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Tangalooma Island Resort
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All reviewsdolphin feedingfishbeach cafefamily holidaybeautiful placequad bikesgreat funsand tobogganingsand boardinggreat familyall agesbeautiful beachfood optionsstone restaurantkookaburra lodgedesert safariferry ride
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Reviewed January 16, 2014

First let me say that the positivity of my review may be coloured by the fact that we scored a super deal of $99 per night for a family of four. I am grateful that this rate was available in school holiday time making it affordable for our family to experience. At the normal rack rate - I don't think this resort quite matches those of similar price and experience in the Whitsunday's. For me the number one drawcard by a country mile was the opportunity to hand feed wild dolphins. This is only available to guests of the resort and for mine - it is worth staying at least one night to tick this off your bucket list.
Having bought at a special rate we weren't really expecting much of our accommodation. We stayed in the Kookaburra Hotel section and were pleasantly surprised at the size and cleanliness of the room and bathroom, including a very roomy shower. Another nice touch is that all soaps, shampoos and lotions were provided for you in dispensers - saving on both packaging and waste.
The fridge was a good size to hold all your basic necessities but apart from that - the only other appliance in the hotel room for food/drinks was a kettle. This brings me to the next point - If you are on any kind of budget - make sure you bring as much of your own food as possible! We had read other reviews and thankfully bought an esky with us containing bottled water, cereal, cups of noodles, fruits and snacks. Food at the resort is OK but there is not a lot of variety and feeding a family with teens could easily cost an extra $150 a day. As it was we ran out of cereal and had to purchase another box for our final morning. A SMALL box of Sultana Bran cost nearly $10 at the only resort store with groceries. We will bring a bigger esky if we come again!
The grounds of the resort are well looked after with beautiful gardens and clean pathways. Amenities were well situated and always clean.
Staff at the resort are friendly and efficient and Pat the eco ranger is excellent. The tour guides are jovial and seem to really enjoy their jobs. We paid for two extra activities - the sand dune tobogganing and snorkelling the wrecks. Tobogganing was good fun and well worth it for a different experience. In summer, take the 8:30am trip to avoid blistering your feet on the hot sand. It is a steep climb up to the top of the dune in order to get to the fun part! I don't think anyone in our group had more than two turns before fatigue kicked in.
Snorkelling the wrecks was a disappointment mainly because they did not adequately limit the size of the group. Much of our time in the water (which was disappointingly only 30 minutes tops) was spent jostling with other people and trying to avoid getting kicked in the head with their flippers. If we visit again we will bring our own snorkel gear and walk to the wrecks (about 20 minutes tops) ourselves.
Still, we had dolphins swimming near the boat on our return from snorkelling and on another walk we did, witnessed them darting through the shallows in pursuit of fish. Sea stars, sea urchins, and other marine and bird life such as cormorants and kookaburras are delightfully abundant here. Overall, I would highly recommend a short stay at Tangalooma if you are into nature and sub tropical island life.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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4  Thank HEGGIEHAWK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2014 via mobile

Family group, 8 grown ups, 1 nearly grown up, 2 teens and 5 kids under 6.
I came not expecting a lot, had read a few bad reviews, the trip has been great though!
Accommodation is solid 3.5 star as advertised. The rooms were light filled, spacious and kitchenette was usable. Older bathroom but clean and in good working order.
The pools and outdoor area's are well maintained and beach is lovely!
All round great family value.

Stayed: January 2014
Thank JaneeneP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2014

On a friend's advise that an island should be part of my visit to Australia, I zeroed in on the Tangalooma Island Resort. Must say I was very happy with my choice but the only sad part was the frequency of the ferry. We reached Brisbane in the morning and had to wait for the ferry till the evening. What you can enjoy: well everything! beaches, water sports (very pricey), outdoor sports (free sports like tennis, badminton, golf, archery etc), food, drinks, DOLPHIN FEEDING PROGRAM every evening and night events like music shows, karaokes, talent shows etc. Basically the island can keep you engaged from sunrise till late after sunset. Although expensive, but at least one water sport should definitely be tried, I tried para sailing and it was awesome!! Protip: please use your own cameras at the island cos professional photographs are illogically expensive and too heavy on your wallet. Buffet breakfast (included in the cost) was awesome too. You can find accommodations in all ranges suiting your pocket. Overall, we regret our trip being too short at the island.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Priyamvada B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tangalooma, Manager at Tangalooma Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 14, 2014

Hi PriyamvadaTrivedi,

We can’t wait to see you back on our sunny shores on your next visit to Australia. No trip to Tangalooma is ever long enough in our opinion... but (of course) we may be biased.

Until next time

Tangalooma Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Moreton Island itself is stunning and breath-taking, the beaches are superb with lovely water. But for Tangalooma resort, I personally believe it most definitely can have some improvements.

ACCOMMODATION - With my family booking very last minute and inexpensively, I did not expect much, but I have to say I was not disappointed, I stayed in the Kookaburra block, and the rooms are quite nice, their small, plain and simple, but honestly accommodation isn't the most important thing while your on a beautiful island with so many sights to see.

