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“Good, but could be better” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Emma Gorge Resort at El Questro

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Emma Gorge Resort at El Questro
Gibb River Rd. | El Questro, Kununurra, Western Australia 6743, Australia (Formerly Emma Gorge Resort)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 10 Hotels in Kununurra
Taunton, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
“Good, but could be better”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2011

We stayed here as part of an APT 4WD tour group. I do sympathise with the reviewer who complained about tour guides briefing their groups in the restaurant; we were embarrassed that this was done, despite the inconvenience to other diners.

The tent was good: roomy and comfortable. However, some kind of storage facility would have been useful: we used the two single beds as "wardrobes", but if a family was staying the tent and using all the beds, there would be nowhere to put anything except on the floor. Fortunately the resort provides porterage, as it's heck of a walk to some of the tents.

It was wonderful waking up to birdsong and walking around the resort in the early morning. The Emma Gorge walk is terrific, though you do need to be reasonably fit.

The meals weren't great. Of course it's difficult catering for groups, especially in a remote location (one morning there was no full-cream milk, because the supply truck hadn't come in!). But the buffet breakfasts and dinners we had were tired and bland. The descriptions of the salads sounded great when the waitperson recited them; but they all tasted dull and samey. The restaurant supervisor was grumpy and rude, almost seeming to resent having diners cluttering the place up. The resort manager had never heard of the El Questro bird list, so we had to show here the section in the resort newsletter where it was proudly trumpeted as available ... it took three requests to get hold of this list, which should be immediately available.

It's fair to say they were under some pressure: APT itineraries were all changing because of the Gibb River Road closure, so they had groups staying for three nights instead of one. But surely this is a bonus rather than a problem. Service could and should have been warmer and smarter.

That said, the location is unrivalled, so I'm glad to have stayed there. Maybe there's an issue with complacency; but this place could be so much better.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DNAPR, General Manager at Emma Gorge Resort at El Questro, responded to this review, June 13, 2011
Thank you very much for the feedback and we certainly appreciate it as we love to receive any comments, good or not so good, with the view to improve our services and meeting expectations, given at times the challenging isolated environment we operate in.

The Emma Gorge Resort is designed in part to cater to a valuable segment of our Australia Tourism landscape and that is the Tour Bus travellers and one section of the resort is allocated to that wonderful group whether Australian or International. This arrangement seems to work best for Tour Bus Operators to update their customers at the dinner table when they know their customers will be together.

Being very isolated at times we may run out of supplies and we do our best to minimise that situation however the reference to the quality of the meals was good to receive and appreciated as this kind of feedback helps the team in the kitchen to address noted weaknesses.

The novelty design of the tent cabins lends itself to not having a wardrobe given the space restrictions however it is in our thoughts to find the right solution that fits the situation, and we thank you again for your observation.

As the reviewer noted there was climate turmoil this early part of the season which also impacted on all the resorts in the Kimberley region and this delayed planned openings by putting many of us on the back foot in getting the season up and running. But eventually the difficulties and flood damage were overcome and we opened albeit later to manage the needs of our Bus Group Tourists and Independent Travellers that were still keen to visit and appreciate the end of the wet season. Being early in the season our new Team was still getting their routine in play and we do realize that we may have erred and do apologise also for our new surly supervisor. This has since been addressed and we thank you for your perception.

The reference to the Bird List not readily available, is actually in the Boab Bulletin on page 8 listing the top 20 birds, however participating in our Bird Watching Tour at $75 pp is when a more detailed list is provided by our learned guide. Our new Manager was not aware however she did eventually provide you with a copy of the list from the guide who is located at Station Town Ship.

Meanwhile we appreciated very much your kind comments on our location, but be assured that complacency is not in our vocabulary and our Team do love this place and would not intentionally give the wrong impression. Please accept our sincere apologies and hope that you'll visit us again in the not too distance future.

