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“Beautiful island, great staff, worn out rooms, poor food and not world class diving” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort

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Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Birkerod, Denmark
Level Contributor
84 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Beautiful island, great staff, worn out rooms, poor food and not world class diving”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2013

I always wanted to dive the GBR so staying on an island was a great idea. Also a very expensive idea – but I did. You fly in with the resorts own small planes and that all works well. You can only bring 10 kilos each but they store the rest for you in your departure airport.

The island is beautiful. White sandy beaches, palm trees etc – just like a holiday photo. The staff is really nice and helpful. The rooms are ok but worn out andnothing speciel and taking into account what you pay the rooms are poor value. But if you book one of the seaview rooms you have a fantastic view. Unfortunately we had rather bad weather the 5 days we were there and the extreme wind made it impossible to use our terrace overlooking the sea. It was simple to windy and cold.

The food is not fantastic. For breakfast there is a buffet. Same for lunch and dinner but for lunch you can also order a la carte from the café. But none of it is really good – again taking into account what you pay for your stay. But I have to say that during the month I spend in Australia I was very surprised about their poor food quality. So Lady Elliot was in my POV not speciel in that sense – just the same as the rest of Australia in my POV.

The diving: The reefs are 98% hard coral which makes it less colorful. I did see both mantas and sharks but the diving was certainly not as good as I have seen in other parts of the world. So despite a nice stay I would not go back. You can find a lot better diving for a lower price than here.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Birkbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (302)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Southern Finland, Finland
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2013

I stayed 3 days with my husband and baby. Weather changed from rainy to sunshine as we arrived so perfect timing. Flights to and from were scenic and exciting. Our reef unit room was basic but comfortable and perfectly located just steps from the lagoon. Lots of activities on the island so mobile phone nor internet weren't missed. Stuff were helpful, nice and casual. Learnt a lot from the evening lectures. Loved snorkelling. Loved birds, they didn't disturb us. Food was only negative side but after snorkelling and plays with our baby almost everything went. Anyhow we would loved to return the Lady any time soon if possible.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Dorothea75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2013

I came here with my mom and sister at the end of summer. We had good experiences with almost everything. The flight in was so gorgeous. within 15 minutes of arrival, you've had a tour, know where everything is, and are ready to explore the island. We did almost every activity on the board every day. We loved the tours and talks. The free glass bottomed boat tour was good for us since we're a little afraid of water. The staff is very encouraging and suggestive if you're afraid of water. They'll look out for you and it makes you feel safe! We stayed in an Eco hut and it totally met our expectations. After the reviews on here, we were worried about the food, but were pleasantly surprised. They had good salad bars, always a good veggie, and fantastic desserts every meal. Our favourite part was the people, though. We had such great interaction with Sophie, and pretty much followed Maggie around for three days while she gave tours. And alesh's dive recruiting every night was reward worthy. It was also nice interacting with other people on the island. Because its so small, you get to have nice chats with everyone. We need to come back!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank boilerjess98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2013

(We are a family of three, with a toddler, stayed just under a week)

A stunning place, especially if you like snorkelling/diving or bird watching... but not a "resort" in my book. I think the term can be misleading to many. I would describe it run more like a luxury youth hostal; but don't let it put you off.

The temporary cabin accommodation is good, clean, functional and comfortable. We had a reef side (facing the lagoon) room, as part of a block of 3 and did not miss air-con at all - the sea breeze was lovely.

I say "not a resort and more luxury youth hostal" as the service is not set up like a resort. There is no-one at the pool (there is a small inland pool) to bring drinks/food etc. You eat in the canteen with the staff. You clear away your own plates etc. All the staff were wonderfully helpful and relaxed, but it is not a "resort" type service. It is worth saying that the service set up did not detract from our holiday; the staff were great, just that it is worth setting your expectations before going.

However, there was one big negative: the food is poor. At best, you would describe it as 'school-diners'. Dull, unimaginative and on a few occasions inedible. The two main meals, breakfast and evening diner, are buffets. Breakfast was OK, with the usual cereal, toast and fruit; however, diner was the main ofender with over boiled vegetables and plain tough meat dishes. Even the vegetarian dish (there was one option each evening) was poor. Yuk. And an important tip - don't be late, everyone eats together and the few good bits go.

So why would we still go again and gave it overall 4* - because it had the best shore-based snorkelling I have ever found. The diving was also excellent, but it was the snorkelling that stood out and we saw just as much as we did diving. Snorkelling, we saw daily manta, sharks (whalers, white and black tips), turtles, bull rays, barracuda and more. Extraordinary.

The dive shop/team on the island were great, both accommodating and relaxed. The dive guiding was good and again relaxed. All the diving is very close to the island, so does not take up much time with an early morning dive allowing you to be back with the family/non-divers before 10am. Dive equipment was modern and well looked after (snorkelling equipment is provided free). Most of the diving was around the 10-20m mark, for an hour, using single Ali80 cylinders. Nice easy diving, although there can be occasional strong currents. You are south on the Gt Barrier Reef, so there are more hard corals than soft, but you get the bigger fish in compensation. Water was 26-27degree (March).

A great island for children, especially as there are no snakes on the island (they can run round relatively freely) and the lagoon makes for ideal children safe snorkelling. The inland pool is partially covered and has good sun protection; which is the same for the small climbing/swing/play area. All in good condition.

A few tips:
*) It is a coral island so there are lots of bits that are sharp on the feet - they will lend you old crocs or trainers to use on the beach and in the water, but for kids I would bring your own neoprene water shoes.
*) Bring some water canteens/bottles (they sell them if you forget) to carry fresh water around with you.
*) Hats are essential for the sun and the birds - there are a lot of birds (and I mean a LOT) and they constantly poo and regurgitate on everything!

