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33 - 38 of 1,819 reviews
Reviewed 5 April 2018

Our room was awesome. The facilities were fine.
The food was poor and some of the staff needs training.
Getting there by seaplane was awesome.
The weather was bad, so the boats could not go out (nobody's fault), but the reef that is immediately accessible is s bleached out.

Room Tip: Take suites 1-5. The rooms and view are great and your snorkeling gear is complementary
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank kkerrnh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KarenSweeneyHeronIs, Front Office Manager at Heron Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2018

Dear kkerrnh

Thank you for your review, we appreciate your positive feedback on the accommodation and the Resort.
Our team since taking over the property are committed to a process of continuous improvement so we can deliver the best possible experience for our guests with an overhaul of all products, standards and sourcing fresh local produce.
An arrival by Seaplane and the incredible opportunity to fly over the beautiful and very healthy Heron Reef is definitely an amazing way to start your holiday on Heron Island.
Heron Reef has experienced 'no or negligible' bleaching (GBRMPA 2017); we are located in the southern region of the Great Barrier Reef which generally receives cooler waters than the northern regions. The corals of Heron Reef, and the southern Great Barrier Reef, are naturally earthy colours when they are alive; due to the species of corals and the symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) in the coral tissues. Corals are animals (Cnidarians) that rely strongly on their zooxanthellae for energy. Coral bleaching is a stress response by the coral animals; when the corals are stressed they expel the symbiotic zooxanthellae; therefore they turn a ghostly white as seen during bleaching events. At this point in time the corals are alive however they are not receiving enough energy as they no longer have symbiotic algae in their tissues. If the conditions do not return to normal, the corals will eventually die, then the hard skeletons are covered in a fluffy brown turfing algae and no longer appear bright white.

Corals are also subjected to storms and are sometimes turned upside down due to strong waves. This can result in coral mortality.

The corals close to shore on the Heron reef flat experience extreme conditions (two low tides and two high tides per day, large movement of water) therefore are generally not as large and diverse as the corals on the edge of Heron Reef (that experience constant deep cooler waters).

Latest detailed observed forecast and environmental conditions from GBRMPA: "As of 9 January 2018, sea surface temperatures were generally average throughout the Marine Park, with the exception of the Far Northern management area and some inshore areas throughout the Park which were 0.5-1.5ºC above average." (http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/visit-the-reef/current-conditions-on-the-great-barrier-reef/latest-detailed-observed-forecast-and-environmental-conditions)

Latest update on coral bleaching from GBRMPA:
http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/about-the-reef/reef-health

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you would like more information or have any queries.

Regards

Karen Sweeney

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018

Loved this place. We stayed in the beachside suit Aug 2017.
Saw rays, sharks, one big fellow, and turtles, plus birds. Snorkeled on the reef. Saw beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
If you want a lot of entertainment, this is not the place. We loved the laid back feel of the Island.
We enjoyed ourselves so much, we are coming back, this Aug.

Room Tip: Beachside Suit, tho pricier, is worth it. Right on the beach
Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
1  Thank 1Lins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KarenSweeneyHeronIs, Public Relations Manager at Heron Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2018

Dear 1Lins on behalf of our team I would like to thank you for your 'fantastic' review and we are thrilled that you loved and enjoyed Heron Island.
There is no better endorsement than a return visit so we look forward to welcoming you back in August.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018

Just a couple of points:
- Heron Island has a lovely resort and it is expensive but for a place that typically has 100 guests and 90 in staff, it seems to offer good value as currently configured
- The accommodations are reasonably basic, but kept very clean, and the food and bar service is nothing special but done impeccably well with good service and a smile on everyone's face.
- If you go, you owe it to yourself to do the tours. They give the flavor to the place. Super
- The birds, reef, turtles, fish and other things are the stars. Truly impressive.
Worth a visit!

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank tleavitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KarenSweeneyHeronIs, Public Relations Manager at Heron Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2018

Thank you tleavitt for your wonderful review of Heron Island and our amazing team.
We are thrilled that you found Heron Island 'truly impressive' and enjoyed the tours that are such a great opportunity to learn about the amazing array of animal life that can be discovered throughout the year where you truly are a guest of your natural environment.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2018

...can't I give it 0 stars?

First I'll mention that I went to Heron Island in 2001 and was very pleased. In 2018 I went back and was horrified. First I'll back-up my title claims - with photo proof.

Dirty: Fly's and bugs on everything, the food at the buffet, "clean" glassware at the bar (see photos), random stains on the bedroom walls (see photos), bird stench/smells that you never get used to, we got pooped on (birds) EVERY time we left the room, and I got sick from their under cooked restaurant food.

Loud: Birds, at all hours, making VERY loud screeching sounds. Louder and more shrill than you could ever image, at all hours. You won't sleep w/o earplugs...and even then.

Unfriendly: I remember a completely different experience in 2001. Everyone working the island indicated they were new (high turnover?) and were VERY unfriendly. Never got so much as a smile, we were treated like a burden, and they never did anything close to make us feel welcome. At one point (after not sleeping for 2 nights - bird noises, and sick from their food) I asked to see a manager and I was denied the right to see/talk to him (too busy)- thanks Eron! Ended up leaving the island early for a loss or 2 nights, they refused to refund us despite being sick and sleepless from the birds/food.

I would NOT recommend staying there. Yes the beaches are wonderful and the diving is great, but you'll have to endure too much discomfort to make it meaningful. Stay on another island: Green Island, Lizard Island, Hayman Island, etc.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank awb2222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KarenSweeneyHeronIs, Public Relations Manager at Heron Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 30 March 2018

Dear awb2222 please accept my sincere apologies that although you enjoyed Heron Island's wonderful beaches and great diving due to Heron Island's unique location on the Great Barrier Reef, which is a protected habitat for a stunning variety of wildlife, that you found the birds noisy and smelly.
The birds are a critical part of the teeming ecosystem that flourishes on Heron Island where you are very much a guest of the natural environment although we understand an authentic Great Barrier Reef experience is not for everyone so we appreciate your feedback.

The team members who dealt with your request to leave early due to the noisy birds do not recall you requesting to speak to a manager when your request for a refund was unsuccessful.

We are very proud of our wonderful team who work hard to ensure we provide our guests with an enjoyable holiday and the best Great Barrier Reef experience possible.
Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you wish to discuss further.
Warm regards
Karen Sweeney
sales.australia@aldestahotels.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2018

We stayed at the resort only 2 days but we had enough experiences to thrill us for years.
The staff are welcoming, warm, knowledgeable and fun. If you look hard you can find
little cracks and imperfections in the facilities but these should not spoil your time on the island. We saw large turtles laying their eggs, hatchlings and sharks circling for a meal.
You can easily snorkel off the beach to see the majestic rays, turtles, sharks and the colorful Maori Wrasse. Open water snorkeling and diving are fun and readily available.
Dinner was spectacular with great wines or cocktails. Breakfast is not of a high standard but serviceable. The nesting birds are everywhere and we love bird watching.

Room Tip: We stayed in a Wistari Suite and the air-conditioning worked well. Daily reef tours at low tide are a must.
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank waldshut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KarenSweeneyHeronIs, Public Relations Manager at Heron Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2018

Dear waldshut

Thank you for your sharing your appreciation of our beautiful island situated in such a unique location, in a world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park where you can snorkel straight off the beach and of our wonderful staff on TripAdvisor.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Heron Island one day soon!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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