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All reviewsgreat roomwine cellarthe cliffsea lionsincluded toursevery mealremarkable suitefood and winekangaroo islandbucket listhigh expectationsfloor to ceiling windowsflinders suiteclassic menuother guestsworth every pennyremarkable rocks
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Reviewed February 15, 2012

We are an older, American couple and just spent six nights at Southern Ocean Lodge. There is much to say in its favor - spectacular views of the southern ocean and a generous, full service bar for those who wish to imbibe. What we found lacking are managers who may need a break, as they seem to do their jobs responsibly but by rote. For instance, we were greeted with a planned itinerary for our six days. We could change this and did, but felt it presumptuous on their part. The food is beautifully prepared but portions are meager. We were not informed until the second day that we could choose another menu, "the classical menu," which provided more choices and larger portions. The regular manicure/pedicure cost was quite expensive at $195; the choice of nail polishes were minimal; the plastic shoes needed to be returned. These are small matters, you might say, but show a sense of niggling when we were paying $2400 per night.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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21  Thank effadeffa
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 February 18, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to post a review. The team at Southern Ocean Lodge and Baillie Lodges are always seeking feedback as it's only with this that we can achieve the incredibly high standards identified in the vast majority of our reviews. We do understand that not all guests have the same expectations or perceptions and take the opportunity now to comment on the points you have raised...

All guests receive a personalised itinerary on arrival, this has been painstaklingly tailored based on many factors including length of stay, season, special requests, package type and of course availability of guides and vehicles. Our average stay is 3 nights and if we didnt undertake this massive task then it would be simply impossible to deleiver a core Kanagroo Island experience to each and every party, let alone include optional bespoke experiences, spa etc. The Lodge team would have made it clear that you are welcome to change this itinerary as it is just a starting point. The vast majority of our guests welcome the fact that we have done the thinking for them and that they can simply sit back, relax and enjoy the wonders of KI and the Lodge in relaxed style.

We are a epicurean desntination and we pride oursleves on our locally grown organic produce and daily changing menus that allow guests to enjoy a variety of flavours over a number of courses that is often likened to an "elegant sufficiency" - guests are always able to ask for larger portions or sides. We also feature a "Classics" menu, which is designed for the travel weary palette, offering more simple tradtional fare - this should have been mentioned on your first "sitting", however if it was inadvertanlty missed, it is notated at the bottom of each & every lunch and dinenr menu.

Thank you for the feedback on Spa pricing, this has recenlty been reviewed and we are well in line with other detsination spa's in premium lodges or resorts. It is in the interests of waste & sustainabliy that we request plastic spa sandals to be returrned, as they have no other use and we pride outselves of our minimal environmental footprint.

Again thankyou for this feedback which has been shared with our Lodge and Management teams.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2012

visited here last year and have been travelling so this review is late.We enjoy "high end" resort experiences and don't mind paying for good environments and service but this lodge failed to meet our expectations at every level.Rooms food and service all poor with lack of care and attention.Room not serviced properly,mould in shower and shabby.
Food not at the standard from dirt in lettuce to blood running out of rare pork,staff had a couldn't care less attitude towards complaints. the external environment the ocean and landscape were spectacular the only high point.I would recommend Saffire Lodge Tasmania over this property any day

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank dnacingqueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarah1971_9, Owner at Southern Ocean Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2012

Dear "Dnacing Queen"

Whilst we appreciate all valid feedback, it is certainly unfortunate that you have chosen to post this review some 5 months after your stay with us. As you know I was made aware of your concerns in our head office at the end of your stay at the Lodge and spent considerable time discussing your concerns with your husband, investigating and then responding with feedback post stay. Our Lodge team members also tried painstakingly to work through your issues at the time. I am perplexed as to the rationale of posting this review now.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, has different expectations and generally will have a different perspective on a standard or issue. In our case readers will note that the key points noted in this review of Staff, Food, Service and Rooms are all ranking incredibly highly both currently and also over the period of this guest stay in September 2011. As we all know everyone has a bad day at times, no matter the property and in our case we are always very gracious to accept constructive comments. In this situation we do take exception given our otherwise generally excellent feedback and are amazed at the lack of enjoyment of this celebrated and awarded property.

