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Orpheus Island Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Orpheus Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 27, 2014 via mobile

Visited Orpheus for 4 night stay. Could have lived here. Just gorgeous. No tropical storms, only 14 guests plus abundant staff. Arrived and met the chef. They are renowned for their food - we know why!! Everything is included once you step foot on the island so it makes the experience all the more relaxing. Staff were happy to package picnics and boats, make cheese & fruit platters with complimentary wine by the pool or rooms. All at such a stunning location.
The remoteness has pros & cons for travelling times also limits guest numbers which was nice. Feels like you're the only ones there.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Karen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shaun_Grant, General Manager at Orpheus Island Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded June 4, 2014

Dear Karen S,
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us on Orpheus Island.
It was great to read that you enjoyed your time here and that you were not left wanting for anything during your visit.
One of the great advantages of an inclusive resort is that for the most part you don't need to bring your wallet out once you are here; unless of course you are wanting some special wines or cocktails, pampering in the spa or to go diving with our marine team. As you said, it makes the experience all the more relaxing and that's what we strive for.
We hope we have an opportunity to welcome you back to Orpheus Island Hideaway in the near future.
Warm regards,
Shaun Grant
General Manager

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191 - 197 of 267 reviews

Reviewed May 16, 2014

Choosing Orpheus Island wasn't an easy decision. For the past few years, I have been dreaming about a Great Barrier Reef island resort holiday. What I wanted from my holiday was primarily relaxation and I had a bit of a wish list. I wanted:

- Somewhere pleasantly warm and naturally beautiful.
- To go snorkelling and try scuba-diving
- As many massages as possible
- To eat delicious food, and not have to worry about tariffs.

All this meant that I was tossing up between Lizard and Bedarra island resorts. However, when I searched TripAdvisor for "Lizard vs Bedarra", an interesting thread came up saying that the food on Orpheus Island was better than either Lizard or Bedarra. I had never heard of Orpheus Island -- in fact, down here in Melbourne, nobody had heard of Orpheus Island.

However, since I pretty much live to eat, I was incredibly intrigued by all the discussion about Chef Arie Prabowo. My decision was strongly influenced by the sample menus on the Orpheus website.

I was also attracted to the inclusive activities of Orpheus Island -- Dining with the Tides, fishing trips, snorkelling trips, guided walks, dinghy adventure picnics, etc. It's a nice feeling to be able to really enjoy your holiday without having to keep a mental budget.

So I chose Orpheus Island, and for what I wanted from a holiday, I had a pretty much perfect experience.

The entire experience was delightful, from the moment we landed in Cairns and were met at the baggage claim by the helicopter pilot, to the unexpected delay that meant our departure was postponed by a few hours.

This entire review could actually be about the food. I would say that if you aren't a fan of fine dining, you will miss a large part of the magic of Orpheus. Dining takes up a lot of the day at Orpheus!

My excitement about the food began when we received a questionnaire about our likes/dislikes and dietary requirements. We requested BonSoy for our coffees and hot chocolates and expressed a few other preferences -- the chefs met with us on arrival and not once for the whole trip were our preferences overlooked.

Breakfast has two courses -- the first being fresh tropical fruits and whatever pastry (cake!) the chef has dreamed that day. We had ethereal steamed pandan coconut sponge, feather-light banana bread with espresso, strawberry financiers, honeycomb and blueberry muffins -- all warm from the oven and irresistible.

Irresistible is exactly the word, actually, as there may come a time when you realise that you should skip a course or decline a dessert, because there are still so many more delicious foods to come and your stomach hasn't stopped feeling full for three days. But that only works if you can prevent yourself from scoffing down the breakfast cake.

The breakfast à la carte menu is fantastic, almost hauntingly so if you're like me and are tormented by not being able to try All The Things. I can strongly recommend the perfect poached eggs (from chickens kept on the island), the crunchy and savoury potato rosti, the creamy sweet kaya, the tangy apple-y Bircher muesli.

