Hotel Review: The Oriana Retro Hotel and Resort, Orange
I arrive at the beautiful The Oriana Retro Resort and Hotel and soak it all in, marvelling at just how unique Orange as a destination really is. Standing alone in Orange, The Oriana is arguably also its own destination. The grounds of the Oriana which has been creatively and lovingly renovated, exudes a Palm Springs vibe. Cherry Blossoms galore, a Martini bar featuring large wine gardens, complete with fire pits and fairy lights, a bright blue pool and white gorgeous kabanas, I am definitely where I need to be for a girls weekend.
The Oriana is renowned as something out of the box for regional New South Wales, offering some of the finest food and atmosphere west of the mountains. I ponder on whether I can actually recall anything like it in Australia, the hotel successfully brings retro glamor back to the mini-break scene.
Upon check in, you really get the sense you are in for a good time. Complimentary drink vouchers, offers for very late Sunday check outs, bright orange mandarins and yellow flowers give a great warm contrast to the uber cool dark retro furnishings that feel so stylish and fun. The management team at the Oriana have over 50 years combined hospitality and travel industry management experience from across the globe and it shows. The generosity from this successful management team, down to every detail and the top notch service from handpicked, both international and local staff make this a true holiday experience rather than a hotel stay.
I loved entering my room with a soft jazz in the background, fresh fruit and flowers and again a very generous touch with complimentary snacks and soft drinks. The Oriana is dedicated to accommodating a diverse clientele, spanning from individuals to groups, encompassing large corporate getaways and intimate local events and celebrations. With a golf course opposite and vintage car groups on the rise, one of the distinguishing features of the resort’s layout is the convenience of parking your prized vehicle right in front of your room.
The rooms themselves range from the cozy comfort of Standard Single Rooms to the opulence of King Poolside Suites and upstairs suites that embrace artistic travel themes, adorning their spacious living areas with exquisite designer furniture, catering to both couples seeking a lavish retreat and those looking to host friends.The special travel themes must be seen to be believed, you can spend a night in Africa, in Orange! If it is available, I highly recommend a suite.
All the rooms boast larger than normal living spaces, carefully curated retro designer furnishings, top-notch bedding, luxurious robes, and even a yoga mat!
I adore the location of The Oriana, a picturesque, shaded flat, easy walk into town. After enjoying a delicious European continental breakfast, I take a stroll down to explore the local boutique retail scene. The departure of Myer a decade ago has led to a vibrant boutique culture in Orange. For a coffee break, I choose Jumbled to soak up the bustling downtown atmosphere. From Jumbled with its unique offerings to Cint’s timeless fashion pieces and The White Place’s beautiful treasures. Hawkes General Store, filled with love, is also a charming stop.
After exploring the wineries historical attractions in Orange, your evenings at The Oriana are filled with sipping local wines and indulging in outstanding cuisine. The Peacock Room Restaurant at The Oriana is a true gem, often described as one of the best in Orange. With its antique chandeliers, velvet chairs, and cut crystal glasses, it exudes elegance. The carefully curated menu by International Executive Chef Edward Crawford promises a delightful culinary journey, featuring an outstanding nod to local farming. The venison dish and steak tartare and Norwegian Salmon Gravlax are a must order!
If you prefer a to stay by the pool and soak up the outdoors, dine on some authentic Margherita, Calabrese, or Capricciosa pizzas or graze on delectable small plates and wood-fired tapas plates, make sure you sample the prawns infused with chili and garlic and pork belly glazed with Vietnamese flavors! Cocktails flow from the pool bar and the Martini bar… no need to rush.
After or before dinner though, you absolutely must spend some time in the Bella Vista Bar, a retro-chic cocktail bar. It’s a sophisticated meeting place with plush velvet lounges, fresh flowers, and twinkling candles and eccentric and renaissance artwork. It’s the perfect spot to soak up the magnificence of your Oriana experience. Although the bartenders can whip you up anything your heart desires, try a lemon drop cocktail.
Your mini break in Orange can be as quiet or as busy as your little heart desires, but here is a sample of my hot tips!
For lunch, a must do is the Agrestic Grocer. This is where I find regional products and fresh produce, all proudly showcasing the locavore ideology. From unwaxed apples to local wines, it’s a feast for the senses. The kiwi fruit Jam was too interesting to leave behind.
You can’t leave Orange without visiting Swinging Bridge Wines. The winery, nestled on the slopes surrounding Mount Canobolas, offers high-altitude wines, with a focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It’s a testament to Orange’s cool-climate winemaking. The matching palate cleansers are a delicious feast of local produce again with fresh flavors to remember. All wines are named after members of the family and learning about the history is almost as much a pleasure of the wines themselves.
A scenic trail to the historic village of Canowindra is essential, venturing through Canowindra Canola Fields is a dream. The fields of golden canola make for perfect Instagram moments. While here, Antonio D’Onise, a generational winemaker, provides an immersive tasting experience in an organic vineyard. Antonio’s Wines are a treat, known for their maximum pleasure factor. The wines are authentic,well-balanced, and simply moreish.
Continue your journey to Perennialle Plants, a beautifully restored heritage building offering a curated selection of fine products, including local and regional produce.
If you want to feel the wind in your hair, Orange Trike Tours are the most authentic way to experience this route. Their local guide Mark provides a personal and intimate experience, sharing local knowledge and connections. They offer a range of tours, from winery tours to food tours, ensuring a memorable conclusion to my adventure in Orange.
Time to say goodbye to The Oriana and I am already mentally planning my next escape. It is hard to decide on what season to visit best as during the summer, you can escape the heat by spending languid days by the pool in a cozy cabana, cocktail in hand. The garden also beckons with its promise of long, leisurely lunches. In the winter months, I am told the garden comes alive with the warm glow of fire pits, and cozie cocktails. One thing I do know is that after experiencing the Oriana in spring, I must come back to view the change of this beautiful place for Autumn.
For more information and bookings visit www.orianaorange.com