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“Still amazing” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Southern Ocean Lodge

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Southern Ocean Lodge
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Kangaroo Island
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Still amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2013

We returned to SOL some 3 years after our last visit with my brothers & their partners. We were mildly anxious to see if it was still the 10/10 that we experiences previously, especially since we knew that new managers had taken over.
We were not disappointed. Everything was almost exactly the same and still 10/10. The only difference we experienced was that this time we came in winter where as previously we visited in summer. I think winter must be a slower guest time as there wasn’t nearly so many staff as before and in some areas it did present a problem. For example, the spa only had one therapist and my sister-in-law & I wanted treatments at the same time, which clearly wasn’t possible. A small quibble maybe. Still we all had an amazing visit and would highly recommend to place SOL on your bucket list.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MelbourneAussie1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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587 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (213)
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English first
Level Contributor
169 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2013 via mobile

From the time you arrive the experience is 5 star. The fact that its an Eco-lodge is not evident, on arrival the reception/ lounge area is spectacular and that just sets the scene irrespective how long you are staying. The meals are excellent and service second to none in Australia, and equal with anything I have experienced at the best locations and resorts in the world.

The lamb burgers are unbelievable with a glass or two of Pinot at lunch. Just relax in the lounge and read a book on those colder days or enjoy some of the included excursions.

We are looking forward to our next visit to SOL.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Macdariens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level Contributor
68 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2013

I have given up on reviewing most hotels I've stayed in lately as they're all the same. So only truly good or truly bad experiences warrant attention. I also generally refrain from holidaying in Australia, barring Tasmanian Wilderness lodges or a favourite weekender. However, it was my other half's birthday and this was her present - or so I thought.

First things first, it's not easy to get to. It's at least a couple of hops, no matter where you're from. Secondly, it's totally isolated, with limited mobile reception. Thirdly, it does Australia proud. If there were more lodges like this, we'd be a magnet for overseas tourists of another class (that I suspect are currently drawn to the Carribean or NZ). So, what's so good about it?

In no particular order, the accommodation, the staff, the vista, the loge itself, the surrounds, the food, the amenities and the relax factor were exemplary. You can read the other reviews and make your own mind up by hopping over there. It is expensive, exclusive an elegantly understated.

It's the first time service and attitude have impressed me in an Australian establishment. Just the right balance of friendliness and respect for privacy. A birthday cake for the birthday girl and plenty to do or nothing to do. The birthday girl asked me to mention the food, it was always interesting, unique and balanced. We were never served too much and never left feeling hungry. I generally like active holidays so three full meals a day (with an all included food and drink approach) filled me with trepidation. Last time we were in one of those lodges (Aman, Bhutan) I left feeling stuffed. I couldn't have been more wrong, I'd go back just for the food experience.

So what else, - the guests were varied and couples or families were welcomed equally. Friends from different overseas countries met up at the lodge. There were people returning because they liked it so much the first time (or the second). We stayed from Thursday to Saturday and that was not enough. I think five nights will have you relaxing. If you want, stay a couple more nights more and just read a book.

The only minus was experiencing a gale on the Western end of the island at Admirald's Arch where a couple of guests were almost blown over off the boardwalk in howling wind with pelting sleet and rain. The guide, not a lodge employee or ranger but a contractor, misjudged the conditions and we were lucky no one was hurt. I could barely stand in the wind (which I later checked were predicted to hit 85kmh) but which were actually gale/storm force. An old sailor and pilot's observation, when the wind makes the seas white with waves all over and there is no visibility so don't venture into harm's way. To be fair, it was a nasty and quickly building squall and no one was hurt, just drenched. Later that afternoon, we were then asked whether we wanted to venture out to have canapes with the kangaroos in the rain that evening. We politely declined.

