Lowkey and cosy … the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld.Parker Street (Glenelg Highway)
Phone: (03) 5577 2241
The small town of Dunkeld, nestled at the foot of Mount Sturgeon, lies at the southernmost point of the Grampians. They form an impressive backdrop to the Royal Mail Hotel, an architecturally attractive building with a pleasing curve that faces the main street.
You can either stay in the hotel, in one of the 27 Mountain or Garden View rooms, or book one of the eight cottages (two two-bedroom options and six one-bedders) three kilometres from town.
The partially self-contained bluestone cottages all have fantastic views of Mount Sturgeon, with interiors that are lowkey and cosy: think open fireplaces and comfortable couches, and – bliss! – no TV or phones to interrupt the near total silence that comes at nightfall.
Dinner at the award-winning restaurant is a must: the tasting menu, designed by chef Dan Hunter (from $115 a head), is diverse, and the staff friendly and attentive.
Nearby there’s a wide selection of walks, from the gentle stroll up Picaninny to tougher treks such as the three-hour hike up Mount Sturgeon.
Cost: hotel rooms, $180-$380 a double a night, including breakfast in the hotel restaurant; cottages, $230-$365 (two night minimum stay), including breakfast hamper on the first morning.
Distance: 260km (3½ hours’ drive) west of Melbourne.
– Good Weekend
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