Overall, accept you are not going to eat well and enjoy the stunning marine and bird wildlife.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank UK_Travel_Rabbit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
england
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2013

Stayed 3 days. weather was really good,Lovely island. Fun snorkelling, nice causal feeling about the island. Stayed in reef units right on the beach R2 was well located. Guides very informative. Food buffet average but not there for the food.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank keyboardking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast Australia
Level Contributor
57 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 16, 2013

Lady Elliott Island is an Eco Resort off the coast of central Queensland, at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. With the right weather conditions, the snorkelling is amazing. However, be aware that in the summer months it can be very windy, choppy to rough water at the snorkelling sites and certainly NOT for weak or inexperienced swimmers. In winter I believe the conditions are much more favorable and predictable. We were there at the tail end of one cyclone passing by and another forming up north. As a result the conditions were unpredictable at best.
The accommodation was basic but really clean and well maintained. All of the staff were very very pleasant, enthusiastic, friendly and helpful - they really went out of their way to make your visit memorable. The highlight of our visit was seeing 2 baby green turtles released into the ocean just after hatching, we also saw several turtles in the lagoon at the front of the restaurant and many more while out on the snorkel safari.
The food was adequate and plentiful but not gourmet. It pays to remember that every item has to be shipped onto the island - an expensive option. No cell phone coverage and extremely limited internet access. I would like to experience Lady Elliot again in good weather, then it would probably rate 5 stars. Keep in mind the resort and staff cannot control the weather!!

Room Tip: The 2 bedroom suites are spacious, right on the lagoon AND have air conditioning !!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nawlins66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

We arrived at Lady Elliot via a small plane that accomodated approximately 10-12 people. The plane flew low giving us a nice view as we approached Lady Elliot, a little gem in the barrier reef. It is one of a few islands that are actually part of the reef which means you can snorkel straight from the beach avoiding a two hour boat ride. We spent two nights here in February. Despite a fair amount of rain, we were able to snorkel and the stay was very enjoyable. This is an eco resort. The attraction is the reef, birds, and natural surroundings. Do not come expecting luxury. Our reef room was quite comfortable with a queen bed, two bunk beds and ensuite. It was very close to the beach with an obstructed view of the water. The island is home to thousands of birds. Bird watchers will love this, but they are quite noisy. The resort provides ear plugs which we did use and slept quite well. Everything that is served in the dinning room needs to be flown in from the mainland. The food is adequate but certainly not gourmet. Buffet style breakfast and dinner are included in the room price. There is a full bar, that provided free appetizers before dinner. The resort is staffed by enthusiastic young people with biology and related degrees and interests in preserving wildlife. They gave several talks, walks and tours both on land and in the water. We found these informative and enjoyable. One side of the island allows easy snorkeling access but only during high tide. The hours are posted. On the other side of the island, the resort has cleared coral to create two access points. Our reef and rainforest tour included a glass bottom boat ride with about 30 minutes of snorkeling. The boat took us to an excellent area to snorkel where we saw many colourful fish, a shark and petted a friendly sea turtle that swam by. That was truly a hightlight of the trip. We also went on a Snorkel Safari($30) that was led by the same person that had led the glass bottom boat excursion earlier. The safari was advertised as a guided float between the two access points where the guide would help us spot manta and sharks. Instead of taking us on the usual path, our guide took us into very rough water where we were battling against the current. I was not able to keep up and felt like I was going to drown. I was forced to flag down the boat for help. The boat captain came immediately and I spent much of the tour on the boat. My partner who is an excellent swimmer totally enjoyed this tour as it greatly challenged him. As a causual snorkeler I am happy to snorkel for hours in calm water however, I was not looking for something to challenge my swimming abilities; for me, it was a horrible experience. I would caution anyone considering this tour not to rely on the posters but to talk to the guide leading the safari that day to find out where the tour is going and to be sure he/she knows your swimming level.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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?
3 Thank furrydawg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lena M, Executive Assistant at Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, responded to this review, March 21, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review on Trip Advisor, we are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay on Lady Elliot Island despite the rain. We are very lucky to have such a passionate team on the Island and they enjoy educating our valued guests about our precious little Island. We were also happy to hear that you and your partner enjoyed snorkelling and exploring the wonders of the reef surrounding the Island. The Snorkel Safari is pitched at the more adventurous snorkellers and we were disappointed that you didn't enjoy the experience. Unfortunately, the weather can sometimes provide challenging snorkelling conditions, in a perfect world we would love to provide calm, clear waters every day.

Enjoy your future travels and we hope that you will come and visit us again :)
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 Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort

Property: Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort
Address: Lady Elliot Island, Queensland 4216, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Queensland > Lady Elliot Island
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lady Elliot Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 41
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lady Elliot is a true coral cay island located at the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, north of Fraser Island. The island is regarded as one of the best snorkeling and diving destinations on the Great Barrier Reef and is famous for its unspoilt coral reef and amazing array of spectacular marine life including turtles and manta rays. Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort provides a range of low key accommodation options ranging from 2BR Island Suites to Eco Cabins for those on a budget. The overnight rate includes: Full buffet breakfast and dinner daily; One free glass bottom boat/guided snorkel tour per person; Free use of snorkel equipment (mask, snorkel, fins); Range of free guided Island activities/tours; and Environmental Management Charge. Scenic flights depart daily from Bundaberg, Hervey Bay/Fraser Coast, Brisbane (Redcliffe) and Coolangatta. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Lady Elliot Island Eco Hotel Lady Elliot Island

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