‘Maggots in the coffee’: Daydream Island savaged by reviews
One of Queensland's most picturesque islands has been bombarded by scathing online reviews, describing it as the worst holiday ever, a waste of money, and unclean.
Guests and previous employees of Daydream Island have taken to online review sites including TripAdvisor and Wotif to detail their disappointment with everything from experiences, rooms, and meals.
"Worst holiday I have ever been on!!! Don't waste your money. Views are incredible but that's about it. I was treated terribly by staff. My room was not clean when I arrived, I had dirty sheets someone's makeup all over them. They do not care about the customer just taking your money", one review said.
"Nice place to stay so long as your aren't expecting them to honour any deals or coupons. Had a half price off your stay coupon that we got as part of signing up to their privilege club. Got 3 different stories on how to redeem it, just to be told no its not going to happen," another person wrote.
"Service from the restaurant staff was rude, unaccommodating, inexperienced, very slow and some were probably overworked. It was great to see animals roaming around the resort but not so great when you are stepping into kangaroo droppings everywhere ... Pool doesn't appear to be cleaned as you can see the dirt sitting on the bottom," a Wotif reviewer said.
While a TripAdvisor user said they were disgusted when their coffee arrived with a side of maggots.
"We asked for some almond milk which was brought out promptly but upon returning to our table we were about to drink it and looked at our cups and were absolutely horrified to see maggots crawling all over our cups," Jupiai wrote about their September 2020 stay.
Even posters claiming to be former employees warned off would-be visitors.
"If I leave you with anything, let it be the fact that for a whole month, I didn't work a single day without a guest commenting on how we were understaffed. Comments such as 'are you by yourself then?', 'when do your colleagues arrive?' and 'are there no managers here?' became part of the routine," the former staff member said.
"More than once I had guests offer to come and help me serve people after waiting excessively in-line for drinks, and on more than one occasion a customer simply came behind the bar and started to do so."
Daydream Island was sold to China Capital Investment Group in 2015, after former owner, Natures Only founder Vaughan Bullivant - who bought the island in 2000 - dropped the price from $65 million to $30 million.
The resort was forced to close for two years after it was significantly damaged by Cyclone Debbie in 2017.
Some $140 million was spent repairing the damage and it officially reopened in 2019.
A resort spokesperson hit back at the bad reviews, insisting they were doing everything they could to keep guest happy.
"Our service standards are commensurate with our positioning in the market and tropical island location. We are continually monitoring our service standards and we take all guest feedback on-board. All rooms are serviced daily," the spokesperson said.
"The visitor experience, health and safety of all our staff and guests is our priority.
"The southern end of Daydream Island Resort features the swimming pool, pool bar, gift shop and open air cinema and this area is open to guests - as per our advertising.
"All our staff are provided with training and safety briefings upon induction and prior to commencement of work. Further ongoing training is also given.
"We have a staff grievance procedure in place and an open-door policy with management. We encourage staff to contact us should they have any issues or matters that need to attention."
In another statement, resort spokesperson said trained staff shortages are a major issue for the whole hospitality industry.
"Our international labour market has vanished and we are often relying on Australian backpackers and unskilled staff," the spokesperson said.
"Staff turnover can be high due to our island location. Like many other operators we have willingly capped occupancies when our trained staff numbers are at capacity."
Originally published as 'Maggots in the coffee': Daydream Island savaged by reviews