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“White glove scuba at the Lizard Island Resort”

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Lizard Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lizard Island
Certificate of Excellence
Palm Beach, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“White glove scuba at the Lizard Island Resort”
Reviewed June 27, 2013

If you like your scuba "white glove", the Lizard Island Resort is for you. I was on a tour of Australia, that fortunately ended in Cairns, and wanted to spend some extra time seeing the Great Barrier Reef and scuba diving. As I read up, it became clear that I could be disappointed with diving out of Cairns (too crowded, reefs that are day-trip distance have been ruined by too many visitors, etc.). Also, I got my heart set on seeing Cod Hole and the Coral Sea. The only way to get out that far are live-aboard dive boats, which were already booked up, or the Lizard Island Resort. While the Resort is remote and eye-popping expensive (it's all inclusive price except for activities like scuba), I decided to splurge for a two night stay. Flights to the island are mid-day and the resort only goes to Cod Hole every other morning, so plan accordingly. The morning of my Cod Hole trip, even though I am certified, I hadn't been in some years, so I did a quick 15 minute check out dive with the dive staff (weights, skills, etc.) and we were off. The dive staff took care of EVERYTHING for me -- suit, mask, fins, BCD were all prepared and laid out neatly and they helped me step into everything. I basically had a private dive master guide and one of the staff took pictures of me playing with the giant 4 ft cod (actually groupers) and gave me a CD upon my departure. The dive master talked to me about our dive plans and what we were seeing (aside from the cod "pets", there were "cleaning stations" fish, giant/giant clams, and lots of other odd critters living in the reef). The food was, of course, amazingly fresh and well prepared. We got to both Cod Hole and, they told me because of good weather, right at the edge of the Australian continent and the Coral Sea - I got to see the slope that leads off to infinity! I couldn't have had a better visit to the reef. Other features of the resort - great hiking, snorkeling, boating/fishing, terrific food with wine pairings offered at lunch and dinner (seriously, no one is going hungry) and a complementary stocked fridge in room. If you have time, the weekly trip to the neighboring Australian national Lizard Island Research Station is worth the time. The Director spends an hour or so explaining the work they are doing on the reef and helps you contemplate the health of the reef, cycles of life, and the planet. If you can swing the price, it's a phenomenal way to see the glory of the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
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1 Thank Shellseaker100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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601 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (161)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sydney
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2013

I ummed and aahed about this decision. Usually my husband and I travel overseas- we love our home country but it's so expensive too travel in. Despite graduating to high end hotel experiences the last few years, including Aman, we think carefully about spending our money and I was doubtful this resort would be value for money.
The reasons to stay are- The island is a winner, very pretty place, magical water, lots of fish and coral. Loved the day of snorkelling at No Name and swimming with the giant cod, seeing sharks etc. Relentlessly friendly young staff but as noted by other reviewers service is hit and miss. Although nicely apologised for we were often served after others who came later, a few mix ups with orders and very slow. Food is good but not top level at times. Sunday BBQ was fantastic, degustation less so- needed to supplement with lovely hot chips. The included alcohol and minibar is a nice touch but cocktails not included. DVD of snorkelling trip was beautiful but $ 95 is ridiculous. I think this place is not the best value- at this level of cost it raises expectations...

Room Tip: anchor bay suites are newly renovated
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank lisavanessa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2013

Lizard Island is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The beaches are stunning and after being in search for the most beautiful crystal clear waters and several holidays in Asia we finally found it on Lizard Island. This place makes you feel like you are visiting a very special place. We were upgraded on arrival which was a nice touch. The rooms are nicely decorated, quite basic but I understand the vibe they are going for. We had steps by our room which led down to a beach that no-one used the whole time we were there. They could have provided nicer beach chairs or an umbrella as it did get quite hot and you can't stay in the sun for too long. There is no wifi in the room and pretty much the resort but that suited us for the fact we didn't want to be bothered with the outside world. We stayed for 3 nights and when we returned to Melbourne we felt like we had been away for a week and it took us one day to come to terms of city life again. I think that is a true sign this place is about total relaxation. They offered a complimentary dinghy that you can take around the island and we snorkelled with turtles just off the shore. We even had a reef shark swim by our feet as we were standing in the water. The food menu was limited but if you aren't a fussy eater this shouldn't be a problem and the wine list was great. Service was a bit hit and miss. David was fantastic and really enthusiastic as was Eric at the bar, however there were a couple of staff that weren't as good and seemed tired. When we stayed there weren't many guests and at breakfast I was amazed that they couldn't remember our coffee order in the morning especially by the last day after being served by the same people. I have stayed at places where they remember you the next day. There was also one incident where I had to get the room cleaned again as there was still sand on the floor and they hadn't mopped which was quite noticable. They also offer to stock the minibar with a beer of your choice and they hadn't fulfilled. Once again not a big deal but when you are paying luxury prices you expect a level of service especially when there were only 10 guests including us. In saying this I would definitely return one day as it is truly paradise on earth. One tip is to take strong insect repellant and use it at all times of the day. I was eaten alive and unfortunately it took one month to get over the bites.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank GiniMelb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed June 4, 2013

You arrive on a small plane out of Cairns on the resorts private Air strip. Everyone room is on the beach but the Honeymoon Suite at the tip of the resort is fabulous. The room is very private and has its own pool and sunning bed.

