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“what a hidden gem!!!”

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Craig's Royal Hotel
Ranked #10 of 32 Hotels in Ballarat
Certificate of Excellence
Geelong, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“what a hidden gem!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 December 2011

our stay here recently was everything you see here and more..look it up if your in Ballarat breakfast./lunch or even dinner is a must simply divine French inspired menu.. we will be back for sure...

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank zaden j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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228 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    129
    69
    21
    5
    4
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25
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27
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2011

The hotel presents very nicely and the renovation is not without style and taste. However the reception area is a tiny desk beyond which you can see a hideous bank of poker machines. Why don't they hide them away somewhere if the must have them. The service is friendly but incredibly amateurish, almost Fawlty Towers like. The staff in the dining room were of the breed that didn't write things down but unfortunately didn't have the memory to record our orders so had to come back. They repeatedly had to ask for our room numbers and even then got them wrong on the bills. The electronic door cards failed both at midnight on the night of our stay so we had to go back to reception to get new cards and then again the next morning!
The room was small but nicely appointed with comfortable beds and quality linen. The bathroom too was nicely appointed.
The Continental breakfast was pretty average but the cooked breakfast was very good (but at an extra charge of around $20). The coffee provided with the free breakfast was shocking, the espresso ordered (again at extra charge) was average at best.
Craigs is charging top dollar (our room was small and $260 for the night) but not providing service commensurate with the charge. They just need to look at these little issues and it could be a great place.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Neil E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2011

We recently stayed the weekend in the Royal Suite.What a wonderful room with so much history attached to the people who have stayed prior to us. The new owners have done a spectacular job in restoring the hotel to its former glory and beyond. We also had high tea whis was a very relaxing and wonderful experience. Would love to go back again.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Judy12266
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 October 2011

The thought of high tea at Craig's Hotel was exciting. But that's where and when the excitement ended! The food looked appealing and was delicious to taste, but the shock was that we had so little time to devour and enjoy these delights with our friends. After declining the invite to join a 45 minute guided tour of the hotel because we were in the middle of eating, we were told that our time in the dining room was over even before we had had the chance to eat the food and finish our drinks. As we had less than an hour from being seated, we were shocked. Obviously, management needs to address this issue or visitors will not bother making the trek from Melbourne to be rushed over what is meant to be a relaxing ritual of enjoyment and decadence. This wasn't like any other high tea we had ever encountered!

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank ReflectiveTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2011

Service: We stayed at Craig's Royal Hotel for 3 nights for my birthday in April 2011. From start to finish, the service and hospitality we received was excellent. Upon request, we were upgraded to a larger room at no charge and were also provided with a DVD player which the manager himself set up for us.

Room: The room (number 32 I think) was not overly large but was very nicely furnish and has been very well maintained. The bed was extremely comfortable and the bath robes provided were a nice touch. The view from this room is the back of the hotel so overlooks roofs / air conditioning outlets. This wasn't an issue for us as we chose to hang out in the pleasant and comfortable shared spaces within the hotel.

Both the reception and restaurant staff were very pleasant and responded to any queries very helpfully. The reception staff took our (ample!) luggage to the car without hesitation.

Restaurant: We ate in the restaurant on the Saturday night and it was fantastic. The French-inspired food was delicious and the selection of wines was good. It was the best steak I have had in years. The dining room was busy but the service was friendly and attentive.

Do: Book a Superior room and eat in the restaurant.

Room Tip: Book a Superior room if you can as the Classic room we were allocated was fairly small (probably due...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dany M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 July 2011

I STAYED at Craig’s Royal Hotel for just one night and that wasn’t near enough time to really enjoy this elegant property.

From the minute you walk in the front door you really appreciate the bygone beauty of this historic hotel, and I even enjoyed sitting in the lobby while my group waited for someone to check us in.

I stayed in the Shenandoah Suite, which could be reached either by climbing the grand sweeping staircase or riding the old-fashioned lift to the third floor, and in the afternoon the sun filled the room which was lovely on a cold day.

The walls were a soft pistachio green colour, there was an oversized canopy bed that took up most of the room as well as a table with a couple of chairs and an arm chair and the feature of the room was the solid black fireplace on one wall.