For coffee snobs -- many of the staff come by way of Melbourne, and can make a soy latte to compete with the best hipster Fitzroy baristas.

Lunches have a different them every day, and are allegedly "three small dishes" and a dessert. I'm not sure that a massive helping of grilled tiger prawns, another of crunchy patatas bravas, a large salad, and handmade bread, counts as "three small dishes". Luckily, the desserts are almost amuse-bouche sized -- a perfect scoop of chai ice cream or blood orange sorbet, a chewy ball of Indonesian mochi with a liquid caramel centre, a tangy, deeply intense triangle of fruit pâte.

Nuts, olives, apricot-walnut or chocolate-cherry biscuits are always available, as are soft drinks, beers, house wines, and, delightfully, two kinds of sparkling water.

Dinners are degustations -- four or five courses of some of the most exquisite food I have ever enjoyed. I enjoyed the inventive and creative flavour combinations, marvelled at the incredible technique displayed, and frequently scraped the plate clean and wished I could pick it up to lick. I learned a lot about my own palate and was blown away by the fact that at almost every meal, I was getting to eat literally the best example of a food I had ever had in my life. For example: the best crumble, the best roasted rhubarb, the best sago, the best kaya, the best potato chips, the best piece of poached fish, the best sorbet, the best soufflé.

I love fine dining and spend a ridiculous proportion of my income on trying new restaurants or travelling to try restaurants. It is not exaggeration to say that the food on the island is world-class, and the skill of the chef, the quality of the ingredients, and the techniques used in the food would certainly earn the chef a Michelin star, or three Chef Hats if Orpheus were a restaurant.

We stayed for six nights, and found it almost surreal to be dining on scallops, crayfish, coral trout, oysters, quail, and king prawns every day. We laughed and laughed when we calculated (counting lunch as two courses) that we had been served 54 courses of food and spent about 26 hours dining.

While we were there, we noted however that the guest's preferences come first -- if degustation or delicate seafood is not for you, then your favourite steak and chips is happily provided. At one meal we had reached critical fullness and so had to skip some courses -- again, this was catered to with cheerfulness and not a hint that we were being any trouble.

We weren't only there to eat however. We went for two guided local snorkels and I tried scuba diving. Orpheus has snorkelling sites only a few minutes away by boat -- including a mesmerising clam garden. We took a dinghy out and had great adventures, including a picnic in the open ocean!

Between the two of us, we had five spa treatments with the amazing and knowledgeable Paula. We lazed around the resort, and swam in the pool, and went for a guided nature walk to the other side of the island -- saw incredible bird wing butterflies, and a wasp fighting a lizard. One of my favourite things was watching the reef sharks from the jetty.

We also enjoyed hanging out in the pool bar just watching the weather change -- from sudden downpours to warm sunshine in minutes.

The rooms were comfortable and fitted out in a beachy minimalist mid-century Modern/Danish fashion. We had Suite 4, and enjoyed the view of our beach from our room. The rooms are not over-the-top luxury nor are they particularly private, however the plans for the new South Side rooms look to include more honeymoon-style suites. The landscaping behind the north side rooms (eastern non-beach side) has not yet been completed, but I am sure it will be amazing once construction has finished. In the meantime, we simply drew the blinds on the eastern side of our room.

Wifi is only in the pool bar and is almost unusably slow. However my Telstra 3G (no 4G) reception was good enough to stream video and FaceTime throughout the resort.

Finally, a word about the staff: I'm not sure how such universally great staff are found, but every staff member, from housekeeping to groundskeeping to front of house, was absolutely fantastic. I enjoyed the low-key nature of the resort, but felt really looked after when every preference was remembered and not a single staff member ever expressed anything but cheerful enthusiasm to help. The friendly happy staff really made the holiday for us -- the impression that the staff enjoyed their jobs and were happy themselves, really helped me relax into the great service. Hugh, Nicky, Madison, Paul, Mickey, and Erin -- thank you so much for everything. In particular, Hugh -- thanks for always going above and beyond to make our holiday so delightful.