To offer readers some further background we note as follows;

Our Lodge was only 3.5 years old at the time of this review and at a cost of more than $1.5M per room it could hardly be called shabby! The assertion of mould is incorrect and more likely relates to our signature sandblasted white limestone bathrooms which are organic in look and feel. The background re the housekeeping comments relate to our 100% Belgian Linen pillow cases, which you queried our housekeeper on being changed - she explained that this was the look, again natural and organic, as opposed to starched, stiff and formal! When you were out on your 2nd day enjoying the wonders of KI, our maintenance team took the opportunity to "slip in" and touch up a nick of paint that had been noted in your robe area either from your bag or that of a previous guest, on return you commented on the smell. In hindsight we all agree that this was the wrong procedure and it should have been scheduled for after the suite was vacated. We did however immediately provide an alternate suite, which you then complained as being too close to the main complex, so our team then upgraded you to the only other available suite, in this case a 120sm Ocean Retreat Suite. In every case Lodge staff assisted with your belongings to avoid packing and unpacking.

In terms of the food we do pride ourselves on our standards and a quick scan of other reviews will not support these assertions as indicative of our standards - again this is likely to be more a combination of factors and personal taste. Our highly regarded Executive Chef was on leave your first couple of nights and it is unfortunate if there was any natural residue left in your salad, we can only apologise 5 months on. Our local organic pork is served pink as is now the contemporary trend, a simple request to the team would have had this rectified to your liking.
With regards to Saffire in Tasmania, my wife and I have enjoyed this Lodge immensely and agree that it is of exceptional standard. Many of our guests have stayed there enroute to Southern Ocean Lodge and as a general rule it is a close match as to the winner! Each to their own I guess!

As passionate hoteliers that have personally created a globally acclaimed Lodge such as this we hope that other readers place this review into the appropriate context. We also encourage other recent guests to provide their own feedback by way of comparison to the issues raised.

Sincerely | James & Hayley Baillie, Lodge Owners

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Reviewed February 12, 2012

My wife and six year old daughter had a wonderful time at Southern Ocean Lodge. The rooms are very large, wonderfully appointed and have great views of the ocean. Take a stroll down to the beach and make sure to book an excursion (or two) with Exceptional Kangaroo Island tours which can be booked through the hotel. Our Tour of Flinders Chase was a once in a lifetime experience. The communal bar/lounge area is very nice and the restaurant was incredible. We look forward to our happy return.

Room Tip: We stayed in the ocean retreat and loved it!
  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank SlickWilliam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2012

I was happy to pay the $1800 a night in the end because this property is so amazing and Australia needs more resorts pushing the envelope. This price tag should equal 6 star and I'm not sure it made it when comparing to other properties around the world at this price. The rooms are sparse but blend with the environment, the lounge and dining rooms are really beautiful and the service great - being called by our first names was a really nice touch and I'm sure they google all their guests to help make it a very personal experience! If you take advantage of all the tours on offer as part of the room rate the value certainly does improve. And the food is great and changes daily. The open bar is a great concept and the wine was good quality. We hired a car for the visit and spent some wonderful time at the islands Northern beaches - a must. Would I go back? Yes if the price was about 50% lower as I think for $1000 a night for the room it would have been right on the money.

Room Tip: The closer to the reception area the less time u will spend walking a very long and uphill corridor each day.
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank StuckinBangers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2012

This has to be the best hotel in the world. Starting with it's wonderful locaion, thoughtful design, sustainable principles, brillant food and fantastic wine - but best of all wonderful staff. It's a long way from Cambridge UK but we will go back

Room Tip: It depends on whether you want exercise - chose the lower numbered rooms or to be close to wonderful bar, lounge and dining room - chose the higher number rooms
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank segmaniot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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