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“Lizard Island - Beautiful One Day, Shocking the Next - Jan 8 to 12, 2009”

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Lizard Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lizard Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 January 2009

Okay, I've now had time to reflect on our holiday to Lizard Island and I hope the following comments are helpful to future travelers.

This trip was my fortieth birthday present.

We (my wife and I) began our trip to the island with a short flight on Hinterland aviation from Cairns. We were bit concerned when we saw the aircraft, a light plane that carries 8 passengers.

The the trip was fairly uneventful (thankfully) and took about an hour. We landed on Lizard Island airstrip and was greeted by Simon - a really friendly host. We then took a short trip (about 5 minutes) in the resort bus to the resort. We were meet by the General Manager, Wendy, who was also very friendly and offered the most helpful advice, especially about how easily one can get sunburnt on the island. We had a welcome drink before being shown our room. It was an Anchor Bay suite, we had been upgraded, which was a very nice touch (thanks Simon).

The room was just fantastic. A really romantic, Gilligan's Island type of feel to it but still very much 5 star. It is open, very open but yet still very private. Just outside our room was a nice verandah with a daybed that was big enough for two people to snuggle up, read a book and watch the ocean.

The food was great, in fact quite superb. I have read the reviews of people saying the portions were small. Yes they generally were, but as I found out, if you really liked a particular dish, you could quite easily get seconds. On Thursday nights, the staff join the guests for pre-dinner drinks. It was nice to meet the staff and other guests. We made friends immediately with an American couple from San Francisco and ended up having dinner with them that night. It was a seafood buffet with lots of prawns and Moreton Bay bugs - really delicious. My wife had some strict dietary requirements and the staff had no trouble accommodating her.

I'd say the staff were by and large polite and helpful, but there was something missing. I think island life is quite hard and especially since Lizard is so remote, it can be quite mentally taxing on the employees after sometime. This is perhaps not helped by the fact that I understand all Voyages properties have been on the market since the middle of last year and I think this may have some effect on staff morale. However this is no excuse for some instances of very poor behaviour. In one such instance we were at the bar talking to some new arrivals. The lady asked a waitress for a glass of water. The waitress looked up at the lady as if she had just asked her for $50 and then went back to doing what she was doing. It was rude and embarrassing for all of us.

Then there were occasions where there was simply not enough staff. At one lunch session we had to wait ages to get a drink. At one dinner session I nearly fell asleep waiting for dessert. Not good for a five star resort.

All drinks were included so I spent many an evening going through the cocktail menu - which was kind of fun. The attitude of the bar staff was a little hit and miss but Eugene and Clare were great.

Although the room was fantastic, there was some minor repair work that needed to be done, like a crack in the ceiling and leak in the hand shower. I noticed too that the timber deck around the pool was in dire need of a sanding and a new coat of varnish. Also some tiles around the pool edge needed replacing. Again minor things that did not impede a good time but took the gloss off the 5 star image.

I'm not a big fan of bees or wasps and they just seemed to be everywhere! Thankfully they didn't seem to want to sting you but it was quite unnerving for apiphobic like me.

The beach near the resort was lovely. You could get some snorkelling gear and go for a bit of a look around just off the beach. The weather turned on us on the third day and so the boats that were by the beach were relocated to the other side of the island. To get there you took the resort bus to the end of the airtstrip and then it was a ten minute walk. Again the wasps did not make this walk pleasant for me but I must stress that I did not get stung nor did I feel like I was going to.

The two days we wanted to take a dinghy out for a little ride and romantic picnic lunch on a deserted beach, we were told they were swamped with water and we couldn't. I think there may be some maintenance issues with some of the boating gear. It was disappointing but Louise, the "boat keeper", took us out on her boat anyway just to give us a tour of the lagoon. We enjoyed that and we also did a little snorkelling and saw some fish. We were happy with that.

The Azure Spa was just sensational. I had an hour massage a day and my wife had a different treatment each day. She was in seventh heaven. Jacqui the masseuse has heavenly hands and will knead your stresses away. She was just awesome. Also, I noted that the prices on the island for spa treatments were slightly cheaper than in Palm Cove on the mainland.

On the last night my wife asked for some candles to be put in our room to surprise me. My goodness, when we came back from dinner there must have been at least 20 little candles romantically placed around the room and bed and a bowl of strawberries, raspberries and cherries adorned the coffee table. It was a very nice touch and very thoughtful.

This is not a resort for families, although we saw some. This is for a romantic getaway. We had a great time, notwithstanding the couple of days of bad weather. It is quite expensive and I'm not sure how it compares in value to other similar resorts, but I would recommend it for a short stay of three to five nights. I would also recommend that you do not travel during January to March as I understand that this is the peak of the monsoon season.

Hope this helps and if you have any questions, I'm happy to respond...

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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15  Thank Topenda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 December 2008

We spent 5 nights on Lizard Island and felt very disappointed with the whole hotel, staff and facilities. If we hadn't met two couples we got a long with the stay would have been a disaster.

