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“Great Island, shame about the resort”

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Kingfisher Bay Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Fraser Island
Bath, North East Somerset
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great Island, shame about the resort”
Reviewed 25 November 2008

I knew the Kingfisher Bay hotel might be dated as I had read the reviews on trip advisor before I went but very much wanted to stay on Fraser island so booked anyway It was dated! Decor slightly depressing, bathroom small and pokey. Room configurations very confusing when booking on line and we ended up with a room with one bed less than we expected - all sorted very quickly and without charge. Although neighbours upstairs and next door were not noisy we could hear every word spoken - insulation very poor this resulted in a very early awakening for us. The public spaces are attractive but the private accomodation is poor and unattractive unfortunately there is not much choice on the island. We went on the whale watching trip which was absoloutely fantastic and made up for other defects but it is definitely not good value for money.

  • Liked — The whale watching trip.
  • Disliked — The poor quality of accomodation.
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank westcountrymum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Bath UK
Level Contributor
53 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2008

We spent two nights at Kingfisher with our toddler daughter, buying the island tour package.

We arrived on the evening cat and found it a bit bizarre to be stranded at reception with all our luggage to be told to walk a good few minutes to our rooms. Our pre-ordered cot was not there and it took a lot of phone calls and buck-passing by staff before one eventually arrived a couple of hours later.

Our room was fine ( a bit late 70's) though it is best not to have the fly screen fall off it's runners with a young child! The pool was clean and warm (in September). I struggle to understand how the place is an Eco-resort, I read the rationale and thought "so what?".

We ate at the Maheno restaurant for breakfast. The food was fine, staff were helpful and attentive, but the small birds diving for your plate were annoying. We tried to eat at the Seabelle but arrived on time to find that they couldn't seat us (seemingly there are only 2 highchairs in the entire resort). Eventually we negotiated take-out (which we'd been told was possible, then impossible, earlier that afternoon). The waitress told us to leave and it would be delivered but then we received an angry phone call asking us to come to collect it. We were astounded to be told "the waitress who told you we'd deliver is stupid"! Suffice it to say the bartender who helped my husband carry our 3-course meal over was furious (but the food was yummy!).

The island tour was enjoyable and the ranger was knowledgeable but we did set off a good 30 minutes later than the rest of the day tours who boarded identical buses and did the same route.

We couldn't help but feel short-changed at Kingfisher because of its lousy service. Fraser Island is lovely, but I think we'll be giving Kingfisher a miss in future.

  • Liked — Nice location
  • Disliked — Staff all seem to hate each other
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank sueduncBATH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Uk
Level Contributor
19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2008

We were able to check-in in Hervey Bay and our luggage was taken across to the island for us. The food and drinks are not over priced as we expected them to be, as you can't really travel outside the resort after dark. We didn't use the 2 more expensive restaurants within the main building, but we ate both nights at the pizza/bistro (which ran out of pizzas) but the food was reasonable. Although we didn't have any bad experiences, a lot of people seemed to be complaining about their rooms and asking to be moved. Our room was fine. The water in the bathroom ran brown for 5 minutes, but then cleared. For the 3 days we were there we hired a 4WD which is a MUST, it was great fun, although a little scarey at first when you come out of the hotel grounds....it's a bit bumpy! Driving down the beach was great. We would recommend staying at this hotel.

  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank UkJetlag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
40 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2008

What a shame - I bet this place was amazing when it opened in 1992 - unfortunately it doesn't appear to have had any kind of update since then. We stayed in a 2 bed villa, which by the looks of it was rarely let out (it was a private villa). The guest book entries were few and far between, although to be fair the owners appeared to have made good any complaints left in there. The villa was huge, over 3 floors which was fun, but needed a total overhaul, from the decor to the fixtures and fittings. Everything needed a good clean as well.

We didn't experience any problems with staff, although our bill was wrong on checkout it was fixed without question. WE ate in Maheno (mediterranean night) which was ok, but I thought expensive at $39 each, and also at Seabelle, which was actually very nice.

I would say if you only have 1 or 2 nights on Fraser it might be an idea to consider properies on the East side of the island as they are right on the beach and you won't have to drive the 15km across the island to get there, which, on Fraser takes about an hour each way!

Overall this place has potential, it's in the most beautiful location, right by the beach, and has been landscaped really well, but it needs a serious injection of cash and hauling out of 1992!

  • Stayed October 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Net1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sao Paulo
Level Contributor
271 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2008

We've stayed at the Hotel from 5th to 7th november 2008. It`s our honeymoon. When we arrived at the room, we were surprised by a VERY DIRTY BATHROOM (WITH A LOT OF FECES IN THE TOILET!!). When we`ve told this at the reception, the recepcionist change our room and promised us a sparkling wine to minimize our deception.

When we arrived at the room and called for the sparkling (on 5th november, 10:00 pm), the manager (A VERY UNKIND MEN), simply said that the receptionist made a mistake and couldn`t send us our promissed sparkling.

