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“The Most Spectacular Lodge In The World” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Southern Ocean Lodge

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Southern Ocean Lodge
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Hanson Bay, Kangaroo Island, South Australia, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Kangaroo Island
west palm beach, florida
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“The Most Spectacular Lodge In The World”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

Everybody who enters the reception area of the Southern Ocean Lodge is speechless and breathless. The view is the most spectacular I have ever seen as the lodge is perched about 20 stories on the cliff of Kangaroo Island overlooking the beaches and the wild surf of the Southern Ocean.
Each Suite is equally spectacular with an enormous walk in closet, a large sleeping area with controls to open and close the window treatments, a beautiful living room area with chairs and sofas, and a bathroom area that also wows you with an enormous open shower facing the ocean as well as a large soaking tub. There is also a private outdoor area with a queen size bed for lounging.
All of your meals and liquor are included in the room rate and the service and food are superb. If one does not desire the daily menu there is an additional standard menu with salads, pasta and comfort foods always available The daily home made ice cream and sorbet choices are an added treat. Within an hour of our arrival most of the staff knew who we were.
The daily excursions are included with choices of hikes, bike rides, touring what are called the Remarkable Rock Formations, the sea lion and seal colonies and of course getting to see lots of kangaroos, wallabies and Koala bears. Some of the excursions are during the day and others are at dusk as the kangaroos and Koala bears are nocturnal.
The Southern Ocean Lodge is ranks in the top three of 6 star resorts that we have ever been to. It was worth every penny. We were there three nights but wish we could have stayed longer. What a hidden gem.

Room Tip: Every room is spectacular
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  • Stayed January 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
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398 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (144)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
King's Lynn, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
281 reviews 281 reviews
67 hotel reviews
Reviews in 115 cities Reviews in 115 cities
240 helpful votes 240 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

When you're greeted at the airport by someone who has you and your luggage in the mini-bus within 5 minutes of landing, you can be confident that you are going to be well looked after. When arrival an hour later at the SLO sees a similar disappearing luggage trick, the registration process comes to you rather than the other way round to enable you to get stuck into a cold glass of sparkling wine and a salmon sandwich, you're absolutely certain. When you enter your room to find a bottle of Bollinger on ice in front of one of the best views you've ever seen, you just want to stay here for the rest of your life.

This is a hotel where the actual experience is every bit as good as the pictures on the web site suggest when it comes to location, views, design and quality of the resort. The impact of the Great Room with its vast panoramic views is mentioned by most visitors perhaps because it's the first thing you see when you come into the building. What still surprised me was the scale of the room which is large enough to guarantee that everybody who wants to can enjoy an uninterrupted view of the cliffs, beach, coastline and miles of open water beyond through the enormous, floor to ceiling windows. The suites snake down the hillside in one long low building which from a distance is almost invisible against the bush. The location at the south west of the island is remote and beautiful and the sensitive design of the buildings means that there is little to be seen from outside even when in close proximity.

The rooms are as carefully designed as the main part of the hotel. We had one of the smallest suites and while at nearly £1400 per night the term 'smallest' is relative, it was actually huge with 4 distinct areas. The bed was large and very comfortable. Electronic blinds enabled us to lie in bed, listening to the waves breaking on the rocks and looking out on a similarly magnificent view to that from the Great Room. There is a large walk-in wardrobe with his and hers sections next to a mini bar full of complimentary wines, beers, soft drinks, chocolates, cheese and snacks. The bathroom included a rain shower from which again we could look out into the distance. The lounge area incorporated a settee big enough to seat 6 and a wealth of reading material that included a history of the Kangaroo Island shipwrecks after which the rooms are named. (We were in 'Eva' - a steam tug of 8 tons lost in Antechamber Bay in 1903 - fortunately no lives lost.) There was a good-szed balcony with a day couch. Throughout the room, quality materials have been used (natural stone, local hardwoods, ceramics, wool) and the decorations are both apposite (a kangaroo motif is followed through in cushion covers, carpet and pictures) and tasteful. Attention is paid to the smallest details: slippers are made of alpaca; tooth brush mugs are hand-thrown local pottery; a copy of 'Dinkum Dunnies' (Don't know? Don't ask!) is left for your perusal in the smallest room; free Wi Fi is available most of the time despite the remote location; turn-down service chocolates on the pillow alternate between kangaroos and koalas.