So what I thought was indulging the birthday girl was also an amazing expeience and an indulgence for yours truly. I'd urge anyone who wants a uniquely Australian experience that's all just class to hop along to SOL... pun totally intended.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank GAAN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2013

SOL is a truly romantic get-a-away especially for those with a pull towards the ocean. The rooms were perfectly private and each had an unobstructed view out to the Southern Ocean. Bird watching and other wildlife were abundant. The meals were spectacular. Do try the Islands very own Wild Gin. We very much enjoyed a morning of fishing on the beach as well.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Angela_O123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2013

This lodge is truly world class. There are very few properties to match this in Australia, even the world!
Accommodation is just about perfect with the under tile heating being just wonderful. The dining is unbelievable with amazing wine selection.
Loved the way everything was included in the price so there was never any hesitation to indulge.
The managers simply couldn't do enough for us. The slightest need was immediately attended to in a typically friendly Australian style.
Downsides? Virtually none. It was quite expensive but when you consider the quality and all inclusive arrangements it was probably reasonable value for money. We would, however have liked to have dined in our room one night.
It was easy to get to from Adelaide where it is also good to spend some time enjoying this lovely city and the amazing wineries.
We loved the isolation. There was simply nothing around. The scenery on KI is unique. A must see!
We also loved going in the colder weather. The raging Southern Ocean is stunning.

Room Tip: Closer to the main area if you are not fit. It is quite a walk uphill right from the end.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Bobster200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2013

Southern Ocean Lodge is almost invisible from the outside. But stepping across its rusted iron threshold is mindblowing – suddenly we’re in a dizzyingly large glass-walled room which frames even vaster views of cliffs and surf.

We were ushered immediately to enveloping linen chairs and fed champagne – perhaps so we could digest the enormity of this place. The wild coast immediately grabs the eye outwards. Meanwhile, pale matt sandstone, blond bentwood furniture, and tactile fabrics mute in colour make this giant look-out a soothing place to expand into the senses and savour. We surrendered.

It’s a building of quiet genius. Beside the Great Room, there‘s just one clean, tapering line of rooms skirting down a clifftop, with a subtle curl in the roofs that softens its form. Exotic low-growing bush grows right up to touch the window-walls, and curving boardwalks carry one further, to the beach. Way offgrid, it catches its own rainwater and has its solar farm.

To reach our suite we walk a louvred breezeway on beautiful timbers salvaged from an 1860’s Brisbane factory. Wallabies graze outside. The room is a luxury grandstand. From bed, bath and outrageously, from the loo, we gaze onto the ocean, hear the ocean and even feel waves crashing below. A champagne-stuffed pantry and dressing room keeps our clutter contained; nothing detracts from the view.

food is a forte of Southern Ocean Lodge. In that great, glassy room overlooking the ocean, we repeatedly declare that we are eating the most delicious meal of our lives.

Certain combinations of ingredients sounded startling (char grilled brassica with smoked yoghurt and pistachio) yet made perfect sense. Oysters zing with lime-gin sorbet. While I raved about roasted snapper, impeccably fragrant in its thyme, lemongrass and herb broth, my partner melted into slow cooked wagyu beef with smoked bone marrow and vibrant fresh horseradish. 75% of ingredients are sourced locally, and though cooked with alchemical brilliance and served with elegance, everything still tastes of the garden and the sea.

At any time of day one can visit the cellar and have any bottle opened at will (the room rate includes all food and drink). One Australian aficionado we met had returned just for the delight of roaming those cellars. We sampled dark sparkling Shiraz from Moorooroo Park and memorable botrytis Riesling, which singlehandedly revolutionized my view of new world wines.

For all the angora blankets and exquisite artwork around us, the great privilege of this lodge is it location - horizons unaltered by man in any direction, beaches untrodden. Being truly comfortable in uncrowded nature is luxury itself. It replenishes and reconnects us like nothing else.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank rosieroaming
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 June 2013

