I can’t imagine a better place to stay in Cairns — especially for a first visit.
The hotel is within easy walking distance of the Reef Fleet Terminal where you can sign up for trips to the Great Barrier Reef, the reef fleet itself, dozens of restaurants catering to a wide range of food and prices, the Cairns Lagoon, and shops of all kinds — if you’re looking for a digeridoo you’ll have several options.
Then again, the hotel is so pleasant you may not want to leave the premises. We stayed in a Marina View Room which I’d recommend even though its a bit more expensive. The Lagoon View Rooms share space with a flock of noisy and early-rising birds.
The Shangri-La provides all the basics with class and style. Our room was exceptionally clean and spacious. The internet was fast. The “Entertainment Center” was state of the art. The infinity pool was beautiful — though the view was limited.
The only problem we had during our stay was that our key did not work when we first got to our room. When we told the housekeeper in the room next door about this, she took it upon herself to solve the problem. She went to the front desk and came back in minutes with a manager who apologized and gave us a new key as well as a complimentary bottle of wine.
In my experience the housekeepers in most hotels would not see it as their job to fix a problem like this. The most they would do would be to tell you to return to the front desk.
Of particular note were the concierge services — especially those provided by Kathryn. No question was too trivial or ignorant for her. She paid intense attention and has extensive knowledge.
For example, we asked for a recommendation about the best local burger joint. This kind of request could be considered terribly blue-collar and beneath the kind of assistance a concierge at an elegant hotel might provide. Kathryn relished our pedestrian inquiry and suggested several options that only a true burger-lover would appreciate.
When we passed by her desk the next day, she made a point to come over to us and ask where we went and how we enjoyed it. She has a good memory, a kind heart, and apparently a love of good burgers
There are many less expensive hotel options in Cairns, but in my opinion the premium paid here is worth the services provided.
I’ve heard that the Shangri-La chain is coming to the US. Sign me up.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ideally located in the heart of Cairns, the Shangri-La Hotel overlooks Marlin Marina, Trinity Bay and the lush green mountains of Cairns.The hotel is just ten minutes' drive from Cairns International Airport, and a short stroll to the Esplanade Lagoon and Cairns' premier dining precinct. The hotel offers airy, modern accommodations with elegant furniture and spectacular views. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns Hotel Cairns