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“Royal Rip Off”
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 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Royal Rip Off”
Reviewed 17 November 2013

We have just spent the weekend at the Royal Mail in Dunkeld. We were there mainly for the races and to experience all that i had heard about the Hotel. We had drinks at the bar on Friday afternoon and was shocked when the barman only filled my champagne 2/3rds of the way, I couldn't be bothered saying anything. Firstly the accomodation was good we were in the Mulberry house and it is a very large 4 bedroom house. It was good for our needs as there were 4 couples. The furniture could do with some updating as it looks really tired and doesn't really match the price charged as it was $1380 for 2 nights.
We had booked for the Calcutta Dinner on the Friday night. It was described as a 3 course meal, matching local wines and tea and coffee.
The meal started with a very small selection cold terrines, pate, pickles and salmon. This course was shared between the 11 of us on 3 plates(about the size of a dinner plate) with some bread. We were given a fish cake each.
The main was a tiny portion of pork with 2 baby carrots and 2 scallops.
Dessert followed and it was a birds nest meringue broken up (about 4 mouthfuls) with a teaspoonful of sorbet and a tiny pieces of fruit.
The wine was either a white or a red, not explained to us in any way just offered and glasses filled. What happened to the matching of local wines with the courses?
The meal was good without being amazing and at $150 a head i thought the price was outrageous. We were all still hungry and to add insult to injury they charged us on top of that for tea and coffee and the 2 non drinkers diet cokes!
We had to approach the manager and querie the bill and they said it was a mistake. I hope it was and not an attempt to milk us for more money. The extras were not charged for but they were not really extras as it was a set menu including tea and coffee. All the staff would have known it was a set price.
I felt like we were taken advantage of as they had a captive audience. I do not accept the old, you should have spoken up or complained, as when i get charged $150 a head up front i expect something pretty amazing. I don't want my night ruined by having to tell people how to do their job. I did not want to make a fuss and ruin the fun we were having with our friends.
This meal was pretentious and an insult to my intelligence. One should never be hungry at the end of a $150 meal.
Breakfast the next day was adequate if you were in a motel. We were wanting some jam and were told there was none as they had run out but there was none the day before, small complaint but this was a big weekend in Dunkeld so wouldn't you be prepared?
Dunkeld is an amazing place with incredible views of the Grampians. This hotel is set in a beautiful spot.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank marras01
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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  • Service
  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (111)
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English first
Melbourne
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2013

This was our second stay at the Royal Mail hotel and unfortunately the standards have dropped significantly.

We had booked the deluxe mountain view room and were initially provided with a room in the row closer to the road. The view from these rooms is substandard compared to the views from the rooms further away from the road. You basically have a view of the pool and the the front row of rooms. As the hotel was not full there was no problems in relocating to the rooms with the nicer views. Not sure why the hotel would charge the same for both rows of rooms as one definitely has a deluxe view whilst the other doesn't. Also not sure why we would be allocated a non-deluxe view room when they clearly had space. The rooms are otherwise very pleasant with a fabulous view of the southern Grampians.

The key disappointment was, however, our dinner. Having dined there a few years ago during the heyday of the restaurant it was sad to see how the standards had dropped. We selected the shorter of the tasting menus which contained a few sublime dishes. The eucalyptus smoked Flinders Island wallaby was amongst the finest dishes I have ever sampled. Yet this was overshadowed by the fact that the bread they served was practically carbonized. For a so called fine dining restaurant the kitchen had managed to send out a blackened pumpernickel bread that had clearly cooked for too long. A taste of it left a bitter taste in my mouth for most of the dinner. Having looked at the other tables I couldn't help but notice that everyone else had the same blacked bread. I pointed out the charred bread to the sommeliere who seemed somewhat embarrassed as he shrugged his shoulders but neither apologized nor brought new bread. Funnily enough the sommeliere provided some of the finest wine matching I have ever had.

Overall the meal was fine but not up to the standard that I would expect at that price class.

The final source of irritation was the breakfast. The room includes a continental breakfast in the bistro. The selection was quite spartan although just acceptable. But having spent $1000 for an 18 hour stay with dinner I would expect coffee to be included. You can access a complimentary cup of coffee from the urn or pay $4 for a long back. Ridiculous parsimony if you were to ask me.

Unlikely to stay again despite the beautiful setting. The final indication that staff are clearly aware that all is not right was checking out of the hotel. Due to the fact that there were some printer issues my wife spent five minutes speaking with the receptionist and despite a lot of conversation she did not ask once whether we had enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BookbuyerMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
139 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2013 via mobile

The setting is wonderful from our modern and spacious room looking directly at the Grampians.
The first part of our degustation meal was superb however a couple of the latter courses were ordinary and the duck was undercooked and tough.

The accompanying wines were well chosen, complemented our meal and were highly unusual.
The breakfast menu was very mundane with better selections available at any Melbourne corner cafe. Worse still, I selected the smoked salmon omelette but was denied it as there was no salmon! Our cooked breakfast of Toulouse sausages and eggs was not worth the wait - the eggs were drastically undercooked with still runny whites and the sausages were completely bland. The final disappointment was being charged extra for a latte. At about $1k for the room and meals it seemed poor form...


