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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

3 days in paradise with hint a disappointment thrown in

I want to show yall the bad things are the island we stayed at and the good things. so here goes... As you can see that is the good and the bad! Now for the actual blog!

Long Island Resort in the Whit Sundays

So Ben, Heiner and I decided to book a 3 day 2 night tour to an Island about 45 minutes by boat from Airlie Beach. We wanted to get away from it all for a bit and had heard good things about this from the tourist information place so we went for it. I have many pictures of the island coming to facebook soon so stay tuned for that!

As we stepped off the boat this place quickly looked like a postcard island paradise. It was absolutely beautiful! We were taken from the dock and the boat to the actual resort by the staff in a golf cart looking thing so we were all feeling pretty fancy already haha. Keep in mind that we only paid 100 dollars for this whole trip (return ferry trip included!)

So we get to reception and after a while we get checked in (we couldn't check in our room until 2pm) we realise quickly that there was a “rich” part of the resort and a “backpacker” part of the resort. I definitely felt a serious “class” system there and we were the 2nd class citizens for sure! Our accommodation was way in the back of the resort and not once were we ever checked on to see if we needed anything.

Our accommodation was really basic and the bed pretty crap but, I am a backpacker I am used to much worse and for the price we paid that isn't what my complaint is about. My complaint is with their kitchen and their management staff. I have pictures to back up my complaints which I will upload shortly. There was I would say at least 40 rooms for backpackers with 4 people allowed in each room. When we got there we were told there was actually only six other people checked into the backpacker lodge at the time.

Before we left Airlie Beach we were told by the tourist information that we were free to bring our own food and cook on their “fully furnished” kitchen. So that is exactly what we did because the prices their were crazy expensive! 25 dollars just for lunch and 17 dollars for a cocktail! So we got to the kitchen and expected just to find the typical backpacker stuff. Nothing fancy, we don't need 5 star. But we expected at least a decent fridge, stove,plates,cutlery,pots etc. Just your basic stuff because they didn't tell us we had to bring our own kitchen stuff.

You know what we actually found? A kitchen with a disgusting sink,4 plates,2 forks,4 spoons and 4 glasses along with ONE pot. They also had a tiny refrigerator and NO dish washing soap but there was a really disgusting sponge.. I mean like college dormitory style fridge the little ones that go in your room. Keep in mind this shit kitchen was expected to be able to handle up to 40+ backpackers at a time! There was not even a stove! So we resorted to trying to cook our entire meal in a single pot that looked like it came over with James Cook in 1788 ( I have pictures of the whole kitchen and kitchenware) the grill was disgusting! There was dried up fat and grease all over it and flies buzzing all over it. (Yep I got pictures of that too) and there was nothing to even try and clean it with. So we were forced to wait to eat.

We went to reception right away and told them about the situation and asked to speak to the management. I told them I had a complaint and I wanted to speak to the manager. I was told they were trying to radio her. ( I got her name) and they asked me to fill out a “comment card” which I am 90% sure they don't even read but I did so anyway. I told them I would check back later for the manager as she never appeared.

THREE times I went up there to ask for the manager. I was told all three times she wasn't there. All the while we were sitting there with that disgusting kitchen and nothing to eat on or with or anything to cook with. I was getting more and more angry and more and more hungry. Finally we resorted to just asking regular staff workers to help us. To their credit most of the staff sympathized with us and tried their best to help. They also told us that their management sucks. FINALLY after I begged reception for a 4th time we managed to get half a bottle of dish washing soap. That is it, nothing else just a bottle of dish washing soap and some rags.

So the 3 of us started to clean their filthy freaking kitchen. We used the rag and dish washing soap and washed what little dishes there was along with cleaning that sink. They should have been paying us for it. Do remember that we were told that they would have a fully furnished kitchen and that is what we walked into. We came back a little later to see that the bbq grill had FINALLY been cleaned and we saw some people using it. But, they weren't backpackers they were “rich” guests. So, the only reason it even got cleaned is because the “real” guests were using it.

Throughout our whole stay we never got to talk to the manager and never got anymore pots/dishes. But, we did FINALLY manage to get that dish washing soap and get that grill cleaned (even if it wasn't for us) so we ended up getting by. I guess they just didn't give a crap about us because we weren’t spending anymore money at their resort.

Now on to the good stuff. The views were amazing. The water was a perfect blue/green and the sunsets were awesome! Unfortunately the snorkeling was not that good because the water went milky because of the tide. But I have done some awesome snorkeling in Thailand and Fiji and elsewhere so it is ok. We saw wallabies and tons of birds and had some really good nature walks. The staff other than the management was actually pretty good. From what I could gather most of the employees were backpackers and new there too.

They didn't seem to enjoy it all that much which was weird to me considering that was paradise! But, considering how management ran that place I can't say I am surprised. They seemed to get paid decently though and all their food was provided for but, their accommodation looked like it sucked pretty badly. I also found out they had to bring their own cookware if they wanted to cook their own food I am pretty sure their kitchen sucked as bad as ours.

I did meet a really cool French girl there though. I called her the “Appy Girl” because for the French “H” (the letter) is just not easy for them to translate. So rather than Happy it becomes Appy. Years becomes Ears haha it is a little hard to catch onto but, once you get the hang of it you can understand them pretty well. So I enjoyed hanging out with her and helping her practice her English. You know what really amazed me when I first started traveling and even now, is how pervasive American culture is all around the world. I talked with Julie (the French girl) for quite a long time about American movies,music etc. Stuff I thought she would have no idea about but she knew exactly what I was talking about and she LOVED The Simpson's haha.

I also got to to take some amazing naps right on the beach in a hammock. I have been lucky enough in my life to go to amazing islands in Fiji,Laos,Australia and Thailand and take great naps on all of them haha. I just sleep so amazingly soundly in a hammock right by the ocean.

So just to wrap this all up, that island was beautiful and I would have had a totally amazing time if I wasn't so disappointed in being treated like shit by the management of that place. I think they were trying to milk money out of backpackers and cater to rich people at the same time. You just can't do both really. They need to make it either a backpacker resort or a rich people resort not both. You know a simple 20 dollar refundable deposit on cookware (like any decent hostel does) would work for them. It would give us what we need and give them satisfied customers. I am a backpacker I don't need 5 star but, just because I am backpacker doesn't mean I shouldn't be treated decently like any other paying guest. Sure I only paid 100 dollars to go there and I didn't spend a cent on anything else there (because I couldn't afford it) but that doesn't mean I should be treated like shit. I deserve to be able to speak to the manager just like any other guest when I choose too.

So I give the location A+, the staff B+ and the management and kitchen an F! So overall I would rate my experience there about a B+ just a few simple things on their part could have made it much better. I really hope that all my blog readers will read this. If you have a good amount of money to spend by all means go to Long Island Resort on Long Island In the Whit Sundays. If you are a backpacker and you don't have any money then I seriously suggest you skip it. For the first time in my life I am seriously considering calling and/or writing a letter to the upper management of that company and letting them know how we were treated there. I am going to upload my photos of that filthy freaking kitchen so yall can see how bad it was. I will also send those to anyone I am able to contact in upper management if I get the chance. It's such a shame that I could have had such an amazing time and it wasn't as great as it could have been because of those few easily correctable things.

Talk at yall later and I will try and update from Townsville/Cairns. -Tyler

1 comment:

  1. Sorry for the troubles, but glad you got in a wonderful nap by the ocean. Life is good. Love ya, mom