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“Great Location but................”

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Kingfisher Bay Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Fraser Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 July 2014

This hotel has the advantage of being in a unique location on a unique island but it squanders that advantage by being mediocre in every other aspect.

We checked our bags in at the mainland check-in at River Head and took the ferry to the island. Hotel check in was smooth and quick and our luggage arrived within about 10 minutes which was great.

Our hotel style room was quite large with two beds. We did have a problem with the heater but that was fixed within a short while.

The decorations and furnishings in the room are dated.

My main complaint is that hotel staff seem to have no idea what they are doing. From what I could gather most of the staff are on working vacations and are just short term employees who are friendly but don't seem to be properly trained.

I was also disappointed with the way the restaurants were run. One of the three restaurants was closed for renovation which left two but one of these was allocated for a large group which left one for the rest of us. Despite all of the remaining guests being forced into one restaurant there were no more staff working in that restaurant and I saw no evidence that the hotel management did anything to ease the bottle neck.

The breakfast buffet was disappointing. There was a nice fruit and yoghurt selection but that was about it. Half cooked fried eggs left to lie limp in a heated dish. Less than half cooked bacon and sausages left to stew in a steaming bain-marie. Yuk!!!!

The island is definitely worth visiting but don't expect much from this hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank NSMKMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherBayGroup, Manager at Kingfisher Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2014

Dear NSMKIMelbourne
Thank you for taking the time to post about your stay - we're pleased to see that our mainland team were quick and efficient and that our maintenance team were able to fix the problem with your heater in a jiff. Our Group General Manager, David Hay, and his team have been listening to online feedback regarding staff training and about our F&B offerings and have taken steps to fix them - including a new F&B Manager, department structures and the implementation of additional CARE and Peopleology training programs for our team members.

​We hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the near future and invite you to contact us on feedback@kingfisherbay.com and our Resort Manager, Wayne Harris, would be happy to personally oversee future stays.

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4,123 - 4,129 of 5,144 reviews

Reviewed 24 July 2014 via mobile

What an awesome place to stay. The rooms were clean and the resort is stunning. Excellent service and great food especially from the young guy that works in the general store that rides the KLX 300, what a top bloke and also the lovely young lady at the Jetty Hut.

Stayed: July 2014
Thank first time os
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherBayGroup, Manager at Kingfisher Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2014

Hey there first time os
Great to read that you've had an excellent stay with us on Fraser Island and that our team members have impressed with their service. We'll certainly be sharing these comments at our daily briefing tomorrow. Thanks for taking time out of your holiday to post - we appreciate it.

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Reviewed 23 July 2014

Fraser Island was one of our favorite destinations while in Australia. However, Kingfisher Bay Resort was a bit disappointing. The common areas are beautiful and inviting, however the service needs a bit of work.

Upon arriving, the welcoming agent specifically mentioned that no reservations were needed in the casual dining room. When checking in, I asked the reception desk if we needed a dinner reservation and she assured us that we could walk right in. Upon arriving at the restaurant (buffet) we were told it would be over 90 minutes before we could be accommodated since we didn't have a reservation. With two kids in tow who were trying to overcome a 15 hour time zone difference, 90 minutes seemed like an eternity at dinnertime. Luckily, I was able to find someone to work us in earlier, but, the lack of communication between reception and dining was disappointing.

Our family of four stayed in a villa with a loft. It was a bit shocking to stand in the loft and look down onto the first level of the loft at the dirt and dead bugs on top of the kitchen cabinets and appliances were shocking. I certainly understand that these areas won't be cleaned every time the villa changes hands, but, it looked like years of accumulation.

Given the distance of the villas from reception we decided to call the front desk to ask questions about the checkout/bag procedure. The phone would ring endlessly and eventually disconnect without any answer. The frustration caused by not knowing if we could have our bags picked up, what time they should be ready, etc seemed needless as it's something that could easily be communicated upon check in. We finally received instructions and made arrangements for our bags to be picked up the next morning. However, the luggage tags that arrived overnight were labeled for the wrong time causing a bit of worry over whether the bags would make the correct ferry.

Mostly, it seemed like we were continuously trying to "pull" information from the resort that could easily be communicated about restaurants, processes, etc.

The general store was out of most "staples" for our entire three day stay (milk, pasta, tomato sauce, cereal). If you plan on using the kitchen in your villa, make sure you bring your own food.

We would return to Fraser Island in a heartbeat, but, would be reluctant to book Kingfisher Bay without assurance of improved communications and room conditions.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Adrienne E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherBayGroup, Manager at Kingfisher Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2014

Dear Adrienne E
We wanted to thank you for your time and your candid feedback and apologise that our communication and housekeeping team have not met expectations.

