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“No WOW factors”

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Pullman Cairns International
Ranked #5 of 64 Hotels in Cairns
Certificate of Excellence
Hampshire, UK
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“No WOW factors”
Reviewed 12 November 2009

We stayed for two nights and to be honest I can barely remember them because everything was "OK". The service was very impersonal and slow but the rooms were clean (fairly grand but dated). The breakfast was good though. When we returned to Cairns we stayed at the Harbour Lights (same chain) and enjoyed it soooo much more.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank happyhels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Zurich
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 October 2009

Over all we had a really nice stay at the Sebel. But if you look for luxury – don`t book the Sebel - especially if you are used to luxury class standards. The self-portrayal on the internet in my eyes is a little misleading here.

However the price /performance ratio was very good and counterbalanced the missing luxury conditions as I personally don`t care too much.
Our harbor view room on the 12th floor was nice, clean, spacious, with a nice view, super comfortable beds and personally for me very important curtains that were impervious to light.

Nevertheless there were some aspects I would not accept in a 3 star hotel and least of all in a 5 star hotel.

The reception was friendly but not more than that. It seemed - and this refers to almost all of the service staff (I am sorry to say this but especially the asian staff) - like they switch on their smiles when they look at you and switch them off again as soon as you turn around. It has been quite a while since I have seen people with such disinterest in their job. As a hard and dutiful working woman I at least expect those people to do their jobs too I pay money for making my precious free time relaxing and enjoyable.

On the day we arrived I asked the lady at the reception for a map of Cairns. She handed it to me but was not able to show me the hotel on it … I tried my luck on one of her colleagues then and asked for shopping facilities and restaurant recommendations. We arrived at the recommended shopping mall around half an hour later to discover that the shops close at around 5:30pm which was 2 hours ago by then …
One day - and this is just one example - I handed some postcards (including stamps) to one of the ladies at the reception. She smiled and took them. I cannot remember why but I turned around again and saw that she threw my cards to the side with a very annoyed facial expression.

The pool deck is very nice. You could spend a wonderful relaxing time on really comfortable sunloungers if there wasn`t this annoying background music. And I am not talking about gentle atmospheric music but a quite loud mixture of everything from pop over jazz to tango. After an unsuccessful but very ambitious try to drown it out with my ipod I by that time half deaf went to call the service staff to at least turn it down as I could not concentrate on my book at all. To whomever I talked on the phone apparently was not in charge but promised in broken English to pass on my request. Nothing happened. I gave up reading then and went for a swim because the idea of spending my time chasing after service personal was even more annoying.

I can’t understand why, in most hotels globally, Internet access is still not included nowadays as water and TV is. Since the Sebel lacks package deals in this area - you either pay AUD 29.- per day (for wired access - wireless is not available anyway) or walk around the corner into an Internet cafe.

All those are unnecessary and actually easy to resolve nuisances but the absolute bottom was the breakfast. I could not believe …
… that you had to pay extra for freshly made eggs.
- In every good hotel you have a chef taking orders to cook your individual omelet/fried eggs/ scrambled eggs/whatever right in front of your eyes.
… that they actually expect their guests to tab black tea from a samovar.
- In a good hotel I expect to find a good variety of assorted teas. And I don´t mean the little dusty 20cent Twinings bags.
… that the croissants looked like tiny squashed, deflated footballs and tasted like those … not that I ever tried one … ; )
… that there was no fresh juice.
… what they call crispy bacon.
… the poor variety of cheeses.
… that I could not find any seafood in a hotel located right next to the ocean. Not one shrimp.
- Every good hotel offers at least some salmon.
This was what I either consumed or what caught my eye and I absolutely do not need to know what was hiding under the other metal lids. All this for AUD 32??? Get real!
The good thing was that we could cancel the breakfast for the rest of the stay. And here is my good advice: don`t book it in the first place. There are hundreds of cosy cafés on the Esplanades where you get great breakfast with freshly made juices, eggs, salmon (!), sandwiches – whatever you like for half the price.

