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“Incredible, perfect experience”

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Southern Ocean Lodge
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Kingscote
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 February 2012

My husband and I spent a weekend here in early February, we took the 20 minute flight from Adelaide at 9.30 Friday morning, were collected at the airport and transferred to the Lodge by 11.30am. As we flew out at 6pm on the Sunday night we had a full 3 day experience, even though we were only staying for two nights - our room and all facilities were full available to us from start to end.
We were greeted with an itinerary we largely stuck to, chatted to by the manager and plied with wine in front of what must be one of the most incredible hotel lounge views in the world.
The entire complex was painstakingly designed, natural, minimalist and comfortable.
The staff were all incredibly friendly and made you feel at home at what (for the price) I had been a little worried might be a pretentious hotel. Not at all.
Even though the price is extremely high, the fact that everything you could want (apart from high end wines and the spa) is included makes you feel like you're in an incredibly generous environment - the open bar and well stocked cellar was a highlight as was the food. Be warned, the portion sizes are tiny BUT you are being fed 3-4 course meals 3 times a day, plus free mini bar/pantry in your room and canapés at night, so I definitely never felt hungry and actually appreciated being able to enjoy the incredible local flavours without feeling like I'd overindulged!
The basic spa prices are a little high, but the packages aren't too bad. a 2 hour scrub, wrap and massage was $290 and one of the absolutely best spa experiences I've ever had.
Another highlight was the included tours of the island - I've been to KI several times and still loved it. I can only imagine that to overseas visitors, being escorted for bush walks, and exposed to kangaroos, koalas, echidnas and some of the natural wonder of KI must be an incredible life experience.
Overall, the only thing I struggle with is the price, because I'll have to save for a year to get back there for another weekend! I would love to go back though, it was one of the best, most prolonged and relaxing weekends I've ever had.
Thanks to all the staff.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Gnat_the_brat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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498 - 502 of 659 reviews

Reviewed 21 February 2012

It has been three years since we last visited and it’s as amazing as I remember. The view from the main lodge is out of this world, the web site photos hardly do it justice.
The food was outstanding, we eat out regularly in many of Sydney and Canberra’s top restaurant’s and the chef has an exceptional talent with the food being one of the lodges highlights. The portion sizes are perfect considering you are eating three full meals a day. The duck and lamb dishes we had would have to be up there with some of the best food I have ever tasted. I guess it’s the seasonal local produce that the chef is able to showcase that gives the food that something extra.
We also love the style of service where the staff call you by your first name. It makes you feel like you are staying at a friend’s holiday house. Nothing is too much trouble. I was even given my own special menu each meal that had been created to my dietary requirements. Wow, that is a nice touch.
One of the highlights of this visit was a trip out with KI Marine Tours to swim with the dolphins. We have seen dolphins before from boats and in places like Sea World, but this was something else. We spent about an hour snorkeling in shallow clear water as around 40 dolphins including little baby ones swam all around us.
We love the simple warm design of the Lodge interiors and enjoyed the great beach view from our Flinders Suite 2, it was around a 200metre walk from the main room, but we enjoyed this as it gave us a chance to get a little more exercise!
It’s also close to the boardwalk that leads to the beach in front of the lodge which is stunning with its white sand and turquoise water.
We saw an echidna on the way to the lodge from the airport and were able to add a beautiful koala, fur seals, Kangaroos, sea eagles and a goanna to the list after out three night stay. Even as an Australian I get a kick out of that!
Kate took us on a brilliant walk to Snake Lagoon and her knowledge was excellent. We also both loved our massages in the spa, Scott you are a master at what you do.
I’m surprised to read ‘dancing queens’ review…it sounds like she must have been staying elsewhere as we would rate this as one of Australia’s greatest hotels, just goes to show that there is no pleasing some people which is rather sad given that this is a close to perfection as you can get!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jackie Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2012

We are an older, American couple and just spent six nights at Southern Ocean Lodge. There is much to say in its favor - spectacular views of the southern ocean and a generous, full service bar for those who wish to imbibe. What we found lacking are managers who may need a break, as they seem to do their jobs responsibly but by rote. For instance, we were greeted with a planned itinerary for our six days. We could change this and did, but felt it presumptuous on their part. The food is beautifully prepared but portions are meager. We were not informed until the second day that we could choose another menu, "the classical menu," which provided more choices and larger portions. The regular manicure/pedicure cost was quite expensive at $195; the choice of nail polishes were minimal; the plastic shoes needed to be returned. These are small matters, you might say, but show a sense of niggling when we were paying $2400 per night.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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20  Thank effadeffa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarah1971_9, Public Relations Manager at Southern Ocean Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 18 February 2012

Thank you for taking the time to post a review. The team at Southern Ocean Lodge and Baillie Lodges are always seeking feedback as it's only with this that we can achieve the incredibly high standards identified in the vast majority of our reviews. We do understand that not all guests have the same expectations or perceptions and take the opportunity now to comment on the points you have raised...

All guests receive a personalised itinerary on arrival, this has been painstaklingly tailored based on many factors including length of stay, season, special requests, package type and of course availability of guides and vehicles. Our average stay is 3 nights and if we didnt undertake this massive task then it would be simply impossible to deleiver a core Kanagroo Island experience to each and every party, let alone include optional bespoke experiences, spa etc. The Lodge team would have made it clear that you are welcome to change this itinerary as it is just a starting point. The vast majority of our guests welcome the fact that we have done the thinking for them and that they can simply sit back, relax and enjoy the wonders of KI and the Lodge in relaxed style.

