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“Nice Hotel with some glaring but fixable flaws”

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DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns
Ranked #11 of 64 Hotels in Cairns
Certificate of Excellence
Kavieng, Papua New Guinea
Level Contributor
58 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 467 helpful votes
“Nice Hotel with some glaring but fixable flaws”
Reviewed 5 January 2014

After a day-trip to Port Moresby, I needed a hotel for the night before heading back down to Brisbane. HI Cairns fit the bill perfectly; the rates were excellent and I was keen to compare it to Cairns Harbour Lights, where I stayed in May 2012.

Check-in at 8:30PM was swift, friendly and professional - the receptionist granting my request for a late check-out and taking the time to acknowledge my newly minted IHG Plat status, which is always a nice touch. At that time of night, the mostly empty lobby seemed spacious, airy and low-key. My harbour view room on the 6th floor was just $20 or so above the rate for a standard room, so I thought it was worth the extra few dollars. And indeed it was worth it - despite the dark - I could tell it had a great vista (see the day and night pics below for comparison), and was much better than the view at Harbour Lights.

The room itself was large, uncluttered and furnished in your standard HI pared-back contemporary scheme. Shades of beige being the order of the day, but done nicely without being boring. There was a large desk, just perfect for getting serious work done, flat screen cable TV, and comfy armchair to relax by the window. There's a generous sized wardrobe along with iron and board, as well as a room safe. Though the bar fridge is empty, you could easily fill it with purchases from the liquor shop downstairs. Unfortunately for this non-drinker, I noted that complimentary bottled water is not provided. This was a bit disappointing considering that even the more budget conscious HI Express brand does provide bottled water. Tea and coffee making facilities are provided, however, there is no milk to be had. Small details these may be, but they do add up in making a good all-round stay for guests.

Unusually - and this is something I have not encountered in any IHG hotel before - there were several quite large bits of loose dirt(?) near the foot of the bed which had not been vacuumed yet. Again, a bit disappointing for a chain with quite high maintenance and cleanliness standards from my personal experiences with them.

The bathroom was small but modern and impeccably clean, with standard HI toiletries and good quality soft bath linen.

Free wifi (through NTT docomo) is available, but was so agonizingly slow and patchy that it was not worth it. There are options for a paid 'Premium Internet' service, but I decided to skip these as I suspected that any improvement in speed and connectivity would only be marginal at best. I noted that the wifi service in this hotel was really the worst of any IHG hotel I've experienced in these past two years around the world!

I skipped room service and the other facilities at the hotel, so I have confined my comments to the room itself.

For me, the most important aspect of any hotel room has to be the bed, and this one did not disappoint. The thing that strikes me about this hotel chain is its commitment to having luxurious beds as a given; no matter where you stay with them, be it Bangkok, Cairo, London or New York. And this one was no different. As usual, the choice of soft and firm pillows ensures a good night's sleep for all. But I have to return to that view - quite stunning really! I give it equal billing with the super comfy bed.

I give this hotel a solid 3*. But if the flaws can be fixed, then it would rank as a 4*

PROS: Excellent location. Good rates. Large, modern room. Stunning harbour views. Small price to upgrade.

CONS: Really lousy internet. Slightly dirty floors.

If my report helped in your decision-making, or if you just enjoyed the pics, then please take the time to click the "was this report helpful?" button located below. This is the only feedback I receive from you, dear reader, and I appreciate your acknowledgement.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank ExLibris76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matt R, General Manager at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns, responded to this review, 6 January 2014
Hi ExLibris76,
Thank you for such an in-depth review, I really appreciate the time you have taken as I am sure many other travellers will too.
I am glad to read that check in was quick and professional and that you enjoyed your ocean view room, these are by far the most popular, and you can see why.
I too enjoy the modern contemporary feel of the Holiday Inn rooms, uncluttered and fresh. I have to agree with you about the beds and pillows, they are so comfortable, and we even have guests asking where they can purchase them.
Once again, thank you for your honest feedback; if your travels bring you to Far North Queensland in the near future, we look forward to welcoming you back to the Holiday Inn Cairns - with a view!
Warm regards,
Kylie Williams
Distribution & Relationship Marketing Executive
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
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English first
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2014

We spent another 2 weeks at this Hotel in September which we have for the last ten years..We regularly go back because we like the Hotel and the Tropical North Queensland area.
We find the facilities and the breakfasts are first class with a large variety.
We hire a car and visit all the beaches. We like Palm Cove, Trinity Beach, yorkeys Knob with the YK Boat club just to mention a few.
It is worth a visit to the magnificent Paradise Palms Golf Club for a meal or just to look around.
The ocean view rooms at the Holiday Inn are first class and the staff very helpful and friendly.
We are returning this year.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NEV46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matt R, General Manager at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns, responded to this review, 5 January 2014
Hi NEV46,
Thank you for such a great review!
It is so great to read that you have been staying with us for the last 10 years, thank you for your loyalty, and I am glad that you enjoy your stays.
I will be sure to pass this onto our team.
Once again, thank you for your great review, we look forward to seeing you sometime this year, September is a perfect time to join us.
Warm Regards,
Matt Rippin & Team
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Tasmania
Level Contributor
53 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2014

spacious clean hotel room, pleasant staff, room service tasty and reasonably priced, plenty of towels and nice comfortable beds, good location near the esplanade - we would happily stay there again....