We`re reallly unsatisfied with the hotel and specialy with the manager, and don`t recommend it!

  • Disliked — The Cleanliness
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank eduardozange
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 November 2008

This place must have been brilliant back in the day but now I believe they have major staffing issues....We had nothing but trouble the whole time we were there from bad food broken showers, being "hit on" buy drunk staff, having to listen to drunk staff use terrible language on the ferry trip over, being over billed. It seamed nothing could be done correctly. we couldn't even wonder over to the bakery to buy a cake without waiting a good 10 minutes for rude staff members to finish gossiping out the back and serve us. Don't get me wrong I don't mind waiting, I'm not a snobby [--] who expects things to be done quick smart, but I can honestly say that I could not relax the whole time as I was waiting for the next stuff up. here is a quick list of problems we encountered during our short stay:
-room not clean
-poor food quality
-huge wait times, food, coffee
-non responsive staff
-broken shower
-overcharged bill ($200, while checking out 3 other couples checked out and had similar problems, not one person in the short time I was there had an argument free checkout - I feel sorry for the staff who are doing the right thing and get blamed for all the stuff ups)
-stuffed up checkout day
-drunk staff, swearing, hitting on me (even thought I was there with someone else)
-angry staff, constantly heard complaining about working conditions other staff members
- under trained staff, told us miss information (we had to go to 3 different shops at the resort to get a coffee)
-blah blah blah

anyway you get the picture. the resort location is amazing and I would recommend going but trying one of the places on the other side of the island, we just couldn't relax the whole time we were there. I think the main problem stems from the fact that the Kingfisher gets most of its staff from the mainland and they have to catch a ferry to and from work which adds and an extra hour to the start and end of their shift, for which they are not payed. Apparently they aren't payed that well either. SO all the goof staff are snapped up by the resorts on the mainland. However on the other side of fraser the locals live and run the accommodation, it is a wonderful friendly environment where you always feel free to ask questions and are pampered.

Stayed September 2008
Helpful?
3 Thank DingoDays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane
Level Contributor
35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2008

The number of problems we had throughout our stay was insane. Conversations with other guests indicated we were not the only ones having trouble. In general, the staff were very nice about mistakes and we were well compensated. But the sheer number of errors indicates systemic problems with the management of the hotel and were certainly enough to suggest to us that if we were to return to the island, we'd seek alternative accommodation.

A sample of the problems we encountered:

1. We paid extra for a spa room and then weren't given one
2. When we tried to enter the new room, someone else was sleeping there (it turned out to be a staff member)
3. Someone else's bags were delivered to our room, in place of our own
4. At every single meal, something we ordered from the menu was unavailable
5. Salad had to be returned because it was covered in dirt.
6. We were told the entire bush tucker cocktail menu (famed items at the 'world-class' Seabelle restaurant) was unavailable then witnessed the next two sets of guests being served items from that menu

Overviews of the on-site restaurants/cafes/bars (not quite the fine dining experience that was advertised):
Maheno - Had a terrible lunch there and disappointing drinks (apparently happy hour means 50c off) but breakfast was excellent (though at $30 AUD pp, you'd hope so)
Seabelle - the classy restaurant - meal quality was fine and staff were helpful, though had the aforementioned issues with drinks and were seated twenty minutes after our booking time on the basis that it was full (then entered to see a half empty restaurant)
Sandbar - Had one poor experience and one fantastic experience. Pub meals at quite reasonable prices and had the best drinks deals. Famed pizza menu was unavailable the whole time we were there though
Jetty Hut - Nice location but didn't have the food or drinks advertised
Pool Shack - Had some problems early on but they did make terrific wedges
Coffee Rock Cafe - Nice, cheap food and the only place you could read the paper for free.
Dingo Bar - The onsite club - If you're interested in the backpacker lifestyle, this was the place to go. Fun drinks at good prices. Worth asking staff about the shuttle bus. Staying at the attached Wilderness Lodge may have been the way to go if you're looking for a budget stay.

Seemed like a lot of infighting between venues for stock and not a lot of communication between.

As I said, we were often compensated because of these mistakes (e.g. given an upgraded room, free drinks etc). But it took a long time to fix most errors and it took up a lot of the time we could have spent enjoying our holiday.

Fraser Island is a truly beautiful place but Kingfisher Bay Resort is an over priced way to see it. We got a good deal on accommodation but then found excessive costs for everything from food to activities. Not only that but we were greatly limited in our ability to see other parts of the island. We were looking for the resort experience but what we found was of inferior quality and higher pricetag than at the many other resorts where we'd stayed previously. More casual accommodation would have been a lot more relaxing.

There were many flecks of gold amongst the lacklustre. If everything went smoothly, this resort would be fantastic and you'd overlook the pricetag. But with the multitude of errors we encountered suggested that getting that perfect, error free stay is impossible.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Constant Errors
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Brisvegan_Abroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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: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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