This post is sponsored by Merlin Entertainments.
Located in the Southern Highlands, about 2 hours drive from Sydney, the hotel is surrounded by a golf course. Mr Monkey and my father played a full round of golf there on our second day and said it was one of the better courses they have been on. However, due to the deluge of rain that the area has had recently the course was very muddy. They had hired a cart which, by the sound of things, they had a lot of fun slipping and sliding around in. But for $35 each it gave them a good 4 hours of fun while my Mum, Lily, Chloe and I wandered around the main street of Bowral.
I’m a huge art fan and I love when hotels have something a little different. The Gibraltar’s art in the main foyers is very Eastern inspired – with paintings of Buddha and wooden statues throughout. However, as you start to go down the hallways toward the guest rooms the art subtly changes. There are beautiful charcoal drawings of fruit and vegetables along the walls and the walls themselves are covered in a wallpaper featuring gold trees.
Just outside Harvey’s Bar there is an exhibition of photographs – beautiful black and white portraits of people with tattoos. I wish I had gone back during the day when I could see them a little clearer as the halls are quite dim and they were a little hard to see. I also wish I had taken notice of the photographer so I could look up more of her work.
Harvey’s Bar includes artwork and photographs of the bar’s namesake, Geoff Harvey, an Australian performer.
We stayed in a Woodlands Two Bedroom, on the first floor. The rooms featured one of the biggest and comfiest king beds I have ever seen and two single King beds. There was a huge TV in each room and beautiful armchairs.
However, the best part of the rooms (beside the amazing bed) was the bathroom. A huge, deep bath and rain-style shower meant that I definitely had to have a bath (and a shower) the first night before dinner. The bath was the perfect size for me and I could stretch out luxuriously. Even with Lily running in and out of the bathroom I still had one of the most relaxing baths I’ve had in a long time.
Our room had a balcony which overlooked the car park but the room was still very quiet and we barely noticed the sounds from outside.
We all had two of the best nights sleep we’ve had in ages, even though all four of us ended up in the King bed.
Having an indoor pool was a big selling point for us, especially as Lily was missing her swimming lesson on the Monday. My Mum also loves to swim so she made sure they went for a swim on the Sunday afternoon, after we visited the Illawarra Fly. The pool is a small heated lap pool with a cold plunge pool, and there are showers and a small gym as well. The room overlooks the golf course with a row of gorgeous, very tall trees.
Mum said that the pool was rather cold on the Sunday but Lily seemed to be fine. Lily kept asking to go back in so we told her she could go for a quick swim with Daddy on the Tuesday before we checked out. Unfortunately, we slept in and didn’t have time to go before we checked out. However, the staff were kind enough to let us stay for a swim and brought towels to us as we hadn’t packed any.
Mr Monkey and I had dinner in the hotel bar/restaurant, Harvey’s, while my Mum and Dad looked after the girls in our hotel room. We would’ve liked to have a drink after dinner as well but I had to get back to the room to feed Chloe.
I was going to take my camera to take photos of the food but felt a bit silly using a camera in a restaurant so all of these photos were taken using my iPhone.
We started off with a cider (I only had half a bottle so it would be out of my system by the time I had to feed Chloe) and we later found out they were local ciders. I had a The Apple Thief William Pear Cider and loved it. Pleasant and sweet, without being over-sweet.
The food was good; I loved the Blue Swimmer Crab pasta and the Key Lime Tart. Everything was really well presented and the ambiance in the restaurant was lovely. We would’ve love to stay longer but I got a message from Mum to say that Chloe was hungry.
The next morning we headed to the San Fior room for the buffet breakfast. I used to work at Novotel and was in charge of replenishing the buffet. It’s amazing how similar those buffet breakfasts are! It was six years ago that I worked at that hotel yet I felt like I had to take the dishes out the back to the chefs. Lily was happy because they had sausages (she’s never had sausages for breakfast but asked for them before she saw them on the buffet!) and we were simply happy to sit and drink our coffee while looking out over that gorgeous view of the golf course.
My final verdict of the Gibraltar Hotel
The Gibraltar is a beautiful hotel with pleasant and helpful staff. If you are ever in the cold, beautiful Southern Highlands I highly recommend you stay at the Gibraltar Hotel.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post – I received entry to the Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk, two nights accommodation at the Gibraltar Hotel, Bowral & buffet breakfast. All other experiences were at our own expense. All opinions are my own.