Thursday, March 24, 2011

February Travels - Part 2

My other trip in February was at the end of the month and I headed up to Townsville for the weekend.

I'm a member of Accor's Advantage Plus program so I stayed at the new(ish) Grand Mercure Townsville using a free night I had up my sleeve and a member's discounted rate on the other. I also decided to upgrade to a one bedroom apartment rather than a studio.

The hotel is in a great location in Townsville, right in the middle of Palmer Street which is a strip of restaurants and cafe's. The apartment itself was a good size, separate bedroom from the lounge room (pictured below) and perfect for a couple of nights stay.
For the foodies, the culinary highlight of the weekend was dinner on Saturday night at The Saltcellar. I can't remember the cut of beef (eye fillet or angus fillet) but it was quality!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

February travels - part 1

Despite it being one of the busier months of the year for us, I managed to get away a couple of times during February. First off was a long weekend in the Hunter Valley with some friends. We flew down early Saturday morning and came back on Monday evening, thankfully Adam was able to look after things while I was away.

My friends had actually already organised the accommodation but with my experience I was able to find a slightly better deal, saving us $100 per apartment over the two nights. We stayed at Grand Mercure The Vintage which is part of the Greg Norman designed golf course. It was perfect for our group and we shared 2 two bedroom apartments.

Last time I went to the Hunter was about 6 years ago for a friend's wedding and the challenge then was finding something suitable for more than 2 people. The Grand Mercure certainly solves that problem. The townhouses (pictured below) are essentially a 2 bedroom apartment on the ground floor and another 2 bedroom apartment above, perfect for the 7 of us. The bedrooms were a good size, the bathrooms were great (separate shower and large bath tub) and the living area was spacious.

From a wine tour perspective, the highlight of the weekend was tasting the Brokenwood Graveyard Shiraz and from a food perspective lunch at Margan Restaurant. The triple-cooked pork cheek with scallops was one of the best meals I've had in a long time!