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“WE bought a package and had magnificent time”

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Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Flinders Chase
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 February 2013

Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat explains it all, yes you can see the wildlife from the courtyard. This is not 5 star luxary accomodation. This is a wilderness Retreat and gosh to be with wild life at your front door..mmm awesom. We travelled from Currency Creek Vineyard after spending a night slow trip down the coast and stopped at Victor Harbor to walk on the Jetty, then shopped prior to arriving at Penneshaw where you catch the ferry. We bought liquor, snacks, pre dinner and after dinner as supplies and shopping is limited once you go to the retreat. We hired our car from Adelaide and took it over the ferry, but restricted to tar sealed roads only which was all we required to see all destination. We had bought a food accomodation package and recommend you source these for all you holiday deals. This is the most perfect location to explore the Island. Enjoy.. you just want a place to rest your head. Our room was clean and I can't understand if you find a problem phone and politely ask management to fix it as sometimes they are unaware of a bad staff member for a day. This never fails.

Room Tip: Take snacks, warm cloths and wet weather gear, buy the food to feed the wildlife and DON'T leave...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Christina046
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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193 - 199 of 543 reviews

Reviewed 19 January 2013

The hotel is basic and is located in probably the best spot to access the main attractions of the island. The rooms are similar to your normal motel room. The exception is the unique courtyard. All the staff were very welcoming - especially in the restaurant. After a long hot day it was great to have a shower then sit in the courtyard with the wallabies and have cold beer and tapas (try the lamb chorizo - delicious).

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Matt M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2013

Location is great, next to the entrance of the National Park, rooms are a bit gloomy, and the resort is perfect when you enjoy the atmosphere of a boy-scout camp. Food is really too pricey, but there is no alternative. A small house wallaby comes becking for food on your porch.

We definitely recommend the koala evening walk in the park very closeby. 100% Guaranteed sighting of these lovely animals and a interesting talk accompanies it.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Paul_&_Sanderella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2013

KIWR has a tremendous location- just at the entrance to Flinders Chase park- and was a perfect location for our 5 days on the island. We took two courtyard rooms with interconnected doors for 2 adults and 4 kids. The rooms are nothing fancy, but that's not why you come here. The food was unexpectedly good and became one of the highlights of the stay, although giving your 7 and 9 year olds a taste for lobster and ribeye steak may be an expensive long-term choice. At dusk wallabies come out of the bush and hop across the central courtyard, much to the kid's delight. Favourite walks were the snake Island lagoon walk to a fabulous empty beach and the ravine des Casoars walk further north: the Remarkable rocks merited two separate trips. If you want luxury near here, you may need to bust the bank and head to the Southern Ocean Lodge, but for a family trip this worked extremely well. Only better meal we had on the island was at the Marron Cafe, also worth the trip inland. Flies become an issue everywhere when the temperature rises

Room Tip: Courtyard rather than eco lodge
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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Thank lawsoniain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KIWR, General Manager at Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2013

We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and we cannot thank you enough for your positive feedback. It was a pleasure having you and your family here; we sincerely hope you visit us again in the future.

Best Wishes

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Reviewed 7 January 2013

We had booked our room at Wilderness Retreat on-line and when we arrived there was no record of it - fortunately we had our print-out of the confirmation so we were pretty swiftly upgraded to a courtyard bath suite.
I have to agree with some of the other reviews that we were slightly underwhelmed by the lack of luxury that descriptions had led us to expect and having looked at trip advisor before booking. The room was perfectly adequate - large, comfortable bed, fridge (no mini-bar), TV and spacious bathroom. However, there was dust visible on some of the furniture and there were insufficient towels and toiletries and a very basic shower unit. Also, we did not dare use the bath as the requests to conserve water were so prevalent I felt guilty flushing the toilet. (Why provide baths when water is so scarce?) There was no turn-down service (not that I see that as essential but if you are making yourself out to be a luxury location then I think it's required) and it was not noticed that I had mistakenly used the bath mat as a towel so had to use a towel as a mat until I left them in the bath.
All the staff were friendly and helpful and when I ambushed the cleaners' trolley and asked for some more milk there was not a problem but it would have been so much better if they had left sufficient in the first place.
The Nicolas Boudin restaurant was also disappointing. Get there early if you want to be able to sample the fish of the day as this had usually gone by 8pm. The menu was limited if you were eating there every night and you pretty much had to as there wasn't really anywhere else to go and the courtyard rooms had no cooking facilities. We were there for four nights and the soup alternated between leek or butternut squash, we only managed to get the fish of the day on the final night by eating at 6.30 and desserts also alternated. The restaurant staff were wonderful considering how busy it was on some evenings.
Breakfast was again adequate but not great, the continental buffet was poorly laid out in a corner between the end of the bar and a table. The fruit salad was predominantly melon and the bread was bog-standard sliced not even a bit of fruit loaf to toast. Staffing was definitely an issue at breakfast time as there was only one waiter/waitress on duty having to take orders for cooked breakfasts, serve them, clear tables and replenish the buffet. Be prepared for a fairly long wait if ordering a cooked breakfast - it's great that everything is freshly cooked but at busy times this can be a disadvantage. But at least you could pick up the free wiifii there.
We did see some wildlife by taking a very early morning walk around the site - kangaroo, wallaby and plenty of birds. A semi-tame wallaby did visit the courtyard every evening.
Wilderness Retreat is a good place to stay to explore the Flinders Chase park but you probably would not want to stay more than 2 nights, 4 was definitely too long given the limited menu and cost at the restaurant plus the lack of facilities ie no pool or fitness centre.
It seems that they are trying to run the place on a limited budget but in doing so are compromising their luxury rating and as the only other accommodation close to the National park is the very expensive Southern Ocean Lodge travellers have no real choice.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank toasty754
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2013

