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...
- 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