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Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns
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Reviews (2,753)
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Reviewed 20 October 2009

As a Golden Circle member and expat living in Asia, I frequently stay in Shangri-La hotels for business trips. For our private trip to Australia I made use of our company's corporate rates to stay in the Shangri-La, Marina, Cairns.

Although the hotel and rooms are not bad, I must admit the overall experience was a bit disappointing. Our room was a bit old and worn down and our first impression is that there is quite a difference with the standards of the Shangri-La hotels we stayed at in Hong Kong, Singapore or Mainland China.

Also the friendliness and warmth of the Shangri-La staff which we are used to, was lacking a bit. The staff seemed to be very busy and the personal service was not there. We asked for some indications on opening time of the night market as well and where we could buy some fruit near the hotel and for both things, the advice from the concierge staff was totally wrong (they told us the night market was open till 4 am, which is not true at all: 11pm!).

We don't want to come across as too critical, as it still is a nice hotel. The swimming pool is very nice and also location is excellent. Nevertheless it is not quite the Shangri-La experience we had hoped for.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Limshang
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 reviewResponded 2 November 2009

We totally agree our Shangri-La property is not what you would find in major capital cities like Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney or Singapore. Cairns is a regional city in Queensland’s Tropic North, our décor leans to the resort side lending from our tropical environment.

We do work very hard at our customer service and despite the obvious labour differences we feel we have successfully blended our splendid organisational culture of Shangri-La hospitality with our unique North Queensland style of service. As I have written before we are in a customer orientated business and occasionally we may fall short of expectations so if you have issues with our service delivery please let us know before you leave so that we have a chance to recover.

As for the misinformation with the night markets I can only apologise for the inconvenience that was caused by the confusion in times. The markets have kept the same hours for years and can only assume something was lost in the delivery.

Rob Weeden
General Manager.

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Reviewed 18 October 2009

With work courses and private stays for anniversaries and birthdays, we have had a busy year with hotel stays. Hyatts in Adelaide, Canberra and Melbourne along with private stays at the Langham, Crown and the Sofitel have given us great 5 star experiences. We chose the Shangri-la in Cairns for a 9 night stay for a number of reasons, one of them being that the GM actually responded to TA reviews, which I thought was interesting and commendable. We picked up a pretty good deal with expedia and had formed a pretty good idea of what this hotel would offer through the range of TA reviews. I don't think it is fair to rate it against the excellent 5 star Melbourne hotels but they did give us a good base to form our opinions.
One thing that did surprise me and I hadn't picked up in the reviews was that this is a low rise hotel with lots of rooms. This means that you can have long walks from the elevators to your rooms if you are at the far end of the hotel. We didn't mind this at all and it made for more meetings with the cleaning staff as you do the 100yard dash down the long hallways :-)). We had a very nice room overlooking the bay and lagoon area. Tiny little balcony but it was still enough for one or both of us to enjoy reading or a glass of wine. Free wireless internet kept us in touch with the outside world (and Melbourne's cold weather). Pier Hotel was directly under us, so there was some night time noise....only one day of the rugby league GF did we find it a nuisance but still fell asleep fine and didn't hear it most nights.
Overall we had an excellent stay and enjoyed the hotel. Here are some small things that I would suggest to improve the hotel.
King beds....Two king singles are ok but not great beds. As good as you join them, they are still not as good as one complete bed.
Pool....We stayed at PD and Mission Beach as well and the Shangri la pool was coldest by a mile. Surely they can solar heat it during 6 months of the year to just take the chill out of the water. With the breeze that Cairns gets the water can be a tad chilly....coming from a Victorian, so we don't mind it cool.
Spa pool...Probably the worst feature of the hotel. Small and poor seating in it. Guard rail is loose and needs attention. Most local swimming pools have better spa pools.
Promotion...Over 9 days we did not get recommended anything to do or places to eat. I know there is a tourist promotion desk at the front but it was a bit impersonal and uninviting....seemed to be there mainly for groups.
Overall very good, maybe needs an injection of personality but then most of the 5 star hotels are the same. Forgot to mention the fitness centre. It is located at the bottom of the hotel and like a lot of hotels now, is a part hotel/part private enterprise gym. Great facilities and you could do a whole range of aerobic classes as well.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Will G
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 reviewResponded 2 November 2009

Thank you to the author for the comments and the kind words acknowledging my own contribution to the Trip Advisor reviews. Fortunately most reviewers are gracious and constructive in their comments which makes this a fun contribution.

