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“Luxe castaway” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lizard Island Resort

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Lizard Island Resort
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Via Cairns, Lizard Island, Queensland 4871, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lizard Island
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Luxe castaway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

At first we were bummed that Qualia was booked, but after 5 days at the Lizard Island Resort, I cannot imagine a better luxury island experience anywhere else in the world.

A couple of things, Lizard Islsnd Resort is the only resort on the island and the room rate is all-inclusive.

Chartered flight into the island offers a gorgeous aerial view of the length of Great Barrier Reef, a bird's eye view of one of the great natural wonders of the world, also possibly the fastest way to see the reefs.

Upon arrival on a landing strip in the middle of the jungle with a veranda as the terminal, you are escorted to the resort. The resort is quietly luxurious while respecting nature with thoughtful touches everywhere, hammock and day bed on your private patio, scented oil burning upon your return from dinner. With only 40 bungalows, each bungalow has great privacy. The resort is so intimate and safe, there are no lock on the door and no key. If you are a person who needs a TV, a big party scene or Universal Studio style entertainment, this is not for you.

The snorkeling right off the resort's main beach is some of the best snorkeling of my life and the dive trip with the resort's dive shop is a once in the lifetime dive. I've done a bit of snorkeling and diving in the Caribbean and Hawaii, but nothing compares to the Great Barrier Reefs. The dive shop took wonderful care of the guest, totally necessary given the rough trip out to the Cod Hole.

The food and chef at the restaurant are amazing - they should have a Michelin Star. I'm a foodie and I loved every single meal in my 5 days on the island. The wines with each meal are mostly Australian and New Zealand, very well curated wine list. When I think about the logistics of getting everything from the mainland to the island, it makes every flawless meal even more precious.

The service by everyone was genuinely joyous and professional at the same time. We felt like family by the end of our trip.

We loved being driven by the staff in a speed boat to a completely private cove of our choice, where the staff set up our 7 course lunch on an empty beach and we enjoyed 2 hours of munching on delectable food and snorkeling another part of the island - heaven!

Lizard Island is certainly pricey, but it is worth every single penny. Once you step onto the island, everything (except diving) is included in your room rate - meals, snacks, alcohol, mini bar, transportation to deserted coves on the island, use of water sporting equipment... Truly an all-inclusive resort.

Don't hesitate, book it now! It is an amazing trip of a lifetime. I have a giant smile on my face every time I think about those 5 days at this resort, it is impossible to put a price tag on that kind of memory.

Stayed August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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305 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
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English first
Gold Coast Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

Have recently been on our third trip to the island and stayed for 7 nights. My husband and I love the place. We are keen snorkellers and love walking down to the beach first thing of a morning for a snorkel in the sheltered bay. Having access to a motorised dinghy is a plus for exploring beaches and islets around the island. We also went for a dive further out on the reef at the 'cod hole' and it would be one of the best water experiences we have had (we have been fortunate to travel extensively throughout the world snorkelling and diving). The restaurant is world class and wait staff are lovely. The rooms, although clean, are beginning to look a bit tired.

Room Tip: Sunset rooms are private and above a lovely beach.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
usa
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2014

If you like to get away from it all to enjoy what the natural world has to offer and still have a bit of luxury, this is the perfect destination. It is certainly tucked away off the beaten path. We took a plane from the US to Sydney and then another to the Port Douglas/Daintree area. After that journey, we took a small plane over to the island. You will actually enjoy the short plane ride from the northern coast of Australia - the views over the reefs are a wonderful introduction to what will be an amazing stay on Lizard Island. The resort is quite expensive, even in the off season... but, it is worth every penny. You will be rewarded with beautiful beaches, awesome views, lovely island style (which mean luxurious, but not perfect) accommodations, fabulous access to the Great Barrier Reef and a nice selection of excursions planned expertly by the Lizard Island staff. If you are planning to go to the Great Barrier Reef and can fit this splurge into your budget, you will not be disappointed!

A few things to note: There are plenty of things to do on Lizard Island, but it IS small and remote. If you are quickly bored, on a tight time schedule or worried about the expense - do not hesitate to go for a shorter stay. It is worth the trip and would be fine for a short adventure. You could stretch your Great Barrier Reef budget a little by staying around Port Douglas or another spot first and then take just a few nights over on Lizard Island. I think three nights would be wonderful - even two, if you need to condense things. Make sure you schedule the short plane ride from the main island over to Lizard Island early, so you can get the first flight over and the last flight out to maximize your time.

