Timeless … de Russie Suites is a stylish mix of old and new.A former dance hall charms Bellinda Kontominas with its grandeur and warmth.
A hotel must be doing something right if its competitors recommend you stay there. As we discovered on a recent stay in Mudgee, de Russie Suites does plenty to impress. Unable to take us in for a night, the owner of a B&B suggested we give the recently opened de Russie a try. “It’s in a lovely old refurbished building in the heart of town and they don’t require a minimum two-night stay,” she said. “It’s absolutely lovely.”
We couldn’t agree more. The 1861 building, which has variously been a Mechanics Institute, school, library and dance hall, is imposing, with a huge balcony and steep, pitched roof. Inside, exposed rafters in public areas provide the perfect mix of grandeur and warmth, the lobby an elegant mix of dark walls, floors and French-style furniture.
At check-in we’re provided with a helpful list of restaurants and cafes before being directed upstairs to room 207. We can’t help but pause on the staircase to view a series of gorgeous black-and-white photos of the building, along with ticket stubs and photos from dances and charity balls held there. A lovely touch. De Russie has eight guest rooms upstairs and five downstairs, including studio suites, junior suites, a junior spa suite and the Blue Room: larger still and with living and dining areas for four.
We’re staying in a studio room, accessed via a partially carpeted timber hallway that is noisy when other guests walk by. Similarly, the walls aren’t exactly conducive to privacy; we hear our neighbours arrive at their room. Later, however, our sleep is undisturbed.
Ours is an appealing room, eclectic in style with natural fibres on lampshades, a chunky, green knitted throw on the bed and items glued to the walls including a timber box with bird motif and timber knobs shaped like mushrooms. There’s a wall-mounted flat-screen television and small lounge area; kitchenette and utensils; modern bathroom with l’Occitane products; and a comfortable queen-size bed.
The deal maker De Russie Suites is in a cracking location near the centre of town, so you can ditch the car for much of your stay. But the building itself is the real star as it combines the beauty and nostalgia of the old with modern styling and a sense of frivolity that isn’t over the top.
Stepping out Most of Mudgee’s cellar doors (there are more than 35) lie within five kilometres of de Russie Suites so we’re well placed for wine tasting. We visit Huntington Estate and come away with a case of our favourites before heading to Willow Lane, where we fall in love with the 2009 Two Poodles Shiraz Viognier, named after the owners’ dogs (who are known to greet customers warmly at the cellar door). If beer is your thing, there’s a pub on almost every corner, or visit the Mudgee Brewery to sample local drops. You’ll also find a raft of eateries.
And then we ate Breakfast is a tad downmarket for the accommodation. A slice of plain, wholemeal and raisin bread for each guest to toast, plus little jars of jam and packets of honey and butter, is served in a plain paper bag, along with a bottle of juice. But the provedores in town more than make up for this. Mudgee Gourmet, in the Small Wine-makers Centre, stocks olives, nuts, honey, berries, grapes, vegetables and fruits from local producers. On the third Saturday of each month a farmers’ market is held in the grounds of St Mary’s church. As if we need an excuse to return.
Weekends Away are reviewed and anonymously paid for by Traveller.
De Russie Suites Mudgee
Address Corner of Perry and Gladstone streets, Mudgee.
The verdict A boutique hotel that celebrates its roots.
Price From $148 a night, twin share, for a studio suite; $232 a night for a junior spa suite; $387 a night for the Blue Room. Breakfast included.
Bookings Phone 6372 7650; see derussiehotels南京夜网.au.
Getting there Mudgee is a 3½-hour drive north-west of Sydney CBD.
Perfect for A romantic weekend of wine tasting and window shopping.
Wheelchair access Yes.
While you’re there Many cellar doors are open at weekends, or step back in time for dinner at the 1920s-inspired Sajo’s Lounge Bar and Restaurant.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.