Developer John Spence, whose Karma Royal Group runs the Rottnest Lodge, has had his plans to redevelop the Lodge agreed finally after trying for 10 years to get it through. Richard and I took our daughter, future son-in-law and our 3 year old grandson to stay at the Rottnest Lodge for one night last month. The cost for the ferry, two rooms at the Lodge, dinner in it’s restaurant, a bus tour around the island and the train up to Oliver Hill plus drinks, lunches etc. came to just shy of $2000. Yes, $2000.

We know what to expect of the accommodation at the Lodge. It’s rooms are basic but I have always thought that it’s simplicity was part of it’s attraction so that’s not an issue. We decided to eat at the Lodge restaurant and turned up at 7.30pm. We were seated by 7.40pm and our waiter, who was french, was really very nice and so polite. Unfortunately the food took so long to come that we missed the comedy show that we had planned to see after dinner and so headed straight to bed at 10.30. At 11.00pm the loud music that we could hear from our room ended and was replaced by a procession of loud, drunk and extremely inconsiderate people walking past on the road outside our doors. This culminated in a slanging match and near brawl at 1.00am which was when I gave up trying to sleep. I spoke to the duty manager and the problem went away after 15 minutes only to come back later on with more shouting and bottles being thrown.

In the morning, with bags under our eyes we headed into breakfast where at any one point there were either no cups or glasses or some or other food item had run out. Once again, the wait staff were doing their very best but whoever was overseeing things wasn’t doing it very well.

It was very busy on the island when we stayed and the Lodge possibly had a lot of guests but I do think that at $260 per night for our rooms, you should be able to expect a better level of service from the Lodge even if it is full. Once we got home, Richard figured that if his business was failing in this way, then he would want to know, so he wrote an email to the duty manager describing our experience hoping only for the courtsey of a reply. He’s never had one.

I think that the RIA should really start considering how they deal with anti social behaviour on the island particularly as it is sold as a family destination.

We came away from our trip feeling that we had paid a lot of money for something that wasn’t worth it as far as the Lodge goes and that far from the people of WA’s opinion being so important to John Spence and his company as he stated recently in the media, they don’t care enough to even reply to an email. We also felt threatened and uncomfortable because of the behaviour of people who have no consideration for others and have no idea of how to behave and seemed to be free to do whatever they liked. It costs a lot of money to stay on Rottnest and it’s something I hear over and over from people that you can get to Bali and stay for longer for less cost. I love Rottnest Island, I think it’s such a beautiful place but come on Mr. Spence and the RIA, get the basics right before you do everything up and try to charge people even more money to come and stay.

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