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“Beautiful surrounds but not value for money” 3 of 5 stars
Review of O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, Mountain Villas and Lost World Spa

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O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, Mountain Villas and Lost World Spa
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Lamington National Park Road, Canungra, Queensland 4275, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersGold level
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Beautiful surrounds but not value for money”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013

Recently stayed in a Mountain View room for a few nights. Lamington National Park is an absolutely beautiful place to spend some time. The benefit of staying at O'Reilly's is that it offers very easy access to many walks of different grades and lengths as well as options to relax overlooking some magnificent views of the mountains.

However, I would strongly question the value for money offered. While the room we stayed in was very clean and comfortable and had a lovely mountain view, it was steep at $295 per night. If O'Reilly's didn't have a captive audience (there is really nowhere else to stay up there), they would be hard pressed getting people to pay more than $150 per night for the standard of room.

Moreover, the food is well below average for the price paid (and would still be well below average if it cost a lot less!) There are really no healthy options on the menu (pretty much everything is fried or stuffed or very fatty) and while they claim to respond to dietary requests, I was unable to convince them to grill rather than batter some fish. In terms of cost, I paid $26 for a small pizza consisting of one very doughy base, a few pieces of pumpkin, a smattering of feta and a handful of rocket - to say 'overpriced' is an understatement! I could go on about the appalling standard of food, but I've probably said enough.

Finally, and most importantly, I was very disappointed with the amount of bird feeding that goes on at O'Reilly's. I thought the hand feeding of rosellas outside the lodge was questionable enough, but then I went on a morning bird walk tour and discovered the guides feed the birds on the rainforest track as well! Not only that, they then proceeded to give every participant on the tour some feed to attract the birds - I was absolutely shocked given every national park I've visited in Australia (and many other countries) strongly advises against feeding wildlife. O'Reilly's has a significant responsibility to teach people (including all the children who visit) about conservation and the protection of natural ecosystems, but it was not clear to me they take this responsibility seriously at all. Even if they claim this behaviour is not really impacting the environment in a major way, I just can't help but feel it goes against basic common sense and good practice.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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540 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (175)
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

Great for nature lovers, nice quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Friendly staff, good food, cozy and comfy accommodation. Plenty of activities to choose from where you can commune with nature. Loved it! Will definitely go back with the kids.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jana J, Guest Relations Manager at O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, Mountain Villas and Lost World Spa, responded to this review, February 6, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to review O'Reilly's.

We are glad to hear that you and your partner enjoyed your time with us! Guest feedback is very important for the team, and we are thrilled that you enjoyed some activities, your lodging and the food.

On behalf of the team, we look forward to welcoming your whole family next time around.

Have a great weekend.
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Sydney
Top Contributor
181 reviews 181 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 97 cities Reviews in 97 cities
155 helpful votes 155 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2013

We (2 adults, 2 children aged 9 and 13) stayed in a family room for 2 nights. The room was comfortable and clean with a nice outlook over the valley. We had a double bed, 1 single and a rollwaway.

We spotted about 15 wallabies on the drive up from Canungra in the late afternoon. Pademelons, birds and frogs are easily seen if you walk around the resort grounds. This is a great place for travellers, both domestic and international, who want to see Australian wildlife, particularly birds, up close. We last visited about 12 years ago and the birds are still as abundant as they were back then.

We enjoyed the morning birdwalk, the guide was very knowledgeable and made the walk (which is an easy stroll around the resort) interesting for our 9 year old as well. The benefit of doing the walk was also that the guide identified and explained some of the birds that you see around O'Reilly's, as well as their behaviour and calls, which came in handy when we did some of the local walks.

We also saw the native animal and bird shows (a separate charge applies for these, although it is pretty reasonable compared to what you will pay for similar shows elsewhere in Australia). We would recommend these shows for adults and children who are interested in native Australian animals. The highlight for our daughters was handfeeding 4 squirrel gliders.

The bushwalk to Moran Falls, from the bottom of the villa area, was easy (about 30-40 minutes return) and affords a view of a pretty impressive waterfall.

The forest boardwalk is easy, and you can climb up an observation tower to see the tree canopy up close (lots of native orchids growing up there). This gives good views over the forest as well.

The wishing tree/Mick's tower walk leads down to a gully crossed by a suspension bridge. This track passes past (and sometimes through the middle of) some enormous, and presumably very old, native trees. Be wary of leeches though, we did this walk in the morning after it had rained during the night and between the 4 of us we attracted about 10 leeches (moreso down in the gully rather than at the start of the track).

Breakfast was not included in the room rate and cost $84 for the 4 of us. The breakfast on Saturday was provided in the dining room, and on Sunday was outside. Both were buffet-style and both were good, but the Saturday breakfast had just a slightly more extensive selection of food (including pancakes and stewed fruit). Overall the quality of the food was excellent and a children's menu is available.

Overall, I loved O'Reillys, you really feel as though you are leaving the city behind. My 9 year old daughter, who is really into nature, had the time of her life.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jana J, Guest Relations Manager at O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, Mountain Villas and Lost World Spa, responded to this review, February 6, 2014
Good Morning Leah,

This is one of the better reviews that we have ever received and we would like to thank you for staying with us!

We are pleased to hear that you fully immersed your children in the natural surroundings of the Lamington National Park, it is a great way for the young ones to learn about Australian flora and fauna.

