We stayed at Kingfisher Bay resort for 4 night for our honeymoon. We were disappointed with quite a few things. Firstly, when we booked the room through the resort website, we upgraded to a sea view, and also mentioned that we were coming for our honeymoon. However, when we arrived, we were given a room that was dark and dingy, and looked onto a car park. We were very disappointed, so went to explain the problem to the manager. She was not apologetic at all, and first tried to accuse us of not having booked the sea view, as on the hotel system it said 'standard room'. We showed her our confirmation email, which clearly showed the sea view upgrade. After having a brief look, she said there were no sea views available. We said we were happy to pay to upgrade to a villa, but without even checking, she said there were none available.
After some time she found us a room with a slightly better view, but it was definitely not a sea view, or even a water view. Her general attitude was grumpy and that we were putting her out. In the morning, there was a new duty manager at the desk, and I asked if there was any possibility of upgrading to a sea view. I explained the situation, saying that we had upgraded to a bay view when we booked, but still did not have a bay view. She asked what room we were now in, and insisted this was a 'bay view'. I disagreed as the room was not even facing the sea, and she continued to argue with me. I repeated that we had upgraded online, and she said that you couldn't book a bay view online, only a 'sea' view - which of course is exactly what we booked, as I told her. Finally, she found us a sea view for the remaining 3 days, but at no point did she apologise either.
It was disappointing that we had to spend time arguing with staff on our honeymoon . Also, after driving around the resort for 4 days and seeing many empty-looking villas, it seemed to be untrue that that there were no villas available - it seemed more likely that the manager on duty could not be bothered checking.
Another issue was that we ordered a picnic lunch, which when we went to pick up, no one knew what we were talking about. When they found it, it was given to us in a filthy old cooler bag, covered in mould. The bread rolls were missing so we couldn't actually make sandwiches with the fillings provided, and there were no knives to cut the cheese for the crackers! Again, when we returned the mouldy bag, and explained the situation, there was no simple apology.
We still had a good time, despite the rain, and were were impressed with the Seabelle restaurant - both the food and the staff - especially to the restaurant manager, who was very friendly and professional.
The last room was okay but, there were maintenance issues and the grout in the bathroom was filthy, and the bottom of the shower curtains in both rooms were dirty/mouldy. I do understand it is hard to keep bathrooms spotless in this climate, but there needs to be more effort made. We have stayed in cheaper hotels which were far better maintained. We are not uptight people and often go camping, but this was our honeymoon, and so these small details were a bit depressing.
When we checked out, our account was overcharged by $200, which was just the last unpleasant detail. However, there was a new staff member on duty that morning who happily fixed this for us,without arguing which was a relief.
Fraser Island is a beautiful place and we would like to return but our experience has put us off staying at Kingfisher Bay. We think it could be such a great place if all the staff were more professional and better trained. I thought the ability to simply say "Sorry about that, how can we help?" should be fundamental to working in hospitality - it was when I used to work in that industry. The marketing team emailed us asking for feedback, but when we gave them the above feedback, they did not respond.
Kingfisher Bay resort is a good place to explore the island from, but if you want to go somewhere for a special occasion, go somewhere else.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled in the bush overlooking the calm waters of the Great Sandy Strait, this award-winning ecotourism resort on World Heritage-listed Fraser Island is the perfect base to explore the world's largest sand island. The resort incorporates the 152-room Mercure Kingfisher Bay Hotel, self-contained two and three bedroom villas and houses, and a 174-bed Wilderness Lodge for groups. Resort Rangers also guide a variety of four-wheel-drive coach tours or personalised tours of the island. Access to Fraser Island is by ferry only. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mercure Kingfisher Bay Resort Fraser Island
- Kingfisher Bay Hotel Fraser Island
- Kingfisher Bay Fraser Island