Let me stress again that we over all had a very nice stay and great breakfast round the corner and I will end this comment with my Sebel highlight – The Mii Spa. I had the 2hrs heavenly treatment and it was wonderful. The Spa itself is quite plain and unspectacular but the fact that I could not even remember how it looked showed me that nothing actually bothered me. The therapists are very friendly and professional. The price/performance ratio is very good.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Ozlover1023
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2009

We are a Melbourne couple who have just visited Cairns again for a weekend of rest and recreation. This was our first time at the Sebel Cairns Hotel. The hotel is comfortable, well appointed and our room was spacious. The staff was polite and helpful (except David in the breakfast room who wanted to physically and verbally prevent me to use the Roband Conveyor Toaster on a slower setting to provide a satisfactory toast.) and the rooms are reasonably priced. Regrettably we find out that everything else comes at a sizable markup. Continental breakfast is $26 (full breakfast is $32) and there is no discount for quests staying at the hotel. An in house movie is $15.95. When I have made a 7 minutes STD call to Melbourne through the hotel landline, I was charged $30 for it. While we can quite comfortably absorb these charges and are firm believers of businesses entitled to a reasonable profit we don't endorse outrages pricing. On principle we will not stay at the hotel at subsequent visits and cannot recommend it to other travelers as it does not represent value for money.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank Tiborpal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Las Vegas, NV
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 October 2009

Arriving into the Sebel's driveway, we were under the impression of a great hotel. The lobby was spacious and decked out with 3 chandeliers. The reception staff and concierge were very helpful. When we finally got to our room, we were sadly disappointed!!! It was a standard sized room with a stiff bed, outdated television set, an old 1970s looking sofa, and a very dirty balcony with plastic lawn furniture! The only decent part of the room was the bathroom, whichwas somewhat spacious, but poorly configured. The pools at the hotel were good -- two pools, a fair amount of lounge chairs, but only one of the two hot tubs were working. The location of the hotel was good...as it was only 2 blocks from the marina and Esplanade street, where all of the restaurants were. While food room service from the restaurant was speedy, the room cleaning service was poor!!! They didn't change the towels daily, they didn't clean the bathroom floor, they didn't sweep our room floor, and they didn't even clean the balcony for the entire 5 days we were there!!!

While this hotel was on the cheaper side, I'm sure there are many other hotels in Cairns that offer better values!

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
5 Thank neomedic23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oak Harbor, WA, USA
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2009

Beautiful, modern hotel. Clean, spacious rooms/bathrooms. Small refrigerator in the room. Professional, helpful staff. Good location

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bcleverd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cairns
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 September 2009

Deciding on a weekend getaway, I booked a weekend stay at the Sebel with some friends. When you first walk in there is a massive lobby area and wooden staricase, it really sets the tone and automatically makes you feel like you're on an incredible holiday, somewhere classy and pretty!
On arrival there was only a short wait to check in where all details and arrangements were verified with no fuss and efficiency (surprisingly). Also needing valet parking, this was easily taken care of and we headed to our room.
Our room had fantastic views and was clean and tidy (the new bedding makes a tremendous difference to the appearance of the room)
The pool area is a dream. You have views of the city and feel like you're on a tropical island.
The location is fantastic with the casino directly across the road and popular nightspots only a few minutes walk. The main shopping area is a slightly longer walk and if you're there in summer, definitly recommend a taxi or car. Unless you're into that kind of thing!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank glamgirl86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 September 2009

I travelled with my sister to Cairns for a few days and we stayed at the Sebel for one night I made bookings over the phone and requested a nice room, given my sister was recovering from surgery. When we arrived, we were blown away by the entrance, it is extremely grand and elegant, high ceilings, stylish interior decor, exceptional service at check-in. Nothing but 5-star service for our stay there. Our room was on the 15th floor, overlooking the mountains, we had a corner room where we also had views of the ocean. Absolutely brilliant balcony, interior decor was very clean and new, nice bathroom and beds were very cosy. My sister & I were both impressed. Facilities were great, pool area was nice and gym facilites were also good. Good value for money hotel, definitely highly recommend this hotel to couples, families, friends who want a nice relaxing place to stay.

  • Stayed July 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DanaMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pullman Cairns International

Property: Pullman Cairns International
Address: 17 Abbott St, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Cairns
#4 Luxury Hotel in Cairns
#4 Business Hotel in Cairns
#5 Romantic Hotel in Cairns
#8 Family Hotel in Cairns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Pullman Cairns International 5*
Number of rooms: 321
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pullman Cairns International is a grand upscale hotel conveniently located in the CBD of tropical Cairns, boasting 321 spacious rooms over 16 floors, with either harbour or hinterland views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Sebel Cairns Hotel Cairns
The Sebel Hotel Cairns
Sebel Hotel Cairns

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