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“Extremely budget and unsafe”
Review of Reef Palms

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Reef Palms
Ranked #3 of 64 Hotels in Cairns
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Extremely budget and unsafe”
Reviewed 15 August 2014

Four of us spend 2 nights at this hotel and had a terrible experience:
1. Beds were missing wheels and were unbalanced
2. Floor drains spat out bubbles when any taps were on
3. Had $50 stolen from a wallet left in our room
4. Requested a room to fit 4 adults and received a family room with single beds

*The only positive thing I can say about the hotel is the female at reception was extremely polite.

Overall it was bad enough we considered changing accommodation, but being it was only 2 nights we just dealt with it.

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Shauna Kathleen T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon H, Owner at Reef Palms, responded to this review, 24 August 2014
It always saddens us when guests have not enjoyed their stay with us. We work hard to try to ensure the comfort of all our guests and our expectation would have been that you would have come to talk to us at reception especially as you believed money was missing from your room. As you posted, the person on reception was friendly so by denying us the ability to try and fix any problems you had while you were with us and just posting this review on Trip Advisor it may have given you a level of satisfaction however leaves us wondering what really happened. I guess we just move on, take your comments on board and take heart that many other guests do enjoy their time with us.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (129)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
57 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2014

What a nice and warm WELCOME back for my 3rd time @ Reef Palms I got. Very thank you to Sharon and David to made my 3rd stay with a friend of mine so special and superb. Thank you for all your help and service and never forgot the last day on the Balcony (lol) We had such a good time and everything was so nice and beautyful again, so that the way it is, comming back for the 4. time !!!
Reef Palms is a very good alternative to large hotel chains and apartment houses in the city. It is a family run establishment. Sharon and David and the team are very helpful and I already felt like a regular. The very well-run motel has a very special Ederen North Queenslanders charm. The rooms are clean, friendly, well equipped, you can even breakfast or dinner facilities in the room (there is a small kitchen area, microwave and dishes available) I booked for the 3rd time a room with a private spa, which works very well (bathrobes were in the room) You can make yourself comfortable on a couch or enjoying the evening on the balcony. The parking lot offers plenty of room for hire. And its close to Cairns Airport and good to start with a car up to Northern Beaches, Kuranda, Port Douglas, Mossman etc. Sharon and the great team helping by booking tours.

In German: Erneut buchte ich zum 3.Mal das Reef Palms in Cairns North. Eine sehr gute Alternative zu den großen Hotel-Ketten und Appartement-Häusern in der City. Es ist ein familiär geführtes Haus. Sharon und David und das Team sind sehr hilfsbereit und ich fühlte mich schon wie ein Stammgast. Das sehr gut geführte Motel hat einen ganz besonederen North Queensländer Charme. Die Zimmer sind sauber, freundlich, gut ausgestattet, man kann selbst Frühstück oder Dinner im Zimmer zubereiten ( es ist eine kleine Kochecke + Microwelle und Geschirr vorhanden) Ich buchte zum 3. Mal ein Zimmer mit einer eigenen Spa, die sehr gut funktioniert ( Bademäntel waren im Zimmer) Man kann es sich auf einer Couch gemütlich machen oder genießt den Abend auf dem Balkon. Der Parkplatz bietet genug Platz für Mietwagen. Das Motel liegt in einer Parallelstraße zum Cptn. Cook Hwy ( Sheradon Str.) und so bietet es sehr gute Möglichkeiten zum Start mit dem Mietwagen zu den Nördlichen Stränden (Palm Cove etc.), nach Port Douglas, Mossman, Cape Tribulation or Kuranda and Atherton Tablelands. Etwas störend sind die Startgeräusche der Flugzeuge vom Airport, aber das hört man überall in Cairns.

Room Tip: The rooms to Digger Street have a nice view to the sunrise. Rooms on back side have a Park area in f...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hobi01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon H, Owner at Reef Palms, responded to this review, 24 August 2014
Always a pleasure to have you visit us from Germany, we look forward to your next visit with us. The bottle of Red Wine was lovely thank you very much. I'm going to have a ladder installed for you next time - you and I know why - what fun we had with you this visit. Take care and hope to see you both again next year.
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Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014

I have rated the very good but do have a couple of negative points.

We arrived at 5am in the morning following the flight from the UK. We had sent a couple of emails via their website to ask for a early check in or whatever was necessary to ensure we could get a bed and a shower. We had no reply and the hotel said they had no emails despite no errors in sending the mail. Okay yes I should have called. The hotel was full and we was stuck. David went out of his way to ring around and get us a room which was appreciated and dropped us to the hotel as well.

We checked in later in the day. The motel is clean and does the job for the three nights. The in room cooking facilities are really basic and we did not use them. We used the motel BBQ located near the pool area which again was good and clean.

Sleep quality was fine until 6am when the flights start and the bin men are on their rounds. Having said that the sleep pattern for us was all over the place and we was wide awake at this time.

We did not book any trips apart from a day spa as we booked from the UK.

Whilst the staff was very friendly we did feel Barbara was slightly prickly at times which could have been handled better.

The shower taps need repair and did drop off several times.

The washing machine and dryer was a big bonus with the kids.

The value for money was good and we would return.