The bathroom was magnificent – it was one of the best I’ve seen in a hotel room – and there was a big shower, a pedestal basin with an old-fashioned mirror, and an enormous bath which I could submerge my whole body in.

I really appreciated Coffee Shop & Larder on the ground floor, it was a great place to grab a snack and a drink in the afternoon without having to leave the hotel, and breakfast in the Gallery Bistro – also on the ground floor, but set under a glass roof – was satisfactory.

The location was great, literally only a few steps from Ballarat’s main street and a short drive from the rural city’s other tourist attractions, and we were able to walk to dinner which was a bonus because we didn’t need a designated driver.

On the downside, there was no wifi in my room and I had to sit on the couch on the first-floor landing to get online, but that is really my only negative.

If you’re a history buff, or just someone who appreciates the past, you should stay at this hotel, it has a lovely sense of place and has been restored to reflect how it would have looked during the glorious days of life in 19th-century Victoria.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CarpeDiemMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 June 2011

We stayed here for the Queen's Birthday weekend - our first weekend as just a couple having left our teenage son at home with the dog! Things we liked were the friendly reception we received ( the hard working manager seemed to be there at all hours over the weekend and not at all phased by the peculiarities of Landrover ignitions) and valet parking; the old fashioned lift with its two sets of doors closed by hand; the ambiance of the hotel, the carefully chosen wallpapers and decoration of the corridors.
Then the bedroom (Superior Room) with a great bathroom. Loved the deep bath with sloping back and head rest; shower over bath.We found the huge King bed to be pretty firm compared to ours at home, but pristine white covers and quite luxurious in tone. Some lighting needs to be put on by hand and a couple of lamp fittings were a bit wobbly. Liked the real milk in the fridge and 2 bottles of water. We didn't mind that the view out of the window was of the back yard, but did find the noise when the kitchen emptied bottles into the bin at around 11pm and then 7am a bit of a distraction to sleep. Free wifi was very welcome so we could look up details of places to visit.
The dining room was light and airy in the morning and service was friendly. We chose a cooked breakfast one day and the continental breakfast the next - very up market choice of fresh fruit.. By evening the ambiance changed and the meal we had on Sunday night was superb (Chateau Brian'd for 2 with choice of two side dishes $72), and the bottle of 2001 Penfolds Bin 28 extremely well priced - decanting the wine was a nice touch.
The reception area lounge was well set out with access to the cafe (filled with interesting nick nacks for sale). We enjoyed after dinner drinks in the main bar on the Saturday, (first we met a friend at Harry Limes restaurant and can recommend that for its interesting menu choices and good service). The hotel bar had live music - a young keyboard player with a very good range to his voice; the atmosphere was very convivial, with a fairly young patronage at that time.
On Sunday we had pre-dinner drinks in the bar off the reception and bistro which serves the 'Pokies' clientelle as well. Staff were helpful and friendly. We aren't fans of the slot machines but they seemed pretty popular and were fairly well placed out of the way. Check out on Monday was quick and accurate and again valet service brought the car to the front door. We'd happily stay here again perhaps choosing a room closer to the front.
Places of interest that we visited were the Saturday morning market at the edge of Lake Wendouree, The Art Gallery - a fascinting mix of old and modern art..A drive to Creswick for lunch - not much open at this time. Oh, and the Mill Antiques outside Ballarat are well worth a visit. We didn't do Sovereign Hill as we've been previously.

Room Tip: Ask for bath/shower combo so both of you are happy
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bluesteel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Craig's Royal Hotel

Property: Craig's Royal Hotel
Address: 10 Lydiard St S | PO Box 485, Ballarat, Victoria 3350, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > Victoria > Ballarat
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 32 Hotels in Ballarat
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Craig's Royal Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 41
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on historic Lydiard Street in the heart of Ballarat, Craig’s Royal Hotel is the legendary Australian gold-rush era grand hotel. Opened in 1853 and host to poets, princes and prime ministers over its 150 year history, the hotel is a true icon of the Victorian period. Now, after 4 years extensive restoration, the magnificent accommodation, dining, meeting and banquet facilities are re-establishing Craig’s as the finest boutique heritage hotel in the colony. ... more   less 
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