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“Food Heaven in idyllic setting but...”

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Lizard Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lizard Island
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Food Heaven in idyllic setting but...”
Reviewed 20 April 2013

We visited Lizard Island in April and generally our experience was wonderful. The food was exquisite in every way; we were expecting incredible food and we were not disappointed at all. A huge congratulations to all chefs and food/beverage staff. The wait staff in the restaurants were also attentive, efficient and joyful to chat with. The restaurant staff, along with the Marine/beach staff were very informative about the island. We stayed in a Sunset Villa room and the view was just stunning. Late afternoons spent rocking in the hammock, sipping a wine and watching the sunset were magical. Our only issues were with the care of our room and the care of the staff to make you feel welcomed and special. The purpose of our visit was to celebrate my partner's big, milestone birthday. I made sure the staff new of this before our arrival but apart from a passing, "so, someone's had a birthday" from one staff member no one made any attempt to help make her feel special in any way. We have travelled extensively and were very surprised by this attitude. The care of the rooms was also a little haphazard. Some days we returned from a beautiful day snorkelling to find our room lacking - replacement of towels and re stocking of mini bar (mini bar is included in your daily tariff) incomplete. This was disappointing but did not ruin our holiday. Overall, we still had a marvellous time and would recommend this resort based on the stunning scenery, incredible food and relaxed and gentle pace found on the island. You don't have the crowds found on other Queensland Islands and this makes Lizard a truly relaxing place. The chance to unwind on your own private beach with fully stocked picnic was magical. A little more care of the basics, such as rooms, and the willingness to go the extra mile for guests will ensure that this resort will be world class.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank 12coco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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579 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (157)
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Buckeye, Arizona
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2013

Long due review, but we stayed on Lizard Island for 4 nights in August 2012 following our destination wedding on Lizard's sister property, Wilson Island. All I can say is WOW! What a fantastic place. It is true paradise and luxury. We flew from the US, into Brisbane, then to Gladstone for Wilson, then back to Brisbane and up to Cairns to head to Lizard, but I'd do it again today if I could find the time! Getting to Lizard Island requires an hour flight from Cairns on a very small plane, which is somewhat expensive, but the views are awesome. We booked a Sunset Point Villa, which overlooks Sunset Beach and, of course, the sunset. We stayed in the furthest villa on the block. Each villa is actually one building that houses two rooms, but noise is never an issue. The villas are simple, but well appointed and spacious. Lizard Island includes all meals, most drinks, beach picnics and the minibar in the room. This all makes sense given the very steep price tag. When not doing a beach picnic or dinner, meals are served in Osprey’s, which is open air looking out toward the beach. The food was outstanding and the chef went out of his way to make sure my needs were met. He met with us to ensure it. The staff was like family (same with Wilson Island, too!) and they knew us by name the second we stepped foot onto the island. While on Lizard, we did a hike with the naturalist, Amber, to Cook’s Lookout, which is about 1200 ft up. The views were unreal. It was an open activity, but hardly anyone does it, so we had the naturalist all to ourselves. We also did a half day snorkel excursion in addition to the fabulous beach snorkeling. We did enjoy a massage at the spa, too. All of it was well worth it, in my opinion. Everything was just so wonderful that I can’t even describe it, other than as soon as my vacation time banks back up, we're planning a trip back, staying at least 5 nights, hopefully more, and doing even more snorkeling and visits to the spa.

Room Tip: The Sunset Point Villas are worth the extra money!
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank JellsieS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Ramon, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2013

Just off the Barrier Reef is a piece of Heaven called " Lizard Island". Put this on your " Bucket List " folks, you too can experience what Paradise looks like. The staff is what Kings and Royalties are pampered with. Your every wish is their comand. From picnics on a secluded island, yes I said it, Island! To a dinner by a Chef that may have worked for the Millionair Club. This place was fabulous and words dont do it justice. Experience this joy for yourselves, please!

Room Tip: My stay was right on the cliffs looking right over the ocean. This bungalow had a private pool and d...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Tommy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seneca, South Carolina
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2013

We stayed on Lizard island for 5 days in the beginning of March 2013. Imagine fantasy island with Ricardo Montebalm and you have Lizard Island.

This is one of the best resorts we have ever stayed at. We felt like we were in a good friends home. The staff was attentive and interested in what we were doing on the island and how we were enjoying our trip.

We took a snorkeling trip to the outer reef. Our guide, Neil, threw a life raft in the water and told my wife to hang one. He pulled her and one and sometimes two others all over the best parts of the reef. This made the trip for my wife who is afraid of the water. We saw Neil several times during our stay and he always stopped to see how we were doing and to make sure that everything was okay One day we decided to snorkel off the beach and consulted Neil on where to do. He pulled up a boat and drove us to a great spot that they call the wall and arranged for a pickup an hour and a half later.

Now on to the food and wait service. Breakfast alternated menus every other day with about 4 selection on each. Lunch each day was three to four selections and was different every day. Supper was three to four appetizers and three to four entree's all different every night. The service was incredible, at lunch the first day we started with a glass of white. Just as I was about to finish my glass the waitress appeared to offer more. I passed saying I was going to go with a red for my main course; 30 seconds later a waiter appeared with the wine list asking which red I would like with my main course. In addition to the service being great, the Chef was incredible. All the meals matched anything we had eaten in sydney when we were paying $300 to $500 per couple. We had a special dinner on the beach with the Chef working with us to prepare a 7 course dinner with wine pairings. What a treat.


The wine selection was limited to about 5 whites and 5 reds, however each was delicious and all were included in the cost of the room.

This is not an inexpensive resort but as far as we were concerned worth every penny. We are already making plans to come back in about 3 years for our anniversary.

