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“Old world charm”

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The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection
Ranked #6 of 11 Hotels in Palm Cove
Certificate of Excellence
Brisbane
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Old world charm”
Reviewed 11 December 2013

Reef House at Palm Cove was a weekend stay with family. Friendly staff, clean pools, a great room (large enough for 3) canapés and punch at 5pm to socialise with fellow guests, nice restaurant, good breakfast, and an 'old world charm' which is reminiscent of that wonderful lay back North Queensland hospitality. We felt relaxed as soon as we got to our room. Yes it may be in need of an update in parts and our sliding blinds could have been cleaner but we could not fault the location or the resort in general. Would definitely stay longer next time. Thanks Reef House you made our weekend a memorable one.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the water
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tartiniBrisbane
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 review, 27 June 2016
Dear tartiniBrisbane,

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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (173)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
38 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 December 2013

We stayed at this hotel for a week. Upon check in, a lovely gentleman (i think his name was Scott) showed us to our room and was very welcoming. We stayed in a Veranda Spa room with a view of the next door neighbour's air-conditioner. The rooms were big but quite disappointing and need a little TLC and a little refresher as everything was quite old, torn and tattered. There were a few drafts around our sliding doors and geckos made their way into our room each night and kept us awake! Cute little guys but too loud to sleep through! The beds were extremely uncomfortable and we could feel the springs with each movement. Housekeeping were great as they ensured that the room was cleaned and stocked with fresh towels daily. They never ever touched our personal belongings which is a plus! Buffet breakfast was a big let down and we ended up having breakfast at the local cafe. All staff were lovely though.

We booked a 60 minute Swedish couples Massage with aromatic oils and the lady offered us an extra 30mins discounted greatly as they were not that busy. We could not be more impressed with the service we received from Chloe and Shona. They were so attentive, warming, sweet and we wished we could have taken them back to Sydney with us!
We probably won't stay at this hotel again but we will definately visit the day spa when we return!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Raquel C
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 review, 27 June 2016
Dear Raquel C,

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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 December 2013

With an old world colonial charm the Reef House certainly is appealing. Opposite the beach and with only 69 rooms it has a friendly feel, 2 pools and a 5pm 'cocktail hour' in which the chef provides some canapés to go with the punch that the barman makes up for guests to enjoy (free).

Some of the rooms are tired but they are renovating slowly - room by room. The first room we were given was at the front of the hotel, near the restaurant. It had no privacy at all! Immediately we spoke to the wonderful Mandy about changing rooms and she was so helpful, showing us a total of 6 different ones that were available. This gave us an opportunity to see some of the 'just renovated' vs the 'to be renovated'. Eventually we settled for one on the top floor at the rear of the hotel overlooking the pool. It wasn't renovated but it was large, clean, the bed was comfortable and there was a separate toilet in the bathroom which my husband really prefers.

I can't speak highly enough of the reception staff, particularly Mandy and Holly who were so incredibly helpful with everything from organising car hire, to booking rooms and advice on where to go and the best places to eat.

The hotel restaurant was good but the wine prices were outrageous. I found the menu a little boring for dinner. The breakfast frittata was great when it was made fresh that morning. Always ask because if it is reheated (as it was the second day) it was dry and tough as rubber. The continental buffet was adequate and there was a good selection on the al a carte menu.

Palm Cove main street is full of restaurants and we particularly liked the Ming Chinese (under new ownership), the Sarayi (amazing ribs) and Bella Bachi (part of the Peppers Resort). We were told that the restaurant at the Angsana Hotel was excellent but there was a wedding on the night we wanted to go so it was closed to the public. We checked out the hotel grounds and although it looked nice we were pleased we had decided not to stay there. The pool was small and a gardener walking around using a leafblower at 9.30 in the morning was off putting.