Room Tip: South side rooms are currently closed for renovation; so regarding the north side rooms -- higher nu...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
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13  Thank epw2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shaun_Grant, General Manager at Orpheus Island Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded May 23, 2014

Dear epw2012,
Choosing a holiday destination is never easy, even more so when it is a remote island, so we were very pleased that even though spoilt for choice you chose Orpheus.
As passionate 'foodies', I was always confident that Arie and his talented team of chefs would be able to meet your expectations. To hear that they surpassed them and we were able to deliver on so many more of your wish list items to provide you with a memorable vacation is especially rewarding.
Thank you for taking the time to review you stay with us and I'll be sure to pass on your kind individual thanks to all those mentioned. We hope to have an opportunity to welcome you back to our little tropical hideaway sometime in the near future.
Warm regards,
Shaun Grant
General Manager

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Reviewed May 7, 2014

We were fortunate enough to stay on Orpheus Island for 4 nights with our three young children (aged 7, 6 and 3) in April 2014; we left feeling so relaxed and recharged, it was like we had been away for weeks! It was definitely the highlight of our little Aussie trip.

The staff are all simply wonderful; very friendly and informal when appropriate, but also professional, knowledgeable and keen to make sure you are having exactly the type of holiday you want. Whether you want to spend the days lazing by the pool and on the beach with the kids, or out and about on the boats snorkelling or fishing, the staff make sure that whatever you choose you are looked after and have everything you need to make it perfect.

As parents, our biggest fear about holidays is if there will be enough to keep them occupied and engaged, and whether they will eat french fries, chicken nuggets/battered fish every single day of the holiday! However we needn't have worried about any of that at Orpheus; the staff were just amazing with the children, taking time to talk to them during the day, read with them, take them for walks, bake cookies, help make juice, teach them to snorkel to name just a few. Our girls were made to feel very special and important indeed, and adored all of the staff. The eldest was in floods of tears as the helicopter took off when we left, particularly saying goodbye to Paul and Nicky (luckily we have a photo for her to fawn over!). All of the staff are fantastic role models.

Each day we were told what the chef was planning on cooking for the children for lunch and dinner, and asked if it was OK with us or if we wanted anything different. Their food was incredible; delicious pastas, fried rice and grilled chicken, mashed potato with veggies and chicken.....It was so refreshing to know that the children were eating healthy balanced diets whilst on holiday for once.
The food for the adults was even more incredible; beautifully presented, innovative and consistently delicious.

The rooms are really large and decorated in such a way that makes it feel like your own private beach house, rather than a cookie-cutter, contrived hotel/resort.
That sums up our stay at Orpheus really; its like having your own private home on a beautiful island, with just a few other guests to share it with (and without having to do your own cooking or arranging activities, or even laundry!).
Thank you so much to Shaun and his amazing team for making our holiday so very special.
sue and james B.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank snoozeyb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shaun_Grant, General Manager at Orpheus Island Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded May 16, 2014

Dear snoozeyb,
Thank you for taking the time to review your family's recent stay with us on Orpheus.
It was great to hear that the children enjoyed their time with us much as the parents and I'll be sure to pass on your kind words of thanks to the team.
We strive to have all our visitors feel like guests in our home, with us on hand to pamper and spoil them as much or as little as desired, so it was wonderful to read that you felt like you were staying in your own private beach house.
We hope your fond memories of the time spent at our little hideaway will be shared by your family for some time to come and look forward to an opportunity to welcome you back in the future.
Warm regards,
Shaun Grant
General Manager