The staff were efficient but not overly friendly. The beach was dirty and we found water bottles, a dolls head and general debris a long the beach which wasn't cleaned while we were there.

The pool was small with about 10 loungers but there were only 2 lounger mattresses available for guest use.

The food was excellent but found ourselves searching for a bar man to serve us another drink (6 of us) but the bar was closed and we couldn't find anyone to help us. It was 10 pm!

The hotel also boasts a number of beautiful beaches but there are very few accessible by boat, the rest you have to walk to which we felt was misleading.

  • Stayed: February 2007, travelled as a couple
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13  Thank flyingphotographer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2008

Lizard Is. was amazing. It was our first stop on our honeymoon and after traveling 31 hrs to get there (from New York), it was simply heaven. The sunset villa rooms were large, clean and well equipped. Not to mention we had a great view from our deck and a wonderful hammock! The staff was delightful (example: we had wanted to organize dinner on the beach, but were told the 2 locations available were booked, a waiter overheard our request, and the next day when there was a cancellation, immediately reserved the spot for us, and radio'd us out on our fishing trip to inform us. Then when we returned from the day out fishing, the chef was waiting for us on the beach to go over our dinner menu!) The resort was about 40% full the week we were there, which made for an extremely peaceful environment- you always felt as if the beaches were deserted, the snorkeling was unbelievable, the staff knew you by name, and the other guests were friendly and welcoming. The food was great for resort food, but after a week, we were tired of the same breakfast menu and wines. Take advantage of the all inclusive, the staff will provide off-menu snacks&cocktails- just ask! It was hands down the best part of our honeymoon and we will surely go back (despite the slight scary flight out there!) If you have the inclination, def charter the deep-sea fishing boat, we did both light and heavy tackle catching 2 black marlins- a GREAT experience! I would also recommend making use of the free dinghies to explore the island and make sure to pack picnic lunches. Our best vacation to date!

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank MrsBigApple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2008

Lizard Island
After visiting Hayman many times I thought I knew what to expect from your typical Barrier Reef luxury island resort however after visiting Lizard Island I will never see luxury reef resorts the same again.
Surrounded by amazing reefs Lizard has something for everyone. The adventurous can take one of the many walks including Cooks Look and Chinamen’s Ridge, whilst the curious can visit the research station and those wanting to relax have the ability to do so without feral children running around screaming. Those who enjoy snorkelling can snorkel straight off Anchor Bay, take a dinghy (free of cost) for the day with a picnic lunch or take a trip to the outer reef on Serrenadae where you can also dive the famous Cod Hole.
The staff are friendly and well informed Clare Hastings* the restaurant manager in particular. Each member of staff will greet you with a smile and inquire on any particular needs. The staff from the beach club and Spa work from 7:30pm – 8:30pm in the restaurant to organise any day trips or spa treatments without making you go out of your way to find out.
In terms of food I highly recommend staying on a Thursday night where you can enjoy cocktails on the lawn with the staff before heading to the seafood buffet in the restaurant. Every other night the food is just as good with the option of either meat or seafood. Special menus can be made for people with allergies or food requests. If you have been fishing out on Fascination you can have some of your catch cooked especially for you.
The rooms on the Island are spacious with excellent views of Anchor Bay or Sunset Beach. Whilst the Pavilion is the one room everyone wants you don’t need to have it to get a decent room. Despite how comfy the rooms are chances are you won’t be spending time in them unless honeymooning.
Before my visit I thought I would simply not be able to cope with only one television to be shared by sixty guests however I never used it once. The pool is medium sized however after two weeks on the Island I only used ii once purely because I had not been in it at all. However why use the pool when you have the world’s biggest pool on your doorstep.
The gym is well equipped and kept clean however rarely used. In the gym fridge there is a large stock of water for people doing a walk out or stopping by to pick up some water before they leave for cooks look.
Lizard Island is the best Island on the Great Barrier Reef despite being owned by Voyages. It mixes great snorkelling with excellent food, staff and a wonderful experience. Please note that children under twelve are not permitted on the Island.
*Clare I promised I’d mention you and you deserved it.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
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8  Thank everywherebuthome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2008

We had an amazing five days on Lizard Island. It really is a special island. The snorkelling is incredible. The resort is great. We had our room upgraded free of charge which was a nice surprise. The staff were all very friendly and attentive. The food is fantastic.

Nothing is too much trouble for the staff. The attention to detail is great from nibbles left with your mini bar to the drinks range etc. The beaches and the lagoon and reef is just great. If you are looking for a great snorkelling holiday, then this is the place. If you are not into snorkelling, the beach or diving then maybe you might become a little bored.