Nothing passed between our room and the horizon apart from the occasional possum slinking across our terrace or the pair of ospreys sailing on the thermals before returning to their nest on the cliffs. The design of the hotel means that you are not overlooked by any other room and can enjoy complete privacy. One feature of the design is that the hotel is built on a significant slope. The largest suite is the furthest from the main buildings of the hotel. We were around the half way mark downhill (or up, if going to dinner) and anyone with mobility issues might well find this a struggle. There was certainly much less traffic back and forward to rooms than one would find in a 'normal' hotel.

The high cost of the accommodation reflects the fact that this is a fully inclusive resort with unlimited food and beverages. Dinner and lunch chef's menus (4 and 3 courses respectively) reflect the fact that you are eating regularly and portion sizes are adjusted accordingly but for those with even huger appetites than mine, there is also a menu of standard dishes in larger portions. The food was both imaginative and (apart from a tomato soup which resembled un-sieved passata) very good - better, I thought, than our dining experience earlier in the same week at Appellation - and there was an impressive focus upon locally sourced ingredients. Particular mention should be made of the local cheeses which were as good as in any top class English of French restaurant. Wine suggestions are made for each dish but as there is no sommelier you can do equally well by looking through the cellar of South Australian wines and selecting your own. There are wineries on KI itself and I particularly enjoyed the wines from French-owned The Islander.

Although SOL is wonderful it is not perfect which, given the cost, some guests appear to be expecting. We had reservations about some aspects of restaurant service although the very isolation of SOL which appeals to visitors (and, I suspect, the relatively low wages on offer) must make it very difficult to attract staff. There is a high turnover of employees and we met none from KI itself. Most were on short term visas from Europe and some were clearly unskilled in the upper end of the hospitality industry. One of the things that irritated us was food intolerances being notified in advance and confirmed on arrival then ignored in the restaurant. As a suggestion, it would be wiser for SOL to put more effort into training staff in key waiting skills than asking them all to learn and use your first name.

It would be unfair to attach too much significance to this and it certainly didn't ruin our holiday but when everything else is so impressive such things stick in the memory. Housekeeping by comparison was peerless. Rooms were left unlocked and there were no signs to hang on the door; we were never disturbed by housekeeping staff yet whenever we returned to the room it seemed to have been cleaned and used linen replaced.

Some additional experiences and excursions are included in the standard room rate, others can be added on. The former were less enjoyable because of the size of the party and others' limitations: there was too much to see in the time available for the half-day Wonders of KI trip; on the Kangas and Kanapes evening there was more interest by others in drinking wine from plastic glasses than having close encounters with the wildlife; the Cliff Top Walk was more like a ramble from an old folks' home.

The individual tours are not cheap but are well worth while. Thanks to our excellent guide Harley, our Night Time Walk saw us encounter countless wallabies and kangaroos, a Ring-Tailed Possum with a baby on its back; a rare Bookbook owl; and most exciting of all a fight between 2 male koalas, one of whom ran over my wife's feet to chase the other out of his favourite tree - lots of unpleasant guttural sounds and screeches, a bit like a Saturday evening in Leeds city centre. Harley also led our Platypus Walk where again we had a fantastic koala encounter within seconds of leaving the car. (No platypus, however, apparently as likely an encounter as seeing the Loch Ness Monster.) You are able to walk unaccompanied from SOL to Hanson Bay and beyond; we saw nobody else while we were doing so.

SLO is aimed squarely at the affluent and, apart from the occasional honeymoon couple, you will be in the company of a 'mature' clientele. Americans are much in (sometimes loud) evidence and there are plenty of Aussie city dwellers but the mighty Australian dollar seems to be deterring the British. One final comment: when planning the holiday we had imagined we would have a lot of spare time around the hotel to relax; in fact, we found ourselves on the go for the whole 4 days of our stay.

  • Stayed February 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

We visitied SOL with the intention of doing a fair bit of bush walking. Unfortunately, the flies were horrendous and made it impossible to spend any length of time outside during the day, when we were away from the coast and coastal winds. I know this is not the fault of the lodge and certainly they did their best providing various fly sprays and lotions which the flies seemed immune to!

Anyway,our magnificent room with lovely views of the magnificent coast line, the lovely massive bath and lots of reading material, meant we spent lots of time realxing. Together with the included touring we had a great mix of activities and with 4 nights at SOL never felt we were hurrying to fit things in.