One of our team members has contacted you directly via Trip Advisor for more information regarding your villa and we invite you to contact us on feedback@kingfisherbay.com (mention this review title) and our Resort Manager, Wayne Harris would be more than happy to discuss the issues you have raised and to personally oversee any future stays with us. We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

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Reviewed 22 July 2014

Our recent stay at Kingfisher Bay Resort was fantastic but there were some issues that left us feeling flat. We love Fraser Island and everything it has to offer. In the past have camped many times on the island and have stayed at Kingfisher Bay Resort once before about 6 years ago. On that occasion we stayed in a villa and had the time of our lives. This time we stayed in the hotel complex and were pleased with our room. It appeared clean and tidy but as we discovered after dark we were sharing it with countless small cockroaches. If we were not so exhausted from our daytime activities I don't think my wife could have slept for fear of being crawled on or nibbled on. This problem was not rectified during our stay and was probably our biggest disappointment. Generally the service we had was first rate except at the coffee shop where the staff appeared completely disinterested in their jobs or providing customer satisfaction. On one occasion we waited 45min for a club sandwich, chips and two coffees. Other disappointing aspects of our stay were the temporary closure of the Sand Bar and the program of daily activities. On our arrival we noticed the Sand Bar was not open and found a sign saying it was being renovated but couldn't find any evidence of that taking place. Having the Sand Bar closed limited our dining and entertainment options somewhat. With regard to the program of daily activities we understood that these we often restricted by tidal movements but some activities although advertised just didn't happen. We tried to give advance notice of our intention to participate incase it was a numbers thing only to be told that it wouldn't be happening. When we enquired about hiring some fishing gear we were told there was only one rod and it was already hired for the day. Having said that the tours we did manage to do were fantastic and the segways were a lot of fun. Our 4wd trip to the beauty spots was unbelieveable and our tour guide Jess was brilliant, showing us a wonderful time. We saw plenty of whales, dingoes and had plenty of adventure along the way. During our stay we found the food to be top quality although somewhat expensive compared to mainland prices. With the few exceptions mentioned above we had a wonderful, positive experience and would have no problems doing it again.

Room Tip: If possible get a west facing room to maximise the fantastic views.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Rock B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherBayGroup, Manager at Kingfisher Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 22 July 2014

Hi Rock B
Thanks for taking the time to post and for the four-star rating. We'd like to invite you to contact us on feedback@kingfisherbay.com and our Resort Manager, Wayne Harris, will be happy to talk through the issues you mention. Please be sure to mention this review title when emailing and we look forward to hearing from you.

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Reviewed 22 July 2014

We recently stayed for 5 nights in an Executive Villa. The Villa was spacious, but the lounge and bed were well worn, and should have been replaced a long time ago. We also paid extra to have air-conditioning (for the heating, as we knew it would be cold), but on the first night, only the lounge area worked. We all froze during the night, and the fault was flat batteries in the remotes. While this is not a major problem, proper maintenance should have picked this up, and we did pay for the privilege of air-conditioning. The electric fry pan didn't work, and in fact was unsafe, but when we spoke to reception, their response was "The Villa's are privately owned and therefore, not the resorts problem" I disagree, as I booked the Villa through the resort.

The resort itself is great. The pool area, tennis courts, playground and beach area and facilities were great. In summer there would be lots to do.
The Full Day Fraser Island Tour was fantastic, and I would recommend it to everyone.

The food was a big let down.
We were told that The Sandbar would be closed for maintenance - no problem. I was also told that the main restaurant had buffets on Friday and Saturday night, and a-La Carte the other nights. This was going to be great, as we are not huge fans of buffets. However, once we were there, we were told as it is school holidays there is no a-La Carte option, just buffet every night - so disappointing, and it was not the best - I felt like I was on school camp. Luckily we had prawns and salad to eat.
Our other option was the shop - but they don't stock much, and bread was even difficult to get, unless you ordered it the day prior.
The signature restaurant was amazing, and well worth the price.
My only other gripe with dining, is that we booked in advance and always asked to be inside, as it was very cool - each time we booked we were told we would definitely be seated inside, and each time we arrived they put us outside, with a heater but we were still uncomfortable.

The big positive is the staff. They were super friendly, but you could tell they were under staffed.
Accor has the potential to make Kingfisher Bay a great resort, but they need to maintain the rooms, have more staff and look at their meal options.

Room Tip: - Don't book the Villas if you have difficulty going up hills. They are quite steep. - If usin...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank KTF01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherBayGroup, Manager at Kingfisher Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 22 July 2014

Dear KTF01
We appreciate your candour and apologies that our housekeeping and F&B let us and you down. We have been listening to feedback and feedback is shared from the top down in our company, so we will be working to make some positive changes in the areas you mention. Thank you for taking the time to post.

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Reviewed 21 July 2014

A very heartfelt 'thankyou' to the amazing staff at Kingfisher Bay resort. We just came back from 4 glorious nights and every moment of our stay was fantastic. At the initial reservation, the emails received were positive, helpful and simply care free, check in was the same and every staff member from the guided walks, bar staff, restaurant, housekeeping and spa staff were exceptional- all clearly loving their jobs! we had just had a bad holiday experience abroad and it was like this holiday at kingfisher just erased that away! Beautiful walks around the property, great sunsets, brilliant meals and divine massages! Thanks so much for the memories!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank tanqld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherBayGroup, Manager at Kingfisher Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 21 July 2014

Dear tanqld
What an awesome way to start our day. Thanks so much for sharing your family holiday experience with us - it sounds like you had a fabulous time. If you have the time, we'd love for you to share some of your images in this forum or on our social sites. Happy travels.

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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
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 reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about 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: £87 - £212 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Kingfisher Bay Resort 4*
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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