The restaurant in the hotel is 5 star and it fantastic with a beautiful bar area to watch the sunset before dinner.

The fishing, diving, snorkeling and beach sunning is the best in the world. The super sized clams and variety of fish, on the best coral reef in the world, makes everyday perfect.

The hard part was staying awake for the entire dinner after a day in the sun.

This is a "must" place for a diver that wants to stay at a high end resort.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mark B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2013

Spent 4 days at this paradise.
Cannot praise it high enough. The place is blessed by nature and good management.
The staff is very professional and genuinely attentive, making us feel like we own the place.
We stayed in one of the Sunset Villas.
Entirely adequate for a couple, PERFECTLY clean, spacious, excellent inclusive minibar.
Great ocean view and a very short stroll to the nearest beach.
The beaches are pure magic. Food (3 meals a day included) was top class and varied (lunch or dinner choices never repeated over the 4 days). Wine selection was also very good.
Meeting and dispatching from the island was well organized, complimentary transfers between Cairns airport and Hinterland Aviation was a nice touch.
All-in-all we felt as getting five star service all the way through.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank treplo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
175 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 234 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2013

We adored Lizard Island. Walk from your door to the beach and see the velvelty cobalt blue starfish on the ocean floor. Snorkel over the enormous 5-6' clams, and watch them gently breathe in and out. Take your own dinghy around the island and stop for a picnic. Fantastic. And then fantastic food, to boot.

One quibble. These are not bargain prices. I'd like to see them put a little more profits back into the physical plant. (though the brochure is accurate, to be fair)

PS We visited in Dec, about 5 years ago.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank 6ContinentsNCounting
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2013

We have just returned from a wonderful 4 day stay at Lizard Island Resort. From the moment we glimpsed Lizard Island through the clouds we were totally enchanted. The island itself is absolutely stunning, but the staff community at the resort really made our stay such a pleasure. Everyone was so welcoming, friendly, helpful and just really lovely. The attitude of the staff tends to rubs off and impact your stay - here we felt the staff were happy which lent an extra air of happiness to our stay too! Many of the staff we spoke to had been at the island some years or had returned to work again which speaks a lot to us about the island.

The food was really amazing as were the wines. We had a beachside degustation the first night we were there - another birthday surprise for me husband! Really recommend this.

The trip was a birthday surprise and my husband reports he will never be able to match it, it has become our little paradise, our favourite of places we have travelled to - and we have travelled quite a bit.

We dived/snorkelled two locations, cod hole and no name reef. Emma made my experience so fantastic - I felt so safe with her and she is a wealth of information. The diversity of life on the reef is astounding the colours so beautiful. Makes me so sad how little regard mining companies, government, other corporations have and the poor way they treat the reef. Visiting the Lizard Island Research Station was terrific for learning about marine life and the impacts people have on the reef.

Overall we absolutely loved our stay. The little touches such as the beautiful essential oil burning in our room at night with cups of good night tea set out, the aesop products, the willingness of the staff to drop you to any beach and collect you when you like (packed picnic of course!) - we really can't think of anything they could improve.

Thank you for a wonderful stay and we will be back - look after that precious reef.

Room Tip: We stayed in a sunset point villa - gorgeous views and very private
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Little K
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

Property: Lizard Island Resort
Address: Via Cairns, Cook Shire, Lizard Island, Queensland 4871, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Cook Shire > Lizard Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
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
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lizard Island is truly secluded from the rest of the world. With 24 powdery-white beaches and 40 luxurious suites, it is the most northern resort in tropical Queensland and is located directly on the Great Barrier Reef. A National Park covering 1,013 hectares with 24 sandy beaches and a lagoon, Lizard Island is accessible only by private charter from Cairns Airport in northern Queensland, Australia. Cairns Airport is accessible from all major Australian airports and directly from some cities in Asia. The island is reserved for the fortunate few who will experience an unforgettable holiday like no other. Enjoy secluded picnics and sunset beach degustation on private beaches, five star cuisine in the beautiful Salt Water restaurant and indulgent spa treatments in the Essentia Day Spa. Relax in style in premium accommodation and take in the wonders of Australia's Great Barrier Reef - right on your doorstep. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lizard Island Hotel Lizard Island
Lizard Island Resort All Inclusive

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