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“Comfortable but nothing to rave about”

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Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns
Ranked #8 of 64 Hotels in Cairns
Certificate of Excellence
London, New York
Level Contributor
20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Comfortable but nothing to rave about”
Reviewed 21 May 2009

After our disappointing experience from Bedarra island, we had a few days at Cairns. if you ever stayed at other Shangri-La hotels, you will be disappointed. This one is smallish, not that posh posh, certainly not luxurious. Barely 4 starts. But it was a good location, in the marina and therefore perfect for taking boat trips and diving trips.
Location - perfect for walking to the center of the town and taking boat trips. Cairns is very very small.
Service - the tourist info center at the hotel was great and very efficient. they suggested good restaurants and trip operators. We had a problem with loud music from the street one night and the hotel managed to resolve in 1 hour. there was a wedding in the hotel but no problem with that.
Rooms: nothing special
Food: the breakfast was OK, we never ate there during the day.
Diving: very disappointed with diving in Australia in general. Much better sites and marine life in Maldives and Bora Bora.

  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MandMLondon_NewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RugbyRob, General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns, responded to this review, 26 May 2009
We note that the writer stayed with us almost a year ago and thank he/she for taking the time to write now.

Thank you for rating cleanliness and location 5’s and service, value and our accommodation 4’s. It’s true that we are a much smaller hotel than our sister properties in major capital cities throughout Asia Pacific but we do pride ourselves on delivering that same Shangri-La hospitality that differentiates us from the competition.

Thank you to the writer to referencing our tour desk and also the duty manager’s efforts in addressing the music issues. We do hope that the size of Cairns and the diving experience did not detract from the writers stay with us.

Rob Weeden
General Manager.
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Minnesota
Level Contributor
105 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2009

Clearly the best location and hotel in Cairns - right on the pier where the tours depart. Location was unbeatable. It was great to get off the boat at the end of our tours and just walk across the pier to the hotel, while everyone else had to board a bus back to their hotels. Staff was great and very attentive during our entire stay. We arrived early but the hotel has an early arrival lounge and gladly took care of our luggage. (luggage was delivered before we got up there!) Rooms were spacious and updated with a balcony overlooking the water. The ground floor has about 6 great restaurants wrapped around the building to choose from. too.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Plexiaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2009

We stayed here because we knew that a Shangri La hotel would be good - and because we could afford the Shangri La in Cairns, unlike at most other locations! It's a good hotel with everything you need for a great stay. The staff are very friendly and helpful and the rooms are spacious and quiet. We didn't experience any of the inter-room noise that I so hate. We had an upgraded superior view room for our 4 night stay (thanks to the TrailFinders bonus) and looked out over the marina. I'd recommend these rooms over others with less exciting views.

This hotel has a large array of restaurants and bars around its perimiter at ground level. On the marina side, these are mainly decent quality fish restaurants, which are quiet. However, around the corner there are some much noisier bars with loud thumping music some nights, which I wouldn't want to be staying in a room over! The basement of the hotel has a shopping mall, with some good and some touristy shopping opportunities.

If you're planning on going on a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef or a dinner cruise, then this hotel is ideal, as an array of boats leave from the marina right outside the door!

One money-saving tip I would give is to join the hotel's Executive Club, which even at the most basic level, immediately entitles you to half-price breakfasts. Great if you're not on an inclusive rate.

Broadband internet is free at the Shangri-La, but only if you can connect your device via an RJ45 connector to register. After that, you can use wi-fi but you have to connect this way first, which rendered my iPhone wi-fi less! However, there's a McDonald's a few hundred yards away which has free wi-fi, so we emailed from there instead.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank HalfWayRoundTheWorld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RugbyRob, General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns, responded to this review, 1 June 2009
Thank you for the lovely words and delighted to learn that you have already received value from your Golden Circle privileges.

The restaurants and bars below the hotel are the centre of the Cairns dining precinct offering an extensive variety of cuisines from Modern Australian at North to Italian and seafood. All restaurants specialise in only the freshest of Far North Queensland produce and seafood from the Queensland Catch.

Shopping at the Pier is excellent also and if you have a few hours on a Saturday morning please come along to Farmgate - a farmers market that offers fresh produce grown less that 100km of the Pier Complex.

Rob Weeden
General Manager.
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Melbourne
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2009

Any possible criticism of this hotel is over-ridden by one huge plus: the happy, friendly, helpful, staff.
My husband and I recently spent three nights here in a room overlooking the marina. Sure, the hotel is a little dated, but our room was extremely comfortable and the only fault I could find was a poorly-designed shower that saw water escape and wet the bathroom floor.
We found the feather pillows a little soft (we didn't realise there were firmer ones in the cupboard) and when we mentioned this to housekeeping they were immediately on the case, returning with alternative pillows and even following up with an inquiry about our comfort the next day.
The hotel's position is fabulous, particularly when, as we unfortunately experienced, it's teeming with rain outside (for the whole three days!). In the marina complex beneath the hotel there many good restaurants, quality shops and even a market on Saturdays.
Staying at the hotel gives you access to the extremely well-equipped gym in the complex downstairs.
The buffet breakfast was a little underwhelming (but I'm comparing it to the Shangri-La in Singapore where Sunday breakfast buffets are mind-boggling ... or used to be). Thanks to the receptionist's suggestion that we join the hotel club, we only paid half-price, so it was excellent value.
Our deal (I'm not sure if it's standard) included free wi-fi -- a big bonus.
We made our way to Port Douglas after the Cairns sojourn -- specifically to the Sea Temple resort -- and if we were to compare service and overall quality, the Shangri-La wins hands down.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LookMumNoKids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RugbyRob, General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns, responded to this review, 26 May 2009
LookMumNoKids is on the ball and we encourage all of our guests to let us know if there’s a problem so we can fix it. Many people have ‘Goldilocks’ preferences too hard, too soft and just right which is why we have a pillow menu for our guests. Bravo housekeeping for delivering for this guest!

