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“Lovely view from our balcony!”
Review of Hilton Cairns

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Hilton Cairns
Ranked #5 of 63 Hotels in Cairns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 December 2013

Our room at the Hilton in Cairns was just lovely- it overlooked Trinity Inlet and the mountains behind. The room was clean and well-organized (enough room to put two open large suitcases), convenient, clean bathroom. The morning breakfast was great. I had the opportunity to try my first Passionfruit and the rest of the fruit selections were ripe and delicious. There was a large assortment of hot and cold entrees also, all very tasty.

The only downside was the thermostat- it didn't work! We asked the front desk to have someone come up and look at it, but I don't think they ever did. It was quite warm outside and we had just arrived in Australia after a long flight. I think the room temperature was stuck at 73-74 degrees F.
I was really hoping we could cool the room down for a nice nap before venturing outside.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank PeepleWatcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John L, General Manager at Hilton Cairns, responded to this reviewResponded 12 December 2013

Dear Traveller,

Thank you for the Tripadvisor review following your stay with us recently. I’m sorry to read you didn’t find the room sufficiently cool and I can imagine having just come from the US this must have been a rapid climatic change. It’s great that you’ve experienced some fresh Tropical Australian fruits – our region is famous for our wide selection. I hope we can welcome you back again one day.

Yours sincerely,

John Lucas| General Manager

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Reviewed 9 December 2013

Stayed here for work and pleasure. The location is great, but not alot to do in Cairns, you need to book tours or travel north and south to enjoy the area.

The hotel itself is fine and well worth the money, the hotel service is good and the staff were friendly. The room had a great view out over the harbour and was quite modern. It was a standard size room with add the mod cons - I would stay again - value for money.

Thanks

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Lynne N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John L, General Manager at Hilton Cairns, responded to this reviewResponded 12 December 2013

Dear Lynne,

Thank you for taking the time to complete a review of Hilton Cairns via Tripadvisor. I’m pleased to read that you’ve enjoyed your Hilton experience and service from the team – I know they will be delighted to receive your positive feedback. I hope we can welcome you back again soon.

Yours sincerely,

John Lucas| General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2013

I stayed here for the third or so time and this time was really bizarre: Some members of the staff were absolutely lovely, others really awful. Some parts of the property are still really nice and it's in a great location right by the waterfront but other bits are really run down and in bad need of a refurb.

Let me start at the beginning: My check in was a disaster through and through, mainly due to the counter agent ("Assistant Manager" here name tag said) who was an absolute [--]. No smile, no welcome, no Gold status recognition. When I asked whether I get access to the executive club, she told me as Gold I only get free breakfast or 1000 points so I took the breakfast (I know that executive club access is at their discretion for Gold but this had been the first property in Australia NOT giving me the benefit which I come back to again later). I asked if I could get a late check out as a Gold member and she insisted that 12 was the "best I can do" or otherwise I'll have to pay 50 bucks per hour extra- wtf? At this point I had enough of that arrogant unfriendly lady and decided to take up the fight again the next morning with someone else.
The room was nice, I got an upgrade to a sea view room with a balcony which was much appreciated. The property is, however, showing signs of ageing, actually if you want to see how the Hilton logo used to look like in the 80ies, have a look at this property as they seem to not have the money to exchange the bloody sign on their building. The bathtub was clearly quite worn and there were dozens of little splashback stains on the bathroom door which clearly was someone else's p... Yikes!