Southern Ocean Lodge is one of the most captivating and accomplished resorts in Australia, if not the best. The tariff can make you choke but it was oh so worth it. Our three night stay on a long weekend was just long enough to enjoy multiple excursions into this other-worldly nature reserve, all included in your rate. KI is Australia’s Galapagos with amazing flora and fauna, along with vistas and landscapes you won't see anywhere else. Two things really stood out though, elevating SOL way above anything else in Australia (excluding Wolgan Valley, yet to experienced). The first is staff – how they assembled such a supremely talented and engaging group of people in such a remote location, I’ll never know. Each brilliant in their own unique way. Relaxed, charming, confident, international, mutli-lingual and highly knowledgeable, they anticipated your every whim and nothing was too much trouble. Not once did we hear ‘no’ or ‘sorry’ or ‘not possible’ – and we made some demands! An example: four days prior to our arrival I emailed to see if they had any Lillet Blanc in the bar, the essential ingredient in our preferred martini, the Vesper. They didn't but would endeavour to secure some, noting it might not be possible given the remoteness of the resort. You can’t find Lillet in most bottle shops in Sydney so hopes weren't high. Less than 24 hours later an email arrived declaring the good news – Lillet secured! But it gets better….we arrived in the pre-dinner darkness of Friday night, after a long transfer from the airport, tired, thirsty and famished. We walk in the front doors, warmly greeted with a cheery smile from Helen and two chilled Vespers, just made, and some canapés. Too good to be true.

The food at SOL is the other marvel. Unbelievably good and for vegetarian me, the best of any hotel or resort anywhere in the world – big claim but true. Beaten into submission by lazy chefs, we vegos become resigned to the usual boring options of pasta, risotto, spinach and cheese carb overload, tofu stir-fries etc. Not at SOL – my own specially created menu for lunch and dinner, with multiple options! And not a carb in sight. Each dish was complex, beautifully crafted and full of the most amazing flavours. The chef should be declared a national treasure. Make sure you ask for the regular menu too, as it’s not handed out unless requested. Sometimes you hanker for some mash, fries or burgers. There were no hot desserts (in winter!?!) on the menu, so we enquired. Next two dinners, we got steaming chocolate fondants and world-class passionfruit soufflés made especially for us, greedily eyed off by jealous fellow diners. Unfortunately we couldn't resist the daily special dessert either, so wolfed that down as well. Found my carbs….

The food alone is worth the visit, all local or South Australian sourced, as are the excellent all-inclusive wines. The Vespers really rock too (thank you Fabian, a genius with a cocktail shaker).
Loved the expansive, viewsome rooms with all the creature comforts (especially the mini-lamingtons on arrival), although why not twin vanities in the bathroom at this price point? Queuing to clean your teeth is so unseemly amidst all this luxury.

There really isn't anything to complain about at SOL, but if forced to, the wooden-floored corridor outside the rooms can be noisy and disturbing with footfall. It’s the longest corridor ever built and from the room you can hear guests clomping past at all hours.

Tip – but don't tell the staff - that long sloping corridor is great for rolling Jaffas. It’s a great lark for adults and kids alike (non- Australians reading this will need a translation). Jaffas available in the library/TV room. Pick your time though; don't want to disturb other guests.

Room Tip: Rooms closest to the public areas are less private and can be viewed by other guests, especially the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Seanno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James B, Owner at Southern Ocean Lodge, responded to this review, 20 June 2013
Thank you for the amazing feedback and sharing your insights with our travel community. You have highlighted the core elements of our product that we strive so hard to deliver. Our unique "first name" service culture aims to deliver casual sophistication in a relaxed yet professional Australian way which is the anthiseis of the "yes I can" bland formal world of hotel chains. Our Chef Tim Bourke will be delighted with your praise - he has been part of the Baillie Lodges team for many years. You preference for twin basins is noted and many of our suites do have these - next time let us know and we will endeavour to exceed your expecations! And we will be all trying one of those martinis soon! :)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Southern Ocean Lodge

Property: Southern Ocean Lodge
Address: Hanson Bay, Kangaroo Island, South Australia, Australia
Region: Australia > South Australia > Kangaroo Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Kangaroo Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Southern Ocean Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island is Australia's most extraordinary luxury lodge experience. Exclusive and award-winning, the world-class lodge is sensitively designed to float amongst the coastal drama of the island's south west, offering an unforgettable blend of contemporary luxury and pure nature. Twenty-one luxurious suites welcome panoramic views of the great Southern Ocean and boundless coastal wilderness and feature lavish sleeping areas, sunken lounge and glass-surround ensuite. The Southern Spa features signature treatments with Kangaroo Island botanicals designed to relax and rejuvenate. All-inclusive rates, first name service and personalised experiential itinerary combine to offer guests the ultimate Kangaroo Island encounter. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Southern Ocean Hotel Kangaroo Island

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