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Reviewed April 25, 2014

What can I say in a word, Spectacular. From the Minute you get picked up for your Helicopter transfer to the minute they drop you back at the airport, you feel like a Royal, yes you heard me Like a Royal. Lap it up while you are there as time fly's doing nothing or every thing. It was our 28th wedding Anniversary in March, perfect place to celebrate our milestone. Staff treat you like they have known you for ever, anything you wish for is catered for. The food was amazing the service professional. The North Beachfront suites have a very sophisticated feel, & are very clean & large. The day Spa is not to be missed, I went twice in four days. Try the fishing trip & have your fish cooked to your Liking by the chef, added to your next meal. A drop off at a secluded beach with a picnic basket & snorkeling with beautiful fish just steps away from your lunch area was superb. If you are fit take a walk up & over to picnic bay, about 20 minutes, its worth the work out. I'm not one for bush walking but I needed to see what was on the other side of the island, it was well worth it. Laze in your hammock & watch the sunset with a glass of wine & a book. The worst thing about this holiday was leaving, then being home sick to go back. Well guess what, I'm going back, my Mum asked me to take her as she wanted to experience all the above after hearing all about our trip. Lucky me, we are leaving in 3 days. Beware, once you experience Orpheus island , you will need to start planning your next trip Back :o) Enjoy From Jackki & John..

Room Tip: North side Suites are on the new side with amazing uninterrupted views of the beach. The south side...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank jackkipisani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shaun_Grant, General Manager at Orpheus Island Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 27, 2014

Dear cookie092,
It was wonderful to hear that you are returning to visit with us again and we are looking forward to welcoming yourself and your mum today. It's just a shame that John wonn't be joining us for this trip.
You're description of your vacation summed up the experience our team strives to give each and everyone of our guests very well and we can't wait to have your mum experience it with you.
Thank you for taking the time to review your first stay and for your kind words.
Your special wine is on ice! See you soon.
Warm regards,
Shaun Grant
General Manager

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Reviewed April 13, 2014

We stayed on Orpheus for six nights in March 2014 & I can honestly say it's the best resort I've ever had the opportunity to stay in & I'm lucky enough to have stayed in some amazing parts of the world.

Not only was the resort beautiful & maintained in absolutely tip-top condition, it was also fantastically welcoming - Shaun & his team made you feel really well looked after without being smothered - I loved being able to help myself to a glass or two of chilled bubbles out of the fridge!

The food was out of this world! Without question it was the nicest food I've ever had the pleasure to eat on a resort like this. There is no criticism whatsoever to make of it - the freshness, variety & Asian influence was perfect for us!

The daily activities arranged by the team (fishing, snorkelling, diving, trips to the reef, the sunset cruise, kayaks, etc.) were fantastic for keeping my husband entertained whilst I could relax by the beautiful infinity pool reading my book, sipping some prosecco & topping up my tan!

The rooms were immaculate with great toiletry products. I also loved the fact that they provided sun screen & mozzie repellant. Again - you felt cared for.

We were gutted when we had to leave quite frankly! Although the helicopter flight back took the edge off the disappointment a bit!

Room Tip: We stayed on the North side which was beautiful, but the South side rooms are being upgraded so I su...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Amy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shaun_Grant, General Manager at Orpheus Island Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2014

Dear Amy L,
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us on Orpheus. We were very happy to hear that you enjoyed your holiday so much and especially pleased that you consider our resort to be one of the best you have experienced.
That you found so much to enjoy during your time here is wonderful. Our small team work hard to ensure each of our guests get the individual vacation experience they are seeking, so it was great to hear that you got plenty of time to relax by our infinity pool while your husband was able to enjoy by the many activities we offer.
We certainly hope that we will get to welcome you both back to our little tropical hideaway sometime soon.
Warm regards,
Shaun Grant
General Manager

