A characterful hotel in Victoria's southern Grampians
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Activity adventure | Food & wine
This characterful hotel, located in the southern Grampians, has one of the best restaurants in Australia and is the perfect place for an interlude as you make your way to or from Victoria's famous Great Ocean Road.
The Royal Mail Hotel is located in Dunkeld at the southern entrance to the Grampians National Park, the drive from Melbourne takes around three hours and the old gold mining town of Ballarat is worth a visit enroute. The drive to or from Port Fairy, depending on the route that you take, is between one and one-and-a-half hours. Dunkeld itself has several galleries and studios and the main street offers speciality gift shops and an excellent book store.
Of the 27 rooms, the deluxe mountain view rooms are our favourite, offering wonderful views of the Grampians National Park. Rooms have king beds, generous bathrooms with rainfall showers, comfy chairs, mini bars and a private veranda with outdoor seating, perfect for a quiet morning coffee before the day begins or a glass of wine as the sun sets. WiFi, a morning paper and full à la carte breakfast are included in your stay. Should you wish to, there's also the option of booking one of the rustic, blue stone cottages at Mt Sturgeon. These have one bedroom, a unique water tank bathroom, a kitchenette and an open-plan lounge and dining area with wood fire and soft leather sofas.
The Dining Room at the Royal Mail is regarded as one of the best in Australia. Seasonal dishes are based on locally sourced ingredients, much of which comes from the hotel's own orchards and olive grove. You can choose from the à la carte menu or, on Saturday nights and public holidays, the signature dining experience: the eight-course Chef’s Tasting menu (also available as a five course option). The wine cellar at the Royal Mail is comprehensive and varied, housing Australia’s leading collection of Burgundy and Bordeaux. The Public Bar is a lively spot where you can meet the locals and try some of the forty local and imported beers and ciders available. There's a casual pub food menu available as well as a limited room-service menu.
Alongside the restaurant and pub there's a small swimming pool and a number of walking trails that make the best of the surrounds. The Grampians are a nature-lovers paradise, a region filled with waterfalls, rugged mountains, native wildlife and ancient Aboriginal rock art sites. Explore on foot, by 4WD or head out on the lakes and rivers in a kayak or canoe. Mountain bikes are also available locally to hire.
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