Corner of Perry and Gladstone streets, Mudgee, NSW
phone: (02) 6372 7650
The location Mudgee - with its array of well-regarded vineyards, combined with an attractive town centre and surrounding countryside - vies with Orange as NSW's preferred Central West getaway. The new 13-room de Russie Suites Mudgee, which opened in January, is just a few blocks from the compact CBD, where you'll find restaurants, pubs and cafes (and at least one decent bookshop), as well as impressive 19th-century heritage streetscapes.
The place When Mark and Lisa Madigan, inspired by lodgings on their travels in Europe, opened de Russie Suites Orange in 2007, they established a new standard in accommodation in regional NSW. Now, in their second and latest outing, the pair have transformed Mudgee's historic 1865 Mechanics Institute building with stunning effect, creating a stylish and refreshingly chintz-free place to stay in country NSW. The baker's dozen of cosy, contemporary one- and two-bedroom suites - designed by Lisa, who has a background in fashion - include king-size beds (with pillow-top mattresses), flat-screen TVs, minibars and kitchenettes. Some rooms feature spas and rainforest shower heads, and they all boast baths and those all-important bathrobes.
The experience What a shame there are so few chic boutique lodgings of the calibre of this "apartment-suite hotel" in our big cities, let alone our small towns. De Russie Suites Mudgee suffers slightly from having no in-house restaurant or bar (a welcome drink would be, well, a welcome touch). However, quality in-room breakfast provisions are provided. Unlike Orange, its larger Central West neighbour, Mudgee notably lacks a signature restaurant, with just a lone entry, an Indian restaurant, featured in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2012.
Don't miss … Aside from the obvious allure of the region's plentiful cellar-door wineries (as well as its hive of honey producers), Mudgee is surrounded by quaint historic towns such as Gulgong and Rylstone. If time's not at a premium, take the longer scenic road back to Sydney via the 19th-century gold-rush towns of Hill End and Sofala, emerging at Bathurst, where you can break for lunch before heading back over the Blue Mountains and on to the big smoke.
Cost: rates start from $165 for a Studio Suite.
Distance: 270km (3 1/2 hours' drive) north-west of Sydney.
- Good Weekend