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“Beautiful Boutique Resort With Breathtaking Scenery”

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Cockatoo Hill Retreat
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Diwan
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Beautiful Boutique Resort With Breathtaking Scenery”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 September 2007

Cockatoo Hill Retreat is not only a beautiful boutique resort, it is a very unique destination. Once you cross the Daintree River by ferry you are immersed in the oldest rainforest in the world. The paved road to the retreat cuts a swath through dense ferns, vines and trees.

The treehouses are positioned in a clearing, surrounded by a tropical garden, and perched on the edge of a hill overlooking the canopy of the rainforest. Waking up each morning and seeing the forest and coral sea from your floor to ceiling windows is breathtaking. The only sounds you hear is birdsong.

The treehouses are well furnished with a beautiful bed draped in netting, bamboo chairs, table and mini bar. The sliding doors open to a private balcony. The thatched roof cabins are well positioned to allow the sunshine in which is particularly important as the rainforest can be very dark. I noticed other resorts in the area were dark and gloomy as they were surrounded by trees on all sides.

A lovely breakfast is served in the main building and dinner around a hand carved mahogany snake shaped bar. All the buildings, pool and gardens were designed and built by the owners who have paid particular attention to the details. The result is a luxurious retreat in a remote part of the world where you are well taken care of by the charming owners.

We enjoyed many of the activities in the area. Jungle surfing, a guided walk through the rainforest, a cruise down the river to spot crocs, exotic fruit tasting, exploring the beaches and a day trip to Cooktown. We were even lucky enough to spot a cassowary twice, the forest dragon, the neon coloured tree frogs and the electric blue butterfly.

A truly unique and memorable holiday. Made even more special by the warm owners who make every effort to ensure you enjoy your time in their slice of paradise.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank gingerCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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129 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC
Level Contributor
172 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 293 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 September 2007

We stayed four nights in one of the treehouses and absolutely loved it. Two sides of the room were almost completely glass, with sliding doors and windows that opened completely to the elements. Surprisingly, insects were not a problem, and the temperature in the room was perfectly comfortable the entire time (there was also a fan in the room for warmer days). The location is stunning and the views are incredible. Gilles and Carmen were terrific hosts. We enjoyed a very good three-course dinner with them one evening with delicious wine, which cost extra but we thought was worth it (scallops served with their roe, and Tasmanian salmon). They were very helpful in recommending local activities and booking them for us, as well as suggesting restaurants in the area. The small pool was refreshing, and we saw lots of birds and butterflies around the property. Breakfasts were delicious. We highly recommend this place.

  • Liked — The views of the natural surroundings
  • Disliked — Would have been nice if they supplied shampoo and conditioner in the rooms
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lisak12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2007

We have stayed at Cockatoo Hill Retreat's other property, called Riverside, some 6-7 times now. That speaks for itself, methinks.

We were the first visitors there, and we've been coming back ever since. Carmen and Gilles' Riverside Retreat (a self-contained cottage on an incredible PRIVATE 20 acres—where else can you find that in the Daintree??) is our idea of bliss. If you want to have the experience of truly living in the Daintree rainforest for yourself, without someone looking over your shoulder and pre-digesting your experience for you, and beating off the odd spider, then Riverside is for you. Yes, there is wildlife; but that's the point. In that respect, the cottage IS luxury. It offers an experience you simply cannot find elsewhere. It's always spotless, with thoughtful touches of torch gingers and exotic flowers in vases on the tables. A fridge stocked with breakfast goodies, a gas stove and microwave, even a washing machine... what else do you need—really? The Daintree has no mains power: hence, no hairdryers and only solar power. This is what helps keep the Daintree such a wonderful experience!

We've also visited their beyond-blissful Cockatoo Hill Retreat for dinner, and we have to say the food is ambrosia. Carmen and Gilles are wonderful warm people and wonderful company, they cook like angels. Cockatoo Hill Retreat is THE most private and exclusive and wonderful place you could ever have the privilege of staying at in the Daintree: there are only 4 honeymoon cabins! Nothing else! These Balinese-style cabins are gorgeous: polished timber floors, canopied 4-poster beds and a view that you won't get anywhere else. Right on a private hillock, overlooking the Coral Sea. No multi-story units, no backpackers, no same-as-everywhere-else-in-the-world Hilton-style blandness. Fantastic. Bless them. Now that place is pure luxury in the Daintree. You'd be simply mad not to go there if you had the chance.