Other than that, bed was the usual comfy Hilton bed and aircon did a decent job at cooling down the room with the hot and humid conditions outside. My favorite part of the property still is the kidney-shaped pool which is very nice and also temperatured just right- not too hot and not too cold, pleasant. The next morning, I was back at reception and this time spoke to a young lady who clearly was not the brightest on the planet (you get what you pay for I guess, that goes for your staff as well!). She was not happy about my late night checkout request as it seemed to cause her the need for some re-shuffling of rooms. After quite a while of doing so, she told me the same ridiculous story about having to pay 50 Dollars for every additional hour after 12. Now I know that Hiltons are generally very stingy about late checkout requests as they seem to have realized there is a quick buck to be made. However, if you are Gold or Platinum member and it even states late checkout as a "Benefit" on the back of your very own key card wallet, than this is a reason to make me very very cranky! I politely pointed this out to her and, as she obviously had missed the chance to pull the usual lame "There is an asteric there saying that this is a benefit depending on availability" excuse by offering me the later checkout for money, she had to "go check with the manager". This took about 2 seconds as obviously there was no way to deny me my request so she came back not even looking at me and mumbling an "alright" typing it into the system. I could not believe that she even tried to give me the bad attitude for this! An apology would have been in order instead! And what's management's stance here- most guests in Cairns are from Japan anyway so we can screw them over because they don't understand enough English? Why do several staff members try and pull money for a stated benefit and then after several discussions, it finally gets granted as it should have been in the first place?

Inconsistency, so it seems, is the trademark of this hotel! And so it went on- the break fast buffet generally has turned really bad since we came here for a the first time a few years back, most of the hot food had clearly been around all morning already without being replaced, the scrambled eggs were just disgusting (someone tells the chef how to do them, really!) and so were the sausages and the so-called bacon. Then on the second day, suddenly I got a super warm welcome to the breakfast, offered a nice proper espresso-coffee rather than the airplane-type coloured hot water from the first day. And then the lady indeed asked me, when looking at her little printed sheet with all the names and breakfast eligibility on, "So you prefer having your breakfast here down with us rather than in the executive lounge?" which left me speechless after my check in experience. What the...? And so it went. Super nice staff members here (I wanted to pay the one beer from the mini bar upon checkout and the super nice staff member just smiled at me and said "Ah, keep the money- I'm sure we can shout you a beer!"), super grumpy other staff member there. Nice balcony overlooking the water here, absolutely hideous Wifi connection there- I actually had to switch off wifi altogether on all my devices as it would always go to the log in screen and then lose the connection after a few seconds because the signal in my room was so weak. Here in Australia I could use 4G instead but if I was coming from overseas depending on it, that alone would be a reason to take of one point of the overall rating of the property!

So all in all- I think it is pretty clearly one of those properties that has a really really stingy local management that likes to jump onto any opportunity to make an extra buck or to skimp on spending money on staff training. I always feel sorry for the nice staff at such property because I can only imagine it being hell to work there. And I wonder why the heck a chain like Hilton lets them get away with this as it seriously taints the reputation of the entire brand name. If I compare this to many others (I always think of the Hilton in Brisbane where I stay very frequently- also an old building but so nicely re-done and such a great and welcoming staff, the total opposite of this experience here in Cairns!) then I really think Hilton should either provide new management (and a bit of a refurb) or take the name down altogether. The current operators seem to be all too happy to gain the benefits from being part of the Hilton chain (very conveniently all those Japanese tourists stay there and I bet it's mainly for the brand name) but trying not to provide the benefits. Very unhappy about this kind of behavior!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank sydneyberlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John L, General Manager at Hilton Cairns, responded to this reviewResponded 12 December 2013

Dear Traveller,

Thank you for the feedback following your stay with us. I have followed up and discussed your issues and the inconsistent levels of service with the team. I’m pleased you were able to enjoy some of our leisure facilities during your stay.

Yours sincerely,

John Lucas| General Manager

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Reviewed 5 December 2013

Quick two-night trip to Cairns from Sydney with an international guest to do a reef tour. The location couldn't have been better - right at the pier and a very short walk to the check in terminal for all the tours. Room was very clean and quiet. Would have appreciated at least basic mini bar items though; there wasn't even bottled water. Comfortable beds. I think Cairns is boring as anything but the hotel was great for what we needed it for! We'd stay again if we returned to the area.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank DoubleAK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John L, General Manager at Hilton Cairns, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2013

Dear Traveller,

Thank you for the review of Hilton Cairns via Tripadvisor. I’m pleased to read that you’ve enjoyed our waterfront location and the in room comforts. Cairns as a city offers plenty of great cafes, restaurants and local entertainment – with the city linked by a waterfront boardwalk and swimming lagoon. Most visitors spend a day or 2 exploring the city then will enjoy one of the many activities available in the region – starting with the Great Barrier Reef and Rainforest options. I hope we can one day welcome you back to the Tropical North.