We ate far too much, but it was so hard when there were so many lovely choices. I would say the first lunch and dinner were was just OK (was the head chef off?), but from then on the meals were without exception wonderful. Particularly enjoyable were the breakfasts, that were interesting and never too heavy. Although the canapes each night were frequently to die for, and together with the cocktails that one of the lovely staff made for me each night, a really enjoyable evening when all you have to do is finish with walk (downhill ) to your room.

Room Tip: It's a long walk down to some of the rooms. If this is an issue for you, perhaps request a room...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Memphis, TN
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

The Southern Ocean Lodge does not ever disappoint.

Luxurious accommodations with beautiful ocean views from the room & private balcony. The lodge is very secluded and with only 21 rooms the staff to guest ratio allows for personal attention. Within a few hours of arrival they knew our names, and by the next day they knew what we liked to drink and eat.

The lodge includes all your meals; lunch and dinner are definitely gourmet and would rival any top restaurant. You can help yourself to all the wine, beer and spirits you want; and the selection is extensive.

They offer many activities that expose you first hand to the beauty of Kangaroo Island and bring you face to face with kangaroo's, wallabies, and Kuala bears. I highly recommend the nocturnal outing. If you want to take it easy, you can lay on the beach or patio.

Their spa offers a wide variety of treatments; we enjoyed the massage therapy.

No hesitation at all in recommending this resort.

Room Tip: If you want a bath tub, you must request it as many rooms have showers only (open to a beautiful vie...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new jersey
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

We visited Kangaroo Island many years ago for the day and always dreamed of coming back. When we saw SOL on the web, we knew it was time. We loved Kangaroo Island as much, if not more. We loved the SOL. The setting, the lodge, and the rooms are just beautiful...but...I was disappointed. When we booked our trip, many months prior, we told them of our dietary restrictions (we don't eat fish). They're not so difficult, but they made it difficult. On the second day when I came to the front desk to discuss our needs (and I still don't know the person's name), they told me they never received our requests and "you know, this is a small island". In fact, in the middle of our discussion, the person left me because someone had gotten hurt (which I totally understand), but instead of addressing it further and telling me not to worry, they will accommodate us, they never came back to address the issue even though she saw us almost every day. At every meal, it was tough. Ash, the restaurant manager, instead of listening one time to what our needs were, he would cut me off and then provide me what he thought we wanted. It wouldn't have been difficult if he just would have listened. In fact, throughout our trip through Australia and remote areas of New Zealand, each and every time we stayed at boutique lodges, the management would address our requests, and made it a non issue. This complaint should not be a reason for anyone not to go to SOL. It is absolutely great. It's just that the management needs to know that their staff needs to get dirtier, get to know their people, and know that what seems to be a small issue to them, is a big one for the guest. The management staff (the young interns are great, especially Steph) needs to connect with the guests. We didn't get that feeling. We felt that they knew they had a great resort (which they do) and they seemed impersonal. I hope this review elicits some customer service training, which will make a great resort like SOL, even greater.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 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.
James B, Owner at Southern Ocean Lodge, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your appraisal, we are delighted Kangaroo Island lived up to your expectations. Your comments regarding meals are most appreciated as our kitchen team pride themselves on making sure all dietary requests are catered for and craft individual guest menus to accommodate all tastes. Naturally, we regret if we let you down in this area. Your feedback was most insightful and has been shared with the team. We value your overall rating and commentary leading to a rank of 'very good' ~ thank you again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

I cannot fault the Southern Ocean Lodge. Spectacular location and rooms. The management and staff made the trip with fantastic service and attention to detail. While the rates may be high, you certainly get what you pay for and more - with no need to take out your wallet or credit card for the whole trip. Food is top restaurant quality. While certainly focused on overseas tourists, I got just as much out of the included activities such as wildlife watching as the overseas guests. If you are looking to treat yourself then look no further.

Room Tip: Mid way around 8 to 15
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013 via mobile

I have just oent 4 nights at this wonderful and exceptional place. I have never before received so much service and kindnes at a holiday place. I am a solo traveller and have just spent 5 weeks in New Zealand and Australia and this was by far, the best place. I will come back again and next time I will try your winter season with a view to the whales.

Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
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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, Kangaroo Island, South Australia, Australia
Location: Australia > South Australia > Kangaroo Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kangaroo Island
#1 Luxury Hotel in Kangaroo Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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 ensuite. 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 
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Also Known As:
Southern Ocean Hotel Kangaroo Island

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