Royal Mail Hotel

save place
Photos (8)
Plane loader
Animated dots
Royal Mail Hotel
Royal Mail Hotel
Royal Mail Hotel
Royal Mail Hotel
Royal Mail Hotel
Royal Mail Hotel
Garden Medley for Lunch in Dunkeld, Victoria
Gourmet-stamped pub
Royal Mail Hotel
Royal Mail Hotel
Royal Mail Hotel
Royal Mail Hotel
Royal Mail Hotel
Royal Mail Hotel
Garden Medley for Lunch in Dunkeld, Victoria
Gourmet-stamped pub
Royal Mail Hotel
Nestled into the base of Mount Sturgeon, at the southern entrance of Grampians National Park roughly three and a half hours from Melbourne, the Royal Mail Hotel combines a bush experience with world-class food and wine. The property is a slow-paced reprieve at the site where the town of Dunkeld was first settled. Accommodations range from minimalist mountain-view rooms bedecked with furniture and light fixtures by Melbourne designer Jardan to the Mt. Sturgeon sheep station, home to a six-bedroom homestead as well as eight dog-friendly sandstone cottages with bathrooms built inside old water tanks. Gardens play a prominent role in the Royal Mail experience; the hotel has the largest kitchen garden in Australia, which supplies the restaurant with nearly all its organic produce, and a 24-acre private garden is home to many rare indigenous and non-indigenous plants. With the Grampian Mountains and their year-round waterfalls right at the hotel’s back door, the Royal Mail is also a prime base for exploring the wilderness and its native wildlife. After a day in the woods, guests can indulge in an eight-course tasting menu with matched wines from one of the top-ranked cellars in the world.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
Neighborhood Vibe
Grampians National Park is a stunning wilderness area that offers challenging hikes like the trail up Mt. Sturgeon as well as more relaxed walks to such attractions as Mackenzie Falls. The area is also known for wineries, farms, historic homesteads, unique food experiences (there’s an olive oil producer that also makes falafel mix, relishes, and chutneys), and important rock art sites. Eighty percent of Victoria’s Aboriginal rock art is found in the region, and the Brambuk interpretive center offers insights and explanations. Contemporary art can also be found at the Waiting Room Art Gallery, the Ros McArthur Art Studio, and the Hamilton Art Gallery. Golfers will enjoy the 18-hole Grampians club, naturally fertilized by kangaroos. Emus and wallabies also frequent the greens.
Need to Know
Rooms: 26 rooms, 3 apartments, 8 cottages, the Mulberry House (sleeps 11), and the Mt. Sturgeon Homestead (sleeps 12). From $158.
Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m.
Dining options:The light-filled dining room is under the direction of executive chef Robin Wickens, who whips up beautifully-prepared entrees from Great Ocean Road duck with rhubarb and custard to King George whiting with sorrel, carrot, and pickled mussels. Nearly all the produce comes from the on-site kitchen garden, orchards, and olive grove, and the free-range eggs are laid in the pasture. The Public Bar is a relaxing place to enjoy a beer or glass of wine by the fire with locals. (It’s the only pub in Dunkeld, so it’s also the residents’ watering hole.) Wine enthusiasts will be blown away by the hotel’s overwhelming range of international bottles. The wine cellar holds more than 2,300 vintages, earning the Grand Award in the 2013 Wine Spectator contest forits wine list.
Spa and gym details:This low-key property doesn’t have a spa or gym, but there is an outdoor pool with a grassy deck and dark pool lining designed to look like an Australian billabong. Guests can also take yoga at Griffins Hill Retreat, hike right off the property, and arrange an in-room massage.
Insider Tips
Who's it best for: Foodies and wine lovers who enjoy farm-to-table cooking and aren’t intimidated by a cellar with 26,000 bottles.
Our favorite rooms: The Deluxe Mountain View rooms feature minimalist wood-slat bed frames; modern pendant lamps; gray throws, pillows, and arm chairs; and private decks with direct views of the Grampians. The four-bedroom Mulberry House is a charming choice for larger groups, complete with polished wood floors, traditional fireplaces, and beautiful gardens. But the Mt. Sturgeon Homestead and cottages are the most historic; eight cottages feature 19th-century sandstone, and bathrooms were built into old water tanks.
Good to know:The Royal Mail Hotel offers a slew of interesting tours. Home cooks and eco-conscious foodies will enjoy discovering the organic practices employed at the kitchen garden, while budding botanists might prefer to roam the private garden of Allan and Maria Myers, covered in red gum trees and rare plant species from around the world. Animal lovers should book a tour of the Mt. Sturgeon wildlife enclosures, home to squirrel gliders, long-nosed potoroos, and eastern quolls, which are all part of a program to reintroduce endangered species to the Grampians.
Garden Medley for Lunch in Dunkeld, Victoria
During a road trip along the Great Ocean Road, we stopped near the Grampians in a small town of Dunkeld. We enjoyed lunch at the historic Royal Mail Hotel--blink and you'll miss it (in fact, we did on the first pass).

After receiving a tour of the kitchen's garden, the daily bounty ended up on our plate--an array of heirloom carrots, radishes, asparagus, beets, cauliflower, spring onions, and pinches of mixed herbs.

I've never seen such an abundance of vibrant produce in the middle of November--my mind was still thinking about cranberry and sweet potatoes back at home, but this dish let me dream about a Spring that lasts forever.
Original open uri20130402 1824 16ceb79?1383809403?ixlib=rails 0.3

Gourmet-stamped pub

For one of the finest meals you'll eat in Australia, with simple yet sophisticated rooms and majestic mountain views to match, head for the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld, the southern gateway to the Grampians in Victoria.

Only three kilometres from Dunkeld, the Mount Sturgeon homestead presides over a 1,000 bale-a-year superfine merino wool working sheep station, and can cater for up to 12 Smiths and their friends in a graceful and expansive historic home. So why not arrive by helicopter, play lord and lady of the manor for the weekend, and enjoy free transfers to the restaurant each night for dinner?
Original open uri20130926 28313 1lyx14h?1383827112?ixlib=rails 0.3