More about Kingfisher Bay Resort Fraser Island
Hated the Kingfisher Bay Resort
We have just arrived back from Oz, what a wonderful country, apart from the Kingfisher Bay Resort, a disappointment of all the places we stayed in and most expensive of all our accomodation.
I must admit I did not quite believe all the earlier reports of it being a not so nice place to stay. But the earlier reports about this accomodation still exist. We arrived in mid December from Hervey Bay, initial check in at Hervey Bay looked great and quite professional, but once upon the island boy did that change. Once you disembark from the boat you are herded into 2 tiny buses which is a tight squeeze and then driven to the resort reception. When you reach reception you are then herded into the lounge area of the resort where you have to wait while they sort you into your room and villas, it would not be to bad if they used a microphone rather than just speaking, with more than 30 familes etc to sort out and just speaking in a low voice does not work, and we had to ask people to keep quiet so we could hear what the person was saying.
We stayed in a 2 bedroom villa, with spa. I was extremely disappointed with the condition of the place, I understand it is in a rain forest and prone to varying weather conditions, however this should not extend to the interior of the villa! The interior was very dated in a satsuma coloured walls way. The carpets in all the rooms were stained and marked and the bedding was musty. When I pulled back my covers the sheets were all marked and stained and the pillows where brown and smelt of sweat. At this point I was not amused, I rang reception and asked if they could change the pillows, I got a rather well if we must kind of attitude, eventually they were. The other thing that freaked me out totally was there was a spider in between the sheets. I hardly slept that night in the other bed in the room, with the fear of what else was lurking. when we pulled the beds away from the wall we noticed they were mouldy. The spa was more like a foot spa, I can only imagine it was built for one !
The whole villa complex was dirty and in need of a good slap of paint and dust and clean, with no cobwebs hanging down. I appreciate that they have lots of people going through, but imagined at least the bedding would be fresh and the place clean. In the villas there is no air con, so you get very warm and sweaty.
Pools;- Pools were clean and tidy
Food & Drink:- food and drink are quite expensive, but I guess thats due to the location
Fraser Island, beautiful place would visit again, but this time stay in Eurong seems much nicer and accomodation more modern and cleaner looking. I would perhaps next time maybe look at staying in Hervey Bay and do the transfer across to fraser on a day basis and save stacks of money than paying the inflated prices on Kingfisher Bay Resort.
All I can say in closing is I do not stay in luxury accomodation all the time, but what I do expect from any hotel, whatever the price, is that it is clean and comfortable, sadly something that the Kingfisher Bay resort sadly lacks.
Ferry to Fraser Island
I stayed in Hervey Bay and went on a bustour of Fraser Island. (Unfortunately it is so long ago that I have forgotten the name of the company).
From Hervey Bay you can sail to Moon Point and Kingfisher Bay resort.
From River Heads (just south of Hervey Bay) you can sail to Wanggoolba Creek.
There's also a ferry between Inskip Point and Hook Point.
Great Island, not so good resort.
Lets start with Fraser Island first. FANTASTIC. One of the most beutiful places on earth. If you go to Aus then you have to make time to visit. The 4WD tours of the island are brilliant and the drivers are very knowlegable. If you have a bad back, then give the tours a miss, because there are no roads and the drive is very bumpy. Lake McKENZIE was the most amazing place i have ever been. The lake is filled with fresh water and is great for swimming and you will never see white sand like this anywhere else. We even had a wild dingo drinking from the lake while we sunbathed on the beach.
Now onto KINGFISHER bay resort. You walk into the main reception and you think...Not bad at all. Then you take a closer look and see that this place needs a major make over. The decor is dark and filled with wicker chairs and a bit grubby. It definately seems to be some sort of 80's throwback. The staff I could not fault, they were friendly and polite and very helpful. The rooms, to be honest ar not great. For a resort with the reputation we had heard of before arrival, both myself and my wife were really disappointed. The bed was hard and lumpy, an the sheets looked as though the were stolen from an old wooden deck chair. It was clean enough, appart from the big blob of blood we found on the floor near to the main door. You have a deck outside with a table and chairs which is nice, until you try to get out there and find that the sliding patio doors which you think are attached to the frame in fact are not and your standing there trying to hold onto them to stop them falling off. I particulary liked the set out of the bathrom with the toilet directly opposite a large window (which has no blinds or curtains). This window looks directly out onto the main walkway, and although there is a wooden fence, you can see through the gaps, and If I can see through, then Im pretty sure the oher guests could.
