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VMNJFN
Launceston, Australia

First Visit to SOL - Suitably impressed

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 8 Apr 2024
We stayed 2 nights as part of an 8 person 5 day air tour covering Flinders, King & Kangaroo Islands. All the amazing 'highlights' have been said before, so will avoid needless repetition other than to say we think SOL is on a par with Saffire Freycinet.
The inclusions were excellent & we were suitably impressed with the vast SA wine selection, the bar area & red wine cellar.
Yes, many of the dining room staff are quite young & from many parts of the globe. The occasional relatively minor hiccup may occur, but we thought the training was very good & the staff truly delightful & caring.
We would definitely be quite happy to return for a less hectic stay & soak in the ambience of the facility & location.
Date of stay: April 2024
Trip type: Travelled with family
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Reviewed 7 April 2024

There is no place on earth (that I've seen) like the Southern Ocean Lodge. It's beautiful, there is nature, luxury, beauty, activities, kind staff, it's a special place.

The trip there is a short flight from Adelaide. There is one flight in and out daily (which caused a bit of an issue on the way back, causing us to miss our connection), and a lodge representative is there to meet you and drive you to the property. It's about an hour to get there, and you can see the inner island on the way.

Upon arrival, you are greeted, personally, by a staff member, with a suggested itinerary for the duration of your stay. They offer activities, times to eat, etc. They are aware of your dietary preferences beforehand.

The rooms are beautiful and modern. The lights and shades, etc. were automated. The bathroom was pretty with a waterfall showerhead. There were lovely photo books, the bed was comfortable - just lovely. The rooms are named after ship wrecks from the area. The rooms are all at an angle for privacy. The views are breathtaking, including seeing the stars at night.

The activities were terrific. The cliff walk was about 45 minutes, it was just challenging enough for most people to be able to do it. The views were amazing. The nocturnal tour was about 15 minutes from the lodge, and we were able to see and hear koalas in the trees, and they gave us hot chocolate and cookies after. The seal beach tour was 45 minutes away, and worth it. We got to go down to the beach before the other tourists, and we had a lot of time on the beach with the sea lions. The sundowners tour was about 10 minutes away, and we saw kangaroos in the field, and had tasty appetizers and champagne. The tour guides were knowledgable and helpful.

The staff was helpful and kind. It's a "thing" in Australia for those who wish to get a visa to fulfill a requirement to work in a rural area for 88 days, and you will find these (mostly younger) people helping you at these resorts. They live in a little village right next to the property and they are from all over the world. They were happy to be there, and it showed.

The food was delicious. I greatly appreciated a "classics" menu, i.e., a menu with less exotic food such as french fries, a burger, caesar salad, spaghetti, etc. The gourmet food was delicious, don't get me wrong, but sometimes you just want some fries. I enjoyed the breakfast with homemade jellies and jams made with fruit from the island - the wild grape jelly was one-of-a-kind.

The bar is open, and you make your own drinks. It's really amazing.

We had a great massage at the spa. Eucalyptus is everywhere, and our aromatherapy massage was perfect.

I do wish they had more merchandise to buy. I understand how that isn't important, but I would have liked to get souvenirs.

I highly recommend Southern Ocean Lodge.

Room tip: There isn't a bad room. If you go during the summer, make sure you bring a jacket as the lodge and transportation is cold with the AC.
Date of stay: March 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank FuninPhx71
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 1 April 2024 via mobile

As advertised; excellent accomodation, food (Kieran made every meal special) and beverage's. The staff are outstanding and provide a personalised service that is unwavering in what they can do for you. Get into the Cliff Top Walk Tour (Dee is the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour guide on the planet), Wonders of KI and Seal Bay Tours.

The downside to this resort, which I was surprised by (but to be fair I didn't search out this information), is that THERE ARE MANY CHILDREN. Which during our stay were robust precocious high decibelled individuals from the northern part of the americas. The wildlife on the night tour shifted suburbs due to the racket. Question of the night was 'do koala's cheat on their wives', followed by the first (quite uncomfortable) pause in monologue on the tour.

I would go back if there was a child free dining room and tour option introduced.