On behalf of the O'Reilly's team, we hope to see you and the family up on the mountain again one day soon. All the best!
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Townsville, Australia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2013

Perfect place just to go and relax for a few days. Superb meals and awesome dining room staff.
The only thing that we had a real issue with was the reception staff. TERRIBLE!!!
We were told that a number of things were inclusive only to find that they were added to our room account!! A very rude surprise to get a $300 bill on our room when checking out. Especially when we had a very tight budget. The receptionists do not appear to know what is going on as we got very different answers from every front counter receptionist. Very friendly for the most, but did't have a clue.
When we asked what was available and about bookings for our next stay, we were told to just go check the internet. They really didn't know.
Although we were only stopping for 3 days, it was only on our last day that were starting to find that there was more to offer that we were unaware of.
Had a great time though, but second guessing making an annual week long stay on our trip south from Townsville.
O'Reilly's offers a lot but it takes a lot of work and it just doesn't seem that they want to put in the effort to sell it to their guests.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jana J, Guest Relations Manager at O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, Mountain Villas and Lost World Spa, responded to this review, December 22, 2013
Thank you for your valued feedback, it is through such feedback we can ensure what we offer and what we are delivering meets our guest’s needs and expectations. I must admit I am surprised of your comments regarding our front office staff. We generally receive very positive feedback about our staff members, a number of TripAdvisor posts will support this. We have forwarded this feedback to management for further action.

It is great to hear that you enjoyed our dining experience and had the opportunity to relax!

It is disappointing to read that we did not meet your expectations on this occasion, particularly with our staff. We hope that you will reconsider another visit for the near future and we can hopefully exceed your expectations on all levels.

Have a wonderful Christmas!
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Fairbanks, Alaska
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2013

Oreillys' Rain Forest Retreat

You can't beat the location! Walk out the front door and you're at the trail heads.

I stayed in a single room. $100 a night which is reasonable given that location. Room was clean. Carpet a bit tattered and cobwebs on the ceiling and in the corners. But essentially clean. Staff was mediocre to nice. Just depended who you ran into. Great views from the rooms.

I didn't participate in their sit down meals. Pretty pricey at $30+ for brekkie and $60+ for dinner. Had lunch at their cafe. Made the mistake of ordering the ribs. I suspect there is an ancient camel carcass someplace out back as the ribs were about as dry and stringy and meatless as I've ever had the misfortune of being served.

Free wifi in the library which was very welcome even if it was also very slow most of the time.

All in all its a great place. It just needs some better attention to detail by the management.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jana J, Guest Relations Manager at O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, Mountain Villas and Lost World Spa, responded to this review, December 22, 2013
Thank you for your valued feedback. It is great to read that you found our location and walking trails to be spectacular. However, I am sorry to read that you found many aspects of your stay to be unsatisfactory.

We usually receive positive feedback about our dining options; I am sorry that you had a disappointing experience. It is comments like these that encourage us to ensure that we are consistent in delivering quality meals, combined with courteous service.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to O'Reilly's, so that you may see an improvement.
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Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2013

Although the title of this review gives you a hind of one of the options at O'Reilly's, it is up to the individual as to how strenuous of relaxing the visit here needs to be.
We first visite O'Reilly's 34 years ago where we were very athletic and walked many miles each day on a different track. Each track offers a different aspect of the Rainforest.
This visit was to relax. We stayed in the Villas and they were extremly confortable and provided every amenity needed with the bonus of fantastic viewe west into the valleys.
We booked a relaxation massage at the Spa and were not dissapointed. The massage went for a full hour and the preparation and care after the massage made it so much more relaxing.
We ate at the restaurant at the Lodge on the 3 nights we stayed and while the menu didn't vary we very much enjoyed the meals and were pleased with the O'Reilly's wines that we ordered with the plates.
This is still a fantastic place to visit as the wildlife either puts you in awe or make you laugh or just takes your breath away.
I don't think that many people realise how special it is to be able to sit down to breakfast and have a Regent Bower Bird, a Satin Bower Bird and their females come and join the meal. Soooo special.
I will be recommending that we make the next visit not so far away as last time.

Room Tip: Just ask for a room with a view. Not too hard to get.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jana J, Guest Relations Manager at O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, Mountain Villas and Lost World Spa, responded to this review, December 18, 2013
Hello Bruce,

Thank you very much for taking the time to review O'Reilly's.

We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your time on the mountain and everything lived up to your expectations. I have passed on your feedback to all of our teams at O'Reilly's up on the mountain.

We hope to see you again soon!

Season's Greetings

The O'Reilly's Team
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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2013 via mobile

Had a great experience here during my one night stay.

We went on the glow worm tour which was outstanding, I would live to return just to experience that again!

The dinner was very tasty, really enjoyed it.

A great experience all round.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jana J, Guest Relations Manager at O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, Mountain Villas and Lost World Spa, responded to this review, December 11, 2013
Hi There,

Thank you very much for taking the time to review our property, the Glow Worm Tour really is spectacular, we are glad to hear you enjoyed it!

As for the dining, I will pass this onto our kitchen team.

On behalf of O'Reilly's we hope to see you on the mountain again one day.

Many Thanks.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, Mountain Villas and Lost World Spa

Address: Lamington National Park Road, Canungra, Queensland 4275, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Scenic Rim > Canungra
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Canungra
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, Mountain Villas and Lost World Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 114
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in World Heritage Lamington National Park, Gold Coast Hinterland, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Mountain Villas and Lost World Spa is the perfect nature escape. Discover a world of lush rainforest, extensive network of bushwalking trails, stunning waterfalls and abundance of unique Australian bird and wildlife. Choose from the traditional charm of O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat or the private luxury of the Mountain Villas. For true rejuvenation, O’Reilly’s Lost World Spa offers therapeutic treatments and unique vinotherapy. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
o`Reilly`s Rainforest Retreat, Mountain Villas And Lost World Hotel Canungra
O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, Mountain Villas And Lost World Spa Australia/Canungra, Queensland

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