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“One of the best places we have stayed..:)”

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By The Sea Port Douglas
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 June 2014

We stayed here for 7 nights and we could not have been happier. The staff were so friendly, the room was a good size, the bed comfortable and the kitchenette was well used when we didn't feel like dining out every night, and instead bought prawns fresh off the trawler and cooked them on our balcony BBQ. We had a 50 metre walk to the beach and a block into the main eating and shopping strip. The extras were fantastic..bikes to ride on the beach, fresh beach towels, a large range of DVDs for when we wanted a night in, esky, shopping trolley, I could go on. If there was any negative it was the shower, which lacked water pressure and sometimes changed from hot to cold. We have honestly had the most relaxing week and we would recommend By The Sea to anyone. Thank you so much..!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank kategoanna33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 June 2014

My wife and I recently spent 2 nights here in a superior seaview apartment. While we had no major complaints, this place does not in our opinion live up to its 5 star rating. I certainly would never consider paying the $350 per night which is the full advertised price, and even paying half of that did not seem a great value for a relatively small dated apartment, with only partial obstructed views of the ocean, and certainly not beachfront. This may have more to do with the price structure of rooms in this resort town, but we paid less than this for a far superior truly beachfront apartment in Surfers Paradise.
The front desk staff were for the most part very friendly, although we felt a little intimidated at check-in with all the rules on cleaning the apartment, and the BBQ, and a very terse response to my question of smoking on the balcony. Consequently we did not use the BBQ as originally planned, and I certainly did not smoke on the balcony which you are allowed to do in virtually every other property we have stayed at in Australia.
Overall, a very average apartment accomodation, and we would look elsewhere if we ever were back in Port Douglas.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank jbmckenzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wendy C, Owner at By The Sea Port Douglas, responded to this reviewResponded 18 June 2014

We fully agree with Mr McKenzie that we do not live up to the luxurious standards of five-star accommodation. That is because we are a FOUR star and NOT a five star rated resort. As a Four star resort we provide quality comfort and a good range of services but certainly not the luxury or standard one would expect from a five star resort as Mr McKenzie did.

It is also regrettable that this guest did not read the details of the room type he had booked. If he had, he would have clearly seen from the photographs that our views of Four Mile Beach, whilst delightful in our opinion, are not the panoramic uninterrupted views of the sea that you get in the Gold Coast. They would have also clearly seen the look, layout and size of room, and chosen to not to stay or not book if it did not suit.

For the benefit of those reading this review, we respond to other pertinent points raised by this reviewer:

1 We do have a “no smoking in your room” policy, and we have one because the vast majority of customers want to stay in a no smoking resort.

2 We do not have a list of “guest cleaning rules”, let alone an intimidating one. The only reference to cleaning made is to ask guests to leave their complimentary barbecue in a usable condition. Sadly, we have to mention this because many previous guests left their balcony barbecue in such a bad condition that we often had to throw them out.

3 The price structure and size of apartments are very different in Port Douglas to the Gold Coast (of which Surfers Paradise is part). The Gold Coast is allowed to build “sky scraper” resorts and there are miles of them. This means that they can build many apartments on one block of land and can afford to be generous in size for the price. In Port Douglas, our buildings are generally not allowed to be taller than a Palm tree. We do not have high-rises. So the size of apartments and pricing in comparison to the Gold Coast is inevitably very different.

4 Studio apartments that overlook Four Mile Beach (called superior sea views because for Port Douglas they have a superior view) are not $350 as Mr McKenzie states, but $325. This rack rate is only charged for very short stays in the peak of season, and prices vary considerably throughout the year. You will find some excellent deals on our website, and also a wide range of different apartments and prices to choose from. And please do remember that if you are thinking about staying, the cheapest prices are on our web site.

We thank you for your time and attention. We are genuinely sorry we were not the five star resort Mr McKenzie expected and we hope everyone reading this is having a great day.
We hope to have the pleasure of your company

Kind regards and best wishes

The Girls at By the Sea Port Douglas

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2014

I have really mixed feeling about this hotel. Parts of this stay were incredible, other parts not so much. I like lists so here you go

Stuff we loved:
-the location - 50m from the beach on a paved path - amazing!
-the staff- they were very helpful and knowledgeable. I didn't appreciate being told off for "wasting" a day of my holidays watching DVD's by one lady in reception but I choose to believe that was a joke.
-the free inclusions- you can borrow almost anything from reception for free - beach towels, bikes, games, ipads, books, DVD's, esky's. This is a great service for people wanting to spend time at the beach but not wanting or not able to bring large amounts of beach equipment with them. We used the towels and the DVD's, it was great.
-the free unlimited wi-fi - it was so lovely to be able to log on and check emails etc, with no muss and no fuss.
-the swimming pool - a nice size and easy to get to.

