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“Failing Badly at Kingfisher”

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Kingfisher Bay Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Fraser Island
Brooklyn, Ny
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Failing Badly at Kingfisher”
Reviewed 18 July 2014

I stayed 2 nights in the hotel complex at this resort which I chose primarily for its location on the western (bayside) of Fraser Island. It seemed like staying here would provide a good balance to our planned exploration of the interior and western beaches. Indeed, the bayside location proved the right choice for amazing sunsets and a quiet beach where it seemed like you could walk forever at low tide without seeing another soul.

Despite these advantages, the “resort” suffers from significant shortcomings which seem related to a shortage of staff and poor training. On arrival, we waited 15 minutes to check-in at reception as only two staff were on duty. This seemed odd given that we arrived on the 12:30 ferry from the mainland with a number of other guests. Reception staff provided little in the way of orientation to the resort despite its considerable size. After inquiring regarding dinner, I was informed that we could have a buffet dinner at Maheno restaurant or order a la carte at Seabelle, the fine dining restaurant. We opted for the latter primarily because we did not want to eat at a buffet since we were both vegetarians and were uncertain whether it would have anything for us. When we later learned that Maheno was NOT a buffet but rather served dinner a la carte and in fact was also offering a special (2 courses for $40 or 3 for $50), we felt as if we had been duped as Seabelle offered no such deal and was considerably more expensive.

On our second night, we decided to have dinner at Maheno. After being seated, we waited approximately 15 minutes before 1 member from our group offered to go up to the bar and order our drinks. On his return, we had still not been waited on and it took us another 5 minutes to flag down the manager and request to place our order. She said that she would “send one of the girls over” and while this happened I could not help but wonder why she did not take the order herself. Of course, there were a number of other issues that needed her attention as I observed numerous tables with dirty dishes left to rot long after parties left, a long line of customers waiting to be seated, frowning diners who were fetching their own drinks and tap water from a spigot on a sidebar, others getting up and walking out of the restaurant in an attempt to obtain their check, and a confused server meandering around the dining room with an order of steak and salmon which she seemed clueless on where to deliver. When we inquired regarding the deficiencies we were observing, we were told there was a shortage of staff due to a stomach bug and no replacements were available. While this seemed feasible, it did not excuse the situation and it was curious that nobody from management was assisting the staff.

In addition to problems at dining and reception, housekeeping was also a disaster. On arrival, our television and screen doors by the porch were covered in dust and the bathroom was filthy and looked like it had not been cleaned since the last couple left (hairs all over the floor, fingernail droppings, toilet paper that was falling off the roll and another that had clearly been re-rolled). The closet door seemed like it had not been cleaned either as there were grease stains and splatters all over it which became even more evident when the sun hit it. There were also no pool towels or instructions on where to obtain them. Despite requesting it, we did not receive any room cleaning during our second day and no fresh towels.

Overall, this was a very disappointing stay in an ideal spot. There is a lot of potential as the facilities are good but Kingfisher must hire more staff and do a better job of training. Management also needs to be on-hand to fill in gaps when they appear.

If I had it to do over again, I would stay at another resort on the eastern side of the island. There are a number of options to choose from and in close proximity to each other. If you feel like you must visit the western side of the island, you can easily do so as part of a day trip as it is only a few kilometers away.

Room Tip: Unless you are staying 3 or more nights, you will be relegated to the hotel wings. There is really...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank iubitul78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherBayGroup, Manager at Kingfisher Bay Resort, responded to this review, 20 July 2014
Dear iubitul78
It's always great to see international travellers discovering Fraser Island and we're pleased that you enjoyed our resort location and your island exploration.

Firstly, allow me to apologise for the delay in the check in process which you experienced. We do plan for arriving guests and usually this process does not delay our guests for long. Our Front Office team provide all arriving guests with a map as well as details of the facilities at the resort and I will work with our manager in this area to ensure that all our team in this area are reminded of the standard in terms of the information they provide. We also run a resort orientation for guests each afternoon (times are in the What's On activity guide), which provides an in depth introduction to the property - which it am disappointed you were not made aware of and will also follow up.