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kelliae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matt R, General Manager at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns, responded to this review, 5 January 2014
Hi kelliae,
Thank you for your recent review, I appreciate the time you have taken.
It is great to read that you enjoyed our room service as well as location.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the Holiday Inn Cairns in the near future,
Warm Regards,
Matt Rippin & Team
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perth, western australia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2014

We stayed here for a few days in November last year. Slightly disappointed by check in that didn't ask about Priority membership details like free newspaper etc. but loved the fact that the concierge took our bags to our room, rare in Australian hotels. We had the ocean view room, well worth the money. Very spacious, lovely balcony. When we had a problem with the TV, concierge again solved the problem very quickly. Had 1 breakfast in the hotel, nice range. On checkout, we managed to catch the Barramundi feeding session, which for a hardened Aussie tourist like me found it interesting. Next time we return to Cairns, we will be staying at this hotel

Room Tip: Ocean view room definitely worth the extra cost
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank shed_gal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matt R, General Manager at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns, responded to this review, 5 January 2014
Hi shed_gal,
Thank you for your recent review, I appreciate the time you have taken.
I am glad that you enjoyed your ocean view room along with our buffet breakfast.
The barramundi feeding is a huge hit, they are so spoilt and love their prawns.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the Holiday Inn Cairns during your next visit.
Warm Regards,
Matt Rippin & Team
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Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2013 via mobile

Spent a few days in cairns for Xmas at the holiday inn on the esplanade from the moment we came to the reception desk we were made to feel very welcome the staff are very helpful, the room we had was an ocean view room with a balcony the room was. Spacious and the beds very comfortable.we had breakfast and dinner in the hotel restraunt the menu has a lot to offer the staff friendly and very helpful the hotel has great facilities pool and spa and a bottle shop on the premises. We will be definately being paying them a return visit. Thank you for making our Xmas special

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank tochol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matt R, General Manager at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns, responded to this review, 5 January 2014
Hi tochol,
Happy New Year & thank you for such a great review.
I am glad that you enjoyed your stay with us as well as our Sirocco restaurant meals.
Christmas came and went all too fast, but I hope you enjoyed every minute of it.
We look forward to welcoming you next time to the Holiday Inn.
Warm Regards,
Matt Rippin & Team
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Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
168 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2013

Booked this last minute at a great rate (using Entertainment card discount) after arriving in Cairns and checking out the prime spots for ocean view and access to the city - didn't disappoint! Oceanfront room was absolutely wonderful, comfy bed, nicely laid out room, good quality furnishings/fit out, (including good air con) minimal street noise and a stunning view - sat on the balcony and watched the bats return at dusk, then fly out again at sunrise. Great service, and IHG membership (complimentary) brought additional savings and benefits - would definitely return next time in Cairns and highly recommend!

Room Tip: Oceanside for amazing views
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nelcums
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matt R, General Manager at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns, responded to this review, 5 January 2014
Hi Nelcums,
Thank you for your recent review, I appreciate the time you have taken.
I am glad to read that you enjoyed your ocean view room, these are by far our most popular, and you can see why.
I will be sure to pass this onto our team who will enjoy reading it too.
If your travels bring you to far North Queensland in the near future, we look forward to welcoming you back to the Holiday Inn
Warm Regards,
Matt Rippin & Team
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Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
118 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2013 via mobile

Stayed here for 2 nights on 2 separate occasions before and after a scuba dive trip. First stay was in room 502 on the back with twin double beds (they called them queens but they're pretty small) so that was just ok. Second stay was room 522 facing the esplanade with a king bed...much better with a lovely balcony facing the view. Mini fridges are empty but there are shops around the corner for snacks/beer/soft drinks. In both rooms the bathrooms are shockingly small and poorly designed. You can't help but splash water around as there's no shower curtain and only half a screen which makes the floors soaking wet and slippery ...you need 2-3 towels to mop it up so you don't slip.

Pool area is wonderful. Not too busy and has a bar after 4pm. Gym is well equipped with cross trainer, weights, tready and even a spin bike. We didn't bother with the restaurant as it's looks a bit uninspired facing the lobby rather than the espy.

All in all a good stay for the price. Definitely stay on the front of the hotel to make it feel a bit special.

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank SlaveToShopping
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matt R, General Manager at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns, responded to this review, 5 January 2014
Hi SlaveToShopping,
Thank you for your recent review, I appreciate the time you have taken to review our great hotel.
I am glad to read that you enjoyed your stay as well as your room with a view.
I recommend our ocean view rooms for guest who want to enjoy beautiful views; these are by far our most popular.
If your travels bring you to far North Queensland in the near future we look forward to welcoming you back to the Holiday Inn Cairns,
Warm Regards,
Matt Rippin & Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns

Property: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns
Address: 121-123 The Esplanade, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Business Hotel in Cairns
#9 Family Hotel in Cairns
#9 Luxury Hotel in Cairns
#11 Romantic Hotel in Cairns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns 4.5*
Number of rooms: 237
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Boasting uninterrupted views of the Coral Sea, and a stunning natural setting amidst landscaped tropical gardens, the oceanfront DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns is just a short walk from the city center, and Cairn's business, retail and entertainment districts. The hotel overlooks the picturesque Cairns Esplanade, and is just moments from Cairns Lagoon and Cairns Casino. Enjoy easy access to Cairns Convention Center and lots of attractions, including the World Heritage listed Daintree Tropical Rainforest and the Atherton Tablelands. The Great Barrier Reef departures terminal is 100m away, and Cairns International Airport is only 10 minutes' drive from our Cairns hotel. Our onsite tour desk will help you explore the wonders of this unique region. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Cairns Hotel Cairns
Cairns Holiday Inn

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