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Mantra Group News

Peppers Convent Hunter Valley wins World Luxury Hotel Award

Peppers Convent Hunter Valley has been crowned ‘Best Luxury Country Hotel’ in the world and ‘Best Luxury Lodge’ in Australasia and Oceania at the prestigious World Luxury Hotel Awards held in Cape Town, South Africa, over the weekend.

The Convent, owned by the Cowley family and less than two hours’ drive from Sydney, beat some of the very best hotels from around the world to win the awards. This year’s competition involved more than 1,000 properties from 145 countries.

Known as the Oscars of the hospitality industry, the World Luxury Hotel Awards recognises the worldwide luxury hotel industry and legendary hotels with respect to overall service excellence. Winners are judged by votes from industry leaders and travellers.

The Convent is located in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, amidst lush gardens and vineyards. Built in 1909 as home to the Brigidine Order of nuns in central NSW, it was transported to Pokolbin in 1990. Karlie and Matt Cowley took over The Convent in 2010 after seven successful years at the helm of multi-award winning Tower Estate Lodge & Winery nearby.

Earlier this year, the husband and wife pair, along with General Manager Nick Lee (formerly Qualia, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers), implemented an extensive and lavish renovation to transform The Convent into an award-winning boutique hotel and one of the most romantic retreats in Australia. The Convent has the grand ambience of European yesteryear; the timeless elegance of Art Deco mixed with those distinctive relaxed comforts that are undeniably Australian hospitality at it’s best. Every piece of furnishing has be personally sourced from all over the world to create a grand and luxurious space.

Matt Cowley, CEO of The Convent, says to win such a prestigious international award in such a short amount of time is a huge honour.

“To achieve world recognition for what we are doing here at The Convent is incredible. I dare say most people wouldn’t even know such an amazing property exists within New South Wales. We’re not resting on our laurels though and have further enhancements planned for 2015 to continue offering our guests a world-class experience.”

Complementing the indulgent accommodation at The Convent are two stellar restaurants - historic Roberts Circa 1876 and newly opened Eighty Eight, both overseen by world-renowned, multi award-winning Executive Chef George Francisco.

Circa 1876 restaurant is one of the Hunter Valley's most treasured, iconic and picture perfect locations. The heritage listed cottage is full of elegant antiques and open fires that beckon guests to relax with a glass of red wine. In contrast, the newly opened Eighty Eight located within the decadent Convent has an emphasis on integrity of ingredients, serving only organic, sustainable and ethically sourced produce to ‘nurture the soul’. It’s comfort food at its absolute best, created by highly acclaimed chef and ‘artist of food’, Executive Chef George Francisco.

An unwavering passion for fresh produce spurred George to create a spectacular three-acre organic kitchen garden on the property in 2013, supplying fresh produce for both restaurants and The Convent.

The Convent’s mix of grandeur and comfort makes it the perfect location for romantic escapes, corporate events, or just peaceful time out in the country air.

Peppers Convent Hunter Valley

88 Halls Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320

P: 02 4998 4999 / E: convent@peppers.com.au


Robert Circa 1876

64 Halls Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320 (located on The Estate, a short stroll from The Convent)

P: 02 4998 4998


Opening hours:

Lunch: 7 days, 12pm-3pm

Dinner: 7 days, from 6pm


Eighty Eight

88 Halls Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320

P: 02 4998 4999 / E: convent@peppers.com.au


Opening hours:

Breakfast (Mon-Sun): 8am-10am

High Tea (Mon-Sun): 12.30pm-4.30pm

Lunch (Mon-Sun): 12pm – 3pm

Dinner (Thu-Sun): 5.30pm-close




For further information, interviews or images please contact Savannah PR:

Allira Carroll – 0499 40 60 36 / allira@savannahpr.com.au

Loren Walsh – 0421 94 77 37 / loren@savannahpr.com.au

About The World Luxury Hotel Awards

The World Luxury Hotel Awards stands testimony to dedication, enthusiasm and leadership in the high demand luxury hotel industry.

The World Luxury Hotel Awards recognize but also aim to maintain overall service excellence by building staff moral since success is a combined effort of a hotel's entire team. Acknowledgement of committed quality customer care is important to maintain a persistent level of service. Evidence have shown that a guest feels confident when booking a World Luxury Hotel Awards recognized hotel that have been rewarded further to unsurpassed excellence, voted for by industry experts & guests that have experienced these hotels.

The criteria to be successfully nominated & included in the official World Luxury Hotel Awards voting process is overall service excellence. Only hotels, lodges & resorts operating in a luxury niche market are able to participate in the World Luxury Hotel Awards. The World Luxury Hotel Awards focus only on the luxury hotel sector and do not recognize any other areas of the travel industry.

In tradition of the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards, The World Luxury Hotel Awards are the world’s most prestigious and exclusive Awards recognising the best facilities and service excellence the hotel industry has to offer.

The World Luxury Hotel Awards celebrate ‘legends’. By association as a winner-hotel within the World Luxury Hotel Awards, becomes part of the very rare ‘legendary hotel’ association.

Interesting Facts:

Over 1000 hotels, lodges, resorts and private islands are nominated every year.

Hotels can self-nominate or can be nominated by guests, tour operators and independent travel consultants to receive recognition for service excellence.

Nominators have the opportunity to vote on an annual basis.

Voting criteria is purely based upon service excellence.

The World Luxury Hotel Award judging process is not dependent on a board of directors, but by the industry itself.

Final Judging Process:

The 2014 World Luxury Hotel Awards voting was based on a country, continent and global basis.

Each luxury hotel could participate in up to three most appropriate categories from a selection of 50 categories available. The hotels in turn were competing within the category/categories selected on a country, continent and global basis.

Properties that received the most votes won on the global basis.

Final results were based on votes cast by travellers.

For regular updates visit the official homepage on www.luxuryhotelawards.com