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All reviewsgreat roomwine cellarthe cliffsea lionsincluded toursevery mealremarkable suitefood and winekangaroo islandbucket listhigh expectationsfloor to ceiling windowsclassic menuflinders suiteother guestsworth every pennyremarkable rocks
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Reviewed April 25, 2011

Arrived here via Rex Air, an easy flight out of Adelaide, then followed by an easy ride to the hotel.  

This is one of these places where you feel like you've died and gone to heaven!!  I was here only two nights, three would have been perfect.    SOL is amazing but KI is even more so.  

Room: as expected was beautifully designed with all areas designed to stare out at the stunning ocean view, the day I arrived it was cloudy the entire day so it was nice to arrive into a warm toasty room with heated floors and towel racks.    Lovely aromatic bathroom products (using lavender and other essential oils)  Mini bar had a good choice of loose tea leaves and well stocked mini bar. Was in room 3-  being third furthest meant it was a long walk (slight incline) back to the lobby/dining room but it also meant  more privacy when out on private patio facing the ocean vs the restaurant (rm 18-21 being the closest)  and also in my case, closer to the dolphins (on my second afternoon there were at least a dozen of them surfing in front of my room, but others tell me there were thirty of them in the water, they were so close that I was able to take photos of them while vegging on the couch in my room!!   .... I also found the optional no keys policy liberating.   

Food: very good given the fresh ingredients used, mostly from the Island.   We also had a nice bbq lunch.    The open bar concept was great. I tried their recommended wines the first night and moved on to choose from the cellar and open my own choice the second.  The selection of all inclusive wine was good and premium wines can also be purchased. Sat outside when the sun is out and inside against the stone wall among a sea of cushions at night, there are six chefs cooking for the max 21 rooms of guests, and they do a great job (though slightly salty at times).  

Service: friendly & efficient vs refined (esp at meals... )  but almost perfect. The staff here are mostly in their 20s to early 30s.  Most seem to have been here for six months ish only (hotel is three yr old)  Given how remote this place is one has to live onsite so that probably rules out any one older with kids.    I was not unhappy with the service, just don't expect a Michelin restaurant's service.  

Activities: tried all the included activities except the 20min natural history talk.  Loved the seal bay and highlights of KI trip.  Also on the cliff coastal walk from the hotel you really see how well the hotel blends into the environment (one third of the hotel's electricity needs are provided by solar panels)

Cons:
-Wifi.  Weak but we are in the middle of nowhere.  
-Flies.   Not too many of them but at lunch they like staying indoors (I ate my breakfasts and lunches outside where they surprisingly did not bother me at all) but one did manage to end up in my room the second night and another one landed on my bread  at dinner.  
-Not a big deal, but no bathtub in my room.   

  • Stayed: April 2011
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4  Thank Anilegna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2011

From the minute we were welcomed at Southern Ocean Lodge until our departure, our stay here was perfect! The tours and walks realized sitings of indigenous plant life, kangaroos, as well as a koala and time was given for photographs. The well-presented (and delicious) cuisine, the warm & efficient staff, the accommodations, the view and the open bar were all beyond our expectations. We were also fortunate enough that our visit coincided with a fun group of Australian couples traveling together adding to our stay. The managers of Southern Ocean Lodge have a natural talent in making all guests feel at home and we will always remember Lou and Ben with a smile. We have resided and traveled extensively abroad from the United States, and rate Southern Ocean Lodge at the very top of our experiences. When departing and being driven away from the lodge to meet our plane, a kangaroo hopped across the road right in front of our car to bid us farewell. If I didn't know better, I would have thought that kangaroo was programmed to add the final touch!

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank ItsTheJourney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2011

I first saw Southern Ocean Lodge in a travel magazine a year or two ago and knew that I had to stay there. The rooms and the location did not fail to disappoint - both are just as stunning in person as they are in the pictures. For that alone I would recommend staying here. The tours and activities they provide are also top notch. The lodge works with Exceptional KI tours who do some of the tours and their staff is just amazing. The tour guides who work for the lodge directly were also very good, maybe less experienced, but very friendly and good. The spa is also amazing - it's set away from the lodge up higher on the cliffs and the view is amazing. The facilities are rather large and very nice and the massage I had was first rate. The reason I didn't give this place five stars (ideally I'd given it four and a half) is that, for the price, they need to make a few adjustments to the service. Most of our issues revolved around the restaurant which had a somewhat disproportionate impact since you are eating three meals and day there. We often had to hunt down a waiter and at one point get water for ourselves. Some of the waitstaff was good, but we were often confused as to who our waiter was and I think the staff often had the same confusion. They need to work out a better system. The food overall was very good, but again a few problems. One dinner (we were there four nights) both of our dishes were extremely salty, really inedible, and they sort of apologized (and didn't offer anything else) but then the chef sent the waiter out to argue with us why were wrong and dishes were fine. If this was a restaurant in my home town I would have never, ever returned. That said we had a really good meal the next night - but the stress of it really sort of broke the "bubble" of vacation good feeling. Another issue we had is that we'd been communicating with what we thought was resort staff to sort out our tours for our stay and it turns out we were not, that it was reservations staff who aren't onsite and who never communicated our wishes to the resort. It all worked out and we got what we wanted, but again, it was stressful and not what we want on vacation. I wouldn't discourage anyone from going at all - Kangaroo Island is a magnificent place and we saw tons of kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and even echidnas and the resort is unbelievably beautiful - but I think they need to pay attention to some of the details a little more.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank oscarfelix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarah1971_9, Public Relations Manager at Southern Ocean Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 14, 2011

Welcome home and thank you for posting your review about your experiences at Southern Ocean Lodge on Trip Advisor. We're pleased you enjoyed Kangaroo Island itself and that you enjoyed what the Lodge offers in terms of design and facilities, and trust that on the whole your experiences of the Lodge team, the food and touring were favourable. We appreicate the would-be 4.5 stars, but of course we always aim for 5! We have noted your comments regarding waitstaff and appreciate that this must have been a frustrating aspect to dining at Southern Ocean Lodge; we're pleased too that dinner on the second night was more to your liking. We do aim for a streamlined guest stay in terms of touring, food and all aspects of service and will use this valuable feedback to further improve our standards of excellence.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2011

I had heard and read so much about SOL and it lived up to all my expectations and more. Amazing location - edge of the world yet all the amenities and service you could ask for. The Spa is sensational. An excellent base to explore the nature and beauty of Kangaroo Island. We did a day tour with Exceptional Kangaroo Island upon arrival and it was the perfect way to ease into the Island - highly recommend a private tour with them. Plan a late departure from Kanagroo Island if you can - it's a pity to leave earlier than you have too. Recommend 3 nights to really enjoy and soak up this special place in the world.

Room Tip: They are all great!
  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Hudson2905
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2011

What an amazing place!

The pictures on their website hardly do them justice.

The location is mesmerizing, the hotel is magnificent, the food sublime, the staff felt like old friends. This IS the most magical place that we have ever visited.

On arriving at the hotel we were greeted like family. Nothing was too much for the team at SOL. The excursions kept both my wife and our kids fully immersed throughout the day and it was just a pleasure to go to dinner each night and experience the local foods and wines.

I highly recommend the hotel, choose room 19, the view over the rugged coast line is just inspiring.

Enjoy.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank Travelling_Philips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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