The Team at El Questro Wilderness Park & Resorts
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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73 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Shanghai, China
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2010

Staying there is an experience I do not want to miss. As it is in the middle of nowhere you stay in a tent-like hut which is basic but comfortable. It took me a day to get used to the noises of nature. The first night my husband and I awoke because the birds did not sing a nice and civilized Italian baroque opera but behaved liker shouters in a punk music concert. The second day we were already used to it. I would go back - because you are really in the middle of nature. The receptionists were ok, but some more smiles would be great. The good thing is that the waiters in the restaurant were very cheerful and responded to special wishes. We really liked the food at the restaurant.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Perth, Australia
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2010

We initially booked to stay at Emma Gorge resort for 3 nights, as a special treat, instead of our usual camping in a tent. The front desk was friendly and efficient. Unfortunately you can’t park next to your cabin, only to unload your bags, which is also good, as you don’t get disturbed by car noise at your cabin. There is not much parking available in the parking area closest to the cabins (about 8 spaces), which fill up by sunset. Most of the people staying at Emma Gorge were part of tour groups, and thus very few independent travellers like ourselves.

Our cabin was close enough to hear the generator going the whole time we stayed there, which is not what you want to hear when you’ve paid over $220 a night. The water pump to the cabins in our enclave was next to our cabin, so everytime someone turned on the tap or had a shower, you would hear the clicking start/stop noise of the pump, so annoying! The other inconvenience is no bar fridge (to have a cold drink on a warm day) or tea and coffee making facilities. We had to walk to our fridge in our car to get a cool drink each time. Some people had eskies and you could buy ice at reception. They did offer complimentary tea and coffee at the main restaurant area however. From the front balcony of our cabin, we could see several other cabins and people sitting on their balcony, which is not what I expected. It felt a bit like an upmarket school camp. Some cabins faced the main walking path, so we can’t really complain, as we could only see people through bushes. When I enquired if there were other cabins available which gave more privacy (and there are cabins that are better placed, overlooking the bush only), I was told that they were nearly fully booked, and sorry, but people from the tour groups had the better cabins!

In the end, we did have an enjoyable time at Emma Gorge, and we even extended our stay by 1 night, in order to see more of El Questro. There is just so much to do and see, and well worth the $17.50 ticket per person, compared to the $25.00 per person we paid at Kakadu the week beforehand. We ate at Emma Gorge restaurant, and the food and service were fine. The food prices were quite reasonable we thought, for the remote location, and were similiar to prices in Perth restaurants/cafes. We enjoyed waking up to the birds chirping each morning, and the daily room service was adequate.

We were glad we didn’t stay at the main township, which was good to visit, but was a busy, bustling place otherwise. The main campground looked like any other, with plenty of grassed areas. The main township restaurant was nicely located overlooking a grassy bush area and water, but we were disappointed with the food. Our barramundi was served with a tiny serving of cold cous cous and undercooked cold beans, or the alternative was chips and salad, which we wished we had chosen instead.

We hired a dinghy and spent a few quiet hours on Chamberlain Gorge. The other people that hired dinghies had issues with their motors, and both groups had to abandon their trip due to this, which I think is very poor service by the El Questro hire team. We loved the 4WD tracks into the different walks and gorges, and didn’t have time to do them all in our 3 full days there.

Overall, yes, I would stay at El Questro again, as I wouldn’t want to do the 2hr return trip to Kununurra each day, as some reviewers suggest. The El Questro township is more centrally based for all the activities on offer, but Emma Gorge is more laid back and quieter (even with the generator noise) than the township area.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2010

We loved the Resort and stayed in one of the Tented Cabins, very nice and very private in the bush. Emmas Resturant was average and not up to standard for what they charge, Wife had the Crocodile entree which was over cooked and very tough, when mentioning this to the waiter he argued that it is the way it comes, too bad. Not a good attitude. My Soup was cold but I ate it anyway. The main courses were better. Other than the Dining experiance we had a nice time although found the walk to Emma Gorge very rough and easily to do damage to your ankles. The path needs a lot of repairs.

