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“Oasis of calm in the middle of the bush” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat

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Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Flinders Chase
Petersham, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Oasis of calm in the middle of the bush”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 May 2014

This retreat was part of a package that we got through Flight Centre, and I am very glad that it was included. We would come back again and book directly with them anytime.

We stayed in one of the courtyard suites, and it was very nice accommodation considering the location. I was pleasantly surprised by the room, after reading some other reviews, but I guess that is the difference between the courtyard suites and the Eco Lodge. The porch out the front lets you sit down and relax with a nice glass of whatever and think about what amazing wilderness and nature you have seen during the day.

The bed was very comfortable, and the bathroom, while a little dated, provided a very good shower, which is want you want after a day of walking around taking in all the nature the island has to offer. There is a good sized TV, with only a few channels, surprisingly only 1 free to air - which was the ABC, and a few foxtel channels, which suited us fine. There is a bar fridge, that would be able to hold some supplies you want to bring, but as it is not an apartment hotel set up, there is no crockery or cutlery, or microwave to do anything with it if you needed to cook. I am not exactly sure of the facilities for the eco lodge, as we were not in that part of the retreat, but I understand there is a shared outdoor BBQ/kitchen that you can use if you wish to cook your own food. There is a kettle with the usual tea and coffee accessories available.

We chose to eat at the hotel restaurant, which you need to book to eat in, and it was excellent food, and the service was very good as well, although we were travelling in a quiet period of the year. It is a little pricey if you were backpacking etc, but we were happy to pay the prices, and the food was good value, excellent quality and a very good example of championing local produce and wines. I had the best kangaroo I have ever eaten there.
Breakfast is also served in the same restaurant with continental or full breakfast options at the typical hotel prices.
BBQ Packs can be purchased for you to cook yourself, but we did not do that. Lunch packs are available if you give advance notice, but again, we did not use that facility, so I cannot comment on how they were.

There is free wifi available, but only in or near the large hotel reception with lots of lounges and a fire for the cold days in winter, I am with Telstra and had 3G/4G reception in our room, so it was not a huge issue for us. There are also DVD's that you can take back to your room if you feel like watching a movie, along with many books to read.

The general feeling of the retreat is very calm, as all the courtyard suites face into a small little wilderness in the middle of the retreat where birds work as your alarm clock in the morning. The proximity to the Flinders Chase National Park is what gives this retreat it's edge, as it is only 4km from the visitors centre, so you can get a good early start to the day before the park gets crowded. It has it's own small nature walk options, and overall, was a very pleasant experience for being in the middle of nowhere!!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Karen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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496 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
Date | Rating
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
55 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2014

We had a package & our room that was included was ok but not our cup of tea. The staff advised us that for a little extra fee we could upgrade to one of the front rooms, which we did so & it was clean & comfy & better than our original room in our package. (Original rooms looked more like dorm rooms on a camp) We only stayed one night as a stop over after spending the afternoon at Flinders Chase National Park. We ate dinner in the restaurant & it was nice.
Clean, comfortable & tidy for a stop over or a couple of nights if you just want to really relax.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jules442014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 May 2014

We stayed in the Eco Lodge - which is apparently where some of the staff stay too. The rooms were small sized but adequate, and the bathroom clean and neat. In terms of facilities, there was a tiny bar fridge and a kettle for tea and coffee making.
We unfortunately had a family with a small noisy child next door and the thin walls meant we were subjected to hearing every shriek the child made.
We had only a small window looking outside, so there was no chance to really watch wildlife from our room - by the looks of it, only the more expensive suites had that privilege.
On the plus side, the location of the Wilderness Retreat meant we could have an early start in the morning and zoom straight down to Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, beating the crowds and enjoying the early morning views. This is by far the preferred location to stay to explore the Western Side of the island.
We would recommend bringing everything you might need for the stay as options to purchase food etc is very limited in this area. Buy all food before you arrive!! Fill the car with fuel before you leave the bigger towns! The free wi-fi in the reception area is a bonus that was greatly appreciated in such a remote location. Phone reception was minimal, as was to be expected.

Overall, it was perfectly adequate accommodation but nothing special. The location more than makes up for the boring rooms, and does give you a definite bonus in the early morning start to see the spectacular scenery nearby. Drive carefully on the roads as we saw LOTS of Tammar Wallabies and K.I Kangaroos!!