Based on guest feedback, we did alter our menu in the Maheno restaurant from buffet to table d'hôte and this information was provided to all departments, however it seems that the team member who checked you in did not relay this information to you. I have followed this up with the Front Office team to ensure consistency of information delivery and I apologise to you for this error.

The issues you outline in Maheno restaurant are not acceptable; we have been listening to feedback and we have taken to steps to ensure the service in this area improves. As you correctly commented on, we did have a shortage of service staff on this night due to illness - which is difficult to overcome in an island environment. The points you have raised have been passed onto our Resort Manager to action - unfortunately he was not on the island on the night you experienced these difficulties and will follow up with his management team.

The shortfalls in the servicing of your room are most disappointing and your feedback has been passed on and actioned with our housekeeping team. Clearly we experienced a breakdown in communication regarding the status of your room for which I sincerely apologise.

Should you wish to discuss your stay in more detail with me, I'd be happy to do so. Simply email feedback@kingfisherbay.com with your contact details (and mention this review title).

David Hay, Group General Manager
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Bendigo, Australia
Level Contributor
69 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2014

There are quite a few rooms types available as part of the resort, we stayed a night in a couple of standard rooms (1 double, 1 single), rooms are fine and simple some are in the process of being renovated. Then we swapped to a 2 bedroom loft apartment (1 double, 1 double and 1 single, 1 loft with 2 small single beds), full kitchen, washing facilities, perfect for 1 large family or possibly 2 small families. Bring some groceries as there is just a small supermarket and understandably expensive.
Hired 4WD from Fraser Dingo, person was great to deal with and gave an hour intro session as there's a few things to be aware of on the island. Make sure you are a very experienced 4WD driver as most roads are single lane, very steep and boggy in places. Lake McKenzie, shipwreck, central station rainforest walk are must sees!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank map_bgo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherBayGroup, Manager at Kingfisher Bay Resort, responded to this review, 20 July 2014
Dear map_bgo
Thank you for your review. It's great to hear you enjoyed your time out on Fraser Island. For those headed our way, the tracks are in pretty good condition at the moment as you head to Lake McKenzie or across to the eastern beach. For those that aren't confident driving, guided tours depart daily from the resort and take in the beauty spots that map_bgo has mentioned here.
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Level Contributor
21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2014

A beautiful place! We bought a computer deal, so the price was very affordable and breakfast was included. Food was very expensive and limited choices. We were in a hotel room, so there was no microwave to heat things up even if we had brought food with us. Resort facilities were great and very well kept. Our hotel room needed a little updating but was clean and tidy. The vehicular ferry was very expensive, but as we wanted to 4 wheel drive around Fraser Island we had no choice. We had a problem when checking out as they were trying to charge us for things that were included in our deal eg. Breakfast. I was impressed though with their conservation attempts as we were gifted with $15/ day voucher if we didn't want the room serviced. Friendly staff, but car parking was not allocated near your accommodation so we had to park wherever we could.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Linda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherBayGroup, Manager at Kingfisher Bay Resort, responded to this review, 17 July 2014
Dear Linda S
Thanks for your candid review about your stay with us and for the fabulous four-stars, which we appreciate. We also apologise for the hiccup with your bill and are pleased we were able to resolve this for you at reception.

For guests looking to head to Fraser, we always encourage you to visit on our website or talk to our reservations staff to ensure you book the accom style that best suits your needs. We have one and two-bedroom villas on offer with varying configurations as well as holiday houses for guests who wish to bring their own food and cook.
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Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2014

We recently stayed at the Kingfisher Resort on Fraser Island. Had an amazing time resort was very family friendly. Seafood buffet dinner was great but breakfast buffet was just ok. Great access from the jetty you don't need a 4WD to get to the resort.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Accorhotels.com

Helpful?
Thank Tracey T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherBayGroup, Manager at Kingfisher Bay Resort, responded to this review, 17 July 2014
Dear Tracey T
Thanks for taking the time to tell us about your visit to Fraser with your family, we're chuffed you enjoyed your stay and the island. Thanks also for the brekkie comments, which we have passed across to Chef.
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Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 15 July 2014

We have just completed a three night stay at the Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island and we had an awesome time. Great food, terrific scenery either self drive, 4 WD hire or special buses. We used our own Land Rover and the tracks were challenging. The eastern beach run was fantasic, up to Indian Head and back. Went on the segway guided tour along the western beach to McKenzie's wharf and that was the best fun you can have with your pants on. Safe, easy and very very entertaining.

