Groote Eylandt Lodge Alyangula
As the only resort on Groote Eylandt — a low-lying island in the Gulf of Carpentaria — that the resort struggles to attract visitors due to the pricey airfare (from approximately AUD 514/#320 out of Darwin, 90 minutes away). However, the setting, on a low bluff over a pristine shore, is amazing and it is just a brief walk to the closest village, Alyangula.
Style & personality
Modelled on the types of upmarket beachfront land that you find on the mainland and a few Asian islands, Groote Eylandt Lodge is made up of well-spaced wooden bungalows connected to a central lobby and restaurant building assembled by a elevated walkway, with beautiful outdoor spaces to get a drink, dinner and sunset views. A small but rather deep pool gets the requisite croc-themed water attribute. Cool and trendy interiors feature high quality artworks and understated décor.
Service & amenities
The lodge has specialist sea-fishing guides, its own vessels and a great deal of experience taking Aussie fishermen and girls out to the surrounding archipelago. Hotel employees are drawn mostly in the UK (the British proprietor, Dennis Winchester, has close connections with Devon and recruits expat temporary employees from Barnstaple) and they’re useful, enthusiastic and informative. The resort enjoys good relations with local communities and may arrange visits to fulfill aboriginal artists and artists. Site facilities include a pool, good-sized spa and workout area; there is Wi-Fi at the lobby, although maybe not at the rooms.
Sixty villas are dispersed over a large, sparsely wooded region, with elevated paths linking them into the lobby/restaurant and swimming — as everywhere in the Top End, saltwater crocodiles inhabit the seas, thus the paths. The biggest rooms are nearest to the shore and also have balconies, living spaces and a huge bathroom with a whirlpool bathtub. All have air and TVs.
Food & beverage
The restaurant is top-class, serving excellent canapés and tasty barramundi fish and fish dishes, plus terrific salads. Breakfast is a simple buffet, with fresh fruit, rolls and cereals, and freshly cooked hot foods can be arranged. The bright, well-stocked pub turns out excellent cocktails in addition to a selection of good excellent wines.
Value for cash
Double rooms from AUD280 (#175) year round. Breakfast excluded (AUD18/#11 continental, AUD28/#17 cooked). Free Wi-Fi (lobby just).
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