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“Worth more than 5 stars” 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
London, England
Level Contributor
319 reviews
118 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
“Worth more than 5 stars”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2014

We had only time to spend 2 nights at Southern Ocean Lodge though we flew there from Adelaide as early as we could and left on the late afternoon service. Yes, it was expensive but you don't begrudge that when the experience is so fantastic. Met on arrival by a friendly staff member, you are immediately made to feel at home. Someone takes you through the schedule for your visit, having first handed you a glass of bubbly, and then you are taken to your huge, beautiful room with its stunning view of the ocean. The bedroom area is raised and leads down to a sitting room with a large semi-circular sofa. There is a separate dressing room with masses of space for clothes, plus a safe, ironing board and iron, rucksacks, beach towels, well equipped fridge with wine and spirits all included in the room tariff. They appear to cater for everything you might need for your visit. There is an outside deck with table and seats which sadly we couldn't take advantage of as the wind was so strong (this often happens, apparently. It also prevented us from doing the cliff top walk but our other activities include an early evening 'kangaroos and canapés', a trip to see the Remarkable Rocks and the fur seals, and an outing to Seal Bay. We opted to pay extra for the nocturnal walk where we had sightings of more kangaroos, wallabies and koalas - well worth it and with the clue-up staff providing an early dinner so we didn't miss out.
The staff generally are worthy of special notice. They are friendly without being pushy, incredibly knowledgeable and so, so helpful. One of them, noticing that I was about to embark on the night walk inadequately dressed went off and got me one of the lodge jackets so I would be warm enough.
The food was exceptional. We particularly enjoyed the lunchtime tapas, but all the meals were delicious, fresh and locally sourced. Our one regret, like other reviewers was that we had only the two nights there.

Room Tip: No need. They are all the same and share the same beautiful view.
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  • Stayed February 2014, 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?
Thank notacouchpotato
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)
Date | Rating
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
123 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2014

We can't speak highly enough about this facility and the experience it provides. It is a long trip to get there with a flight to Adelaide, another flight to Kingscote, and then a one hour vehicle ride. It is not cheap, but it is worth every minute of travel and every dollar of cost. The staff is superb and knowledgeable about the wildlife they show you, the sites are fascinating, and the people are remarkable. Save up if you have to, but go.

Room Tip: There are various levels of rooms, but they are really all fine. Pick the one that fits your budget...
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  • Stayed February 2014, 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 LarryRuth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Metuchen, New Jersey
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2014

Five stars does not do this resort justice. It was fabulous. We visited many Australian and NZ top resorts and this was by far the best. The ambience, location, food, and service were outstanding. hderman1

  • Stayed February 2014, 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?
Thank hderman1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hawaii
Level Contributor
38 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2014

There are "No Worries" at Southern Ocean Lodge. From the confirmatory emails prior to arrival to the sad note in your suite the night before departure reminding you of transport details, your entire stay is deftly managed behind the scenes. You have only to select from the various options for enjoying the Lodge and exploring Kangaroo Island.

This was our fourth and longest (6 nights) stay and the Lodge was as wonderful as ever. We especially would like to comment on the food, which was absolutely perfect. Tim Burke and his team were brilliant. At dinner, we always chose the inventive and beautifully considered 3-4 course set menu, which showcases the products from the island. There were multiple choices at breakfast (the blueberry muffins were fantastic) and lunch (great salads and fish).

The quality of the food was matched by the amazing service from the restaurant staff who anticipated and met every need. Wine glasses were topped up just when needed, and sometimes even before. Whether we had helped ourselves to a glass of wine (or beer) from the extensive collection at the bar, or had selected the paired wine from the menu, the servers magically knew just what we were drinking. Pacing was just right, never an unwanted delay between courses. The staff was aware of any scheduled activities and coordinated service appropriately.

We enjoyed a day-long private tour of the island with Alistair including visits to Janine Mackintosh' studio, Island Pure goat cheese farm, the Kingscote Art Gallery and the Islander Estate Winery. A champagne lunch at Emu Bay kept us fortified for this expedition. Other highlights were the self-guided hike from Kelly's Cave to Hansen Bay and the lodge, cliff top walks and surf casting practice (sometimes known as fishing) at Hansen Bay.

