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The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Palm Cove
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 October 2013

We travelled in a group, so needed 3 different rooms. All the rooms were spacious and lovely, the staff are exceptionally pleasant, courteous and helpful. The breakfasts were delicious. Easy walk to anywhere in the cove, gorgeous pool. (VERY expensive spa though and similar treatments are easily found elsewhere for half the cost). Popular wedding reception venue but that didn't bother us - all over by 10.30 and the music was nice!

Room Tip: The beachfront room was lovely, but the verandah room and the brigadier room were also very good and...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank KatyMack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wayne H, General Manager at The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 27 June 2016

Dear KatyMack,

I know it has been a while since your stay with us however I just wanted to thank you for staying with us and for sharing your feedback. Take care and we hope to see you back at the Reef House again in the near future,
Best regards,

Wayne Harris

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688 - 694 of 783 reviews

Reviewed 7 October 2013

Was excited to have a first class trip to Cairns, not the case with our accommodations at the Reef House. Great location, friendly staff, but wow, unhelpful, they took forever to respond, airheaded is the word that comes to mind. The venue is ridiculously run down. Having the elevator break and roaches on the premises was just the start. There are certain things that can be controlled, like cleaning the room, but no, not the case with our experience. After leaving on an island tour at 6:30am we came back to an uncleaned room, after calling at 8:00pm for fresh towels, we were told they could not be delivered to our room. They either need new owners, new management, or both. It is sad to see so much potential wasted with the great location and welcoming staff, in conjunction with seemingly booked rooms at a top dollar rate.

Room Tip: Pick another location down the street.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Griffin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brett S, General Manager at The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 10 October 2013

Dear Griffin G,

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience at the Reef House Resort Palm Cove. I am sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations; please allow me to express my sincerest apologies.

At The Reef House, we strive to provide a superior service experience for every customer; therefore your feedback is very important to us. It is really disappointing to hear that your stay was unpleasant due to poor customer service and standards not being met. Like always I will be following up and passing on the message to necessary staff members and ensuring this does not occur again.

We appreciate your sharing your concerns, and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the near future.

Sincerely,

Brett Skinner
General Manager

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Reviewed 7 October 2013

Upon check in we noticed there was a function on, which we had not been forewarned about. We were told there would be functions the next night also, meaning the restaurant was closed both nights. The lady offered not to check us in if we were unhappy. Im not sure what we were expected to do, we prepaid and it was the long weekend! It was 8pm. Where we meant to wander Palm Cove looking for alternative accomodation??
We were shown to our room (304) which was probably the dingiest room in the place, no balcony, overlooking a car park, dark, broken bathroom door. A spider ran from behind the coffee satchels.
We chose Palm Cove because it is apparently more peaceful and serene than Port Douglas. We wanted somewhere beautiful, relaxing and romantic. This is not that place. We have stayed on a main street in L.A, the Bellagio in Las Vegas, the Copacabana in Rio, Manhattan, NYC and Bourke Street Melbourne and all are more peaceful than this hotel. We imagined hearing the waves crashing but instead it was the nutbush and Redfoo for two nights in a row. Last night it was Karaoke songs from the Lion King. I suppose its the fact there are no proper windows and just shutters which block out no noise. The best way to describe the noise is like being outside a Kings Cross nightclub.
We asked for ear plugs but they didnt have any.
The location is good for Palm Cove but if peace and serenity is what you are after, i suggest stay elsewhere, Port Douglas maybe!
The main reason we decided to stay was because the restaurant was recommended. We finally got to eat there last night. The food was quite good (overpriced) but the service was terrible. I told the waitress i didnt drink, she offered me "lemon sorbet" which clearly had alcohol in it.
On he plus side, the towels were really fluffy and big and the toiletries were really nice. The pancakes for breakfast were also delicious (but share with someone as the portions are huge).
Pretty disappointing, wont be going back or recommending it to friends.

Room Tip: Steer clear of room 304
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank iona131
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brett S, General Manager at The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 10 October 2013

Dear iona131,

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience at the Reef House Resort Palm Cove. I am sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations; please allow me to express my sincerest apologies.

Unfortunately, Palm Cove while known for being idealic for serene and peaceful, it is also a popular destination. It is in our best interest to ensure that all our guests are taken care of. Having originally booked a Brigadier Room, we had given you a complimentary upgrade to a verendah room to ensure that you would be least affected by the wedding music. Clearly, this did not meet the standards that we aim for.