There are two restraunts there and I have to say that at Seabells we had an amazing meal. It was not to pricey and I have to give them credit for the service and quality of the food. Please, please, please do not go to the Sand Bar for food. Unless you like the tast of dog food and the soft rythmic sound of ping pong you won enjoy it. Ordering your food is easy enough, but they have some weird way of collection which will result in you getting your food 10 minutes before anyone else. The food truly was awful, you have been warned. Overall you have to visit this island, but you dont have to stay at Kingfisher Bay resort. It's not completely horrible, but there are better places to stay.
This Island resort feels a little bit lost.
Kingfisher Bay resort was a disappointment from the moment we disembarked.
The check-in at Hervey Bay was smooth and very polite. We were able to leave our bags with them and have lunch and told that our bags would be brought to our room for us.
We were informed before disembarking that there would be a little road train to take the staying guests to reception for the orientation by the rangers. Imagine our surprise when the train was filled by staff and the musicians and we were left to walk (admitedly it's not far, but not the point either). Arriving in the lobby you are at first impressed by the architecture that tries to balance the natural harmony of the surroundings and then you notice that things are a little bit jaded. Anyway, reception, informing them that we have only just managed to get here as the train was full, they simply directed us to where the ranger was standing handing out the keys. No apologies, no welcome drink, just "down there". Finally made it to our rooms, no bags as yet. The rooms are fine but smell musty. They are very basic in layout but we were not there for the rooms alone.
When you check-in you are given a brochure of the Island and the Resort. The basics on the island and some useful information on the Resort. ie. Activity times, restaurant specials and times, etc. Now you would think that an Island resort that is only 30 minutes from a Fishing Harbour would be able to supply an awesome Seafood Buffet. Unfortunately you would be wrong. The Seafood part of the Buffet involves Prawns, Mud Crab, Oysters and some Salt & Pepper Squid, not much bang for your buck. If like me you are not that big a seafood fan then you can eat a Roast and some other items but you still pay for the Seafood Buffet. To add injury to insult, if you are tempted to eat something nice and hot be careful, the steam that escapes between every tray is very hot. I saw quite a few guests drop the tongs. Well, that was Maheno. By the way, by this time service standards had dropped even further and we were left waiting for our reserved table for 15 minutes and then were told it wasn't available and had to sit elsewhere.
The second night we had booked dinner at Seabelle as the welcome brochure showed Crocodile, Emu and Kangaroo on the menu. The service here is so much better than at Maheno's that there is no comparison. Alas, it seems that the brochure we received was 6 months out of date and those menu items were no longer available. sigh.
Admittedly the tours we did were very and showed the island of very well. The rangers were informative and truly cared for their environment.
Would we go back to Fraser Island? Yes.
Would we stay at the Kingfisher Bay Resort again? No, there are other option for accommodation and i would highly reccomend trying them.
Go to Fraser but not this resort......the luxury tents are nicer!!
Stayed at the Kingfisher Bay Resort for 3 nights, I was on a business educational with a few travel colleagues so our experience was probably different to everyone else’s as I suppose the staff tried harder so that we would give them a good review!! Had no qualms with the staff at all, TC from reception was very helpful and always had a smile. Our waiter was brill (can't remember his name??)......English but had lived there for years!
Reception: Very grand from the onset, but getting closer, things look tired and could really do with a make over, looks a little or should I say a lot like the eighties with all the wicker chairs and coffee tables.
Rooms: Hmm, bit like Butlins, very basic, beds with holes in the sheets, bathroom, balcony, hair dryer, phone yadda yadda yadda, but then I don't suppose you'll be spending much time in there or should I say you wouldn't want to. A couple of our group had a bit of a fright when they turned on the air con and a cock roach fell out.......makes me shudder just thinking about it!
Restaurants: Maheno - Food not great! Australia has all that fantastic fruit out there and they had tinned??? Couldn't quite work that out myself? I suppose it was to do with the importing?? Buffet was not good at all and I think I must have lost a few pounds during my stay and believe me I am not a fussy eater and will try anything once and that's the way it stayed......"once"!! Seabelle - The al a carte menu was better but then this I thought was expensive for what you got. The Sand Bar & Bistro: Bistro? I think this must be a joke?? Yuk, this was awful! The ordering system was a complete shambles, everything comes out at different times so you could get your order 10 mins before someone else on your table. I ordered a seafood platter and was expecting some nice fresh seafood...uh uh it was a load of deep fried mess on a plate with chips. I asked for vinegar and this came in a plastic cup?? At this point I just wanted out of the place……..
