We had stayed there twice before and had always enjoyed it. This time we found the property tired, the rooms were just average and in need of refurbishment and I am not sure that the dining experience was worthy of the three hats that the restaurant recently scored.
The dining room had a constant stream of traffic going through it towards the bistro which further detracted from the minimal atmosphere. At the prices that they charge for the degustation menu with accompanying wines you have a right to expect good quality cutlery in excellent condition and not something that has gone through the dishwasher too many times.
The food was generally excellent and interesting, if at times a trifle overworked just for the sake of complication.
The imported wines that were served were mostly sourced from obscure growers and a great deal of fuss was made of this. In the case of the Champagne it is likely that the grower will continue to remain thus.
Personally I have no preference for either well known or unknown growers so long as I enjoy drinking their product; some of the wines that were served didn't qualify; my wife left two of them in the glass. Both sommeliers could be heard reciting the same spiel at every table parrot fashion and didn't really appear to be interested in what they were doing. Surprisingly when made aware that we knew two of the wines and in fact had them in our cellar, they couldn't get away fast enough.
The continental breakfast was appalling - it was sparse and uninspiring and there weren't enough staff on duty to deal with the food. We also noticed in daylight how tired and knocked about the furniture looked.
The staff need a course in friendliness and attention to detail. Perhaps if management made them aware that they are not actually doing the patrons a favour by letting them stay and eat at their hotel the whole experience would improve and one would be tempted to return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Royal Mail Hotel is a unique destination set among native gardens and fruit orchards with stunning views of the Southern Grampians Ranges. Award-winning food and wine, accommodation, conferencing and wedding facilities and the nearby historic Mt Sturgeon Estate are all available for guests to explore and enjoy. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Mail Dunkeld