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“Bad experience, extremely overrated”
Review of Royal Mail Hotel

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Royal Mail Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Dunkeld
Certificate of Excellence
Stockholm, Sweden
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Bad experience, extremely overrated”
Reviewed March 31, 2014

Couldn't be more disappointed after we left and it was about to get worse. A day after check out I get this " pretend to be personal automatically generated email" talking about what a delight it hade been with our stay. Completely wrong and not what you want after a bad experience which also had been pointed out. But ok thats how some place use email/social media this days BUT I took the time to give them feedback, which the email also welcomed. More then one week later still no response. I will let that speak:


Dear Royal Mail,
Thank you for your mail, even though it automatic, unfortunately our visit was not a pleasure. We are extremely disappointed with most parts of our stay which we also tried to point out several times for the staff. Staying with you is not only expensive, we made a long trip to come out and left feeling absolutely unsatisfied and ripped of.

First of all we got sick from what could only be your food that was cold, late and bad. I will get to that.

Second, the possibility to dine in the bistro or restaurant. We booked your best room and yes you are right it says on your website that a reservation for dinner is important but not how long before etc. And I do feel that as long as all rooms are available for booking you should be able to offer dinner reservation. A hotel located so far from other dining options should be able to have “walk in” tables for its guests but again that is just my opinion. We booked only a few days in advance to spoil ourselves and followed up with a call, one of many calls, to make a dinner reservation. We were put on a waiting list. In the end even thou we said we could be flexible with anything we did not get a table for dinner. However we managed to get permission to sit in the bistro bar to have a glass of wine, and watch the empty tables... Again we asked if we could sit down on one of the table were they already finished dinner and left but no. We ordered room service from the bistro menu. It took over 1 hour to get the food. The meat was cold. I am allergic to potatoes so I asked to get more salad instead, that did not happen. My husband did not get the potatoes from the menu, he got some soggy version. We tried to call reception/room service to fix this but the phone in our room was out of order! The charcuterie plate was a disaster! I have never seen so thick cut pieces of meat before, it was inedible. The bread was dry to the extent that we had crumbs everywhere. Cheese plate as bad. We paid 180 ausd for a cold meal that we waited 1 hour for and the quality was catastrophic. All the cutlery were dirty, we got no proper knives for the meat and the whole experience was sad. And what is worse is as mentioned that we both got really stomach sick in a food poisoning way during the morning and the day we left. We both had the same food and regret eating it in the condition it was served.

Breakfast, I was prepared given the reviews about your breakfast are bad, but it still managed to disappoint. I think a standard boiled egg could be included. The biggest failure in our opinion is the total lack of love. It was bad presented and half of the few plates were empty and messy. We left with nothing in our stomach except a coffee, we did ask your staff for other breakfast recommendations in the area but even if we asked two people none of those could recommend any place and both claimed they had never sat foot in the cafe across the street. I think a basic level of local knowledge should be required from the staff.

Our room had big flies keeping us up half the night and also small black millipede. This was mentioned to your staff who responded like they had never heard about neither before which is just ridiculous.

I regret even paying when we left but at that point we were so disappointed, felt sick and sad that we just wanted to get away. And also we had already pointed out all of this during our stay with no real response.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank S B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (111)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2014 via mobile

Stayed in a very tired and gloomy apartment, due for refurbishment, and suffered a disappointing tasting menu at the restaurant with interminably slow and pretentious service and very average food for an outrageous price.

Having since eaten in a number of good restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne, the Royal Mail restaurant compares incredibly badly as a cynical rip off. Give it a miss!

This hotel has an undeserved reputation and could be so much better. The badly equipped rooms need urgent refurbishment, and the chefs need a reality check. We get the feeling that it is resting on its laurels.

Old fashioned bathroom, without worn out tiling and no separate shower is on ground floor, accessed only through living room from bedrooms on first floor, which poses safety and privacy issue at night, particularly for children or the elderly. Manager cut the bill for the room, but IWW would rather have had the quality. Lost the plot.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank Tim F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2014

Rather than celebrating Valentine’s Day in Melbourne, my husband surprised me with a weekend getaway to The Grampians. The drive to Dunkeld was considerably long (3hrs non-stop) and rather uninspiring with repetitive scenery the whole way. And I was left wondering whether this hotel and meal would be worth it. And without a doubt, it was.

From our very first interactions to our last, were welcomed with smiles and fantastic customer service. The staff at The Royal Mail Hotel were extremely helpful and welcoming. Check-in was quick and easy, just as it should be. We were immediately given a map to guide us to our one bedroom stone cottage located a short drive away and our dinner reservations (and complimentary pick-up) was confirmed.