A recurrent (and the only) complaint we heard from other guests was that a 2 night stay was completely inadequate to take advantage of the opportunities at the Lodge and on Kangaroo Island. Even after 6 nights there were things we wished we could have done (like catch a fish) had we been able to stay longer.

Room Tip: We liked room 5 as it was adjacent to the board walk door. You can go out this door and onto the hi...
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  • Stayed February 2014, 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?
3 Thank Kauaimary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 February 2014

This is the first and only time I've ever given a 5-star review. Southern Ocean Lodge is fantastic. It's like a different stratosphere of experience. The location, food, service and atmosphere are brilliant. Tips I would recommend:
1. Stop thinking about going, and just go.
2. Stay for at least 2 nights, preferably 3 or more to fit in some of the great activities AND spend some time just lounging around the lodge.
3. Be aware that it's remote - about 1 hour from the airport, and 90mins from the ferry. Because of this there is only mobile reception for the "Telstra" mobile network. Wifi is slow and weak. In any case we found it great to be out of contact for a while.
4. All the rooms are great - some are closer to reception, others further away. If you don't like walking, ask for a room closer to reception.
5. The Marine Tour is great, and you can swim with the dolphins! This isn't mentioned on the Lodge's website but is a wonderful experience.
6. Eat, drink and be merry. The staff are just so good, welcoming and friendly - they did their best to accommodate our every need. The guides are interesting and fun and very knowledgeable - ours were all university graduates in various biological sciences.
7. Try and keep it a secret! - I know I haven't done a very good job on this one!

Room Tip: Rooms are arranged in a long line from reception to the tip of the hotel - those closest to receptio...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • 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?
2 Thank Bafos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
san francisco
Level Contributor
26 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2014

I am so happy to follow Jeremy's review so I can provide you with a far more accurate assessment of this property. He and I must have been staying at totally different hotels. Southern Ocean Lodge is a unique experience which shouldn't be missed when traveling to Australia. Service couldn't be better. The staff couldn't be friendlier. Rooms are beautiful. Attitude of management is terrific.
Perhaps the only critical comment would be that some of the food is too fussy for our tastes. However, the kitchen staff was amenable to adjusting any dish to our specifications.
The various excursions to see the animals, coastline, etc. were well organized and manned by competent and knowledgeable staff members.
Go with the majority and book your room now!!

  • Stayed January 2014, 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?
3 Thank mstephenson176
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 February 2014

My family and I stayed for 4 days and were amazed by the sight. The room was spacious and well decorated with a panoramic view of the ocean. But on the second day we started realizing all the defects. Daily utensils in the room weren't restock, the cleaning of the room was very average with sand on the floor. The food for breakfast wasn't fresh, overcooked (when it wasn't burned) and there were seeds in most of the juices. At the restaurant the lodge manager Alison Heath came to us telling us that we were too noisy without any warning, being rude to all of us and particulary disrespectful to my dad who isn't speaking english. She warned us that we would have to pay double the price of the glasses if any broken items because we were cheering and she left taking the bottle of wine we ordered. I work in the hospitality service and I have never assisted in my life to such a behaviour. The last day they indicated us a wrong time for our flight tellling us that there was no take off in the morning when our boarding passes were at 10AM. They had already deduct from our credit cards all the room extra fees without and consultation when we were planning on paying by cash. This trips started very well before it was ruined by the sense of hospitality that showed Miss Alison Heath to us and all her staff. All of this in one of the most expensive place in Australia.

I will update some pictures which will show better than any words the quality of the service.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank CHABINOU Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BaillieLodgesAust, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Ocean Lodge, responded to this review, 13 February 2014
Dear Jeremy, We are pleased you enjoyed the stunning scenery and pristine wilderness surroundings at Southern Ocean Lodge. Regarding your experience in the restaurant, as you’ll note from the significant number of excellent reviews on this forum, the standards of service and cleanliness at the lodge are consistently very highly rated, and historically the quality of the cuisine receives only the highest praise. Our lodge managers would only ever intervene with a guest’s dining experience if our other guests’ overall enjoyment and the safety of our staff are compromised. We strive for excellence at all times and consider this feedback to be an exception to the traditionally excellent guest experience reported on TripAdvisor and similar review forums.
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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