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Reviewed April 11, 2014

Had a fantastic time at Orpheus, from the staff (especially the marine team, the bar staff, Arie and Shaun) who go out of their way to make your staff enjoyable, to the fantastic location.
We arrived with the intention of chilling out and we certainly did!. The food is fantastic.
The hotel arranges events each day, but you can use their facilities to fish, snorkel, kayak and much more.
Renovations taking place on the south side are a little noisy, but this kept the number of visitors low and made the hotel even more "exclusive".
Would certainly recommend Orpheus as a special place to stay and do hope the cyclone (imminent when we left) does not do too much damage.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Thompsons_hols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shaun_Grant, General Manager at Orpheus Island Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2014

Dear Thompsons_hols,
It was great to hear that you got the relaxing vacation you were seeking.
I'm also very pleased to report that tropical cyclone Ita passed over us without incident and there was no damage to the property or the island in general. After a quick clean up, we welcomed our first guests back yesterday and are preparing for a busy Easter weekend.
Thank you for the review of your time spent with us on Orpheus and we hope we have an opportunity to welcome you back in the future.
Warm regards,
Shaun Grant
General Manager

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Reviewed April 6, 2014

I stayed 2 nights at the Orpheus Island Resort in November 2013. A truly unforgettable experience. I can only describe it as paradise island.
Right from the start everyone made me feel so special. Shaun, the GM and his team are absolutely first class, and there's not a wish or request that wasn't attended to. They really go out of their way to make the guests' stay an unforgettable one. They are so friendly and professional without being fake or overpowering, being attentive whilst discreet.
The resort itself is stunning, beautifully designed with spectacular views looking out to the ocean. The accommodation I stayed in (suite) was fantastic, modern but homely with 2 lovely terraces.
The food was a real highlight. It being totally catered to you really means you can enjoy it to its fullest and I had some of the best fish/seafood I've ever eaten. Everything was fresh and deliciously cooked and beautifully served.
Even though the island is very secluded there were definitely enough activities for the guests to do. As I was only there for one full day I only managed to do the snorkelling (seeing amazing fish, coral and giant clams!). I know that other activities included fishing, hiking, but the Orpheus team could also organise a boat trip to a secluded part of the island for a romantic picnic.
The rest of my time I spent by the beautiful infinity pool staring out at the ocean drinking a glass of chilled wine or cocktail.
Thank you Shaun and the Orpheus team - it was the icing on the cake of my Australian trip!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Stephanie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shaun_Grant, General Manager at Orpheus Island Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2014

Dear Stephanie C,
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us on Orpheus Island.
It was wonderful to hear that you enjoyed your brief visit and we were happy that we were able to provide such a perfect end to your Australian holiday.
I will be sure to pass on your kind words of thanks to the Orpheus team and we hope that we have an opportunity to welcome you back on your next visit to Australia.
Warm Regards,
Shaun Grant
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Orpheus Island Lodge

Address: PO Box 549 | Garbutt East, Orpheus Island, Queensland 4810, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Queensland > Orpheus Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Orpheus Island
Price Range: $1,048 - $1,820 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Orpheus Island Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Orpheus Island Lodge is the Barrier Reef‘s most secluded tropical island. Catering for just 28 indulged guests at one time, Orpheus truly epitomizes service and luxury. Located just a 30 minute scenic flight from Townsville or a 90 minute flight from Cairns, the picture perfect luxury hideaway stretches across 11km of immaculate turquoise coastline, and comprises a pristine National Park and surrounding World Heritage-listed Marine Park. With its unique location, Orpheus has access to the largest range of activities set amongst some of the most preserved areas of the reef. You will not be short of things to see and do on and around the island. The ultimate culinary escape is a foodies paradise. The Orpheus rate is all inclusive of artfully prepared gourmet meals tailored to your individual taste, selected Australia wines and beers, as well as unlimited use of the islands kayaks, stand up paddleboards, catamarans, motorised dinghies, and snorkeling equipment. Perfect as a holiday destination, a picturesque wedding setting, or booked in its entirety for exclusive use, Orpheus is a secret to the outside world and offers guests the ultimate tropical haven. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Orpheus Island Hotel Orpheus Island
Orpheus Island Resort All Inclusive

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