Try to arrive on a day that will allow you to go to the Cod Hole - a magnificent diving spot with HUGE fish and so much sea life all around you that you simply cannot miss this! Trust me! I was speechless - so worth the entire trip to see this area alone. Also, be sure to ask for the drop off at the clam bay, where you can snorkel over giant clams... right there by the main hotel.

You cannot exceed the luggage limit that they give you for the short plane ride over to the island. The airport that you leave from for Lizard Island is small and very private and does have luggage storage. I felt completely fine leaving my valuable things there. You will want to have smaller luggage that you can downsize into ready to go.

We went to Lizard Island during the "winter" season - which some warned us against. It was just into this time and the travel books note that wind can be an issue and of course, the water temperatures are cooler. We were absolutely delighted with this choice, as the time of year we selected was when the stingers and other troublesome creatures were not present. We had no issues, really would not have needed stinger suits. We wore them anyway, as they were comfortable and we are cautious - but this was a big plus to not have to worry about so many things that could hurt us. We wondered why the travel books did not mention this positive aspect of this time of year?! The days were warm and sunny - perfect weather! Not too hot, but hot enough to make you so happy to hit the water. Throughout our time around the Great Barrier Reef and in the Outback - we experienced great temperatures, total sunshine and almost no wind... along with the added bonus of having some of the dangerous creatures of Australia out of commission. Sydney was cooler, but it was similar to a fall temperature in the eastern US... nothing uncomfortable and we were not in the water near Sydney. Just another factor to consider.

Room Tip: Sunset views are a thing of great beauty here - ask for a villa or cottage with a water and sunset v...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2014

The resort is great. We stayed in the "cheapest" room and it had great views and great accommodations. The food is excellent. A highlight of the trip was when we got to take one of hte private boats by ourselves to a hidden island. We had forgotten to bring the cooler the resort packed for us, but they tracked us down by their own little boat -- thank goodness because that cooler had our beer! It was a fantastic option and I highly recommend you do it.

My one complaint is that on a resort-based snorkeling trip I swam face first into a Portuguese man-o-war. I was in immense pain and told the snorkeling guide who said something along the lines of "it wasn't a box jellyfish, it's nothing" and turned away from me. I ended up needing to go to the resort nurse who had to give me medicine and I was kind of physically deformed on my face for a couple weeks until it healed. I would've preferred some immediate medical treatment or at a minimum a "that's terrible, what can I do to help?"

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 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.
Hong Kong, China
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2014

My husband and I visited Lizard Island Resort for 4 nights in December 2013, staying in the Anchor Bay suites. I had always wanted to see the Great Barrier Reef and it is as breathtaking and stunning as I had always imagined. As for the Lizard Island resort, we were most impressed with staff. They are all so friendly and very helpful. It is obvious they are love their work and take pride in the island and the reef. Lizard Island is the perfect place to go to chill- wake up early, eat healthy meals, no mobile phone access, swim/dive in pristine waters, read, go to bed early. If I could change one thing it will probably be the time we visited. End of December was peak summer. It was fairly hot and even applying high SPF sunscreen nonstop, you will get burn to crisp. I am not sure if the intense sunshine would have been different any other months, though.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014

We stayed 2 nights here and wish it had been longer.The island is stunning.The resort is well designed and maintained.Food was excellent.We did the all day trip to the outer reef and snorkelled twice there,amazing.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brissy
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014

We just had the absolute pleasure of staying at one of the most beautiful places in the world. Lizard Island on the northern end of the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most luxurious, relaxing wonderful places we have ever been to. Swimming in Aqua blue water with turtles, looking at magnificent giant clams and coral gardens with millions of stunning colourful fish as far as the eye could see. White sandy beaches all to ourselves. The Lizard Island Resort is absolutely beautiful and the staff are so friendly and engaging. They really treat you like you are a celebrity! The food is first class, many courses for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the best wines of course. We stayed in the Anchor Bay Suites which have your own private deck and day bed and view to the water. A few steps and you are snorkelling off the beach into crystal clear waters. At night you can see the whole Milky Way from the beach. The sunsets are breathtaking. The only downfall....at some stage you have to go home. Our holiday was faultess from the moment we arrived til the moment we departed this little piece of heaven.

Room Tip: Anchor Bay Suites are the best. Your own deck and day bed and a few short steps to the beach. Stunni...
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  • Stayed April 2014, 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lizard Island Resort

Address: Via Cairns, Lizard Island, Queensland 4871, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Lizard Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lizard Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Lizard Island Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 40
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Lizard Island Hotel Lizard Island
Lizard Island Resort All Inclusive

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