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“Didn't Live Up to Expectations..”

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Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Flinders Chase
Certificate of Excellence
jillian646
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Didn't Live Up to Expectations..”
Reviewed 9 May 2010

We stayed 2 nights at the KI Wilderness Retreat after getting an excellent deal on wotif.com for $80/night in an Eco Lodge Room. Upon checking in, I asked to see the upgraded "Courtyard Suites" because I saw that each unit had its own balcony and wallabies were all over the place. All I can say is that this upgraded room is NOT worth the extra $100/night, and we happily stayed in our original Eco Lodge Room.

We ate dinner the first night at the hotel and thought the vegetarian dishes were mediocre and expensive. The following morning we splurged on the breakfest and was very disappointed.. for $60 we had a couple of scrabbled eggs, toast, yogurt and coffee. Since there aren't any other restaurants nearby, I assume that most guests end up eating at the hotel. If you are going to Kangaroo Island, I strongly recommend picking up groceries before heading to your resort for the night.

Regarding the septic situation as mentioned in other reviews, the problem is STILL going on and we were there in mid-April. You can't smell it from your room.. but it smells really bad when walking between the eco-lodge and the courtyard.

On a good note, we really enjoyed the courtyard area that had picnic tables, the numerous wallabies & feeding "Beanie" the live-in kangaroo, and the overall "wilderness" feel around the hotel. I think this hotel has great potential, so hopefully some changes are made in the future.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank jillian646
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2010

I would agree with most other reviews on this place - basic rooms for what you get. Food in the restaurant is good. One thing not mentioned but which really spoiled the place for our group was the smell of the sewerage system! Every time we stepped outside we were assailed by it. It seemed worse in the evening and eating outside and having that smell waft by is not pleasant. We did tell management so hopefully they will do something about it.

Stayed March 2010
Helpful?
Thank PRAust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KimKangarooIsland, Manager at Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat, responded to this review, 28 December 2010
We have recently had the septic system upgraded and the orignal plant has been completely removed from the area it was in. Now the septic system is far away from the rooms and restaurant and located where our guests can not see nor smellanything.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2010

We spent one night at the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat in January 2010. The appeal of the place is that it is at the west end of the island, in the wilds, but as a result the price of accommodation is quite high for what you get.

We stayed in a courtyard room. It was very much like a roadside motel, not quite what I expected for the price, but at a roadside motel you don't have wallabies hopping around on your deck! The room was clean, but basic and the notices about water shortages made me feel guilty about having a shower.

On the upside, the staff were friendly and the food in the restaurant very good. It was the only place to eat in the evening for miles and miles, so you are somewhat restricted. Breakfast the next morning was adequate and we also purchased a packed lunch to take away with us. Unfortunately we had to wait around for it as the chef had forgotten to prepare it. There is free, if slow, internet access in reception, which was a nice touch.

I'd recommend the hotel due to the good food and friendly wallabies, but be warned, it's not the cheapest and you won't be wowed by the room's decor.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Blondie247772
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bathgate, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2010

Takes a while to get here, but worth the trip. I hired a car from Adelaide and used the ferry. Word of advice though. Tell the hire co. that you are going to K.I. As there can be issues with insurance, courtesy of careless Roos in roads.
The Wilderness Retreat Hotel is lovely & it's in a great location in real Aussie bush.
Get to see local wildlife literally on your doorstep. Feed the Wallaby's from your hand, (food available from reception). Restaurant highly recommended which is just as well as it's a long way from anywhere. Petrol available here too.

Stayed November 2007
Helpful?
Thank ozboy63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2010

We stayed at the Wilderness Retreat in January, peak time when the placed was fully booked. We needed two rooms to accommodate our family and frankly these rooms could not have been further apart.
Despite having a responsible 15 year old and well behaved younger children (11 and 12 years), management was firm that one parent had to be in each room. I was a little affronted that they could not take our word that our children would not run amok. No other hotel has ever enforced this. Then again, no other hotel has ever place us in such distant rooms!
One room was extremely basic and did not even have a television. Given the cost of the place, we were expecting something a little better. A few nights later we stayed at the Intercontinental in Adelaide with all luxuries imaginable, for less than the cost of KI Wilderness Retreat!
When we arrived to check in at 2.30pm we were told that our rooms would not be ready for around another hour. At this time we were greeted by the female half of the management team. She was friendly, but a little too 'in your face' for my liking. However, the male half of this team was far worse- he was, at best, surly and unhelpful.
KI Wilderness Retreat is a long way from anywhere and there are virtually no dining options. With this in mind we made a reservation for dinner at the in-house restaurant. We were booked to do a dusk quad bike wilderness tour (approx 30 minute drive from the Retreat) that evening, but had neglected to find out the time of the tour. When we were finally shown to the room with the phone (yes! only one room had a phone!!) we discovered the tour started at 6.30pm and ended at 8pm. Originally we booked dinner for 6.30pm. When I rang to change the time, explaining our situation, I was told that 8.30pm was absolutely the latest they would accept guests for dinner. I asked if we could pre- order so as not to detain staff. I was told that was not possible. I asked if there were any options available to us (could we simply have a plate of sandwiches for example?) and was told 'NO'. I asked him to please understand that we would have three hungry children and no alternatives available to us. He showed little regard.
The short version is that we made it back to the restaurant by about 8.40pm, asked if we could place our orders and then quickly go back to the rooms to get cleaned up. We sat to look at the menu and had the female manager lecture us on not being late back for our food as it was simply magnificent food and would be spoiled if not eaten immediately after serving!
The food WAS quite nice. However, in such a location something rustic and with an Australian flavour would be more suitable than attempting European delicacies! It was so pretentious! The food and the prices seem totally incongruous with the decor and setting.
I would probably recommend that travellers look at possible alternatives to this accommodation. It was our least favourite for our holiday.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank FisherFamily5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Essex, UK
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2010

We would agree with other reviewers, and with comments from fellow guests during our stay. The place is over priced for what it is. Even the courtyard rooms are really no better than standard motel rooms - nice and clean enough, but nothing out of the ordinary. We avoided breakfast at the retreat, following the advice to go to the Flinders Chase Visitors Centre which was very good and friendly. We also usually tried to have a big lunch at the Visitors Centre, then brought sandwiches and cake back to the room for the evening which worked fine. We did have dinner in the restaurant on our first night and it was OK.
The main advantage is the location, especially for getting out at dawn or dusk. The sunset was wonderful at Remarkable Rocks. We also got up at dawn to try and see platypus in the National Park, but then found out no one had actually seen one there for 3 years!! Still, it was a lovely dawn walk and we saw dozens of kangaroos really close up.
The chap in the room next to us didn't have a booking, and haggled them down to $180 on the price, saving nearly $100 on what we'd paid - worth bearing in mind!

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank haveh0rsewilltravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2009

We stayed at the KI Wilderness Retreat while visiting Kangaroo Island for two nights. The retreat was amazing with kangaroos and wallabies all around the place. There was food to feed the animals and you could hand feed them at anytime. It was quite amazing!! It was very expensive to stay at the Wilderness Retreat though. We stayed in the Eco-Lodge and I do not think it was worth the price we paid. Also, the only option for food on the west side of the island for dinner is their restuarant. It was highly expensive and not very good. We only ate here one night and drove into Kingscote the next night for dinner. We ate at Bella while in Kingscote and it was wonderful. Much better than the restaurant at the retreat. It was very close to Flinder's Chase which was great! Just be prepared to spend a lot while staying at the retreat!

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank hookem79
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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