Regarding the service at the restaurant, I will be personally checking the standards to ensure the service meets the quality of the food that you experienced. I would also like to clarify that 'lemon sorbet ' does not have alcohol.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us and it is only my hope that you give us a chance and stay with us again.

Kind Regards,

Brett Skinner
General Manager

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Reviewed 1 October 2013

The location is very good and the grounds are intimate and lush but the hotel needs a freshening up throughout. The rooms in particular are dated and showing the wear. Palm Cove is a lovely little town and The Reef House is perfectly located in the middle. Note that when we were there, the beach was closed due to jelly fish.....and a crocodile was coming and going. It is a shame as the beach is quite beautiful. I would much rather stay in Palm Cove than Cairns.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TTTraveller76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brett S, General Manager at The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 10 October 2013

Dear TTTraveller76,

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience at the Reef House Resort Palm Cove. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay at The Reef House.

Being in Tropical North Queensland, unfortunately we do have seasons where they close the beaches to ensure safety from Stinger or jelly fish and crocodiles. Further, we are making progress regarding refurbishing the hotel and I can assure you that we are on the right track.

Thank you once again for taking the time to write about us.

Kind Regards,

Brett Skinner
General Manager

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Reviewed 26 September 2013

The Reef House Boutique Resort & Spa is rated five star, thus our reason of choice. The "old world" presentation was appealing and the geographical location of Palm Cove very attractive .. we were expecting five star accommodations and what a disappointment! The internet photos are very deceptive and misleading. Perhaps at one time this resort rated a five star, however it has failed in current status, sorely lacking in maintenance and especially cleanliness; I believe relying on previous reputation for unknowing guests. Selective buyers beware! The front staff was very friendly and welcoming however the positive stopped there. We had an Ocean View suite which included severe rust along the interior bathroom door jams and tub tile, the luggage stand was so rusted we could not open and use, mold and mildew in many of the tub tiles, tub porclein worn out, bathroom mirror severely tarnished making it difficult to focus, windows not cleaned our entire stay (outside or INSIDE - there were children's hand prints all over the interior of the sliding doors, we had no children, so obviously not cleaned from previous guest). Blinds were never dusted and poorly maintained. Inadequate towels left every day, I had to request not additional towels, but ENOUGH towels, upon returning at 10:00pm I had to go down to the front desk myself to retrieve towels. The next day I requested hand towels, they left me three bathmats? Tile floors were never cleaned during our stay thus requiring shoes or slippers at all times. The bed was not properly made, pillows not fluffed and the decorative pillows just thrown in front of the non-fluffed ones. A steady stream of ants took up residence in the kitchen area (we avoided that area), trash cans were not emptied. One of the bathroom ceiling lights was out and I requested that maintenance replace the bulb, you could hardly see. When we returned the bulb was replaced, however the light was hanging 12" out of the socket, it was a recessed socket. Really, are you kidding me? We did not utilize the spa, pool or restaurant. It was our anniversary and had planned a nice dinner there, however it was our opinion that if they did not clean and maintain the rooms where guests can visually see, we could only imagine what horrors existed in the kitchen, pool and spa areas. The outside maintenance is sorely in need of attention and supervision. I realize that they are surrounded by trees, however to have the leaves build up along the visible roofs is a sign of just poor ground maintenance and attention. A mid-day blower would take care of this, especially in the guest viewing areas. I made mention of my concerns to several people at the desk and always received the reply that they are under new management and upgrades and renovations are in process. I have reviewed many comments on this site (unfortunately after my stay) and apparently this is a "canned" explanation to unhappy guests ... several guests received this same reply as far back as 2010. During our stay we looked at several other hotels there and they are of much higher quality and standards. If we only knew! Our activities in Palm Cove were memorable and of the highest caliber, our accommodations sorely lacking and a real negative to the beginning of our holiday. Inquiring elsewhere we definitely could have gotten better accommodations for the money we spent; without the frustration. I made mention once again upon check out of our experience with the quality of the room and lack of housekeeping maintenance, got the "we're under new management" comment, no apologies and $12.00 juice charge removed for our troubles. Please, please do your homework and take to heart the comments posted. We stayed in Sydney at the Four Seasons and it was a true FIVE star property where guests are valued and appreciated ... there was just no comparison.

Room Tip: Our corner suite location was wonderful, the quality and condition of room was extremely poor. A re...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Helen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brett S, General Manager at The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 1 October 2013

Dear Helen S,

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience at the Reef House Resort Palm Cove. I am sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations; please allow me to express my sincerest apologies.I have shared your comments with the rest of the team and they share my disappointment.

