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“Camping in Comfort !”
Review of Emma Gorge Resort

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Emma Gorge Resort
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Kununurra
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney
Level Contributor
56 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Camping in Comfort !”
Reviewed September 18, 2011

We spent one night at Emma Gorge Resort at the end of our Gibb River Road trip. The tents were really well designed and it comfortably slept 4 of us. It was lovely to wake up to the sound of the birds and wildlife. The restaurant was great and of course the Emma Gorge walk was just amazing to see. We really enjoyed our time at Emma Gorge and would definitely stay there again !

Room Tip: Ask for tent that backs onto the creek for lovely sounds in the early morning.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hedge39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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161 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
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English first
Airlie Beach, Australia
Level Contributor
116 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed September 14, 2011

We spent 2 nights here with a tour group and found it to be quite an oasis in a very dry part of the Kimberley. The food was excellent and the open reception area was a very restful place for a cold drink and a chat at the end of the day. My minor quibble was with the background music, which I found intrusive when surrounded by the beautiful sounds of the birds. Also, our tented cabins were quite a hike from the dining/reception area so we had plenty of exercise before we even started exploring the gorges etc.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Rooms
Helpful?
2 Thank Aussie076
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
92 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2011

I stayed with my parents whilst doing a self drive tour along the Gibb River Road. The tents were very well designed and we all found them to be comfortable with good facilities that were nice and clean. The unfortunate part of our stay was that we definitely felt like second class citizens when the bus tour groups were staying. This was exampled when ordering a drink from the bar, despite it being my turn the bar staff repeatedly turned to people with tour group name badges which was frustrating, they also allow the tour groups to sprawl all over the lounge area leaving the self drive travellers nowhere to go until they move to the buffet. We also feel that the hotel management have to do something about the tour group leaders, they make announcements / briefings to their people which we found un-necessarily disruptive. One final gripe that we had was that the breakfast buffet was supposed to be available until 9am, when we turned up at 08:15 there really wasn't much left as the tour groups had been through at about 7am. I really feel that at a facility as nice as this they really need to make sure that the self drive travellers are made to feel as welcome as the tour buses. My final disappointment was that in the shop the clothing merchandise was pretty much all small size, I would have definitely bought 3-4 shirts had the correct size been available. I understand that the tour buses are very important for business but surely the self drive tourists are icing on the cake and I think something needs to be done to make them feel as welcome. We ate at the restaurant as another self drive couple said the buffet was limited and very over priced, this was great advice as the food was very tasty (perhaps marginally expensive though). Good laundry facilities with plenty of line space.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Pugwash73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nick_Israel11, Manager at Emma Gorge Resort, responded to this review, September 14, 2011
Greetings from El Questro Wilderness Park and thank you for highlighting the good and the not so good. Feedback is what we like, especially when we don't meet expectations and on this occasion we were found wanting and please accept our sincere apologies.

With regards to the bar situation, there should not have been any preferential treatment being a tour bus guest, as we treat all our guests as equals and naturally we are very disappointed that it came across that our Bar Team created that impression. We have in the meantime counselled our Bar Team to be aware of this situation to ensure that it does not occur again.

Buffet Breakfast is advertised between 6.30 am to 8.30 am and we would have been more than happy to cook a special breakfast if there was not much left to satisfy your needs, especially since you had arrived towards the end of the buffet timing. Regarding the retail shop not having your correct sizes it was unfortunate as we carry small stock due to space restrictions. We are addressing the space issue in our future redevelopment plans.

Needless to say we appreciated your feed back on Trip Advisor and thank you for your our other positive comments and be assured that we have addressed your other concerns and once again we apologise sincerely for not meeting your expectations and trust that you'll comeback one day soon and you'll let us know so that we can make your next visit a little more special.

Reagrds, Nick Israel - General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wagga Wagga, Australia
Level Contributor
91 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2011

My husband and I had three nights at Emma Gorge Resort recently. We were worried about the road in, (Gibb River Road) but we were happy to find about 80% was tar. Reception was excellent, enthusiastic and full of information and tips. We arrived early so our room wasn't quite ready but we were able to relax in the outdoor lounge area and help ourselves to free tea and coffee. (There is no tea and coffee making facilities, or fridge in the "tents" We loved the main reception area of timber structures and timber furniture set on decking. There was a buffet section and an a la carte area and in-between was the bar lounge area. We found all staff we delt with very pleasant and helpful, well done. These areas looked out onto lawn and the bush and partially obscured towering cliffs. It was a lovely place to chill out. The pool was nearby, designed to fit in with the bush surroundings. We found the "luxury tents" comfortable and adequate. I'm just troubled by the label of "luxury". These structures are a combination of tent and cabin with a little verandah area off one end. The out door setting is very basic and not terribly comfortable for long sits. The linen in our cabin was satisfactory and there were the little shampoo, conditioner, lotions supplied and good pressure shower. But I wouldn't call it luxury even though you are charged at "luxury" prices. I understand the remoteness and the "experience" factor but I'm still not convinced about the "luxury" label. There are about 60 tents set into the bush, a good distance apart but you can still see each other. They are linked by roads of fine crushed gravel or similar. Crunchy under foot so that you do hear other guests walking to their tent. Emma Gorge resort has a lot of bus tour groups staying for two nights. I was wondering why wouldn't it be possible to put the tour group people together at the closest end to the reception and independent travelers to the furtherest end so that tour groups are not disturbing other guests with early morning departures etc? Just a thought. I also would have thought breakfast should be included in the tariff, but no. We ate in the a la carte restaurant and the food was quite nice and well presented. The tents were serviced daily but this was another area that puzzled me. As you are in the bush there will always be dust getting in to the tent. There's no way around this. It's part of the bush but I would expect in a luxury tent, the dust to be wiped off the basin each day regardless, and the bed to be made properly. Overall we enjoyed Emma Gorge Resort and it's facilities. The walk to the Gorge was well worth the effort but challenging. The pool at the end of the gorge was magic. Guided tours were offered at a price. The little gift shop had a small selection of shirts, books, lotions, postcard etc. But I'm still not convinced the tents are "luxury".

Room Tip: Ask for a tent overlooking the Creek.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Wishlist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taunton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
166 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 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
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TravellingNaturalist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DNAPR, General Manager at Emma Gorge Resort, 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.
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
60 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank minov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
144 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank pepe_of_perth
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

Property: Emma Gorge Resort
Address: 75 Coolibah Dr, Kununurra, Western Australia 6743, Australia
Location: Australia > Western Australia > Kimberley Region > Kununurra
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 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 Kununurra, Australia - Western Australia

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