Your sincerely,

John Lucas| General Manager

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Reviewed 4 December 2013

I attended a symposium at the end of November 2013 and stayed at the Hilton Cairns for 1 week.
The service, particularly from Kelly, who handled my booking to the rainforest and great barrier reef, was superb. Thank you Kelly and Ritesh for arranging my luggage to be dropped at the heliport after my trip to the reef. Caught my flight on time, was the perfect way to end a beautiful stay at Cairns.

Also did some touring, I recommend as follows if you have two days in Cairns.
Take the train up to the rainforest and Kuranda. You will definitely need at least 2.5 hours in Kuranda. You can get all your touristy shopping done here (or the night market on the esplanade) as well as take a pic with a koala and feed the kangaroo's. Take a 45min walk in the rainforest as well.

Take the skyrail cablecar down.

Go to the reef on day 2 with the high speed catamaran. YOU MUST TAKE AN UNDERWATER CAMERA!!!! dive and snorkel for at least 3 hours. I took the helicopter back. Had a flight at 17.30 and made it on time, once again thanks to Kelly and Ritesh.

Damn brilliant stay. Definitely would love to return.
Yesh

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank Yeshveer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John L, General Manager at Hilton Cairns, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2013

Dear Yesh,

Thank you for the review of Hilton Cairns and for passing on some Attraction information for fellow readers. I’m pleased to note that you’ve enjoyed some leisure time after your symposium – you’ve been busy !. I know Ritesh and Kelly will be delighted to receive your great feedback. I hope we can welcome you back again some time.

Your sincerely,

John Lucas| General Manager

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Reviewed 3 December 2013

Twice in a fortnight! Its a shame because the service from conceierge and the Hilton in general was very good.

When leaving, I was in a rush and asked front desk to process my check-out and to send the receipt to my room. That all seemed fine until I returned to Melbourne and saw that the hold on my credit card had not been returned.

It seems that every hotel in Australia is suffering from Check out incompetence (see my review for the Shangri0la Sydney), at least the Hilton was permited (by me) to put this authorisation on the card unlike the Shangri-la Sydney.

My advice, do NOT rely on the check-out staff to do their job properly. Insist on seeing the reversal of the authorisation and do not pay until this is complete.

For us, that is nearly $2,000 hotels have held onto from our accounts in 2 weeks.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank DaveMelbourne2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John L, General Manager at Hilton Cairns, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2013

Dear Dave,

Thank you for the review of Hilton Cairns via Tripadvisor. I’m sorry to read you’ve recorded a poor experience with your billing. Upon arrival we take a pre authorisation on the credit card which ensures sufficient funds are available upon departure – my apologies if this was not clearly explained to you. I hope we can welcome you back to the Tropical North again sometime.

Your sincerely,

John Lucas| General Manager

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Reviewed 3 December 2013

Great place to stay, close to everything shopping, food and marina. would stay here again next trip around. hotel staff were very friendly and hotel staff were very helpful..........................................................................................................

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts
Thank Ngoc Tai V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John L, General Manager at Hilton Cairns, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2013

Dear Tai,

Thank you for taking the time to complete a Tripadvisor review of Hilton Cairns. I was delighted to read that your stay was so enjoyable. It is our goal to ensure that every guest experience is as positive as yours so your feedback is greatly appreciated. I hope we may welcome you back to Hilton Cairns in the future.

Yours sincerely,

John Lucas| General Manager

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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 Hilton Cairns

Address: 34 Esplanade, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Cairns
#2 Spa Hotel in Cairns
#3 Business Hotel in Cairns
#4 Luxury Hotel in Cairns
#6 Romantic Hotel in Cairns
#12 Family Hotel in Cairns
Price Range: £108 - £224 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Hilton Cairns 5*
Number of rooms: 262
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, al fresco dining at the award-winning Mondo on the waterfront, or discover authentic italian flavours at 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

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