We appreciate your sharing your concerns, and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the near future.

Sincerely,

Brett Skinner
General Manager

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Reviewed 25 September 2013

Hard to beat the location if you want a quiet getaway which was exactly what we sought.
We arrived earlier than our check-in time and whilst the reception staff was happy to accommodate us early, he was the only one on and kept having to take calls, answer other queries and so it took probably 30 mins to check-in.
The hotel is set around the pool in a beautiful setting, and our room overlooked the pool. Whilst a lovely suite and perfectly clean you can see that it's quite tired but still lovely - the canopied bed was a lovely romantic touch. We only stayed three nights so only ate one breakfast there so apart from a good breakfast spread can't vouch for the food.
Our biggest gripe was that on our last night there was a wedding by the pool followed by the reception so one area was closed off late afternoon for the evening. We had a 6am flight the next morning and were not impressed that the music was loud and right outside our window till late - and whilst not wanting to dampen the guests fun we did end up asking reception to get the party to turn their music down after it kept getting louder late into the evening.

Room Tip: Anything facing the pool is nice - just watch out for weddings if you want an early night!
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Fokc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brett S, General Manager at The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2013

Dear Fokc,

We very much appreciate your comments regarding your stay at the Reef House Resort Palm Cove. It is always a pleasure to receive positive feedback.

Thank you for writing such an informative review about the Reef House. Being a Boutique Hotel, we take pride in the fact that each room has a bit of history and a story to it. Built originally in 1957, the building itself is a testament to Palm Cove's charm. I would also apologise for the inconvenience caused ude to the wedding music. As part of our commitment to all guests, we do take all necessary steps to minimalise any disturbance in case of a private function.

Thank you again for sharing your experience, and we hope your next visit will be as pleasant as the previous one.

Sincerely,

Brett Skinner
General Manager

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Reviewed 25 September 2013

Before we booked the hotel we have checked the reviews on tripadvisor and they were actually not bad so we decided why not and its only for one night anyway.

Big mistake as we can say now.

The staff of the hotel is mostly very friendly and the location is just great! That´s all the good things I can mention.

First bad thing was the hairdryer in our room. It was disgusting, dirty and absolutely not the standard you expect from a hotel which costs 400$ per night.

And the room was just a joke. Situated in the ground floor we felt like sleeping in a cellar and we were able to smell the old wood and a kind of mold.
The furniture and the whole room was absolutely not worth the money they charged us.
We made an upgrade a few weeks before we came to the hotel. Our intention was to have a room with a nice ocean view how it was described on the website. What we got was a room where we kept the roller blinds closed to have a little bit of privacy as you could have looked easily inside.

As we checked out they gave us a discount on the room which was nice. However the lady at the reception started a discussion with us which is in my way a no go. If the customer is not satisfied you can not do this by saying the room is nice and everything is usually ok. We were really disappointed and also angry. Why not just take the critics and try to improve instead of trying to arguing with the not satisfied customer.

For us it´s clear that we cannot recommend this place at all. The location is amazing and perhaps if they would change their policy and attitude to customer feedback it would be good to go back but for us this hotel is not worth the money.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ExBen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brett S, General Manager at The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2013

Dear ExBen,

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience at the Reef House Resort Palm Cove. I am sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations; please allow me to express my sincerest apologies.

It is disappointing to hear that the room you had did not fulfil your expectations, as our Brigadier Beach Front Spa Rooms are extremely popular with our guests. Being a beach front room we do offer the roller blinders for privacy and convenience. I will follow up with the staff member regarding the customer service concerns as well.

We appreciate your sharing your concerns, and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the near future.

Sincerely,

Brett Skinner
General Manager

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Additional Information about The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection

Address: 99 Williams Esp, Palm Cove, Queensland 4879, Australia (Formerly Sebel Reef House)
Region: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Palm Cove
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Palm Cove
#4 Spa Hotel in Palm Cove
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Palm Cove
#4 Romantic Hotel in Palm Cove
#5 Family Hotel in Palm Cove
Price Range: £134 - £252 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection 5*
Number of rooms: 69
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just 25 minutes north of Cairns in the secluded Palm Cove, an upscale boutique beachfront experience awaits guests at Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection.The resort offers a warm, personalised service for all guests and together with its comprehensive range of resort facilities, The Reef House is the perfect getaway for couples seeking romantic bliss or simply a holiday in sheer relaxation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Reef House Hotel Palm Cove
The Sebel Reef Hotel
Sebel Reef Hotel

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