Milton Park Country House Hotel has a grand history. Originally known as Mansfield Farm, it was purchased by Sydney retailer, grazier and stock breeder, Anthony Hordern, in 1910. The adjoining 5000-hectare Retford Park was owned by his father, Sam Hordern.
The heart of the hotel is the mansion, designed by Morrow and de Putron. It demonstrates Federation arts and crafts and has rendered and shingled walls, hipped and gabled roofs, tall chimneys and nouveau detailing.
In 1961, the property was sold to the King Ranch Company of Texas who set it up as a showpiece for their stud quarter horse and Santa Gertrudis cattle breeding enterprise.
Edwina Hordern, one of Anthony's daughters, and her husband lived in the house and continued to maintain the garden. By 1984, the property was considered financially unviable and was divided into 40-hectare lots which were later sold, leaving the homestead and a four-hectare garden. A further 120 hectares comprised the original home, farm, cottages and outbuildings. It was purchased by a consortium and converted into an international standard hotel.
It was sold again in 1989 and the new owner spent $14 million expanding the property to 340 hectares. His plans failed when an investor failed to materialise and the property was sold to Aman Resorts. In 1998 Milton Park was purchased privately and the owners have refurbished the estate, the hotel and the gardens to their current magnificent states.
There are 47 rooms, including seven suites, and it has the ambience of an opulent Victorian stately home. Garden Courtyard Rooms, Tower Suites and Forest Suites feature antique and period furnishings. Some suites have gas log fires, ensuite spa baths, private terraces, four-poster beds and bay windows.
The Carriage House has seven bedrooms, spacious lounge area with open fireplace and an outdoor entertaining deck. It's perfect for a group of friends or family members wishing to enjoy the relaxed beauty and sophistication that is Milton Park. Bathrooms have a shower-over-bath arrangement and charming bathroom furnishings reinforce the French provincial feel.
Some common areas have a formal feel with a blend of genuine and reproduction Victorian furniture. Pastel hues have been used, and portraits and scenic paintings adorn the walls. Corridors are lined with collectables from around the world. All the rooms have views of bushland, rolling hills or courtyard garden with large fountain.
Hordern's Restaurant offers à la carte dining, an extensive wine list and is open every day for lunch and dinner. The Conservatory serves a hearty country-style breakfast. Both restaurants offer views of the garden.v
Begin and end your evening with cocktails, or perhaps a sherry, and a game of billiards in the Polo Bar. Finely-finished oak panelling, Emperador marble bar and travertine floors are featured in the lounge areas. After dinner, relax and enjoy a cognac or fine port by one of the open log fires.