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“Enjoyable food, service and surroundings”
Review of Royal Mail Hotel

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Royal Mail Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Dunkeld
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“Enjoyable food, service and surroundings”
Reviewed February 25, 2014

Fiancee and I stayed there for the weekend recently. We were treated to friendly service and excellent food in both the bistro and fine dining restaurant.

Our mountain view room was very clean and unfussed. The bathroom was of ample size and the amenities provided were top notch.

We lucked out with the weather on the weekend that we went. Not too hot and not too cold, meaning we could make maximum use of the walking trails which were literally at our doorstep. The Southern Grampians, although small in size compared to other mountain ranges, provided spectacular scenes to gawk at both via the trails and cruising along the long, meandering roads.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sam_10001000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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470 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (109)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Wagga Wagga, Australia
1 review
Reviewed February 24, 2014

I attended a friends wedding on the weekend and was blown away by the stunning location, impecable service, amazing food, to be honest I dont have one complaint.

After hearing their event centre had burnt down, I was interested in seeing the new venue (a marquee) in action and might i add it was amazing, the whole thing had a solid floor, lined roof with beautiful lights and was perfectly heated on what was a little chilly night after a perfect afternoon in the sun.

I have worked in a marquee before and didnt enjoy it myself, but everything seemed to run perfectly, either the staff can hide any dramas happening back of house, or they are truly as good at their job as they seemed whilst on the floor. Our drinks never were empty (water inclusive), The meals were devine, something i never throught could be prepared in a makeshift kitchen. Im still dreaming about the rissotto for entree and pork for main.

Well done to the RMH team. Flawless evening. I would highly reccommend any other couples looking for a unique venue to look here as well.

The accommodation we stayed in was fabulous too, clean, neat and far better than I could of imagined.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 465CRF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2014

The Royal Mail Hotel was located in a quaint little town with close proximity to walking trails and nature. We stayed at a 2-bedroom apartment facing The Grampians and the stay was rather relaxing. The clean toiletries were well presented and suffice for the stay. The Staff was polite and friendly.

The only lacking criteria was the WIFI that was easily disconnected and that the corners of the rooms require a little more housekeeping prior stays as spiders and cobwebs were spotted.

Room Tip: Request for rooms away from the streets and facing the Grampians!
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank soaim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scott H, General Manager at Royal Mail Hotel, responded to this review, February 23, 2014
Dear Soaim

Thank you very much for choosing to stay with us and for taking the time to post a review.

I was delighted to read that you had such an enjoyable experience. The team looks forward to welcoming you back again.

Kind regards

Scott Horn
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2014

A beautiful property with great walking trails and nature. The degustation in the restaurant is also a must do. Each of the properties has been recently renovated with some massive rooms. Dunkled is a small, sleepy town which makes for a brilliant country get away from it all.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BJTB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scott H, General Manager at Royal Mail Hotel, responded to this review, February 23, 2014
Dear BJTB

Thank you very much for choosing to stay and dine with us and for taking the time to post a review.

I was delighted to read that you had such an enjoyable stay. The degustation dining experience certainly is a must do.

The team looks forward to welcoming you back again soon.

Kind regards

Scott Horn
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seville, Spain
Level Contributor
83 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2014 via mobile

After a whole day on the road i was lucky to stop in this place and find a really tastefull and quality food. Not expensive, not cheap, a good deal for a good dinner. I would really recommend the duck. All the dishes look great though and the view of the kitchen and the cooks is fantastic.

Stayed July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Alonsote
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scott H, General Manager at Royal Mail Hotel, responded to this review, February 23, 2014
Dear Alonsote

Thank you very much for your review and for choosing to stay and dine with us. It was wonderful to read that you had such an enjoyable experience.

The team looks forward to welcoming you back.

Kind regards

Scott Horn
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 7, 2014 via mobile

And well worth the trip. We stayed in cottage 2 on the adjacent station and it was lovely - fabulous view of Mt Sturgeon from the windows. Meal in the bistro was excellent, and value for money. Lots of little complimentary extras made us feel special.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Linden H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scott H, General Manager at Royal Mail Hotel, responded to this review, February 23, 2014
Dear Linden H

Thank you very much for choosing to stay and dine with us and for taking the time to post a review.

The Mount Sturgeon cottages are certainly a unique and beautiful part of our accommodation offering.

We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

Kind regards

Scott Horn
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2014

My wife and I recently stayed (and dined) at the Royal Mail Hotel to celebrate my wife's Birthday.  Unfortunately, our experience was a mixed bag.