We were so disappointed with the Wilderness retreat. Our first impression was not good- the staff on the desk were quite rude and impatient. We chose the eco lodge rooms with bunk beds and a fold out (family with 3 kids). The fold out bed still had the old sheets with someone's dirty socks and undies in it. The bunk beds were full of sand. The kitchen had incomplete dinner sets which we asked for replacements several times and were told to go to the restaurant and ask for some. There was no wildlife at all at the retreat which the kids were so looking forward to- the picture on the website shows wallabies being fed. We were booked for 3 nights but left after 2 when we managed to secure another place. The food was average and very overpriced. The place was very run down and in need of a good clean! The Eco lodge rooms are very poor, outdated and overpriced. We would not recommend staying there!

Room Tip: Avoid the Eco Lodge rooms
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Michelle B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KIWR, General Manager at Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2013

Dear reviewer,

we were grateful when you informed us of the condition of your apartment and agreed that this should not have happened. We immediately rectified this and gave you a full refund for the first night of your stay. We now have a brand new team of housekeepers who ensure that standards are consistently high.

It is unfortunate that you did not come across any wildlife during your time here. We have a family of wallabies that visit our bush garden regularly, although, as they are wild animals we cannot control when they choose to make an appearance, and under new management we no longer encourage feeding the animals as per Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resource regulations.

I hope that you will visit us again when we have completed renovation this winter, as we are aware that the rooms do need to be updated; plans for which are stated in our compendium for your prior information.

Kind Regards,

Management

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Reviewed 3 January 2013

Unfortunately we only had one night in Kangaroo Island and this really was not long enough. I really wanted to get into Flinders Chase national park and thought that the Wilderness Retreat was the best option at this end of the Island. I was really looking forward to experiencing some 4 star hospitality and luxury as had been advertised. We were sadly very disappointed and I think that it is fair, our expectations were far from being met.
When we arrived we were told that your prebooked courtyard suite had plumbing problems and we had been put into a one bedroom apartment in the eco lodge. This 'apartment' had cooking facilities and bedroom with large king size bed and bunks. It was seriously out dated and in desperate need of a total overhaul. the bedding was in need of updating and could have come from Spotlight many years ago. As many other reviewers have commented, this place needs a massive overhaul if it is to be classed as 4 star luxury. If travellers are searching for a good location to the Flinders Chase, then the Wilderness Retreat is that place, but it is definitely not 4 star. Had I thought that I was travelling to a basic retreat (and paid a lot less), then my expextations would have been met, but sadly we were disappointed. I did check with reception whether the standard of the apartment was the equivalent of the courtyard suite, and I was assured that they were the same quality, therefore I can only assumed that the suites equally need updating.
All said, you cannot do justice to Flinders chase in a day and I am glad that we had the opportunity to get into the park, but I would not stay here again - there are other more basic accommodations available nearby which I would investigate.

Room Tip: Do not expect 4 star if staying in an apartment
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank dippy_sal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat

Address: Lot 1 South Coast Road, Flinders Chase, Kangaroo Island, South Australia 5223, Australia
Region: Australia > South Australia > Kangaroo Island > Flinders Chase
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Flinders Chase
Price Range: £84 - £168 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat 3.5*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perfectly situated adjacent Flinders Chase National Park a unique mix of eco-friendly facilities, local food and wine and located in the middle of the forrest provide an unforgettable wilderness experience. The idyllic location provides the perfect base for discovering the splendor of Kangaroo Island's natural wonders before returning to the tranquillity of the retreat to enjoy comfortable accommodation in the company of friendly native animals and an amazing array of birdlife. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat Hotel Flinders Chase
Hotel Kangaroo Island
Wilderness Retreat Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat Flinders Chase

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