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“Great Stay, Wonderful Location”

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Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Flinders Chase
Certificate of Excellence
Santa Barbara, California
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Great Stay, Wonderful Location”
Reviewed November 15, 2009

We stay one night in a courtyard suite at this hotel. The retreat is ideally situated on the southern coast of KI within a few miles of Flinders Chase National Park. The room was very well appointed and had a great view of the courtyard where wallabies, possums, and one very friendly kangaroo come out to play at dusk. You really only have two choices for food at the retreat...either bring your own or eat at the pricey restaurant. I think one of our smartest decisions once we reached KI via Rex air was to take a quick diversion to Kingscote for groceries. There is a conveniently located IGA off the main drag where you can stock up on food and drinks. The IGA has a great deli and bread section and we just made ourselves some sandwiches rather than pay for an expensive meal at the retreat. You can also stop at the convenience store at Vivonne Bay turnoff, but the selection is limited. Do stop there for lunch to try their famous king whiting burger. We loved Kangaroo Island and would not consider staying anywhere but this reatreat.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank SpikeDaisy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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510 reviews from our community

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London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2009

We were initially impressed by the location and ambiance. The rooms are spacious and reasonably well equipped but it soon became apparent that the country smells were not entirely unconnected to the septic tanks. Long walks at dusk and sun-up elicited no sign of any wildlife but, just as we were preparing to leave, lo! a wallaby was presented to us by a cleaner nibbling a carrot just outside the door : ( the wallaby.... ). The dining is claimed to be of the finest but I can only describe it as dismal. The service was mediocre to poor and the food plain to virtually inedible. Do not under any circumstances order the quail pie.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank BJWLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed October 10, 2009

Great place to stay, relax, and eat. Wonderful service

Stayed January 2006, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank MareeS-5786
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
220 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2009

Husband and I stayed for 2 nights. It's an ideal location for exploring the western side of the island and has a lodge type of feel to it. The owners were hands on and very nice. The breakfast was $20 for continental per person or $30 for something made to order/hot. There's nothing else in the area for breakfast so they have a monolopy on it unless you're okay to bring in something on your own. The wildlife is literally right outside your door!! Room and bathroom were simple, bed was comfortable and clean.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Traveler8Colorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, TX
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2009

We really loved staying at the KIWR for three nights in June of 2009. We wanted to spend a lot of time at Flinder's Chase National Park so this was the perfect location, as it's one of the only (maybe THE only) hotel out on the far west side of the island. It is literally minutes from the park entrance, so we were often some of the first visitors there in the morning.

Our room was comfortable and clean. We were in a courtyard room so we had a deck going out to the courtyard with a little table & two chairs. We enjoyed coffee on the deck in the morning and a glass of wine on the deck in the evening. It was lovely to watch the little wallabies hop by! You may find a little bit of poop on your deck in the morning, but that's just what the animals do. My ONLY complaint about the room is that our room had an interior door connecting to the next room, and there was an inch gap at the bottom of the door. This means that we could often hear their voices and TV. A little annoying, considering we were some of the only guests in the courtyard rooms (why put us next to each other), but overall it wasn't a huge deal. I'm sure they would have moved us had we asked, but we didn't bother.

We only ate at the restaurant once, for breakfast one day. They had a nice continental breakfast and we filled up. We were the only people in the restaurant, so service was wonderful from our host! It was a little expensive, but well worth it for convenience.

The reception area is very spacious and inviting. Our first day there we were greeted by a fire in the stove. They have a basket of board games if you get bored, two computers with internet access, and a little store selling souvenirs, drinks, and snacks.

Overall, we loved our stay. If we were ever to go back to KI, we would stay here for sure.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank AmyGoes211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2009

Very basic accomodation that is a little disappointing given the amount your credit card has been hit for. It is in the middle of nowhere, in the South West corner of Kang Island and is therefore a good base to explore Flinders Chase National Park. However it appears to suffer from a lack of local competition... the rooms don't appear to have had money spent on them for decades, and while they're not uncomfortable, when you're paying $200+ per night in 2009 you expect more, even if it is for a room in a remote part of Australia.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Chris888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2009

We thoroughly enjoyed the K.I. Wilderness Retreat. Kangaroo Island was our third stop on a three week tour of Australia, preceded by Sydney and Broken Hill so it was our first "wildlife" stop. They had a resident kangaroo named "Bean" (because she was raised in a bean bag) and several wallabies that would follow you around and eat out of your hand...all you had to do was shake the little brown bag of pellets (for sale in the lobby cheap) and they were yours until the next guest shook their bag. Totally FUN!!! We are a couple in our early 50's but having had four children (now grown, not with us on the trip), we think kids would LOVE this hotel. We also had a peahen and a bush tailed possum and her baby come up to our deck to feed. We LOVED this place!

