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“Smart Accommodation BUT Outside Rooms Have Vulnerability to Noise, Impractical Facilities AND Privacy Issues”
Review of The Hotel Cairns

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The Hotel Cairns
Ranked #48 of 64 Hotels in Cairns
Reviewed 24 May 2009

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.

  • Stayed: March 2009
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank LPWilliams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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331 - 337 of 452 reviews

Reviewed 9 May 2009

We found this hotel to be very clean and tidy. Rooms were spacious and modern and the pool area was nestled in a tropical setting which was really relaxing.

The buffet breakfast we had daily was very nice and it included such things as bacon and eggs as well as a selection of fruits and tea and coffee. Something for even the fussiest of eaters.

Location was great, walking distance to the esplande where you could go and eat, book tours etc. Overall we would recommend this hotel and stay again if had the chance.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank TheSquiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2009

I just had to tell you about the amazing Smart cars they have three at The Hotel Cairns. They
are just fantastic for seeing the surrounding areas and the best thing is you get free use of
one when you stay at The hotel. You really should give them a call to secure your room and car for your up and coming Trip to Cairns.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank wazaaaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2009

We were returning customers & had enjoyed a previous stay. the hotel is well located a short walk from the promenade & CBD/restaurants etc. Its a great Colonial style design with a pool nestled in tropical gardens.
Rooms are clean, well equipped & functional, but one aspect that stands out over others is the friendliness & helpfulness of the staff & nothing seemed to much trouble.
If you desire something a little different in style & more personal than the high rise large hotels this is for you.
Highly recommended

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank ollymac_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2008

I booked this Hotel for a 1 night stop before flying from the airport, after reading favourable reports on Trip Advisor. I was not disappointed. The Staff were friendly and helpful, the Hotel was clean and inviting and the location was excellent.
Well worth the money and I can recommend the Hotel without reservation.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank silverfox1942
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2008

We booked this hotel though the internet and got a great deal on the night, not sure if we would have stayed here at full price.
But, we really enjoyed our stay here. We only wished we could have stayed longer, but unfortunately it was a stop over spot, and we only had 1 night. It was very clean, well decorated, no ants and great location in Cairns. It was far enough away from the esplanade that it was quiet at night. It also had internet access, and pretty pool area. Unfortunately the hot tub was the same temperature as the pool. But we would stay here again.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank campchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2008

my wife and I just returned from our trip to australia. we were in cairns for 2.5 days and stayed at the hotel cairns. we found the rooms to be clean and spacious. the bathroom was modern and clean and had plenty of towels (which was a pleasant surprise).
there was AC and a fridge which were all big pluses. the complimentary breakfast in the morning was also a huge plus. the breakfast was hot and pretty good. the coffee was tasty, as this was the first place in australia that had coffee similar to american brew.

the front desk was somewhat helpful in asking about local tours and bookings. however, we found more help on the espanade booking our tours. so, don't fret, just head down there and you'll find what you're looking for.

the location was good as it wasn't too far from the espanade and the action, but it wasn't too close to hear all the street music and crowds.

i would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2  Thank WestBayBanjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Hotel Cairns

Address: Cnr Florence & Abbott Sts, 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 ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#28 Luxury Hotel in Cairns
Price Range: £67 - £133 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Hotel Cairns 4*
Number of rooms: 92
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

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