Upon arriving at the hotel about an hour earlier than check in I was advised that my room was not yet available and that check in time is 2pm. Fair enough I had left my bags with concierge and gone for a walk down the Marina. When I returned to the hotel at 1.55pm I had been given a strange look as in "who are you?" - even though I was served by the same check in attendant only an hour ago.
To give an idea, I had requested a standby upgrade - which isn't free - and I had also booked late check out which is additional in charge as well. Upon receiving my key to my room at 2.10pm - after check in time - I wasn't even told which room type I had been given? Was I in the deluxe as booked, or did I get the upgrade to the Deluxe with spa room? Coming from service industry background of over 10 years I found that to be a slight disappointment and not the best first impression of the Hilton Cairns staff.
When I got to my room I quite pleasantly surprised at the decor and the layout of the room - the mini bar location and the size of the room in general. Only a few months ago though I stayed at the Holiday Inn in one of the deluxe ocean view rooms. I have to admit that their room would definitely be giving the Hilton a run for it's money in appearance and facilities.
Nevertheless, the beds are very comfortable, and the options for sleeping, sitting, and working are also very handy. There is a chair with a foot stool next to the bed, as well as a glass work area and a leather desk chair in addition to a small outdoor table and chairs on the balcony which overlooks the inlet. On one side the water views have a backdrop of the mountains which were covered by cloud and/or fog most of the time I was here - giving it such a different feel overall.
The pool and gym are slightly hidden away from the rest of the hotel and at first I felt as if I needed a map to find where it was. There is only a sign to say what floor it is on and that's it. Once you get out of the lift there is no sign pointing you towards the pool or the gym whatsoever. It's a slight guessing game.
If you are driving take advantage of the Valet service which is $15 per day with unlimited in/out access - parking is $9 every entry - in/out twice and you've already paid more - not to mention that you have had to do it yourself as well.
Breakfast was at Hanuman restaurant located behind the lifts in the lobby area. Great location overlooking the gardens and the mountains/marina are although another disappointment at breakfast. As previous hotel in Cairns the offering just wasn't there. I am still to be amazed and impressed as I was at the Holiday Inn Gold Coast who had the largest and most amazing buffet ever.
Aside from Hanuman there are a couple of other restaurants located adjacent to the Hilton and along the Marina there are quite a few others all with different styles and cultural dishes as well ranging from Asian to Middle Eastern and Modern Oz. Hanuman did have the most amazing aromas but I didn't have dinner while I was on site.
In room internet is just as expensive as anywhere else at $29 for a day. If you require internet for an extended period of time get a 3G wireless usb stick which comes with a small amount already included - I'm a heavy internet user and I am certain that I have not used more than 1gb over night - definitely not worth the $29 fee considering for an extra $20 I could have got the usb stick and 2gb included data download.
I would consider staying at the Hilton again if the opportunity arose, although it would be price dependant. There are quite a few superior standard properties that do match that of the Hilton in the area.
All in all I was satisfied with my stay, even though at check in the staff did not seem to know what was going on or whether my room was ready when I returned. I have to say that the remaining staff including house keeping made up for this.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of the city, the Hilton Cairns hotel is the perfect base for exploring the diverse wonders of this truly unique region, famous as the meeting place of two natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef and World Heritage Rainforest. Our modern and inviting Cairns hotel rooms and suites are luxurious oases of comfort and convenience, offering pristine new bathrooms and spacious balconies with views of Trinity Inlet or Cairns Esplanade and the unique cityscape and blue-green mountain ranges beyond. Stay connected with the latest technology in the fully-equipped business centre. Enjoy relaxed, alfresco dining at the award-winning Mondo Café Bar and Grill on the waterfront, or discover authentic italian flavours at "Donninis "Simply Italian". Experience modern, tropical, paradise today! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Cairns Hotel Cairns
- Hilton International Cairns
- Cairns Hilton International