We were in a "Courtyard Suite" but it was really not a suite, just a room. Our room was nothing special or posh, but it had all we needed and was very comfortable, and we loved having a small private deck right outside our door facing the courtyard and the animals. I think it is a little pricey if you look only at the quality of the rooms and the ammenities at the hotel, but I think the interaction with the "resident" animals made it worth the price, at least for us.

With regard to the restaurant: we arrived at around 6:30 pm so took an 8:00 booking and our meal was quite good: we had a meat pie of kangaroo sausage, beef and lamb topped with mashed. However, we thought at $25 (this was the least expensive item on the menu! everything else was $35 or above) it was not any better than the meat pie we'd had at the Lord Nelson Pub in Sydney for $6. Anyway, we solved the over priced meal problem the next night by buying some VERY good take-away at the Vivonne Bay General Store just a few kilometers down the road. (We highly recommend this place as an alternative for food). We sipped our wine, ate our take-away (chicken wings and whiting burgers) and fed wallabies (I had 8 of them surrounding me at one point) on the deck outside our room and had a glorious time for far less money than they charged at the restaurant. I must add though, that even though we thought the food prices were too high, the restaurant staff was very accommodating when we wanted to take coffee back to our room one morning (no charge), they let us borrow plates and cutlery for our take-away meal, and they were also quite alright with us making a couple of sandwiches at breakfast to take with us on the road. We thought that was pretty nice, especially since they have boxed lunches for sale that they could have sold to us instead.

regarding internet: we had little use for it because all our children are grown so didn't need to check in at home, but yes, at one point we wanted to use it only to find that the access was closed at 6:00 pm when the office closed. However, we found the hosts of the KIWI just lovely, so are wondering what the one poster was talking about re: the "rude American host"?

regarding location: VERY close to all the southern coast attractions on K.I....it was a breeze to get anywhere, and yes, it was helpful to have a fuel station at the retreat although they charge a bit more than Kingscote or Penneshaw

regarding nocturnal tour: we didn't take the KIWR tour but instead we walked through the Koala Walk at Hanson Bay Sanctuary during the day and saw at least 25 koalas, one of which climbed down the tree right next to me and scurried off to another tree. I could have reached down and petted him right by my side. It cost $2 per person, honor system at the gate, as there was no one around, and it was money well spent. In the field outside the walk, there were many kangaroos grazing and hopping around so I would suggest a stop there.

tips on spotting wildlife on K.I.: keep an eye out for the tour company vans and follow their lead; we did a self drive around the island and at first were getting very frustrated because we weren't spotting kangaroos, wallabies or anything from the main road. We figured out that if you duck into some of the side dirt roads, that is where you'll see literally dozens of kangaroos. We just made it a point to duck into any side road that we saw a tour company car exit from and voila---all kinds of wildlife. Also, should you make it to the north side of the island, be sure to stop at Emu Bay to see the pelicans and if you get onto your knees and look into the "holes" in the beach walls, you will see the little fairy penguins sleeping.

Anyway, in conclusion, we consider the KIWI to be one of the highlights of our trip. Truly. Some of the negative comments from previous posters are valid (i.e. musty smell in room--but it aired out fine as soon as we opened windows) and it is certainly not a posh resort in any way, but we really enjoyed it. It is a very quiet peaceful, wildlife-filled place. I very much recommend it.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AnaEvergreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat

Property: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat
Address: Lot 1 South Coast Road, Flinders Chase, Kangaroo Island, South Australia 5223, Australia
Location: Australia > South Australia > Kangaroo Island > Flinders Chase
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Flinders Chase
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat 3.5*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perfectly situated adjacent Flinders Chase National Park a unique mix of eco-friendly facilities, local food and wine and located in the middle of the forrest provide an unforgettable wilderness experience. The idyllic location provides the perfect base for discovering the splendor of Kangaroo Island's natural wonders before returning to the tranquillity of the retreat to enjoy comfortable accommodation in the company of friendly native animals and an amazing array of birdlife. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat Hotel Flinders Chase
Hotel Kangaroo Island
Wilderness Retreat Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat Flinders Chase

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