We sure do get a lot of comments about the length of the corridors which of course allows us to provide more accommodation with views of the Marina and Trinity Bay. So it’s an opportunity cost but I do like the way it has just been referenced – we like meeting our guests in the hallways too.

Every room does have a balcony with a table and a couple of director chairs. I highly recommend a chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc at around 5pm to watch the Reef Fleet coming in each evening to the Marina.

The comments about the pool and the spa are noted and will have a look. Ordinarily the pool is around the 24-26ºC mark.

Safe travels

Rob Weeden
General Manager.

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Reviewed 10 October 2009

We stayed there for two nights at the end of our week-long trip to Northern Queensland and it was the best choice we could have made. We were on the Club floor, and the room was perfectly clean and spacious, with beautiful modern decor. The bathroom was large, and had a window into the bedroom, with a roller-blind that could be pulled down for privacy. The afternoon snacks in the Club Room were delicious, as was the breakfast. The only minor inconvenience in terms of the service was the fact that we couldn't check out on the floor because the counter was busy.

There was no wireless internet available, and as we only had an iPhone with us, we weren't able to go online other than by using the mobile carrier and paying roaming charges.

The location was great. Downstairs in the building there are about a dozen amazing restaurants, plus you are right on the marina and can walk on the promenade right from your doorstep. It was a bit loud at night, so we had to close the balcony door, but there is air-conditioning, of course, so it wasn't too much of a bother.

The water in the swimming pool was freezing, but it was the middle of the Australian winter (25-30 degrees Celcius), so I guess we can't complain.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank abere8
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 reviewResponded 2 November 2009

Thank you to our Kiwi friends for the wonderful review.

Delighted that these guests enjoyed our Horizon Club accommodation – it really is very special and the value added benefits of the private lounge and free breakfast and then evening cocktails makes it all the more special.

Internet throughout the hotel is complimentary and to the very best of my knowledge we are still the only hotel to offer the free service. If you do not have a notebook then the business centre is available too, again complimentary. To access the wireless network one does need to activate over the wired network first. It’s a security precaution.

Love the Horizon Club balcony – particularly with a good book or the Sunday papers.

Rob Weeden
General Manager.

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Reviewed 8 October 2009

As a Sales Rep who travels frequently throughout QLD, it is the highlight of my trips when I am able to get a room at the Shangri La Cairns.

Other posters have commented on the price - it's true, it can be pricey - but if you can book in advance they do some great and affordable rates through the Hotel itself and even Wotif.

The hotel is stunning, very well fit out with a great little shopping centre on the ground floor and an easy walk to everything the Cairns Esplanade has to offer. Fantastic fitness centre and a nice looking pool.

The Room Service Menu is divine - I absolutely love their steak with porcini butter, chips and green beans. Always perfectly cooked and keep an eye out for the Restaurant specials - I had local Red Spot prawns last time I visited and have been unable to find the same quality anywhere else.

The rooms are lovely - modern, clean and with all the mod cons you would expect. Air con that you CAN actually control, nice toiletries and a well stocked minibar. The pillows and bed are out of this world - everytime I stay here I try and book a late start for work just so I can sleep in - and one day I will leave enough room in my suitcase to actually buy some pillows to take home.

This hotel is a great example of a well run hotel and it's a shame more don't follow suit. There is obviously an employee recognition program in place as I found many staff going above and beyond during my many stays - e.g. Waiter in the Restaurant who remembered what coffee I drank, Concierge who asked in passing what my plans were and had my car ready for me after breakfast, Room Service who remember me asking for cracked pepper had it sent up on my next order.

Love this hotel, and as long as it's within my work budget - will always return.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled on business
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2  Thank Joy6328
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 reviewResponded 2 November 2009

Terrific review and great travel tips.

Shangri-La offers a best rate guarantee so if you can find it on the web you will see the same rate on our booking site.

Your Fitness is located within the Pier complex and really is a wonderful gym facility complete with the usual aerobic and weight machines but the highlight really is the classes on offer. Well worth an investigation.

Room Service – I’ll be sure to pass this on to the Chef.

Safe travels.

Rob Weeden
General Manager.

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Reviewed 8 October 2009

This was a wonderful hotel with an awesome location. If you don't want to pay to upgrade to the marina view, ask for a pool view. It was still very nice and relaxing!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MrsErwin
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 reviewResponded 2 November 2009

You know we stayed in one of our Garden view rooms this past weekend. The kids fed the birds in the morning, chased butterflies and had quick access to the gardens and pool – highly recommended.

Many thanks for the comments and delighted the writer had a wonderful stay.

Rob Weeden
General Manager.

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