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“Over priced for 'Average' accommodation” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Emma Gorge Resort

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Emma Gorge Resort
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Kununurra
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
59 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Over priced for 'Average' accommodation”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 1, 2013

Interested in earlier reviews in which the feeling ‘ripped off’ seems to predominate in relation to Emma Gorge. We had so been looking forward to visiting this resort, but do admit we weren't expecting city service because of the remoteness and guessed we would be hit with city prices. Those expectations were certainly met.

We really enjoyed the ‘walk’ (not for the faint hearted, lots of boulders and rocks to clamber over ; but the experience of the Gorge swim at the end is absolutely exceptional) to the Gorge and treated ourselves to a night in their tented accommodation as a reward. As the picture unabashedly illustrates, there’s no luxury associated with that accommodation, apart from the price – yes an en suite, but no basic luxuries such as: air conditioning, frig, tea making facilities, hairdryer, secluded location/view, comfortable beds- those things that you expect when you're paying inflated prices.

The service was friendly enough but some rather big gaps were evident. On checking in we were cheerfully advised that our ‘tent’ had a parking place for our 4wd – ‘That’s a specialty included in the price”. When we got to our accommodation it was interesting to note that we were one of the very few tents WITHOUT a parking place – especially intriguing as it was quickly evident we were only one of 3 tents occupied by independent travellers. All other guests were passengers on the 2 bus tours lodging for the night and clearly the last thing they needed was a parking space. Such a basic consideration to be dealt with at booking time you would think.

A la carte dinner was us and another couple – the hordes were off at the group dinner. Wait staff was very pleasant and accommodating but food was just average – barramundi over cooked and ridiculously fussy with miso and noodles and just trying to be too clever. Breakfast: again friendly staff but little anticipation of needs. We waited for the groups to move out before arriving at breakfast and the bain maries had nothing in them, the toaster had broken, no fruit. We were paying an awful lot for this accommodation + breakfast. We actually had to ask for replenishment, rather than it being evident as soon as we arrived that we would want it. Very odd.

That said we had a pleasant stay. The setting is lovely in amongst the trees with the red Gorge as background - and we were at the beginning of our holiday and determined NOT to be disappointed, whatever the price.

But let's face it to all of this, if you please, we had to add $60, for the privilege of driving through the rest of El Questro and enjoying the walking/driving tracks and lookouts. The main station looked little better to us in accommodation and food options – and indeed our experience here is why we arrived the next night at Home Valley Station, further along the Gibb River Road, with such low expectations. In fact there, we were blown away by the seriousness with which they took the quality of their accommodation, service and facilities.

So in fact, do yourself a favour: walk the Gorge (I gather that’s $10); explore El Questro (is that another $60?), then head off to Home Valley Station – the amount you’re paying for accommodation there is evident in its service and facilities, which is absolutely not the case with Emma Gorge.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sue W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori_Litwack, General Manager at Emma Gorge Resort, responded to this review, June 3, 2013
Dear Sue W,
It is pleasing to see that overall you enjoyed your stay at Emma Gorge. The points you have highlighted regarding service and value are very important to us as a measure of how we are performing. I appreciate that the cost of a tented cabin can appear higher than a normal city stay. We do however carry the burden of being in a remote location and with this comes a self sufficiency that does prove to be very expensive for us.
The location also influences our introduction of a Wilderness Park Permit as we clear all of our roads and tracks, sign the trails, provide complimentary information and conduct land and weed management throughout the park in order to provide access to the wilderness areas for our visitors to enjoy. As a private entity we raise the funds to accomplish this through the permit system.
We have been improving the cabins this year with new bedding and linens to lift the overall appearance and comfort for our guests. Unfortunately, the power that we do generate does not allow for the other comforts you mentioned such as fridges, air conditioners or kettles.
The buffet replenishment at breakfast is being addressed and I do apologise that when you visited, the food was not put out fresh again after the groups. This will be fixed from now. I also welcome the comments regarding dinner and will look to our chef to make improvements on the cooking and the menu selection.
We do have the new car parking spaces beside selected cabins and the staff should be able to easily allocate appropriately, a mistake was made on your allocation.
I believe that we take very seriously our resort and hospitality business. I am truly sorry that this did not shine through when you were with us but hope that if you have occasion to visit in the future, our normally high standards will be in evidence.
Warm regards,
Lori Litwack
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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156 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 31, 2013

Fellow travellers need to be aware that you need to pay $10 per person even if you just drop in to the resort for a coffee and have no intention of taking the walking track to the gorge (which I didn't have due to an obvious disability). When I queried this, I was told by the receptionist that this charge applied 'by virtue of being on the property'. I paid but felt ripped off!

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank 100pluscountries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori_Litwack, General Manager at Emma Gorge Resort, responded to this review, June 3, 2013
Dear 100pluscountries,

I am terribly sorry that you had to pay the $10 day pass when you only intended to have a coffee. The vigilant staff of Emma Gorge misunderstood our policy. We have always waived the park permit if travellers wish to use the restaurant or lounge without accessing the Wilderness Park areas. We well and truly welcome all passers by to enjoy the hospitality of the restaurant and do not require the fees to be paid to just enjoy a meal or a coffee.

Please know that this has been emphasized and widely communicated to all El Questro staff and should not be a problem for your fellow travelers.

Warm regards,

Lori Litwack
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
58 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2013

We stayed at Emma Gorge Resort for 3 nights in May. We also stayed 3 nights at the Station Township in a river view bungalow. Our stay at Emma Gorge was fine but we preferred the Station for a number of reasons.