Room tip: announce your romantic intent with a preference for peace and quiet
Date of stay: March 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank kiwi089
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 21 March 2024

The QANTAS flight from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island is short and scenic, but a few passengers on the aircraft had come from as far away as New Jersey, Toronto and London to stay at the Southern Ocean Lodge. Within minutes of arriving at the premises, seeing the amazing building and dramatic view, we started to understand the global pull of Southern Ocean Lodge, and why people would come from the other side of the world to stay there.
The backstory of the Lodge being burned to the ground during the horrendous Kangaroo Island Fires and then rebuilt better than ever gives it added mystique, and the builders and Architect have done a brilliant job.
From the reception experience with the full Southern Ocean in view, to the service in the dining room, the staff exuded warmth and attentiveness.
The rooms were so luxurious and it's hard to believe that just outside the walls it is one of the remotest locations around. We could have just stayed in the rooms for the whole time, but we did force ourselves out to do some tours and spend time at the bar.
Definitely a bucket list experience, and worth the effort.

Room tip: Take the time to do some of the hikes. Not too arduous, but great scenery the whole way.
Date of stay: March 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Storyteller292343
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 7 March 2024 via mobile

The Southern Ocean Lodge could be one of those emblematic hotels where all great travelers dream of staying at least once in their lives: isolated, on the edge of a cliff swept by the winds and waves coming in from Antarctica, its lengthy architecture gives it an undeniable charm, reinforced by a magnificent reconstruction after the dramatic fire that completely destroyed it.  Comfort is absolute, and the decor sumptuous. The young naturalist guides are very committed to their work and show us around the island with passion.

But there you have it ...a magnificent  lodge in an exceptional setting (with an equally 'exceptional' nightly rate) deserves the same level of service, which unfortunately we didn't find.  If felt as that extra touch (of soul ?) was missing, the one that leaves an indelible memory of a hotel. 

It all started at the gym ... where, on my way to a morning session, I discovered some particularly untidy and messy sports equipment (mats full of dust, floor covered in sand, lots of sweat stains from previous users on the treadmill if you must know ...).  These things happen, I was not  going to make a big fuss about it - even if it is quite annoying for a hotel of this caliber, usually there are wipes for everyone to clean up after themselves. So I hasten to gently point this out to the front desk, suggesting that they clean and  put in a box of wipes.  And just for the fun, I took a photo of the device.  In the evening, when I get back to the room from dinner, I'm curious to see if it's all been taken care of.  Well, guess what: the same stains in the same place!  After taking a second picture,  I sent a message to management via the website to report the incident.   The next morning, just before check-out, I tell myself that this time they've cleaned up... Wrong ! (And still no box of wipes). I took a last photo because I thought my wife would not believe it. And several days after writing, I did not receive any reply from management! 

And when it comes to stains, we were not at the end of our surprises.  We discussed with other hotel guests about the restaurant waiters' outfits, some of which were covered in stains or simply had holes in them... That's what you get, for a room costing over 3,000 euros a night ! 

Add to this the uneven food served throughout the stay (the Sunday 'brunch' was a bit of a farce) and all of these are no longer 'details'. 

Is management really interested in customer satisfaction or in something else: their wallets, maybe?   

We stayed there for  3 nights : no one ever asked us if we were enjoying our stay !  There was no document left in our room to review our stay. 

So we're going public, maybe we'll get some attention from them. 

With the hotel 92% full, what's the point of worrying about such 'details'? 

And I can already describe the response that will inevitably  follow  my review : 'we are sincerely sorry... this situation does not reflect  the standards we have set ourselves... We will carry out an investigation and speak with the team...  We note, however, that you found the S.O.L. magnificent and that our naturalist guides delighted you ... Give us another opportunity to prove...blah, blah, blah. '. Too late!  In a hotel such as this one,  you only get ONE chance to make a good first impression.  (And even more so if you've been kindly alerted to a problem ... Because there will always be problems: it's how you deal with them which makes a difference!).

Date of stay: March 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank Love_travel_france
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 20 February 2024 via mobile

This was our 13th visit to SOL and our first to the newly rebuilt lodge. We weren’t disappointed. All the great aspects of the old lodge, prior to the fire, have been replicated down to the smallest detail. The food was wonderful and the staff provided a level of hospitality and friendliness that makes a visit so special. The new rooms are slightly different but still make the most of the incredible views of the Southern Ocean. We will certainly be back for visit number fourteen.

Date of stay: January 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Russell M
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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