A short drive down a dirt road and we had arrived. And what a sight it was. There were a line of cottages (6 in total I believe), with a reasonable distance between each one to allow for privacy. Despite being stone cottages, it was warm and welcoming inside. As you enter the cottage, there are two doors on either side, the bathroom on the left and the bedroom on the right.

The bathrooms were equipped with toiletries by Australian brand Appelles Apothecary and were well designed within what seems to be a large rainwater tank. It is in a kind of circular shape, with the basin upon entry, the toilet around to the right and the shower around to the left. It is useful to note that while there are no doors within the bathroom itself to separate the toilet or the shower, you do have total privacy as they are located behind wall of the basin/mirror.

The bedroom was very cosy and inviting, with plain white linen on the queen sized bed and wood interiors. There is a wooden clothes rack to hang clothing and a wooden bedside table on either side of the bed.

The door from the bedroom leads to the kitchen/lounge area. The lounge space is comfortable and welcoming, with a large working fireplace and firewood. The kitchen is full equipped with some complimentary jams, a selection of T2 tea bags and fruit.

For guests, they provided a delicious continental breakfast in the hotel itself. And for those who wish to have breakfast in their cottage, they have provided yoghurt, milk, oats, fresh fruits, bread and jams. For dinner we chose the tasting menu at the hotel restaurant, which was nothing short of amazing.

While there is electricity inside the cottage (lighting), it is important to note that there are no televisions, no phones and no internet.

In the morning, we watched kangaroos hopping around right outside our cottage. There are also several walking trails nearby, so there is no shortage of things to do during your stay.

Would we recommend The Royal Mail Hotel to our friends and family members? Absolutely without hesitation. The Royal Mail Hotel is the perfect place for a weekend getaway to escape the hustle and bustle of Melbourne city living.

Room Tip: Definitely splurge and stay in one of the Mt Sturgeon Stone Cottages.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RiavS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2014

This is a gem! Wonderful birds outside, a great pool and setting. It is bisected by a main road (with no cars on it!) in the middle of nowhere. But.. the food is outstanding, and it has THE BEST wine list in Australia - three different restaurants, cafe, bistro and gastro with a Menu Degustation to die for. Do go. Rooms v. comfortable. No laundry service which would be useful in that heat, but faultless otherwise.

Room Tip: Ask for a view of The Grampians.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 50yearoldcouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ballarat, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2014

We booked for lunch at the Royal Mail and enjoyed select wines and amazing food that was all about flavours. Thanks Paulette for looking after us. Our group of 6 stayed at Mt. Sturgeon cottages 5 & 6. We had a lovely restful time and had a small walk and a relaxing time with good friends sitting by the fire. . wonderful stay and thank you

Room Tip: Ask the staff - Angela was very helpful
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tara s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2014

When someone says they are going to stay at the Royal Mail, what do you think of first... The food of course! Tomorrow is our 1 year wedding anniversary and my husband booked a night at the Royal Mail to celebrate. He booked a deluxe mountain view room which cost over $400 for the night and included a $100 voucher to use in the restaurant.

After booking the room we discovered that the hotel was unable to accommodate us in any restaurant at the hotel, but we could have a pub meal.. Presently the pub is filled with rowdy blokes on their Saturday night out.

A few days later we were told they could accommodate us in the bistro at 830pm and we were 'lucky' to get that... Hmmm

Upon arrival in the hotel today we enquiried again as to if there was anyway they could squeeze us into the restaurant. The lady behind reception was not overly bothered or sympathetic to our plight and reiterated how lucky we were again to have a table at the bistro, as there are 4 other hotel rooms on the waiting list.. What are these poor people going to eat as there is nothing in Dunkeld?

I have worked in the hotel industry for over 10 years representing some of the best hotels in the world, including El Bulli in Spain. Never have I known a hotel to reject an in house guest to a dinner reservation in the restaurant. If the Royal Mail really wants to get on the worldwide culinary map, it needs to get its priorities right. Look after the guests that are prepared to pay over $700 per night first for the full experience.

What a shame our 1st wedding anniversary has been marred.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Carly G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Echuca, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2014

We stayed at the Garden Cottages opposite the Royal Mail Hotel and we found them to be excellent. But sadly we dined in the bar of the hotel and were very disappointed at the standard and the price paid of our meals. The greens were a disgrace and the veal was greasy tough and questionable. Not sure why there was a fried egg on top of it all. The so call hand cut chips were soggy and bland. We would stay at the cottages again for sure but we would not dine at the hotel.
Cafe 109 across the road was clean fresh and dessert was amazing, as was the service.

Room Tip: Eat at Cafe 109
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WendyFordyce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Royal Mail Dunkeld

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