Room Tip: Perhaps avoid the bin area/laundry
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AlandMary_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon H, Owner at Reef Palms, responded to this review, 24 August 2014
Hello to our visitors from the UK - hope the rest of your trip was great. We do advise guests that check in before 2pm can never be guaranteed, especially at 4.30am in the morning unless the previous night has been purchased so we can put your keys into the Night Safe. At least David was able to find you somewhere to sleep at that time of the morning and you arrived with us later in the day. You loved your Barrier Reef Trip and your wife enjoyed her massage which left her well rested I hope! Our weather here in Cairns has been a little patchy since you left however we still sit here in our shorts and tee shirts enjoying the sunshine.
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USA
Level Contributor
69 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2014

The rooms are spacious, private and clean. My room had a balcony which was nice. There is no elevator so if climbing stairs is a problem, a ground floor room would be preferable. The place has a nice airy feel due to the open construction, almost tropical. The pool is nice and relaxing - not an Olympic pool for doing laps. The owners are very helpful, they are also very knowledgeable regarding local options for dining, attractions, activities, etc. They also provide shuttle service several times a day to the airport, downtown, etc. The location is somewhat far from town, about 25 minute walk, which is pleasant enough by the boardwalk during the day. A cab ride back is about $8. But it is also very close to the airport and convenient. I would definitely say this was a good choice for my needs. Nothing fancy but a great value and personal service. The internet that people have complained about is slow at times and I would go elsewhere if you have to do a lot of work that requires high speed internet. However, it seemed to improve and be fine at times. They are trying to get it improved according to the owner.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DavidOrtiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon H, Owner at Reef Palms, responded to this review, 24 August 2014
Thank you very much for staying with us and writing such a nice review. David and I really appreciate it.
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Oslo, Norway
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2014 via mobile

The interior was tacky and worn, bathroom door was patched but not painted. I guess the room was clean, but due to an unpleasant smell it felt dirty. Kitchen facilities were old and worn, the stove was not clean. Listed on TripAdvisor as a hotel, but is really a Motel. The reception are was a mess. I can not recommend this place. One positive, the friendly personnel. 20 dollar cab ride from city center.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
6 Thank Tomjahr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon H, Owner at Reef Palms, responded to this review, 24 August 2014
Reviews are always welcome whether positive or negative. We are sorry you did not enjoy your stay. Our studios are extremely clean as verified by the many positive reviews we receive. It is true, we are certainly not a 5 star resort however we offer clean comfortable accommodation for guests who wish to enjoy time in the Cairns region.
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Lake Oswego, Oregon, United States
Level Contributor
64 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2014

We stayed at the Reef Palms initially at the beginning of our three weeks in NE Queensland. Great location, close to the airport and less than a mile walk to downtown Cairns. Sharon and David were so kind to us! They let us borrow a cooler, ice packs and beach towels for the rest of our driving trip around the region. We decided to stay back at the Reef Palms two more times because they were so helpful. Sharon booked the perfect boat for our reef trip, she really listened to our needs and found us the perfect one, Ocean Freedom! Each of our rooms had a fridge, stove, toaster, sink and hot water pot and we were able to do laundry also. We even used the lovely big barbecue to cook our own dinner one night. Thanks!

Room Tip: Upper rooms are best, be sure to use the barbecue if you stay a few days.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon H, Owner at Reef Palms, responded to this review, 24 August 2014
It was lovely to have you come and stay with us 3 separate times on your visit to North Queensland. You were like old friends by the third stay and we loved hearing about your travels. If ever you are in Cairns again, we'd love to welcome you back again.
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Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2014

My fiancé and I (aged 23 and 20) stayed at Reef Palms Motel from 1st July 2014 for 11 nights on the final leg of our month long holiday. We couldn't speak more highly of both the accommodation, the owners and the staff!

We stayed in a Deluxe Spa studio and the room more than met our needs. The fridge, hob and toaster meant we were able to make our own food after long days out on trips! The spa bath was also nice and relaxing! The room was kept very clean by the housekeeping team.

When it came to booking trips, we booked them all via reception. All of the staff were very knowledgeable and helpful in this regard, and we were not disappointed by a single trip! Definitely book all of your trips through reception (particularly if you are going to the Great Barrier Reef). Being the budding English tourists that we are we wanted to visit the Reef as soon as possible after we arrived. However after speaking to Sharon (the owner) she advised us that she monitors the weather conditions and water levels and that they were not at all good for the coming days. Instead she recommended we went towards the end of our stay. This was 100% the correct decision as we overheard plenty of other tourists who had booked elsewhere saying the Reef was not a good experience as they had water in their snorkels and sea sickness due to the conditions! When we eventually went the conditions were perfect and snorkelling in the Reef was the best thing we did! David drops you off at the Reef Terminal and picks you up at the end of the day, very convenient! Other trips we would recommend is Barefoot tours and White Water Rafting. We also hired a car for two days on Sharon's advice and were able to explore the Daintree Rainforest and Port Douglas at our leisure, another recommendation!

Reef Palms also offer a shuttle into town or they have the bus routes written down for you. However we found that neither of these were necessary, it is roughly a 20-30 minute walk along the water front into Cairns centre and the Esplanade so we tended to walk!

The swimming pool at Reef Palms is also a really nice area, nicely laid out and was very refreshing!

Overall if we were to return to Cairns (which hopefully we will in the future) we would have no hesitations about returning to Reef Palms. Sharon, David and the rest of the staff really do care about your whole experience and value you as guests and it is nice to have such friendly faces greet you when you are so far away from home!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Adam H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon H, Owner at Reef Palms, responded to this review, 24 August 2014
Thank you very much for writing and for staying with. We are so please that your liked your trips and enjoyed staying with us. We would love to have you come back and visit with us again.
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Additional Information about Reef Palms

Property: Reef Palms
Address: 41-47 Digger St | corner McKenzie Street, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Region: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Cairns
#6 Best Value Hotel in Cairns
#7 Family Hotel in Cairns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Reef Palms 3.5*
Number of rooms: 42
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Also Known As:
Reef Palms Cairns
Reef Palms Hotel Cairns

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