This is the 5th time we have stayed here over the last 12 years and have unfortunately seen it decline with each visit. This stay has been one week. Although we got married here 10 years ago and it's been very special to us, this is the last time we'll come again unless a decent hotel chain purchases it and does a complete overhaul. We were so very disappointed this time around and unfortunately wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
1. No takeaway or room service available so you are forced to dine at a very overpriced buffet with food that isn't even up to RSL club standards, or another restaurant where the food and service is just terrible. If you are someone who appreciates even a half decent meal this is not the holiday destination for you. If you are even remotely into healthy eating this isn't the place for you as there is a huge lack of fresh fruit and vegetables across the island. Everything seems to be deep fried, out of a tin or processed. White bread, white pasta, white rice and all breakfast cereals based on wheat except the cornflakes. No vegetables on the buffet for the entire week except potatoes, and any salads were mostly pasta salad, potato salad and rice salad rather than fresh leafy garden salads.
The breakfast buffet had two pancake machines which both continued to malfunction several times throughout each morning with numerous frustrated guests standing around. There was always empty containers needing to be refilled and no cutlery to be found. On the positive, the maître de always remembered everyone's names. He appeared to be the only waitstaff on the island with any experience and was a lovely gentleman.
2. The waitstaff service is also terrible, which can only be attributed to the very high turnover of unskilled staff with no experience in the relevant fields. Our plates remained dirty and uncleared in front of us each night until we had paid the bill and left the restaurant, whilst staff were meanwhile clearing dirty plates from empty tables around us from previous patrons who had already left the restaurant. One night our mains were even brought out whilst we were still eating our entrees!!!
3. Whilst the rooms were relatively clean and quite nice, room service always failed to provide us with hand towels or washers so our guess is that the linen is in low supply. We were missing essential items from our room like a bath and sink plug, little things that are inconvenient when you need them. Mini bar was topped up at random and the ice machine was broken in our wing, so we had to go all the way down to the bar if we needed ice.
4. If you have children this island does not cater well for them at all. There is a kids club but you cannot take your child there just to play unless you drop them off and pay for the full morning or afternoon. $50 morning and $45 afternoon ($95/day) or $30/hr babysitting. They have an outdoor cinema, which is great, however the movies during our stay were mostly very unsuitable for children. The pools were so freezing it wasn't the place to spend the day floating about.
5. The day spa sounded so appealing we couldn't wait to go but I paid $190 for a facial and was so disappointed with the experience. It was honestly the worst facial I've ever had. Sorry but that's just being honest. I think my husband could have done a better job on me. My husband had a massage which was supposed to be deep tissue and he was so disappointed that I then cancelled my booking.
6. Whilst the staff were friendly and very nice people we gained rapport with a number of them who told us that they have very high turnover of staff, usually only staying 3 months at a time, and lots if foreigners and backpackers on working holiday visas. It appeared that from speaking to the staff they get rotated through different positions, one lady had started as the photographer, was then waitstaff and now working in the day spa. The lack of expertise and competency of a number of staff really demonstrated they had none or very little previous experience in the areas they were working in.
7. On the upside, the location is beautiful and the weather couldn't have been better.
8. We attended a wedding on the island at Sunlovers Cove which was just a magical setting... and aside from the food being very average for a wedding (although I'm sure they paid a premium package), it was just a beautiful night and decorated very well in a gorgeous setting.
I'm really not one to complain normally, but I think it's important for people who are planning a holiday to know what they're in for if they choose to stay here. I'd hate to see a family save their money to come away on a yearly holiday and be really disappointed. The Whitsunday's are a great location but I would definitely choose another island and a different resort.
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- Also Known As:
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