Golden Circle is extremely popular with our guests and we would encourage guests to join whenever they first travel to a Shangri-La hotel or resort. As for breakfast I’m pretty confident we have bragging rights for delivering the best in Tropical North Queensland not only for quantity but also quality and location but do concede that when benchmarked with Shangri-La Hotel Singapore we do fall a little short – they do an outstanding job.

Delighted that the writer also had time to enjoy our restaurants bars and retail.

Rob Weeden
General Manager.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
98 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2009

Fantastic location right on the Marina and only a few minutes walk to Cairns town. This hotel is pleasant, well decorated, and comfortable but facilities are fairly basic compared to other Shangri-La hotels. The hotel restaurant is small but the choice of food is tasty and well made. Pool area is lovely with plenty of lounge chaise and umbrellas. Don't expect the luxury of other Shangri-La hotels but you should still have a pleasant stay. If possible try and get a room overlooking the Marina.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank BGWGIE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RugbyRob, General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns, responded to this review, 26 May 2009
Many thanks to the writer for the review wrap and candid comments.

We do our very best to meet the service benchmarks set by our colleagues in sister properties in Asia and in many ways we deliver our own unique blend of North Queensland Shangri-La hospitality which we are pleased the writer enjoyed.

The Marina view and Bayview accommodation offers fabulous views of Trinity Bay, Marlin Marina and the mountain range along East Trinity – tropical tranquillity. My locals tip for the day: enjoy a chilled bottle of sauvignon blanc on your room balcony from around 5pm watching the charter boats return from the Great Barrier Reef.

Rob Weeden
General Manager.
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Sydney
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2009

Recently went to Cairns at short notice as we were able to get FF flights during school holidays. Had not been there for over ten years and was hesitant to go

We booked the Shangri-La Hotel and were really impressed with its location, facilities and service.

We found that we had great access to hotel facilities (pools fantastic for children) as many guests leave the property during the day.

There is a wide selection of restaurants within the hotel complex plus the added benefit of being able to go to others within a short walk.

We would also highly recommend a stroll along the boardwalk to muddy's park which is one of the best kids parks we have ever seen.

The service in the hotel was excellent and they were flexible and accommodating to our needs in terms of children.

Cairns has come on a lot since we were last there and now has hotel that provides upmarket accommodation of a good standard.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank turramurra44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2009

My husband and I arrived at the Shangri-La Marina mid morning after a long flight from London. Following tips from TripAdvisor we had emailed in advance to ask for an early check-in. We hadn't had a response but we were able to check in straight away (at 10am) so we assumed that the hotel had got the message. And this made such a difference. Because we were just stopping over for one night and recovering from the long journey, the important things were: (1) big comfy bed - check; and (2) great bathroom - check.
We also had a fantastic balcony over looking the marina. The room was big, so loads of space to sort out our suitcases before beginning our Far North Queensland adventure.
There only negative was that breakfast was not included in our room rate. We were rushing off the next morning and needed to eat before we left but with no time to go out for breakfast, the hotel was our only option. This was a very expensive flat rate. You would need to be very hungry to get good value. Since we were jet-lagged we didn't quite have the appetite, so it was probably the most expensive bread, jam and juice we've ever had.
Cairns was really pleasant for a stroll, dinner and drinks (although I don't think it is the place to be based for a long holiday) and the hotel was perfectly located to wander along the seafront to the cafes etc.
In summary, the hotel is elegant, neat, clean, modern and well-located.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank NICNACLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RugbyRob, General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns, responded to this review, 12 May 2009
It was a pleasure to read this review and we are delighted that these guests enjoyed not only their short Shangri-La stay but also their Tropical North Queensland experience.

It’s very challenging for any hotel or resort to guarantee an early arrival because we are also reliant on early departures to balance the equation. Guest expectations following long haul and early arriving flights do vary so we do encourage our guests to ensure that you or your travel agent provides both arrival and departure details, flight numbers and times.

About breakfasts: Most hotels will provide a buffet breakfast which features a wide variety of cereals, tropical fruit, breads, pastries, eggs in most styles, pancakes, sausages, bacon, mushrooms and hash browns, tea’s and coffee. A fare provision in anybody’s book, actually we would challenge to providing one of the best value breakfasts in Queensland’s North. For those wanting a lighter option we do also offer an a la carte breakfast which features enticing options from toast coffee and preserves from as little as $7. Please ask our servers for the a la carte options if you are looking for alternate options.

Once again thank you to the writer for the fabulous review and we do hope the remainder of their Australian holiday goes well too.

Rob Weeden
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 Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns

Property: Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns
Address: Pierpoint Rd, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Region: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Business Hotel in Cairns
#7 Luxury Hotel in Cairns
#8 Romantic Hotel in Cairns
#11 Family Hotel in Cairns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns 5*
Number of rooms: 255
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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