Stuff we didn't love so much
-the noise - we were in a studio beach balcony room directly about reception. It was super noisy from about 0630-1030 in the morning and then again at night. I like to sleep in on holidays so this was frustration for me. We could hear everything everyone said in reception when our door was open.
-the bed. It was described as a king size bed but it was actually two king singles pushed together. I understand that this makes a king sized bed but it also makes a hard ridge in the middle of the bed and a hollow either side of the ridge which was very uncomfortable. The pillows were also pretty terrible.
-the TV. It was a good size and had a nice image but the sound was terrible especially when playing DVD's
-the skylight in our room. Great for lighting up the kitchen, not great for trying to sleep past 0600.
-the car park - it is free for guests but you nearly have to be the Stig to get in and out of it. I am not the best at parking but I am a competent driver and I couldn't park the car - it is such a tight space.
-the hot water in the shower, it took forever to come through and then was really patchy. Nothing worse than enjoying a nice warm shower only for the water to turn ice cold while you have shampoo in your hair.

Stuff you should know
-STAIRS! There are lots of stairs here and no lift - so if you have trouble with stairs this is not the place for you
-Beach view - there isn't one. There is a building and a bunch of trees in the way. You can hear the ocean from the rooms tho, and the beach is only a 1 minute walk away so this didn't bother us at all.

As I said mixed feelings. We loved the location and the inclusions, but the issues with the room, particularly the bed and shower put us off a bit. Although we would probably stay here again but definitely not in the same room.

Room Tip: Ask not to have room 9. There is lots of noise. The higher rooms would be quieter and have better vi...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank lions1310
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wendy C, Owner at By The Sea Port Douglas, responded to this reviewResponded 18 June 2014

We thank this reviewer for their feedback and was pleased to hear that they would most probably stay with us again.

There are quite a few points raised by this reviewer that has not only left them with mixed feelings, but most probably those reading it too! So it is important for us to provide some clarification and feedback to both, and we kindly ask those who have concerns to take on board the following:

1 PROBLEMS FOUND IN THE ROOM
We check that everything is working in a room before the guest arrives, and in an ideal world nothing should malfunction or break down. But as we all know, things do now and again. Thankfully this only happens occasionally at By the Sea Port Douglas, but we feel really bad when it does. We do genuinely care so very much about the happiness and comfort of each and every customer, and on the occasion that any one has a problem we bend over backwards to rectify that problem fast and with a minimum of fuss. If this reviewer had mentioned any of these problems while still staying with us, we would have replaced the television, the Dvd player and even the bed if necessary, and called in a plumber to check the shower. It is distressing that we did not have a chance to rectify these problems whilst they were here, and only learned about them after the fact. We therefore ask each and every person who has a problem, whether it be in our resort or another, to PLEASE let the staff know and give them a chance to fix it. If the resort cares about their customers, as we do, they will be so grateful to you for doing so.

2 TV AND SHOWER
When we first read this review, we immediately asked the guests staying in the same room if they were experiencing problems with either, and they said absolutely not (and they were not just saying it to be nice, as they have booked the same room again for next year) . Therefore, we did not want to disturb them, but on the morning of their check out we went in to double-check the TV, DVD player and the shower. We honestly could not find any noise distortion (so maybe it was the quality of the DVDs being played) and when we ran the shower in this room, it was working perfectly. However, we also called in the plumber, who checked all showers in all rooms in the section of the resort in which this reviewer stayed, and he then he found a problem. We had a partially blocked temporal valve in the hot water system. We are not quite sure what this is, but he assures us the problem is now fixed, and we apologise to this reviewer for the hot water interruption that was caused.

3 BEDS Most resorts have some king beds that are made up of two king single beds, and have them for sound commercial reasons – if people want twin single beds rather than a king, they can provide them. This is fine and you would not even know you were sleeping on a split king ensemble (unless you went looking) AS LONG as the resort has invested in another layer of topping for the bed, called a comforter. It provides a lovely softness on top on a firm bed. Some, but not all of our rooms have these same type of beds, and up until now, we have only received compliments on their comfort, which would not be the case if feeling a ridge or hollow in the mattress was a common experience. We asked all guests in house how their bed was with only positive feedback (including those who stayed in room 9 after this guest) We have even just had a review commenting on how comfortable our beds were. That said, the writer of this review did not find the bed in room nine comfortable and so we have swapped it with a brand new bed complete with new comforter as a result.

4 PILLOWS
We have a king size soft pillow which a lot of guests favourably comment on, but for those who do not like soft, we also provide a much firmer pillows as an alternative. We can only assume that this guest did not find these in the wardrobe, so to rectify this we are now putting both types on the bed, so there is an obvious choice.

5 NOISE
The writer of this review has said that the resort was super noisy in the mornings. Yet another reviewer who stayed at the same time posted on Trip Advisor that peace and quiet was a very important component of their holiday, and made a point of saying how peaceful and quiet our resort was even though full. And yet they stayed next door to the writer of this review who said it was super noisy. We are actually really stumped by this noise complaint and can only reassure future guests that the resort is quiet. It is an older building with solid floors and walls, and if it was a noisy resort, Trip Advisor would be littered with complaints. We should also provide the reassurance that no staff are on the premises at six thirty in the morning. Two cleaners sweep the common areas at 7.30am but only with a broom while reception does not open until 8am. Room 9, whilst on the first floor, is not over the reception area. And whilst a few of our rooms do have a sky light they are over the kitchen and not the bed.

