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Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns
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Reviews (2,771)
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All reviewshorizon clubclub roomnorth restauranthorizon roomone bedroom suitethe great barrier reefpool bartour deskan upgradereef terminalshopping centrebit datedfantastic locationbuffet breakfastcanapesbalconyconcierge
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Reviewed 28 October 2008

Stayed at Shangri-La Cairns for three nights in the beginning of October this year, and found the hotel to be a mostly positive experience. It was suggested by a travel guide to pop for one of the Horizon Club rooms, however we decided to take the Siesta Package, which offered a Deluxe Marina view room (Horizon Club rooms are all on the lowest floor), a welcome bottle of sparkling wine and AU$60 for use at dinner in The Tides restaurant every night of our stay.

Early on, I wrote to reservations and began a "reservations relationship" with a super-nice young lady. She was very attentive and quick with responses to my questions and requests for special comforts, such as a quiet room located as high in the building as possible. We were placed in room 2089...a fabulous room on the top floor overlooking the marina, with the mountains to the right and the sea to the left. For the view and location to EVERYTHING fun in Cairns, you can not beat this hotel...and the Marina side is highly recommended over the sea view side, as the sea is quite silty and brown until quite some distance away from land.

The hotel is well-located next to the Reef Fleet Terminal, which is the starting point for all Great Barrier Reef excursions. There is a decent mini-mall under the hotel with good secure parking, several restaurants to choose from and a great fitness facility. (There is also an EXCELLENT European style bakery for breakfast, if you don't have it included in your room rate.). The Lagoon, Cairn's swimming pool, a boardwalk and lots of shopping, casino, etc. are within a short walking distance.

We were not so enthusiastic about the prospect of eating in the hotel's restaurant, The Tides, but in fact the food here is superb and the atmosphere is very nice. We did use our AU$60 twice of the three nights we were there.

The hotel's pool is a chic, multi-level, salt water thing located in a garden courtyard with loads of modern lounge chairs, umbrellas, a pool bar and a hottub. The pool has limited hours however. At night, the pool is illuminated with blue lights under the water and rainbow lights under its waterfall feature, giving it a kind of spaceship feel.

Our room's balcony was great for watching all the action at the Marina. The room itself was very spacious, modernly furnished and offering nice art. The bed is wonderful...cozy mattress and cool crisp linens. The air-conditioning is a bit noisy, but there is also a ceiling fan option. The bathroom could use freshening, but it had a GREAT shower and a separate sunken tub. Everything was very clean daily.

Cons: Even though we requested a quiet room, there is really nothing that can be done about thin walls (as evidenced by our neighbor, who spent the entire evening one night trying to cough up a furball.). Also, although my experience with the reservations person was positive, overall the staff in the hotel were quite disorganized. As one example, upon our arrival we noticed our safe was broken and brought it to the front desk's attention...every day. It was never fixed during our stay.

Despite these problems, overall we really enjoyed our stay at Shangri-La.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank amylmb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2008

I stayed at this hotel for 4 nights in October this year. Following a stay in the Shangri la in Singapore a week earlier I was expecting great things but once checked in and gone to my room, I realised it was not anywhere near the same standard.
I booked an executive suite with a marina view and while the room was a good size and the view was one of the best in Cairns, the room was tired and badly needed to be repainted.
The bathroom was not up scratch either. The shower was one of the best I ever had in a hotel but the shower door was old and broken and it was in need of a complete overhall.
I had a glass of wine the first night I arrived and the cleaning staff must have removed the glass and left it in the hallway. Most annoying was that the glass remained in the hall outside my room for the next four days.
The horizon club is good. The food is of good standard and the drinks are good quality. That said, the buffet breakfast is terrible in the dining room. The room/bar where the buffet is held is dirty with sticky tables. The mugs are stacked like up like you would expect in a hostel and in our instance two of the pieces of delph we used were chipped. Not what you would expect for a 5 star hotel.
All in all, this hotel gives the shangri la group a bad name and really needs to pull up its socks.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank IvanL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2008

Stayed at the Shangri La Cairns for four nights whilst touring in Australia, this is a wonderful hotel, the staff are friendly, helpful and go out of their way to help you in any way they can. We had a suite which was fantastic, it was at the very end of the longest corridor I have ever seen, having said that it was worth the walk. We had the use of the Horizon Club which is definately worth every penny, only draw back is that it closed at 8 but the internet facilities were outside the lounge so could still be accessed. The room was incredible and overlooked the harbour, we expected it to be noisy but it was just the opposite, we wanted to book a trip and the tour desk organised it in no time and sorted everything out for us. We had read some of the other reviews on this hotel so were undecided whether to stay or not but we are so glad we stayed at this hotel and would highly recommend it to everyone, both young and old.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank Wallis1326
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2008

Stayed here for 5 nights. Nicely located close to the Esplanade (lots of eating places) and the marina (reef tours etc). Paid for a Superior View Room but the view was anything but superior - located on the ground floor which backed onto the common walkway to the pool. Access to the room was locked after hours which resulted in a bit of a circuitous walk in the dark. Room was comfortable and clean but a bit dated and could do with a freshen up. Definitely not 5 star in comparison to some 4 star hotels. Pool area was a good place to have a drink after a day out.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank Colin H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2008

We were upgraded!! Had a wonderful room in the Horizon Club with great views of the marina.

Just stayed for one night, but everything was perfect and would highly recommend the Shangri La to anyone else

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank kentucky01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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