We were lucky when we visited Emma Gorge as it was the beginning of the season so we practically had the resort to ourselves. The staff were friendly, helpful and enthusiastic. The service was great in the restaurant and we enjoyed our meals there.

Emma Gorge Resort has more of a low-key feel to it than the Station. The tented cabins were clean and comfortable (though we missed a few home comforts - having a kettle and small fridge would have been great). The bungalows at the Station had these extras which we missed when we moved to Emma Gorge. We were a little surprised that the accommodation at Emma Gorge was more expensive than the Station bungalows as we felt the bungalows offered more. Both the cabins and bungalows were serviced each day, which was great. We weren't expecting that for this level of accommodation.

Breakfast was either a buffet or a la carte (depending on whether a tour group was staying). Both were fine and there was a good choice of breakfast options.

If you can't get accommodation at the Station, then Emma Gorge is a great option. Because most of the tours leave from the station (and it's closer to a lot of the walks), we found it more convenient to be based there.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Travelbuddy010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori_Litwack, General Manager at Emma Gorge Resort, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Dear Travelbuddy010

I love your review of Emma Gorge and the comparison to The Station. It is often part of my job to try and sell the difference between the 2 properties and you have done a great job for me. I am pleased that Emma Gorge served as a peaceful alternative and that you enjoyed the location and meals in the restaurant.

Emma Gorge is typically less expensive than the Station however I believe you must have enjoyed a Stay3Pay2 special at The Station which made it less on this occasion. Thank you for sharing your review, we hope that you have further reason to visit either of the resort again in the future.

Warm regards,

Lori Litwack
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2013 via mobile

Writing this review at least 6 months after staying there, see what I can remember...
Only stayed here one night, would be a place I could return to, Tented rooms were great, big with all amenities.
Highlight is the walk upto Emma Gorge, not a easy hike, just take your time and you will be rewarded with a treat at the top.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Arcticozzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori_Litwack, General Manager at Emma Gorge Resort, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Dear Arcticozzie

Thank you for the review on Emma Gorge. We are so glad that travelers enjoy there time with us. Hopefully you can return and spend more time exploring and enjoying all that El Questro Wilderness Park has to offer.

Warm regards,

Lori Litwack
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
61 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2012

I visited here as part of a dreaded tour group. Sorry!
Because we only stopped one night, I didn't get to experience just how good the permanent tent was - din't get to open any of the window or door flaps for example, to experience that sleeping 'outside while you're inside' feeling. It seemed odd that there was a fan but no air-con ... well, air-con would have been ineffective in that the tents aren't sufficiently sealed, in that sense. But the fan was perfectly adequate. Plenty of hot water for the shower and lovely to have a flush toilet after long-drops and 'behind the bushes'!
The food (dinner and breakfast) was fine, and more than enough of it. Anything that looked like it was running out was quickly replenished.
I slept well - but you are efeectively in the wild so you hear plenty of animal noises. You only 'think' it's inside your tent!!
The only problem, and here I can feel for people not in a tour group, was when tour directors were giving their instructions at dinner for the next day, it was really hard to hear when the same thing was happening for another group only a metre or two away.
Emma Gorge itself is stunningly beautiful - I could have gone there several days in a row, never mind other sites in the vicinity.
Altogether, a very different experience.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MobileEm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori_Litwack, General Manager at Emma Gorge Resort, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Dear MobileM

It is fantastic to hear that your one night at Emma Gorge was such a highlight. We appreciate you sharing your experience on line. The tour groups are still a great way to see many places that not all are prepared to drive to on their own. But hopefully you will be able to return to Emma Gorge and enjoy the things you missed on this trip. It is definitely a unique experience.

Warm regards,
Lori Litwack
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
67 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2012

The tents were pleasant and awoke to beautiful view of the gorge. The resort itself was frequented by tour groups however did not prevent us from receiving good service. The buffet food was good and a reasonable price if you just went for the main option. El Questro resort itself well worth a visit, shame it is 50 mins between the two (emma gorge and the station) with most of the attractions being closer to The Station.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank AHW83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori_Litwack, General Manager at Emma Gorge Resort, responded to this review, September 23, 2012
Dear AHW 83,

That you for the very favourable review of El Questro's Emma Gorge Resort. We are are very appreciative when guests share their wonderfull experiences and hioghlight what makes this such a truly unique destiantion. I am glad that we were able to prvide that level of service, something we cerainly strive for for.

We hope that you will have occasion to visit again and enjoy the many attractions you may not have experienced in your first visit.

Warm regards,

Lori Litwack, General Manager El Questro Wilderness Park
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2012 via mobile

Caters primarily for bus tour groups. Groups are marshalled to their meal times and told where to sit. My biggest complaint is that I clearly stated on booking, that I am vegetarian (no meat, fish, poultry) and was given a plate of steak and fish for lunch. On commenting to the waiter, I was told 'that's all there is'. Just the offer of a piece of bread would have done!
The safari tent itself was OK, but mattresses were soft and pillows uncomfortable.
On the plus side, there is some great walking and birdwatching.

Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank Penny S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori_Litwack, General Manager at Emma Gorge Resort, responded to this review, September 23, 2012
Dear Penny S,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of Emma Gorge on Trip Advisor. I am sorry that you did not enjoy the resort and found it to be too big and impersonal. While it does have a large proportion of guests arriving on coach tours, it also sees a lot of independent travellers and families. The staff are normally very accommodating all types of travller, so again my apologies that they seemed to miss the mark when serving your meals during your visit.

We look forward to making some improvements to the cabins over the coming wet season and hope you will have opportunity to experience Emma Gorge in a new light.

Warm regards,

Lori Litwack
General Manager, El Questro Wilderness Park
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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