Helpful?
Thank Gary S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherBayGroup, Manager at Kingfisher Bay Resort, responded to this review, 21 July 2014
Dear Gary S
Just wanted to pop into your world and thank you for the five-stars and your candid review - it's appreciated.
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Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2014

The hotel on Fraser Island is perfectly located. The beaches and the surrounding were very beautiful. It could be a perfect holiday destination, IF there would not be the great prices. Everything is expensive. We got a special offer: buy two nights and get the third night free... but as no meals were included we had more than $ 300 extra costs on the meals... Breakfast buffet was very poor and there were no alternatives. Half of the restaurants were closed and the open ones were only 2 for dinner. Buffet 44,- p.p or a lá carte... The rooms of the hotel haven't been renovated since the 70th so our hotel room showed the tipical 70th stile... Room service was left out, as we had the do not disturb sign out until 10 am.... We were just disappointed... the very beautiful Island was getting less and less beautiful with all this negative points.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank PiaR3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherBayGroup, Manager at Kingfisher Bay Resort, responded to this review, 16 July 2014
Dear PiaR3
Thank you for your comments - it's pleasing to see that you enjoyed Fraser Island itself but apologise that our prices and food outlets and decor (we opened in 1992) haven't met expectations.

For guests looking to book a holiday to Fraser, we run a variety of seasonal specials and bundled packages with differing inclusions (some with breakfast), so encourage people to check our website to ensure they pick the best one for them.

You are correct in saying the Sand Bar was closed when you visit, however the Maheno runs an all day snack, lunch and dinner menu in its place. We have also only ever had one outlet open for breakfast and apologise that you felt the quality of the buffet poor - we will be following up with our Executive Chef, Leigh Sanders, on your behalf. We also have the option of self-contained villas and holiday house for those guests that want to bring their own food with them.
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Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2014

Comfortable room with natural outlook. Loved sunsets at the jetty. Great value due to Accor membership, however breakfast deals do not apply, nor do meals at sea belles Restaurant, therefore unless pay full price, options were buffet or pizza for dinner. Bathroom fittings dated, but clean and functional. Staff helpful and friendly.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Accorhotels.com

Helpful?
Thank BarbNewcastle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherBayGroup, Manager at Kingfisher Bay Resort, responded to this review, 15 July 2014
Dear BarbNewcastle
Thanks for taking the time to post about your time on Fraser Island and for your kind comments regarding our staff. Sunsets over the Great Sandy Strait are a favourite of ours too and we'd love to see any pics you've taken.

Each Accor hotel is different in terms of F&B arrangements. In our case, you're correct, we do offer Accor discounts for evening meals at The Maheno Restaurant and at The Sand Bar.
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Additional Information about Kingfisher Bay Resort

Property: Kingfisher Bay Resort
Address: Kingfisher Bay, Fraser Island, Queensland 4655, Australia (Formerly Mercure Kingfisher Bay)
Region: Australia > Queensland > Fraser Coast > Fraser Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Fraser Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kingfisher Bay Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 152
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the bush overlooking the calm waters of the Great Sandy Strait, this award-winning ecotourism resort on World Heritage-listed Fraser Island is the perfect base to explore the world's largest sand island. The resort incorporates the 152-room Mercure Kingfisher Bay Hotel, self-contained two and three bedroom villas and houses, and a 174-bed Wilderness Lodge for groups. Resort Rangers also guide a variety of four-wheel-drive coach tours or personalised tours of the island. Access to Fraser Island is by ferry only. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mercure Kingfisher Bay Resort Fraser Island
Kingfisher Bay Hotel Fraser Island
Kingfisher Bay Fraser Island

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