STAFF - I could say 70% of the staff were very friendly, and the other 30%.. not so much.

FOOD - The food was very disappointing, there was limited variety for people with allergies, fussiness and vegetarians etc. (My 17yo daughter has a egg and nut allergy and a vegetarian, finding the right meal was very hard for her)And the food was also very overpriced.

ACTIVITIES -
Firstly, we booked PARASAILING the first day we got there, but then staff said the boat was in Brisbane and we would have to push it back a day, so we did, and they said they would call us if the boat still hadn't arrived. We came back the next day ready to parasail, and they said that we couldn't because the boat still hadn't arrived (they never called us telling us that the boat hadn't arrived like they said they would) so yet again we booked it the next day with them promising that the boat would be there, but YET AGAIN the exact same thing happened, we make our 3rd and final booking on our final last day with them saying the boat would definitely be there, but of course it wasn't, and they never bothered to call us to tell us. That left my daughters very upset and disappointed. I think that was very unprofessional from the resort.

Dolphin Feeding: A fun, quick memory to do with the family, it is a great unique thing to do, I highly recommend.

Segwaying: Segways are a great invention, and are very fun to ride along the beach, but I didn't enjoy riding very slow in a tight straight line.

Quad biking: Not impressed, my 14yo daughter was put in the children's route (although she is very experienced with riding quad bikes) she was riding at the speed of a tractor, and having to stop every 30 seconds, and the route was quite boring and uninteresting.

Moreton Island Safari trip: Great way to discover Moreton Island, I highly recommend it.

Sand Dunning: Fun, exhilarating activity, good for those looking for some adrenaline.

Water Sports Hire: We hired Kaiaks and Stand up Paddle boards, I recommend if you need something to do if you have a free afternoon.

Room Tip: Book early, because the resort is very busy.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank Jacinta L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tangalooma, Manager at Tangalooma Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 14, 2014

Hi Jacinta L,

It's discouraging to receive a 2 star rating, especially when it appears that most of the activities, and facilities you tried were generally viewed and rated positively.

It just goes to show that we must work on the consistency of our guest services across all areas of the resort, as just one instance of poor service is all it takes to leave a lasting overall impression on our guest's enjoyment of Tangalooma.

The breakdown of the parasailing boat was unfortunate and disappointing, but our communication breakdown was unacceptable. For this we apologise unreservedly.

In regard to your comments on food, we are committed to vastly improving the choice and quality of dining options at the resort. We have only recently relaunched Tursiops Buffet Restaurant, and the Beach Cafe. These modern dining facilities are complimented by the new beachside patio, creating a relaxed and comfortable resort dining atmosphere like no other.

On the 24th January 2014 we are excited to announce we will be opening two new restaurants, 'Fire and Stone'. 'Fire & Stone' will offer two exciting dining experiences within a few short steps of the beach. At 'Fire' the exotic and spicy flavours of the Orient will be offered with a mouth watering Asian fusion menu, whilst 'Stone' will offer guests a complete ‘Hot Stone’ menu to be cooked at their table on their own hot rock.

We believe these dining options will significantly improve the dining experiences and options at Tangalooma. We hope that the positive memories of your stay will encourage you to give us another try. I'm sure you will be impressed with the changes.

Kind regards

Tangalooma Management

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Reviewed January 11, 2014

We spent 4 days at the resort just in early January. Overall personally I would probably not go back to this resort for a holiday, however my wife believes it would be a great place for families as everything to keep the whole family entertained is readily available. Overall we enjoyed the stay as it accomplished what we intended for the trip in that we were able to relax and unwind from a previously hectic year. I will list the positives and negatives that we found during the trip.

Positives
- The Buffet Breakfast is all you could ask for and if it is included in your trip booking I suggest that you make the most of this meal as it is quite satisfying and includes both healthy and not so healthy options for those who like a choice.
- Natural Surroundings were made to allow a relaxing atmosphere, I can overlook the fact that foreign palm trees have been imported and planted at the resort to give it a resort feel. Waking up the sound of the ocean every morning is something we miss having to live in the country due to work.
- Rooms were very clean and tidy. We stayed at the Kookaburra Lodge on the second floor. Rooms were very quiet and you could not hear any loud noise outside the rooms. A plus for the rooms. From the second floor we could see the beach...not sure if this is possible from the bottom floor.
- Definitely a family oriented resort with plenty of options for the children to enjoy themselves and the parents to relax and unwind. Probably not the ideal place for a single 20 something who wishes to party every night.
- Renee (resort customer manager). An issue we had (mentioned below) was cleared and rectified very quickly once we informed Renee. Renee was very receptive to our feedback and keen to listen to our advice. Whether our advice and feedback is acted on is not important. The fact that Renee took time to listen to us was perfect customer service in our minds.
- Employment of foreign staff to help with the language barrier for visiting tourists of a non-English speaking background was a very positive move on the management's behalf.
- The Wildlife rangers were excellent with their knowledge of the local habitat and it was enjoyable to be able to ask a question and have it answer quickly and confidently.
- Registering into the resort and out of the resort was done very quickly and efficiently. Initially it is a bit disconcerting to have to leave your bags unattended for a period of time however it seems to flow smoothly and we did not hear of any other guests complaining during our time there.
- serving staff in the beach cafe were very friendly and a pleasure to order a meal there.