  • Liked — Privacy, self-contained accommodation in the Daintree rainforest
  • Disliked — There's nothing not to like!
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank SeekersOfBliss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Irish in Seoul
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2007

Before I begin let me clarify that we did not stay in one of the 4 treehouses on the main property. We did try to book in there but there was no availabilty. Carmen was most helpful in helping us and suggested that we stay in their other property, Riverside Retreat which is on their website and has luxury accomodation at the top of the page. Luxury it was not, we were aware it was a self contained cottage and is does mention that it is on 20 acres. The setting is fantastic but the cottage is very basic, we stayed in one other self contained property on our honeymoon and it was of a far superior standard to Riverside Retreat. The sofa bed was the most uncomfortable thing I have ever sat on so it was not welcoming to sit around in the cottage, the kitchen was very basic and I have lived in better equipped student houses. The bathroom was also not luxurious, we accepted that it was remote and that water pressure etc was expected to be erratic, but there was a washing machine in the bathroom (pracitical but not stylish) and no hairdryer in the property or no toiletries provided. We also felt that the property was not very secure both from humans (although we are reassured by Gilles that there was no problems in the area - but never say never) and also from any wildlife that may be in the area. We both like the outdoors but maybe it was a bridge too far for us to stay so remote and in the rainforest, however we were very conscious of spiders etc getting into the property. Some windows only had louvres, in the bedroom there was half an inch gap under an external door. When we phoned about it we were told to put towels under the door to block the gap. To be fair the following day Carmen and Gillies blocked it up properly. Our final straw was when we returned to the property on the second night after being out and there was a snake on the verandah. We left early the following morning and didn't look back. If you are confident in the Australian rainforest and know your nice snakes and spiders from your nasties and don't mind the rustic look then this place could be for you. The setting is wonderful and it is very peaceful however if you are at all concerned about creepie crawlies then don't stay here as there is no one else about for reassurance. Also if you are looking for a luxury break in the Daintree don't stay here, it is like the whole property is an after thought to Cockatoo Hill Retreat. To give Carmen and Gillies their due, the main property and the treehouses look absolutely wonderful, the setting there is amazing and the pool looks really inviting. It is unfortunate that there was no availability for us there.

  • Liked — Peacefulness
  • Disliked — Security
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
7 Thank JennyinSeoul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 November 2006

The personal welcome from owners Carmen and Gillies sets the tone for your stay here. We slept in one of 4 or 5 gorgeous Balinese style huts, overlooking the rainforest canopy, surrounded by the sounds of exotic birds and insects so you feel truly immersed in the Daintree Rainforest you have come to explore. Although you are within a couple of metres to the next hut, the dense vegetation between you gives complete privacy. The rooms are simple but beautifully presented. Carmen seems to know everything about the area and is generous with her time to recommend excursions. If exploring the rainforest becomes a bit tiring you can spend the afternoon relaxing in the garden and dipping in a lovely freshwater pool. You can venture out to local restaurants in the evening, but I recommend gathering together with neighbouring couples to share a fabulous meal prepared by Gillies and the relaxed, jovial atmosphere both owners seem to create effortlessley. Breakfast is equally delicious, served individually at anytime you ask for. A quiet, stunning place, perfect for a few days of our honeymoon, we would definitely return if the opportunity came.

  • Stayed October 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Travelling_Tales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cockatoo Hill Retreat

Property: Cockatoo Hill Retreat
Address: 2060 Cape Tribulation Rd | Daintree Coast, Diwan, Cape Tribulation, Queensland 4873, Australia
Region: Australia > Queensland > Daintree Region > Cape Tribulation > Diwan
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free Parking Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Diwan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Cockatoo Hill Retreat 2*
Number of rooms: 4
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Cockatoo Hill Retreat Daintree Region/Cape Tribulation
Cockatoo Hill Retreat Hotel Daintree

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