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Welcome to Orange – home to award-winning drops, tantalising hatted restaurants, the famed Orange Wine Festival and Orange F.O.O.D Week, Australia’s longest running regional food festival. With an ideal altitude and terroir for grape growing, Orange’s cool climate—unique to Australia—produces some of the best drops in the country, with 80 vineyards and over 30 cellar doors. Discover New South Wales’ up-and-coming food and wine region with a stay at The Oriana Orange, a motel-turned-charming-boutique-hotel.

Words by Shylie Rimmer

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The Hotel

If you would’ve asked anyone about The Oriana Orange three years ago, you would’ve been greeted with looks of apprehension. One of the first motels in Orange, The Oriana opened its doors in 1968 and judging from people’s reactions, wasn’t a place to be or be seen. Fast forward to February 2017, when owners Ted Marr and Espen Harbitz purchased it with a goal to turn it around.

Three years later, with its eclectic velvet furniture, different-coloured rooms, French-chic Bela Vista Bar and charming outdoor pool and pool bar frequented by guests and locals alike; The Oriana Orange is a quaint property ideally located in the heart of town and a perfect country escape. Now well-known for its restaurant The Peacock Room, the Garden Dining and The Pool Club, it is well-frequented by both locals and hotel guests. Perched off the main Woodward Street, this property conjures the ambience of an old-world motel you might find on the side of the road in regional Texas; but step inside and you’ll discover a delightful home away from home.

Deluxe King Suite at The Oriana Orange, NSW

The Rooms and Suites

The cosy suites at The Oriana Orange have no residue of the rusty motel that once existed in its place. You’ll feel right at home in the newly-renovated Deluxe Queen Room. Think: eclectic furniture and vibrant colours in an intimate setting. From plush bedding and blackout drapes to the bowl of fruit and fresh flowers, it’s the little touches that make all the difference. Enjoy complimentary bottled water, comfortable lounge area and a brand-new Smart TV that lets you connect to your Netflix account.

The upgraded Terrace Suites showcase the owners’ eclectic collection of artwork, and are themed around Russia, America, Hong Kong and Africa.

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The Food

While the hot buffet breakfast at the Travellers Lounge is fresh and simple, including free-range eggs from the property’s own farm. The menu at The Oriana Gardens is designed to share and bursts with European flavours. Irresistible casual dining sharing plates for summer feature the owner’s house-made Norwegian gravlax, crispy suckling pig, oysters and mussels, summer risotto, Italian beef tagliata and Portugese piri-piri chicken.

Moving into winter, the stylish indoor restaurant The Peacock Room – perched alongside the plush Bela Vista Bar and oozing the same European vibe – will open its doors with a menu inspired by delicious French fare. Tickle your tastebuds with a variety of dishes like a velvety bisque of blue swimmer crab & prawn or seasonal pasta filled with woodland mushrooms, tuscan kale and silky goats curd. Mouthwatering desserts include chocolate fondant with creamed chestnut, honey’ed ganache and crisp meringue; and a rhubarb and orchard pear crumble with warm vanilla anglaise.

Come evening, the ultra-stylish Bela Vista Bar—with its eye-catching blue and green velvet seating and lavish crystal-cut glasses—is a glamorous spot to enjoy anything from a negroni sbagliato to a mango daiquiri. For a little more privacy and a true sense of old-world mystique, cosy up in a corner of the bar’s Parisian-inspired back room – draped in Espen’s personal European art collection and reminiscent of an underground bar you’d only find down a laneway in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

The Verdict

Intimate and in close proximity to all that Orange has to offer; the individuality and uber-friendly service on offer at The Oriana Orange makes it our choice for a country getaway that’s a home away from home.

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