I stayed 3 nights in this hotel in March 2009 as part of a package tour of New Zealand and Australia, so cannot comment on the room cost but can make observations on the facilities etc and compare it to all the other 'same-standard' 3* or so hotels I stayed in.
Due to the room I and some others were allocated (which couldn't be changed) my opinion of this hotel is not at all good, but I must concede that things might have been different (but not completely) had I been accommodated in the main apartment block....However, as it was, after already having been touring for 4 weeks this hotel provided the low-point of my holiday from the 11 establishments or so we had already stayed in and resulted in 3 days with a severe lack of sleep. This is a remarkable observation since our tour guide raved about it before our arrival and said we would find it the best we had stayed in !
The hotel is actually a motel-style arrangement (ie low-rise blocks around the central parking area) with the addition of an apartment block, with lift, on the corner of a relatively quiet intersection very close to the shore-side attractions in the centre of the vibrant town of Cairns. The local area is dominated by houses and other hotels (meaning the central location isn't that unique), so the ambient noise is minimal and it only gets really busy during the day (but read on for specifics !); the aforementioned main shopping/dining area of the town is barely 5 minutes stroll away.
My problems with this establishment centre on the location of the room I was in, and the associated privacy, plus the room facilities - so not much really !
My internal alarm bells should have rung almost as soon as I proceeded to my room, since it was not located in the same place as the majority of the rest of my group. I, and several other couples/singles, got the 1st floor rooms on the balcony/motel-style block (no lift) which circle the inner area of the grounds and the access road/parking area. However, due to the delightful surroundings, peaceful ambience (as it was at that time) and initial impression of the room itself I was 'distracted'. Once I queried the presence of an apparently free bottle of wine in my room the bells started to ring, since I, and everyone else similarly-accommodated, had been given it as 'compensation' for the room we were in. Still baffled I proceeded to slowly discover the detrimental aspects over the first day I was there....
In short, those rooms get ALL the external noise generated from passing traffic driving in/out of the hotel and (worst of all) from residents in both the dining area/balcony tabled-area smack-bang outside the room on the 1st floor. WORSE STILL, since they are outside and the hotel staff are totally indifferent to enforcing their own rules, you also get the cigarette smoke and odours from people smoking either at the balcony tabled-area or directly outside their own rooms (since in-room smoking would provoke smoke alarm detection). Your own room is also vulnerable to 'snooping' since the large front window does not have curtains, but ill-fitting horizontal wooden blinds - the feeling of being watched is ever-present. Since those blinds are so 'leaky' it also means the light from the floor-based spotlights also beams directly into your room at exactly eye-level when you you are lying in bed - nice.
No amount of complaining could provoke the hotel staff to enforce their own no-smoking rules nor ask noisy residents to be quieter - there was a general attitude of 'couldn't care less' and 'we can't tell residents what to do' - answers which are unforgivable and untrue respectively.
Leaving those MAJOR issues aside (which lead to 3 nights of severely limited sleep), I found the room OK with all the expected room facilities and cleanliness BUT the overall air of pretentiousness (eg those nice-looking room blinds which don't actually achieve anything practical) was reflected with certain things. For example, there is no kettle but instead a mini boiler-style metal water heater with an ill-fitting lid which is not only slow to boil but gets very hot on the outside, doesn't pour properly, is easy to knock over, doesn't turn itself off once the water has boiled nor (apparently) turn off for safety when boiled-dry. Similarly, the clothes storage is in the bathroom - weird; it also means the humidity from that area can affect your belongings stored there.
On the plus side, the room had a TV AND DVD player (never used - who brings or hires DVDs on holiday ?), a comfy bed and a near-silent ceiling fan - which meant it could be left on overnight to keep cool. There was also a fairly effective, but noisy, aircon and the bathroom had a bath (some hotel bathrooms don't !). HOWEVER, there was no in-room safe and a CHARGE was levied (a fairly steep AU$10 as I remember) for the alternative at reception - I have NEVER experienced that arrangement before.
Aside from my room complaint, the reception staff were helpful although you always got the impression of not having their full-attention as you had interrupted something they would rather be doing (eg tapping at a computer keyboard). There was a well stocked information area with leaflets for local attractions and tours. The smart/large centrally-located dining area offered outside seating and the breakfast buffet was good, with quite a wide choice of foodstuffs and you could get eggs cooked-to-order after intercepting a member of the serving staff.
You will no doubt have appreciated by now I intensely disliked this place. Overall it is smart and clean and, as long as you get a room in the block, I'm sure it would be fine for a peaceful stay in Cairns.
However, if you get a courtyard room your experience will be TOTALLY different and you will also have to put up with weird and unusual arrangements/facilities.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hotel Cairns, with its impeccably private and tropical ambience, is a 4 star resort hotel superbly positioned in the central business district of Cairns, one block from the famous Esplanade. Its architectural profile and exterior facade is one of the most beautiful examples of Queenslander heritage style, and is a popular talking point among many of the hotel’s visitors and guests. The hotel has undergone a complete remodeling and refurbishment to emerge as the classic accommodation of choice in Tropical North Queensland. Privately owned and operated by an Australian family, the Bakers, The Hotel Cairns is popular with international and domestic visitors and locals from the Cairns hinterland who appreciate quality and attention to detail. Set back from the street and well shaded by tropical trees and plants, The Hotel Cairns features a tour booking desk, a sparkling blue outdoor pool and spa, a modern, state of the art cardio gymnasium, a choice of function rooms, an onsite car park and a welcoming indoor/outdoor restaurant, The Plantation Bar & Grill. The Hotel Cairns is conveniently located just 10 minutes drive from the Airport, and an easy 5 minutes walking distance to shops and eateries in Cairns’ CBD. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Cairns