Negatives
- As mentioned above. We had an issue with the rotunda restaurant where we waited 55 minutes for our meal. At this point in time my wife decided to find out what was happening. Whilst she did that, Renee approached me at the table to see if everything was ok with our meal, I explained the situation to her and she immediately went to see what went wrong. The end result was a full refund of our meal cost PLUS the meal we originally ordered at no cost. The process may need amendment but the response to our inquiry cannot be faulted.

- Personally I feel the costs of the tours and drinks to be a bit expensive. One expects resorts to be a little bit above average regarding costs. However for two people to go on several tours whilst at the resort would cost the better part of $1000. I also cannot remember another time when I have spent $10 for a stubby of beer (Corona). This is my personal opinion and I differ from my wife who felt the costs were appropriate.

- Staff-- Overall the staff did not seem happy to be working at the resort. These people are the first impression a guest will have of the resort and if the staff do not seem happy to be there...how do you expect your guests to feel? Quite a few of the staff need educating on what the resort is all about...several times we asked questions of the staff only to be given a "I am not sure" type answer or fobbed off to another person or area an example was when we were after information on tours. Initially we went to the tour desk in the main entertainment area only to be told to go to the main reception, once at reception we were told to go to the booking office next to the Rotunda restaurant where we finally had our questioned answered. All Staff should know who is who in the zoo and should be able to answer any question posed by guests.

- OH&S provisions - I understand the need for personal protective equipment to be worn, even if you are as I am and loathe the fact I have to wear a helmet when riding a bike now days, even though I spent roughly 30 years without a helmet. The fact is, if you require your guests to wear helmets when utilising the Sedgeways or quad bikes...then the staff should wear them too. If I was to use this equipment and saw the tour group leader not wearing a helmet due to personal preference...then I personally would follow his/her lead. Need to make this rule applicable to all.

- Staff need to be mindful that they are in the public eye...ALWAYS!. Upon arriving at the resort I noticed a young man in shorts thongs and singlet jump in front of a member of staff with the intent of 'scaring' him...the staff member was carrying a tray of drinks. On another occasion i saw the same sweaty young man slouching up against the water container in the bar leaving the water container tap continuously running so he could refill his cup. My first impression of this young man was that of an arrogant, rude, slob of a guest and felt sorry for the staff that had to put up with him. On the third day of our stay I was gobsmacked to see the same young man serving behind the bar...what I thought was just a rude guest was actually a member of staff. As I approached the bar I overheard him saying to his fellow barman that he would rather be elsewhere getting drunk. This is not an ideal impression for guests to see of the staff.

- Dolphin feeding - I appreciate the need for certain rules to be put in regards the feeding of these beautiful creatures. I would personally like to see more staff employed during this time to ensure those rules are followed. I noticed one guest continually take flash photos of the dolphins close up after he had his turn to feed the dolphins. I also noticed quite a few of the guests try and pat the dolphins...more staff during this time would definitely help control those who choose to disregard the rules.

- Serving staff in the cafe in side the main entertainments area need to show a bit more consideration to guests. If a guest asks whether you have a non-dairy type alternative...there is probably a good reason. To dismiss the guest with a comment such as, "No, is there anything else you want?" is not a good impression.

- The foreign staff employed to help out with non-English speaking tourist should also have a good command of the English language as there are English speaking guests at the resort as well.

Overall it is a nice place to visit if you have family with you, a couple can also enjoy the surroundings but we feel the resort is aimed more at families. Would we go back there? Probably not but that is more due to our own preference for holiday destinations then anything being wrong with the resort. Cuedos to Renee the Customer service manager and also the staff of the beachside cafe as well as the wildlife rangers, however other staff could be more mindful of the job they are employed to do. I do agree with a previous reviewer in that this is industrial tourism at work...but the resort does have a lot of potential, especially for families.

Room Tip: Kookaburra Lodge - if you wish beach views get a second floor room or higher. Not sure of the other types of accomodation.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank scorps_sting
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tangalooma, Manager at Tangalooma Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 14, 2014

Hi scorps_sting

Thank you for such a detailed and comprehensive account of your stay. We have passed your kind comments on to Renee directly and she is thrilled to see that she was able to make such a positive difference to your stay.

It is especially encouraging to the whole team here that our newly-refurbished breakfast restaurant (Tursiops) was ‘as good as you could ask for’. We have placed a significant investment into the redevelopment of this facility to deliver a great breakfast to all our guests. Much of this redevelopment of facilities, and improvement to the breakfast buffet was in response to guest feedback; so we are glad to see this improvement being reflected in our reviews.

We will also listen to your feedback on the negative factors that affected your stay, and look to make improvements in the areas that you have addressed, particularly in regard to the service and the professionalism of resort staff.

Thanks again for your thoughtful and incisive comments.

Kind regards

Tangalooma Management

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