Room Tip: Worth paying more to get the suite and avoid the pokey little rooms in the Eco Lodge!
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Alaine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 May 2014

We stayed in the Eco Lodge of the KI Wilderness Retreat for 2 nights. The room is basically a dorm room-bed, small frig, small tv, and bathroom. The Eco Lodge itself is a barn like building with a huge common room that is mainly wasted space. It is furnished with several old, uninviting sofas-nothing else. Rental rooms are arranged around 2 sides. We had no cooking facilities so had to eat at the restaurant. Food was hit and miss, but there were no other options. The rooms around the courtyard might have been nicer. We would NOT stay in the Eco Lodge again. It was not a good value for the price paid.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Dana S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norfolk, VA
Level Contributor
34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2014 via mobile

We spent two nights at this location. While basic in accommodations, we were pleased. We cooked one night in our kitchen and ate a very good meal in the restaurant on premises the second night. Take the advice of other reviews and buy any groceries that you anticipate needing in Penneshaw or Kingscote. There are no stores within 30 miles. We saw some wildlife on property but most of it in the park. For visiting the national park it is a prime location. Just don't expect the Ritz.

Stayed April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank charic77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra
Level Contributor
29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2014

KI Wilderness Retreat is the perfect base from which to explore the remote western end of the island although pretty expensive for what you get. Courtyard suites are generous in size and have a small deck overlooking a courtyard with native vegetation and if you're lucky, wildlife. The rooms themselves are quite dark and the furnishings are tired. Staff are friendly and helpful although very busy. The restaurant is pleasant and food good but not great.

If you want to stay at the West End for more than just a couple of night a self catering option like Hanson Bay Beach Cabins or the Lighthouse cottages would be a good alternative.

Room Tip: If you want to access wifi from your room ask for no 1 or 2 as they are near reception. For more pr...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ZephyrCanberra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2014

This is a tricky one to review. I really want to give it a higher rating, but just can't.

The location is fantastic, but lots of little things let them down. We stayed for 5 nights in January 2014 and booked a year in advance to get a cheaper rate. We booked a courtyard suite but on our arrival found we had been upgraded to the bath suite and we were shown to our room by an incredibly friendly woman (who we didn't see again, shame). The room was in a dark corner and we were quite concerned as walked up to it! Luckily when the door was opened we were led into a huge room! A large bed, small sofa and chairs for a seating area with tv, and a private terrace out the back. All the courtyard suites had their terrace out the front which felt quite communal so having your own private space was lovely. The bathroom was massive. Double sinks, shower and the largest bath I have ever seen. On first impressions the room was fantastic, however when you came to use it they didn't seem to have entirely thought it through as there wasn't much storage space. Even in the huge bathroom we had to leave our washbags on the floor.

We had a wardrobe, but no drawers or anywhere to put our suitcases. Although most people only seem to stay for a long weekend, we were on a month long trip so had a lot of luggage. The lighting was quite poor so it was rather dark most of the time and we didn't use our lovely little terrace as it was incredibly dirty. We had hoped it would be cleaned during out stay, but layers of dust on the tables and chairs said otherwise. Unfortunately, reception closed at 7pm so by the time we returned from a day out there was no one around. We also felt that the choice of bath wasn't right for the accomoodation. With posters telling you to save water, installing a bath that took over an hour to fill just seemed crazy! It was also full of gunk when you operated the jets. We only used it once as felt far too guilty wasting so much water. They could easily have installed a regular free standing bath for the luxury feel, but without so much water wastage! Which would also have been a lot easier to clean!

The room includes a small fridge. We stocked up on supplies in Kingscote before making our way to the hotel and filled our fridge quite easily. The following morning we asked at reception if it was possible to get a couple of small plates and a knife in our room as making sandwiches was quite difficult with only a teaspoon! We were told that food wasn't allowed in the room! I questioned why they let you have a fridge, but just got a shrug and no real reply.

The restaurant seemed rather mixed and we only ate their twice during our stay. The first time, wasn't a good experience. We booked a table at reception for 8pm, but when we arrived they knew nothing about it. They squeezed us in but were incredibly busy. The food was below average and not very good at all. The poor waiting guy was rushed off his feet, so understaffed. A couple of days later we reluctantly returned and had an entirely different experience. Our reservation was written down this time, the food was lovely, and it was nowhere near as busy. We left utterly stuffed and satisfied! It was like a completely different place. Just to add, we saw many a couple ask to take their deserts or cheese and biscuits back to their room, and were allowed. I don't know where this 'no food in the room' policy came from. Utter rubbish!

We ate breakfast at the National Park. I highly recommend you take the 10 mins drive and have breakfast there as it was lovely! (and cheaper!)

This hotel isn't luxurious, and nor did we expect it to be. It's near a beautiful national park and offers eco rooms, it is what you would expect it to be. I just wished it were cleaner, and the reception staff a little more organised. This place could of been lovely with a few small tweaks. Such a shame. I really wanted to give this a 4 star, but didn't feel it was quite there.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JaneXF80
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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