We are a epicurean desntination and we pride oursleves on our locally grown organic produce and daily changing menus that allow guests to enjoy a variety of flavours over a number of courses that is often likened to an "elegant sufficiency" - guests are always able to ask for larger portions or sides. We also feature a "Classics" menu, which is designed for the travel weary palette, offering more simple tradtional fare - this should have been mentioned on your first "sitting", however if it was inadvertanlty missed, it is notated at the bottom of each & every lunch and dinenr menu.

Thank you for the feedback on Spa pricing, this has recenlty been reviewed and we are well in line with other detsination spa's in premium lodges or resorts. It is in the interests of waste & sustainabliy that we request plastic spa sandals to be returrned, as they have no other use and we pride outselves of our minimal environmental footprint.

Again thankyou for this feedback which has been shared with our Lodge and Management teams.

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Reviewed 14 February 2012

visited here last year and have been travelling so this review is late.We enjoy "high end" resort experiences and don't mind paying for good environments and service but this lodge failed to meet our expectations at every level.Rooms food and service all poor with lack of care and attention.Room not serviced properly,mould in shower and shabby.
Food not at the standard from dirt in lettuce to blood running out of rare pork,staff had a couldn't care less attitude towards complaints. the external environment the ocean and landscape were spectacular the only high point.I would recommend Saffire Lodge Tasmania over this property any day

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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14  Thank dnacingqueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarah1971_9, Owner at Southern Ocean Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 18 February 2012

Dear "Dnacing Queen"

Whilst we appreciate all valid feedback, it is certainly unfortunate that you have chosen to post this review some 5 months after your stay with us. As you know I was made aware of your concerns in our head office at the end of your stay at the Lodge and spent considerable time discussing your concerns with your husband, investigating and then responding with feedback post stay. Our Lodge team members also tried painstakingly to work through your issues at the time. I am perplexed as to the rationale of posting this review now.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, has different expectations and generally will have a different perspective on a standard or issue. In our case readers will note that the key points noted in this review of Staff, Food, Service and Rooms are all ranking incredibly highly both currently and also over the period of this guest stay in September 2011. As we all know everyone has a bad day at times, no matter the property and in our case we are always very gracious to accept constructive comments. In this situation we do take exception given our otherwise generally excellent feedback and are amazed at the lack of enjoyment of this celebrated and awarded property.

To offer readers some further background we note as follows;

Our Lodge was only 3.5 years old at the time of this review and at a cost of more than $1.5M per room it could hardly be called shabby! The assertion of mould is incorrect and more likely relates to our signature sandblasted white limestone bathrooms which are organic in look and feel. The background re the housekeeping comments relate to our 100% Belgian Linen pillow cases, which you queried our housekeeper on being changed - she explained that this was the look, again natural and organic, as opposed to starched, stiff and formal! When you were out on your 2nd day enjoying the wonders of KI, our maintenance team took the opportunity to "slip in" and touch up a nick of paint that had been noted in your robe area either from your bag or that of a previous guest, on return you commented on the smell. In hindsight we all agree that this was the wrong procedure and it should have been scheduled for after the suite was vacated. We did however immediately provide an alternate suite, which you then complained as being too close to the main complex, so our team then upgraded you to the only other available suite, in this case a 120sm Ocean Retreat Suite. In every case Lodge staff assisted with your belongings to avoid packing and unpacking.

In terms of the food we do pride ourselves on our standards and a quick scan of other reviews will not support these assertions as indicative of our standards - again this is likely to be more a combination of factors and personal taste. Our highly regarded Executive Chef was on leave your first couple of nights and it is unfortunate if there was any natural residue left in your salad, we can only apologise 5 months on. Our local organic pork is served pink as is now the contemporary trend, a simple request to the team would have had this rectified to your liking.
With regards to Saffire in Tasmania, my wife and I have enjoyed this Lodge immensely and agree that it is of exceptional standard. Many of our guests have stayed there enroute to Southern Ocean Lodge and as a general rule it is a close match as to the winner! Each to their own I guess!

As passionate hoteliers that have personally created a globally acclaimed Lodge such as this we hope that other readers place this review into the appropriate context. We also encourage other recent guests to provide their own feedback by way of comparison to the issues raised.

Sincerely | James & Hayley Baillie, Lodge Owners

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Reviewed 13 February 2012

My wife and six year old daughter had a wonderful time at Southern Ocean Lodge. The rooms are very large, wonderfully appointed and have great views of the ocean. Take a stroll down to the beach and make sure to book an excursion (or two) with Exceptional Kangaroo Island tours which can be booked through the hotel. Our Tour of Flinders Chase was a once in a lifetime experience. The communal bar/lounge area is very nice and the restaurant was incredible. We look forward to our happy return.

Room Tip: We stayed in the ocean retreat and loved it!
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  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank SlickWilliam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Southern Ocean Lodge

Address: Hanson Bay Road, Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, South Australia 5223, Australia
Region: Australia > South Australia > Kangaroo Island > Kingscote
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 5 Hotels in Kingscote
Price Range: €1,640 - €2,170 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 en suite. 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 
Also Known As:
Southern Ocean Hotel Kangaroo Island

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