Hunter icon forages for MICE after $2.5 million facelift

 Thursday, March 3, 2016 


H.valleyAn icon in the world-famous Hunter Valley, The Sebel Kirkton Park, is set to unveil a chic and opulent new look thanks to a major $2.5 million refurbishment which will also see business guests invited to experience the hotel’s new focus on ethical and sustainable dining.

Marking The Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley’s 28th birthday in 2016, the striking refresh will be aired for the first time this April and has already been welcomed as a huge boom for the region’s conference market by the leaders of the Altogether Perfect marketing group tasked with luring more corporate travellers to the Hunter Valley, Newcastle and Port Stephens.

A complete transformation of the elegant, 4.5-star Pokolbin property by renowned Sydney interior designer, Greg Natale, has seen a makeover of all 70 guest rooms, with a new restaurant, wine lounge, bar and lobby to be unveiled this April, setting a new benchmark for luxury in Hunter Valley’s booming MICE market.

Accor’s Sebel Kirkton Park has also launched a new eco-friendly ‘Farm. Forage. Graze’ initiative that will see the 28-hectare property rear its own poultry, beef, pork and yabbies and source other seasonal food from the local region. Conference delegates have the opportunity to forage for produce to be included on their daily menus, collect fresh eggs at breakfast and learn about how their food is sourced and prepared, with interactive, on-site kitchen classes using produce sourced straight from the Kirkton Park property.

Sebel Kirkton Park offers grazing-styled, paddock-to-plate cuisine, manicured, fountain-festooned gardens, walking trails, 360-degree views of undulating wine country, a gym and a Grecian-style pool house with the only indoor heated pool in the Hunter Valley. Conference facilities for 12-300 guests allow for intimate, boutique events or exclusive use privacy. Surrounding grounds can also be used for open-air, picnic-style meetings. Complimentary, on-site, pop-up wine tastings are also offered.

Popular with MICE groups for decades, Kirkton Park can be accessed by helicopters and to mark the relaunch of the property, a minimum spend of $30,000 for conferences booked this year will see every delegate enjoy a scenic helicopter ride over the beautiful Hunter Valley.

“The new-look Sebel Kirkton Park adds a rich, new dimension to the delegate experience in the Hunter Valley, said Altogether Perfect executive, Danny Eather, who is also a Marketing Executive for the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association.“The Sebel Kirkton Park’s new initiative to bring farmers and foodies closer together also offers MICE groups unique experiences that intimately showcase the premium produce of the Hunter Valley.”

Together with Newcastle and Port Stephens, the Hunter Valley is served by nearby Newcastle Airport where Jetstar, QantasLink, Virgin Australia Regional Express and FlyPelican offer direct flights to Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Ballina/Byron Bay, Taree and Sydney.

Launched in 2014, the ‘Altogether Perfect’ campaign is the name for the collaborative marketing efforts undertaken by regional partners in the Hunter Region to attract and secure business events tourism. Backed by Newcastle Convention Bureau, Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association and Destination Port Stephens and supported by dynamic industry operators, the joint marketing group attends trade fairs and sales missions and host visits to the region by key conference organisers and media to build the appeal of the Hunter region as THE number one business tourism destination. The campaign received funding through the Regional Visitor Economy Fund (RVEF) which is managed and administered by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

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