6 NO SEA VIEW
We do have rooms with views of Four Mile Beach but this reviewer did not book one. They booked a room that is advertised as “Save Money by not having a Sea View” and the photos and details of this room type booked clearly makes the point there is no sea
view. This room is called a King Bed Balcony on our web site (and Studio with Balcony on booking.com)

7 STAIRS
There are very few resorts in Port Douglas that have lifts and none that are four star. We all have stairs. At our resort there is one set of stairs to the first floor and another set of stairs to the second floor, and we are happy to assist you with your bags during reception hours.

8 CAR PARK
Our underground car park, is like most underground car parks – parking is tight
but guests having been parking there successfully for years.

We are sorry that this response is so long, but there were quite a few points of concern to cover.

We thank this reviewer for his feedback and we thank you for taking the time out to read this response and we hope it was useful for you.

If you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact us.

Take good care

Kind regards

The Girls at By the Sea Port Douglas

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Reviewed 9 June 2014

Every thing was easy and comfortable. Great location, friendly staff. Extra kid in room was no hassle. Next door to beach a next door the other way. Lots of beach stuff to use. Will recommend to all! MDR

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
2  Thank Michael R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014

My husband and I stayed 3 nights.
Lovely room with balcony, over looking beach.
Easy walk to main street, great shopping and restaurants.
Accommodation very comfortable and spacious although kitchen very small. We would have like to have stayed longer!
The only draw back for us was the stairs! My husband has a back problem and it was very difficult to manage our luggage so we would not stay here again.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Colvberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014

My husband and I stayed at By The Sea for five nights. We made the decision to stay here based on tripadvisor reviews and we were not disappointed.
The hotel is in a very convenient location, just a few steps away from Four Mile Beach and less than ten minutes' walk from the main street, with its shops, cafes and restaurants. Our room did not have a sea view, but it was nevertheless quite pleasant and we could hear the sea, which was nice. The room was clean, but the décor was just a little shabby. It was also a little dark and gloomy, but this did not bother us too much. The bed was comfy, the kitchen area well equipped and everything worked well, including the in room wi fi.
We were impressed with the management team. They were unfailingly enthusiastic, helpful and polite and seem to have thought of just about everything! A wide variety of useful things are available for loan, at no extra charge, including beach towels, chairs, umbrellas, bicycles, shopping jeeps, books, DVDs, board games and car fridges. They are also helpful in recommending things to do. They recommended a hairdresser and made an appointment for me, when I was in dire need!
The location is quiet and despite the place being nearly fully booked, at no time did we hear our neighbours, which was a bonus for us, as we like our peace and quiet.
Overall, By The Sea provides good, reasonably priced accommodation. We liked it.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank julietheoracle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wendy C, Owner at By The Sea Port Douglas, responded to this reviewResponded 20 June 2014

Thank you very much for your review and kind comments. And thanks for letting us know you thought your room was a bit dark and gloomy. We went to have a look at the room you stayed in and you were right - it was a little on the gloomy side. We had just recently upgraded all the balcony window systems and they were a different configuration to the old ones. This meant that given the layout in your particular room,the curtains were hanging further over the balcony window in this particular room than when they used to, blocking out more light. Also we found the lights in your room to be very yellow than bright white. So we have rectified both of these problems by replacing the lights, and the curtains are being replaced with roll down blinds. We also changed over some of the furniture and artwork and we think it is looking rather lovely now. Thank you for the heads up and we hope to see you again soon. Take Good care….. The Girls at By the Sea Port Douglas

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Reviewed 3 June 2014

Our acquaintance with the hotel began long before our arrival. Girls from staff wrote us that they are waiting for us, ready to help, with anything- transfer from the airport, excursions, special events. Yes, of course - this trip were cheaper and better than regular shuttle buses. Excursions are ordered perfectly.
We mentioned in the correspondence about husband's birthday, just in case.
And not in vain! There was a gift for us in our room! Big pleasure. The staff is incredibly helpful, friendly, ready to help at any moment. They work a hundred hours a day, but always ready to respond to any request of guests. In a room - a nice cheerful decor, white furniture, a large plasma television, a spacious balcony with ocean view, all necessary utensils, kettle, cooker, fridge, salt, pepper, cloths, sponges, trash bags - all you need! In hotel - pool, baby carriages, wheelchairs for going to a supermarket. Sun loungers, beach chairs, towels, inflatable beach facilities for swimming for children and adults. Moreover, Board games, DVD movies, books, washing machine - you can wash all your clothes. In the room there are drying, iron and Ironing Board. The way to the beach "4 miles" takes 1 minute walk. We recommend this hotel for families and companies of all ages. And we promise - you'll be happy!!!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank _Elena108_108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about By The Sea Port Douglas

Address: 72 Macrossan St, Port Douglas, Queensland 4877, Australia (Formerly Archipelago Apartments)
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > Queensland > Port Douglas
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 57 Speciality Lodging in Port Douglas
Price Range: £66 - £139 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — By The Sea Port Douglas 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Have the best of both worlds by staying at By the Sea Port Douglas. The convenience of staying in the main town centre (Macrossan Street) but also the tranquility and beauty of staying right by the sea! ... more   less 
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