Overall a great experience that we will remember for a long time.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled with family
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4  Thank Hot_Dots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2008

We stayed on Lizard July 2008. 2 adults 2 teenagers. The location and accomodation were superior to what we expected. We were situated near the restaurant in a very spacious room (20 I think) with good views of the beach and grounds. The teenagers had a smaller room nearer the beach club and there was a problem with smell but the staff did try to resolve it. We were welcomed personally from the moment we arrived and the same attention to detail remained throughout our stay incl when we left. Drinks and canapes on arrival, luggage taken immediately to our rooms, and shown the ropes around the resort. All the staff from managers, restaurant staff and beach club staff were extremely friendly and helpful and knowledgeable.

The staff were attentive even when I had a minor accident ,there was a nurse available., The food was excellent especially as we had specific dietary requirements which they catered for admirably. The beach staff were very safety conscious, and so we had no hesitation in the teens taking diving lessons and a dive reef trip. My husband went snorkeling on the same trip and they had a good time. visiting the cod hole and feeding the sharks.

It is an all inclusive resort, and whilst expensive, the ambience, decor, food and rooms, and efficiency of the staff made it value for money.

Some of the beaches are picture postcard; deserted, white sand and tranquil. The reef is just as everyone describes even at low tide, check out the little island near the beach club at low tide, you can walk among the coral. fish and giant clams ankle deep and take photos as if under water.

Reccommend taking awaterproof camera or buying a disposable one at the beach club for the dive trip.

The only criticism I have is that there isnt enough for teenagers to do out of the water. My sons 15 & 17 would have prefered more organised activities or land based activities. It is primarily a couples/honeymoon resort not really suited to children(I believe there is an age restriction) or teens so think carefully about this location for a family holiday.

Having said this we had a great time and came away with a very positive experience. Enjoy!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank sharmelin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2008

As promised on the website, Lizard Island is located in a beautiful location; however, you could be immediately turned off by one of the pilots of Hinterland Air eating his lunch during flight, then folding his arms behind his head. There is nothing quite like the smell of egg salad and tuna at 10,000 feet.

Once arrived, the rooms were fantastic, well designed, nice veranda off the back (we had an Anchor Bay suite, which I recommend as the ONLY choice if you do go there). The only drawback was there was no tub, as i understand there is water conservation in effect, but at least have a hot tub available by the pool. We were lucky to get suite 27, the closest to the main compound, however, a couple we met there were put in the last suite, number 40 which is located right beside the employee bar, I would feel pretty cheated if we were given this suite. Also did I mention there is no TV in the room?

There were many opertunities to rent one of the Yachts they have for a half day and full day of diving and or snorkelling. I had emailed the resort about 10 days before our arrival requesting a booking of a ½ day snorkelling on one of the boats; I never heard anything back regarding this request.

The promise of fantasic reefs “moments” from the hotel were too good to be true, the reefs were all the pale shade of yellow, with not many colourful fish. Yes there were a few giant clams, but really, they’re just clams. Luckily there are many secluded beached you can take you picnic basket to, what they forget to mention is that most of the area is tidal dependant, and one whole side of the island (the east side) is in “open water” as they put it, and you are restricted from taking your powerful 8 horsepower tin boat with a bent prop into this area. On the other hand, the hiking was splendid; the view from Cook’s look is amazing and satisfying when you reach the top. The other items included in your “inclusive” rate were Glass bottom kayaks as well as catamarans, but when we expressed interest in taking out a catamaran, they actually discouraged us in taking it out. I was under the impression that there would be other water toys at a cost, like most resorts, but there is nothing.

The food was very tasty, but chew it slowly as you will eat it up in a few bites. The portion sizes are incredibly small, it was enough food for me, if you eat the entree, main and desert and I’m only 120 lbs. However, my poor husband was left unsatisfied. My other complaint was the serving staff. In the morning it was a cross between BO smelling surfer boys and no personality girls that you have to spell everything out to. At lunch they can’t be bothered to look in your direction. Dinner staff was superb.

With the promise of a relaxing massage, we both had pre-booked 2 massages each and were sadly disappointed. If the idea of a massage is to put as much oil as you can on a person’s body, then using no pressure rub your hands in a gawky manner, then they’ve come up ace. We also had written confirmation when we arrive when our appointments were, confirmed by email, but when we showed up, the spa manager stated that she had written down the wrong time for us, and it was actually later. Another couple we met had even a worst experience of showing up for their pre-booked appointment to find out that they had no record of such booking, then being rudely brushed off.

The Gym was well equipped, treadmill didn’t seem to work, but at least there was a TV for some background noise. The internet was sloooow, yes I understand you are on a secluded island, but you can still have the facilities for the prices that you pay.

If you are thinking of going to Lizard Island, don’t expect this resort to be of the same calibre of resorts in Africa, Seychelles or the Maldives. You will be sadly disappointed.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank krazygloo
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

Address: Via Cairns, Cook Shire, Lizard Island, Queensland 4871, Australia
Region: Australia > Queensland > Cook Shire > 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: £1,050 - £1,741 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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