The Royal Mail Hotel

The Royal Mail Hotel is an inspired and inspiring place.  Now an internationally recognized food destination, it has for some years included wonderfully designed and very comfortable motel accommodation.  We need to refer to the accommodation before the food captures your attention.  As motel owners we were inspired by this place a few years ago on an overnight stay.  To our eyes, money had been no obstacle in the quest for accommodation that worked at every level.  The rooms look out to Mt William and Mt Sturgeon, so you wake to a very restful outlook.  The building design means that you could be the only person enjoying the view.  The room is spacious, emphasised by a long slightly angled bench that replaces tables and desks and all that traditional motel stuff.  That bench alone inspired us to rethink our refurbishment plans for Apollo Bay.  The room had lots of natural timber finishes, adding to the relaxed feel.  A good bed and a modern, functional bathroom capped off our experience.  Looking at consumer review sites it seems that many people share our feelings; the accommodation generally rates 4/5 to 5/5 on the big review sites in 2012.  Prices start at $180.00 per night; full details on the website

Now to the food!  The Royal Mail has won Victoria’s “Restaurant of The Year” award in The Age Good Food Guide, consistently scores 18/20 (3 hats) and shares this honour with only 3 other restaurants in Victoria.  The Hotel owner’s passion over a decade had resulted in the fine accommodation, a wine cellar often regarded as the best in Australia, and hectares of gardens to serve the restaurant.  In 2007 the company enticed Dan Hunter to the role of head chef.  Dan’s experience included four years in Spain with a year as head chef of Mugaritz, currently ranked 3 among the world’s best restaurants.  To describe what Dan has achieved at The Royal Mail we have no better source than Anthony Bourdain

For those wanting good pub food there is also a bistro at the hotel.

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98 Parker Street Dunkeld