Mike.hodgson@naissance.com.au

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Mike 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, 4 November 2013
Dear Mike

Thank you very much for choosing to stay and dine with us and for your review. Thank you also for leaving your name and e-mail address which means that I could immediately have a telephone conversation with you and you can be provided with the highest levels of customer service and I can get the best out of your comments and feedback.

As discussed on the telephone your feedback is welcomed and will be used to improve our product and service and once again please accept my sincerest apologies where we did not meet your expectations.

I look forward to you contacting me personally when you are planning to return.

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
Dunsborough, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
110 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2013

We stayed in a Garden View Room (the view is grass and a couple of bushes!). In essence this is a motel room but it is very large with a comfortable bed and seating, good lighting and good quality toiletries including body lotion. It is on the opposite side of the road to the Hotel which is unprepossessing from the outside but with a nice atmosphere inside. The staff, particularly at the front desk and at breakfast, are friendly and very helpful. The continental breakfast is of a high quality with organic produce and a good selection. We ate in the bar twice, fish and chips was too greasy but the trout was delicious. We also ate in the Bistro and that was not a success - for me at least. My husband had the eel and pea rissotto which he enjoyed very much and also liked his main of steak. I should stress that the vegetables were superbly cooked. However my first course of calamari was bland, the pistachio cake for dessert was dry and was only saved by being served with cream and chocolate cream to moisten it. The disaster was my main of pork. It was almost raw. I gave a piece to my husband to taste and he asked me why I was giving him gristle. I struggled with cutting it but eventually gave up and left half. I brought to the attention of the waiter that it was undercooked, fatty and chewy and received an explanation that it was the 'cut of the meat'. Surely an experienced chef can judge a cut of meat?

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HookedOnTravel255103
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, 26 October 2013
Dear HookedOnTravel255103

Thank you very much for choosing to stay and dine with us and for your feedback. Thank you very much for your comments in regards to the room and staff. We have just completed a $1.4 million room refurbishment project and the garden veiw rooms are the next to be upgraded.

Please accept my apologies that we did not meet your expectations in regards to some of the dishes. We look 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
Adelaide, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2013

This is our 4th trip to the Royal Mail with our family. It is always a nice stay. We stayed in a 2 bedroom apartment which was lovely but starting to show some signs of wear and tear. We would love it if there were 3 bedroom apartments as the house option is a bit too pricey for 1 family.
We were strongly encouraged to make a booking at the bistro when we booked our apartment which was ok but not really great for children. Our eldest two ate from the regular menu and our youngest couldn't find any good options so went hungry. The meal was fine but pretty pricey and fairly small serves so our older children were also hungry at the end after ordering a main and a dessert. Three courses each for a family of 5 at this bistro starts to add up!
We probably should have ate at the pub however on a Saturday night we were concerned it would be too busy and we were told the bistro would be good for a family.
It would be great if the bistro was a little more relaxed and family friendly and left the fine dining for the restaurant. In such a lovely rural setting I feel a more relaxed place to eat would be great as we are here to unwind. We have opportunity to go to formal restaurants in the city-in the country its nice to chill a bit.
The continental breakfast was nice however a cooked buffet breakfast is always popular particularly for hikers!
We will be back.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tilly788
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, 26 October 2013
Dear Tilly788

Thank you very much for your ongoing patronage of the hotel and the team looks forward to welcoming you back time and time again.

I was delighted to read that you had such an enjoyable experience. Families are a very important part of our business and the Hotel is always extremely busy during any school holiday period. New menus have just been rolled out throughout the entire Hotel and there is now a broader offering for children on the Public Bar menu and these childrens dishes can be served in the Bistro.

The Mount Sturgeon offering at the Hotel is a great area for families and there are two, three bedroom cottages there with large grounds for children to enjoy as well as our animal enclosures and an abundance of wildlife.

Please do not hesitate to contact me personally on scott@royalmail.com.au or 03 5577 2241 if I can assist with your next booking. The team and I sincerely look forward to welcoming you back again.

Kind regards

Scott Horn
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2013 via mobile

My partner and I have just spent a relaxing weekend at the hotel. Everything from the moment we arrived was perfect. The staff couldn't have been friendlier or more helpful. Our mountain view room was spacious and comfortable. The amenities in the bathroom were spa quality. The minibar was well stocked with quality half bottles of wine and delicious snacks. We dined at the hotel bar on Friday night, it was very good pub food. I had the chicken Parma and my partner had the beef burger. We ate in the bistro on Saturday for lunch. We shared a charcuterie platter, I had roast Glengoth chicken and my partner had the steak. We enjoyed both. Saturday night was really good, five course with matching wines. The food was superb. For a chef who has only been there for six weeks he is doing a fantastic job. We toured the kitchen garden that morning and it's produce was evident throughout our meal. Breakfast was also a meal to be looked forward to. I must single out the quince custard doughnuts as outstanding, this from a person who doesn't particularly like doughnuts. All on all, I can't recommend the hotel highly enough.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank hammoj
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, 25 October 2013
Dear hammoj

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 experience and 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
Yarram, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 8 October 2013

We had been here before and it had been exceptional and we expected to have the same experience again but where very disappointed we ordered Lamb with a mash and char grilled vegetables and received Lamb with tasteless mash and tasteless steamed vegetables we won't be returning and it wasn't cheap !!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mooch13
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
Region: 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
Royal Mail Hotel Dunkeld, Australia - Grampians

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