Our room (one of the deluxe mountain view rooms) was lovely - spotlessly clean, tastefully appointed, with a private balcony equipped with comfortable chairs - and had a gorgeous view of the mountain, as advertised.  The bathroom was a highlight, with heated floor and a fantastic shower stall with a massive, square shower head.  The only disappointments were minor maintenance issues - the light bulb was blown in the cupboard over the coffee/tea making area, and the fly screen on the sliding door to the balcony had been kicked out and not repaired.

The room aside, the main thing we had come for (of course) was a top notch dining experience in the restaurant.  Sadly our eight course degustation meal was, taken overall, a disappointment.  After a free glass of champagne to celebrate my wife's Birthday, the meal started strongly with the "tomato explosion", a surprising, delicious and marvellously crafted mouthful.  This was followed up fairly strongly by a chilled pea and lovage soup with scallop.  The next course, however, was a forgetable confusion of garden carrot, carrot cake and yoghurt and was followed by poorly prepared snails "in their habitat" - snails with leafy greens and a buttery, crumbly base of black 'soil'. Regretably, the snails themselves were rubbery and tasteless - a clever concept dish badly executed.  Next up was a dish of blue eye - of which the most that can be said is that it was a well-cooked, small piece of fish.  The rabbit dish that followed showed flair, but the rabbit was dry and the salt-baked turnip an unwelcome clanger that overwhelmed the delicacy elsewhere on the plate.  The last of the main courses was a lovely duck breast, and the meal ended on an unmemorable strawberry dessert.

Alongside the bumpy ride in terms of quality and enjoyment, I was left with a sense that the meal did not reflect the place where it was served.  It felt divorced from the town and surrounding countryside - judging by the dishes, we could have been anywhere in the world.  Why bring in blue eye and scallops from the sea, when there is a freshwater fishery a few kilometres down the road (Lake Bolac, know for rainbow trout and eels)?  The rabbit and duck could conceivably have been local (and the snails were hopefully from the kitchen garden), but there was nothing to suggest they were.

To round off the ups and downs - the matched wines were first-rate, with a pleasing mix of local and international.  The residual sense was that the matched wines were the highlight of the meal, let down by the sometimes disappointing dishes to which they were paired.

As we finished our meal, my wife and I pondered whether the Royal Mail has lost its way with the departure of Dan Hunter, the chef who brought the Hotel to prominence.

Unfortunately, our meal then ended with a final indignity - our delightful server returned shame-faced to say that she did not have the authority to have offered us a free glass of champagne at the start of the evening, and that we would have pay for this after all.  This is the sort of thing that any restaurant aiming for return custom and a positive experience for diners, simply would never do.  When you are trying to create (and charge for) a sense of luxury, this kind of attitude just smacks of embarrassing penny-pinching.  If the server innocently made a mistake and offered something she shouldn't have, the management needs to just suck it up, rather than punishing the customer who has just paid $700 on food and drink.

The swerving contradictions of our culinary experience persisted into the following day which started promisingly with the delectable continental breakfast (delicious local yoghurt and scrumptious poached pears the stand outs), then plummeted again with the pub lunch of burgers in the Royal Mail Hotel bar (overcooked patties of otherwise fine local beef, served on stale, bizarrely sweet buns with a side of shoestring fries and desultory salad - $20 each).  Finally, that evening we experienced the pinnacle of our dining experiences at the Royal Mail when we ordered room service from the Bistro's a la carte menu.  My wife chose the garden brassicas with cauliflower egg and washed rind cheese and I had the hay-roasted Glenloth chicken (local!) with potato puree, beans and lovage.  Both dishes were stunning and made us regret that we had not gone the Bistro route the previous night, instead of the vaunted but ultimately discouraging degustation experience.

Final thoughts - the Royal Mail Hotel remains well worth a visit, but don't bother with the restaurant, or even with booking ahead for the bistro - just stay in a lovely mountain view room and enjoy room service from the bistro as you sit on your balcony and soak in the picturesque surroundings.

Room Tip: The deluxe mountain view rooms are well worth the cost.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Aaron D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scott H, General Manager at Royal Mail Hotel, responded to this review, February 23, 2014
Dear Aaron D

Thank you very much for your feedback. As discussed on the telephone recently please accept my sincerest apologies for any inconvenience caused and for not meeting expectations in regards to some aspects of your stay. Thank you also for highlighting the many aspects that you did enjoy.

As discussed I would like to invite you back to the hotel so we may have an opportunity to meet and exceed all of your expectations.

I personally look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

Kind regards

Scott Horn
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Mail Hotel

Property: Royal Mail Hotel
Address: 98 Parker St, Dunkeld, Victoria 3294, Australia
Location: Australia > Victoria > Grampians > Dunkeld
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Dunkeld
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Royal Mail Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 41
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

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