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By The Sea Port Douglas
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 June 2014

We arrived at By The Sea Port Douglas after spending 6 days at Palm Cove. On reflection, we would have stayed less time in Palm Cove and spent more time at Port Douglas. This is mainly due to the superb location of the By The Sea - and the vast amount of activities available there. Activities included free DVD rental (they have a range that would be similar to a video store) and free bike rental. The bikes were awesome for going on a cruise down the beach. The rooms themselves were very comfortable and well appointed. The staff here certainly have paid attention to the details to ensure our stay was most enjoyable.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank jandalz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 June 2014

Well people we had the most fantastic few days at By The Sea , the staff brilliant the service was the same. The pool was nice and warm just ask for something you have got it.
Free bikes videos and shopping trolleys things for the beach you're got it ice as well.
Nice clean rooms can't sell it enough we will be back Love It Dee and Pete

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Deidre R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2014

This was my second stay at By The Sea and once again we were absolutely thrilled! There is just no way you can stay here and not relax. Last year we stayed in a Seaview Superior which we feel in love with. The room was gorgeous, inviting, bright and with a view of the sea, which is almost unheard of in Port Douglas. This time we stayed in the Rainforest Canopy. A beautiful spacious,split level apartment, with rainforest views, one can only dream of. This apartment had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, one with a huge bath, plus a fully equipped kitchen and 3 tvs!!Once again we enjoyed the gorgeous heated pool, and the children loved the free pool toys. The reception is fully stocked with every possible need or want. Ipads, laptops, books, dvds, games, beach towels, you name it, they have it.Thank you once again, Louise, Jodi, Corey, Bron and Wendy, for a wonderful holiday once again!!!!!!!

Room Tip: You cannot go wrong, with any of the rooms really, depending on what size or view you prefer, just b...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Chrisemmalee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2014

The owners composed an excellent response to an unhappy reviewer explaining the Australian ratings system and I would recommend people read this before booking..

We have stayed in Port Douglas several times always in different apartments. By The Sea is certainly one of the best situated minutes from the shopping and restaurant areas and even closer to the beach. They offer an impressive range of freebies such as IT and beach kit but this is also available at many other apartments

We booked a superior!!! beach view room and can honestly say its one of the smallest rooms we've ever stayed in, although we viewed the rooms on line, patently they used very clever lighting and angles to make the rooms look larger than they are. The balconies are similarly so small it would have been impossible to safely use the supplied barbecue and dine at the same time.. The room size and layout meant the fridge was basically in the bedroom and exceptionally noisy. So despite our extensive research we were fooled by this.

Before we unpacked we asked whether we could pay to upgrade to a larger room. I guess the staff took exception to this as I actually found most of them positively unfriendly and unhelpful, for instance we were unable to use WiFi most of our time there but it was apparently the fault of the four devices we were trying to use, asked to recommend car hire and were told there were plenty around to choose from.

Obviously we had been marked as troublesome guests.

In our experience there are much much better places to stay were customers are appreciated and I would suggest you consider these first

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank gjw5050
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wendy C, Manager at By The Sea Port Douglas, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2014

It’s a déjà vu moment! This review was posted on Trip Advisor over six months ago after Max stayed with us in November 2013. Then six months later it’s up again as “new” but without our management response.

It is therefore also a perplexing moment. Why would Max who has not stayed since, repost his review six months later. Well, the timing might have something to do with the fact that in the last six months all of the reviews we have received have been rated “excellent” or “very good” until last week, which is exactly when Max deleted his review and reposted. And we believe the motivation is that Max took objection to our response to his review and we believe this because he emailed to tell us so in no uncertain terms.

For those concerned about this review, we reiterate our response in summarised format:

(1) This reviewer booked to stay in Superior Sea View room (called that because the sea views are more superior to other room types, as clearly advertised).

(2) This room type is our most popular room type, and is the room type most recommended by previous guests (see room tips on Trip Advisor). We therefore quite logically make the conclusion that whilst we respect Mr Grazza’s opinion, his opinion is not a majority one.

(3) Just because we make this point, we are not meaning to imply that Mr Grazza is lying. We have no doubt that this room was the smallest room HE has ever stayed in. However, what is small to one person is something quite different to another. Take restaurant dining for example; the very same meal can be seen as too small, more than ample size, or, if anyone is like my father, usually too large. In order to get the meal you want, you have to choose the restaurant that provides what you want. Choosing where to stay is the same concept. You first need to select a resort which provides the type of experience and ambience you want, and then choose from their menu of room types, the “right dish” so to speak, with the right ingredients and right size.

(4) We assure those considering staying, that as long as you read the details on our web site, look at our menu of room types, and click on the details link for any that take your fancy, and ensure that you like what you see and you book what you like, you will not be disappointed with your experience with us girls at By the Sea. Those rooms on our ‘menu’ are clearly divided in to those that are studio apartments and those that have separate bedrooms

To Mr Max Grazza, we reiterate the following reassurances:
If we distorted the photographs of the views and rooms, Trip Advisor would be littered with complaints. It is not and we do not.
We are still astonished that you persist in thinking we chose not to upgrade you to an apartment with a separate bedroom because we basically took a disliking to you. Nothing could be further from the truth. If we could have upgraded you, we would have done so in a heartbeat. Yes, we did have the vacancy sign outside the front, but this was for one of our cheapest rooms which would not have suited you, and for only a one or two night gap. And as for your new comment implying many resorts have a similar range of free extras, we personally do not know of a single one that does, but we will let the reader compare resorts and leave them to decide.

Max, we have checked your Trip Advisor profile and you are obviously a prolific contributor and most ardent supporter of this great forum, and you have our respect for that. However, what you post and the businesses you recommend are your own personal opinion, which is why Trip Advisor encourages resort management to add further information, even if it does contradict what the reviewer says, in order for the readers to have as much information as possible so they can make up their own minds. Your advice and opinions are your own and are not necessarily representative of others.

We thank those reading this for their time and attention, and we hope our feedback proves useful. And Max, we hope you will not take our management response so personally this time, and we do wish you all the very best.

Kind regards

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 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
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...
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  • 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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: £70 - £170 (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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