beautiful Pokolbin. “There are so many great things to do in the area. It’s hard to choose!” Mitchell says.

tower lodge hunter valley
tower lodge bedroom

To reach Tower Lodge from Newcastle, head west on the Hunter Expressway and take the Lovedale exit. Drive through Lovedale and on to 6 Halls Rd Pokolbin. There, you’ll find a little taste of Spain.


Fancy a local wine while you are visiting? Explore wine in the Hunter Valley.

Tower Lodge, Hunter Valley

6 Halls Road, Polkolbin NSW 2320


WORDS  | Colin SevitT