  • Stayed July 2010, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2010

My wife and I just had 4 nights at El Questro Emma Gorge Resort. We travel on a budget and thought it would be a treat to ourselves to "go upmarket" for a couple of days.
The staff are great and the chef is extraordinary, beautiful meals.
It is a shame the staff are embarrassed and apologetic about the ineptitude of the Management.
There are no tea or coffee making facilities within the tented cabins, not even a small fridge for a carton of milk for a bit of breakfast. Breakfast at the resort is $30.00. This when we are already paying over $220.00 per night. What a joke.
Large groups are given preference over in dependant travellers. A Variety Club 4x4 group of over 50 vehicles arrived when we were there, parking their trucks throughout the site where parking was banned. There are two eating areas, a BBQ and restaurant. Twice over 4 nights we were dictated too as to where we have dinner as the groups had taken over. The restaurant seats over 60 in comfort, however with 15 people dining the place is deemed as being full and you won't be allowed in. Stand up and complain and you soon get seated. In the restaurant you will have to tolerate tour guides lecturing their customers as to the next day’s activities, This is not acceptable in a restaurant anywhere, certainly not in one as expensive as this.
The place does not live up to expectations, is not interested in independant travellers, is grossly overpriced and an embarrassment to Australia tourism. The staff knows this, the Management just couldn't care less.
Save your money, stay in Kununurra for less than half the cost and enjoy yourself.
Not recommended at all.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yanchep
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2010

In the company of 23 other members of the same tour group I recently spent two nights at the delightfully situated Emma Gorge resort and it was a wonderful experience. Accommodation is in tented cabins to which en suites have been added. There is no air condition but I found that keeping the floor standing fan going all night kept me nicely cool. Being on my own meant I had room to spread myself out but couples would find it a bit cramped. My major niggles were that a) there was no means of boiling water to make a cuppa in the room. As I imagine most visitors would be retirees this was not acceptable and it led to my other niggle which was - from my cabin - a LONG walk to the main area, where the urn was turned on at 6 am every day.
The bar area is very pleasant - outside, of course and overlooking the beautiful pool The restaurant, too, is open air and I found it quite attractive with a style in keeping with the surrounds. Unfortunately they must have been having a few bad days in the kitchens because the soup was cold both evenings and, on the first evening the lamb was uneatable. On the second evening I had the barra and even that was not up to the normal Kimberley standard that we had been experiencing. On the other hand the breakfasts were VERY enjoyable.
The entire El Questro area has been well described by others and more than came up to my expectations - I loved it with the breakfast cruise on Chamberlain Gorge being a real highlight

  • Stayed May 2010
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
98 hotel reviews
Reviews in 77 cities Reviews in 77 cities
133 helpful votes 133 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2009

I loved Emma Gorge, we stayed for 4 nights and enjoyed every minute. We stayed in the luxury tents that were very comfortable with wooden floors, ensuite and fan. It was very hot about 40 degrees each day so it was too hot to go inside the tent during the day. The pool was a popular spot to cool down. The walk to Emma Gorge is a must. The staff at Emma Gorge Resort were fabulous, nothing was too much trouble. I also thought the meals were of a high standard considering the location. A great place to stay in the Australian Outback

  • Stayed August 2009
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Emma Gorge Resort at El Questro

Address: Gibb River Rd. | El Questro, Kununurra, Western Australia 6743, Australia (Formerly Emma Gorge Resort)
Location: Australia > Western Australia > Kununurra
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 10 Hotels in Kununurra
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hidden within the fiery red of El Questro’s Cockburn Ranges lies the spectacular Emma Gorge Resort, with excellent facilities for the whole family. Emma Gorge Resort offers comfortable tented cabins, each with their own private facilities. Shaded pathways link the tented cabins with the restaurant, pool and bar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Emma Gorge Hotel Kununurra
Emma Gorge Resort At El Questro Kununurra, Australia - Western Australia

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