Work conferences aren’t the most appealing things to be spending your precious weekend at, but when it’s at the 3 star Crowne Plaza in Terrigal on the NSW Central Coast it’s not nearly so bad. Despite being only an hour and a half hour north of Sydney (even during peak hour on a Friday night), you are transported into instant relaxation mode. Knowing that you don’t face a long journey home after spending the weekend working makes it even less stressful.
The six-floor, salmon pink Crowne Plaza sits atop a small shopping complex at the south end of gorgeous Terrigal Beach. With 199 rooms, 19 suites and 13 meeting rooms including one that accommodates 450 people seated theatre style, this hotel is perfect for conferences and events. It also hosts two bars and signature restaurant Seasalt, all with views out to sea. After quick and efficient check-in (names were simply ticked off a list and we were handed our room key), our group ventured in to the Lord Ashley lounge for a night-cap and a bite to eat. We hungrily devoured the enormous cheese platters complete with dried fruit, lavosh biscuits and an array of delicious cheeses. If this was an indication of how the weekend was going to be then this was a good start.
I had expected our rooms to be a bit daggy and dated but found them quite the opposite. They had been refurbished only a few months prior and were delightfully fresh with all the mod cons including a 37 inch flat screen TV and broadband. My large pool-view room had two queen beds, a good work space and the sliding glass doors opened up to a lovely balcony overlooking the pool with views out to sea. I slept with the doors open and drifted off to the sound of waves lapping at the shore. Unfortunately the noise of drunk wedding guests shouting to each other punctured the peace at intervals throughout the night.
Before breakfast I wandered across the road for a quick stroll along the stunning sea shore. Because it was August I had the entire beach to myself and the sun sparkled playfully on the flat sea. On the way to my room back I tested out the gym with a quick workout on the cross trainer. It too overlooks the pool. It felt like summer and it did cross my mind to feign sickness and relax on one of the sunlounges by the pool all weekend instead. Couldn’t we move our conference outside?
Breakfast was served at Seasalt, Crowne Plaza’s huge dining area that is surrounded by glass to maximise the views. It’s served buffet style but you can order omlettes to your liking and there’s a little coffee shack for those of us addicted to the black nectar. The range of choice to eat was huge, scrumptious and I had to resist going back for thirds lest my stomach explode. It’s easy to see why this place is popular with locals on the weekend so you may find yourself waiting a short while for a table.
Our conference was one of three plus a wedding that weekend, but everything ran smoothly and to schedule. Our high ceiling room was part of what could become an even bigger space. It was well set up although windowless and on such a nice day it would have been nice to see some sunshine. There was a Nespresso style coffee machine to help yourself to cafe style coffees at breaks and tasty pastries.
Overall the Crowne Plaza, Terrigal hit the mark as a place to come for a group event; Check-in and check out was easy, accommodation was comfortable, the service was professional and the close-to-Sydney location perfect. I’ve been itching to get back there just for a relaxing weekend ever since.