Thanks to everyone on the island for a wonderful vacation get away.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Robert H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
118 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2013

We agree with all the superlatives.

But, if forced to decide on THE factor which makes us want to return, it would be the staff. We stayed for five nights and not once did we experience any negative reaction, no matter what we asked for. The beach hut staff go out of their way to help with all the water recreation activities, the wait staff are friendly and importantly know the menu, the chefs are excellent, our walk with the resort's naturalist was fantastic, the room cleaning was well done, and the management are engaged with the guests in a way which personalised our stay in a very polished and positive way.

The island does also sell itself. The wildlife - from giant clams to big lizards and oodles of bright reef fish, dolphins, turtles, perfect sunsets, warm water and tropical breezes, makes for a perfect holiday.

Now, our recommendations. Number one - As long a you do not want to book at the same time as us when we return, absolutely book the degustation dinner on the beach. It is the perfect celebration event for two. From the planning discussion with the chef, where he designed the menu to suit our tastes, through to the personalised service on the beach, with such impressive food and wine. We have kept our menu with our names on the top, to help us remember the great food.

Next recommentation. Picnic on a beach or three. The bento box picnic, with wine and drinks, tablecloth and everything you need for a few secluded hours alone on a beach. We did both options, self drive boat, and drop off by the staff. Our preference for a carefree and relaxing experience is to be dropped off - that way the navigation is left to the great staff, and you can then also enjoy the wine without concern. This is understandably one of the real signature experiences on Lizard Is.

Last recommenadtion. Don't ignore the island itself. The reef, beach and water activities are great, but also visit the world famous research station, and take a walk with the naturalist Amber, to learn more about the interior and history of Lizard Is. Before you go, if you can read about Mary Watson, then you have a greater appreciation for the island's history, both pre and post European arrival.

We would like to complement GM Robyn and Asst GM Shaun. There is no doubt that the quality of the experience we had was in no small part due to their leadership, and management ability. Given we are not rich, and Lizard is not cheap, we took a risk, and were rewarded with an experience which makes us want to save up and return again and again. We also appreciate their attitude as custodians and keepers of the island's natural resources. Staff turnover is also very low - that is a good indicator of a great resort.

We have stayed at Versace on the Gold Coast, which in theory is Australia's only six star hotel, it is good, but Lizard Island resort is better! It should have a six star rating.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank horsefish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2013

We had an amazing four nights on Lizard Island and were blown away by the secluded location on the reef, outstanding diving (thank you Nol & Karly!!), and perfect day trips to the island's beaches.

However, we were disappointed by the food. We had just come from Southern Ocean Lodge so our expectations were high - and the food at Lizard Island does not even compare to SOL. The reviews on the site have no negative comments regarding food, but all of the guests we spoke with at the lodge were not impressed either. Perhaps we had an off week, but for the high price we expected much better.

The service and staff was outstanding onsite, especially the dive/water staff. The Cod Hole dive was incredible.

On the administrative side - I would not recommend having friends send gift certificates or anything to this resort. We were there for our honeymoon and had two different friends try to gift us experiences/money to the resort. The process goes through the umbrella company and both friends had a terrible time working with them. When we arrived they had lost my $400 gift certificate, but luckily the front desk was able to find it and apply it to our stay at the end.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jill S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robyn_Pontynen, General Manager at Lizard Island Resort, responded to this review, 13 April 2013
Dear Jill S

We are pleased to hear that overall you had an amazing time, and enjoyed the service, staff, and diving facilities and team. Thank you for your comments.
We are very disappointed and surprised, that you did not enjoy our meals in the restaurant as we normally receive excellent feedback both verbally and on paper regarding the high standard of our cuisine and the talents of our Chef. I certainly apologise that we did not deliver in this instance. We note you commented in the resort survey that you did enjoy our buffet, bbq, and picnic lunches, thank you. Your comments have been noted regarding the administration issues, and this process is being investigated.
Thank you for your valuable feedback. It is important that we always continue to improve and meet every expectation.
We do hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back to our shores in the near future.
Our very best wishes to you both,
Robyn Pontynen
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2013

This was the icing on the cake, the final part of a lifetime ambition which started with a bareboat charter in the Whitsundays and ended with paradise on Lizard Island.We had high expectations which were surpassed on every front - setting, accommodation,cuisine, activities but most of all the superb service. Staff feel more like friends who are there to help out with advice or provide something you need - you don't have to ask, it is simply there. Others have written about the food and wines, the comfortable rooms and lovely views - it is all true and has to be experienced! Any drawbacks? Having to leave!
Will we go back? Already planning the next visit! Worth every cent.
Di and Keith Roberts - Auckland NZ

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kotanui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Lizard Island Resort

Property: Lizard Island Resort
Address: Via Cairns, Lizard Island, Queensland 4871, Australia
Region: Australia > Queensland > Lizard Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lizard Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Lizard Island Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lizard Island is truly secluded from the rest of the world. With 24 powdery-white beaches and 40 luxurious suites, it is the most northern resort in tropical Queensland and is located directly on the Great Barrier Reef. A National Park covering 1,013 hectares with 24 sandy beaches and a lagoon, Lizard Island is accessible only by private charter from Cairns Airport in northern Queensland, Australia. Cairns Airport is accessible from all major Australian airports and directly from some cities in Asia. The island is reserved for the fortunate few who will experience an unforgettable holiday like no other. Enjoy secluded picnics and sunset beach degustation on private beaches, five star cuisine in the beautiful Salt Water restaurant and indulgent spa treatments in the Essentia Day Spa. Relax in style in premium accommodation and take in the wonders of Australia's Great Barrier Reef - right on your doorstep. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lizard Island Hotel Lizard Island
Lizard Island Resort All Inclusive

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