Bars: Went to the Jetty bar once to watch the sunset, which from the jetty is beautiful. If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of a dingo while you’re there. Best time to see one is about 5 am down here but the bar’s closed then. The Dingo bar: Great place to meet people, lots of backpackers who have organised their own trips to the island and are camping which seemed like much more fun! Ended up getting totally wasted and then time to call the hotel bus to pick us up to go back to the resort……
Tours: Now this was more like it, getting away from the resort and really getting to see the island, although beware, take note: NOT ADVISABLE TO HAVE A FEW DRINKS THE NIGHT BEFORE IF YOU’RE GOING ON A TOUR!! There are no roads and the 4WD buses have to get around on the sand and this can be very bumpy, the rangers that take you are very knowledgeable and keep you entertained by giving you the schpeel of the island. Lake McKenzie, WOW, what a beautiful place, the day we went was a scorcher and it was so nice to get in the lake, freshwater so you can swim around with your eyes open. The sand here is so fine that you can clean your jewellery with it, also we were told that it makes an excellent facial and made you look younger, all us girls had it smeared all over our faces!
All in all I had a fab time on Fraser as it was unlike anywhere I had been before. Next time I will definitely go and stay in one of the luxury tents I saw as these were a much better standard and would probably be a lot more fun!!
Don't be swayed by some bad reviews.....
The people who are knocking the Kingfisher need a reality check. Of course it is not the "meet my every whim" type of resort, but the Kingfisher is not priced that way either. I will make one comment that the photos posted on-line by the resort do somewhat overstate the luxury of the place, but that is to be expected. People need to remember two huge factors when evaluating the Kingfisher. First -- it is not priced as a luxury resort, period. Second -- the resort is built and maintained on an island made entirely of sand. It is a wonder that it can support any type of accommodation at all.
The Good -- We found the food in the restaurant to be of very, very good quality. The service, although stretched a bit thin, for sure, was excellent. We only ever ate in the non-buffet restaurant, but it seemed as if unless one went wild with entrees and desserts that the sit down option was actually a bit cheaper than the buffet place.
The Bad -- Yes, if a family of 4 wants to just grab a burger and some chips or a simple, cheap meal....well, think again. For breakfast, the coffee shop in the little village is an option. For dinner, however, not many options. Suggestion -- find out what time the group tour is leaving and get to the coffee shop about 30 minutes before that if you want any sort of coffee or muffin/toast/scone.
The rooms are simple, but clean. Someone else on this board complained about the yellowing shower curtain....I must have missed the 'Four Seasons' sign out front....come on....give it a break....the rooms are fine.
Fraser Island itself is one of the most fantastic places on earth. Book a car hire in advance and try your hand at beach and trail driving. See the spots at your own pace. The group tours will probably cover more ground than you will in a car hire, but the self-drive is a blast and worth EVERY penny. They could charge me twice what they did and I'd do it again. You'll need a permit to drive on the island which is available from reception for about $25 USD. Driving the 4WD on Fraser can only be described as thrilling.
One of the biggest negatives of Fraser is the arrival. If you are coming from the airport, a rather surly man will pick you up and take you to the wharf. You'll board the ferry with many, many other people. Some are overnight guests, but the hotel also takes people over for meals and other tours, so the ferry is packed. After you arrive on the wharf a train car type thing takes you up to the resort. You then all enter the lobby of the hotel where a reception staff person calls everyone out by name. This process lends the whole thing sort of a camp/weekend retreat feeling, for sure, but it actually seemed quite efficient. The problem is, the whole thing feels a bit rushed and crowded.
We found the staff to be generally outstanding. We had no problems. Again, if you're complaining that the bar closes at 11pm....well, you're probably not at the right place to begin with.
Even if you're not sold on the Kingfisher, don't skip Fraser Island on your trip to Oz. It is absolutely remarkable in every way.
horrible, sack the staff and start again
We were on our honeymoon, no champ and strawberries on arrival < as advertised in our package, staff seem to all be back packers here 4 a good time at the expence of the resort, not at all interested in assisting us or even saying hello, our poter was the only person that spoke to us before us making first conversation, he was friendly!
House keepers rude and not even looking where they were going, nearly ran inot us with trolley.
Seafood buffet plentyful but not fresh as discribed
A lacarte food great < pity about the service
Watched as a manager sampled wine from a bottle he allowed a guest to byo into the lobby bar, then sat at the table with this man for a yarn, while we waited for service - we just went back to our room ...should have said some thing but it seemed that this man was the only person on as all the young staff were crouded around a table of young roudy boys - possibly off duty staff.
Mainland staff friendly - i guess they are permenant as apposed to tepmk island staff.
If the service had have been better im sure i would have better to say.