We went to Port Douglas on the Sunday (hire car from Avis $77/day for a mitsubishi SUV) and attended the markets and had lunch at Salsa Bar and Grill. Awesome! The best salad I have had in years with the freshest calamari and a lovely glass of Pinot Noir. We also took the time to check out the Sheraton Mirage. Once a world class resort it now seems neglected and tired and we were not surprised to read an article in one of the Sydney papers, that it had posted a loss of nearly $500K in the last financial year. On the whole Port Douglas is in need of some TLC and we were glad we chose Palm Cove. But, the people were lovely and it was worth making the 45 min drive for the markets and Salsa restaurant.

We also headed into Cairns which is basically a city with a lovely boardwalk worth the walk. The main esplanade resembles the Gold Coast/Surfers Paradise and the place is swarming with backpackers. Lots of restaurants and bars and shops. The Shangri La hotel on the Marina was lovely and we enjoyed a glass of champagne while listening to some great live music in the late afternoon and watching boats come and go.

We also took a reef tour on Synergy - which only takes 12 people. This was a great day out and a good choice and we were very happy with the day. We had only 6 guests and the four crew were terrific. (See my review on this)

One tip - the locals call the "calypso" the 'vomit comet' as apparently it is allegedly not as stable as other boats and can test even the seasoned sailor! I can't confirm this as fact but I was pleased I wasn't on board as it was quite a choppy day.

Room Tip: Ask for either a newly renovated room or one in the rear overlooking the pool if you can't get a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Clare013
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 review, 27 June 2016
Dear Clare013,

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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlottesville
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 December 2013

We went to Palm Cove to spend a few nights before getting on a chartered boat for 10 days over the Great Barrier Reef.
Palm Cove is a charming little beach town. It has a nice feel to it and a lovely beach. There isn't much to do there however. The town shuts down early and wakes up early. My husband and I were surprised to see lots of people out and about as early as 6:00 in the morning, going for walks etc. There are some good restaurants and everyone is really friendly.
The Reef House - it's nice and the people at reception are certainly friendly and helpful. But the hotel feels very dated and a bit worn. We had a two bedroom apartment with a little kitchenette. The bedrooms were fine/basic. The floor always felt a bit dirty on our bare feet which we always re-washed before tip toeing to bed (soas not to get them dirty again on the way). It gets quite hot in Far North Queensland, and our A/C units had a governor on them which didn't allow us to set them below 21 degrees Celcius. Felt a bit hot at night when sleeping.
Our boys used the secondary pool a few times and had fun. There are lots of board games and a couple of bicycles for the guests' use.
It's a laid-back and nice enough place - just not great. But I don't know if anything in the area is any nicer.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SeeTheWorld109
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 review, 27 June 2016
Dear SeeTheWorld109,

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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 November 2013

Having done some significant research I chose The Reef House for a 5 day break. My husband and I are both well travelled and work hard so we were looking forward to aome time out. From the moment we arrived and the welcome smiles from the staff (Holly and Mark) to the comfortable rooms with cool terracotta tiles to the fresh and salt water pools with teak lounges to the brigadeer bar and punch and canapes at 5pm for guests to the surprisingly good food (Chef Ashe well done). I say surprising only because breakfast is standard but the lunch and dinner menu - delicious and as good if not better than many other offerings in Palm Cove (king prawn risotto, pork belly with scallops, gazpacho with crab and cumcumber ribbons, seafood tasting plate...).

To all the staff who made our stay and my birthday special thank you. If you are planning a stay in Palm Cove we highly recommend The Reef House. Its laid back, comfortable, a home away from home. It has a great location, spacious rooms, a fabulous spa and a team that make such an effort it brings a smile to your face.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MJKing1
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 review, 27 June 2016
Dear MJKing1,

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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2013

I have to say I wasn't expecting the location to be more than a hotel near a beach and for some reason I didn't research Palm Cove itself before booking the Reef House. The location was pretty well situated away from the bustle of Cairns and Port Douglas. Nice beach and we just happened to be at the RH during the Reef Feast food event. What a treat!

My initial impression of the Reef House was that it was one of the nicer hotels along the esplanade however after checking in and getting relaxed we started to notice rough edges throughout the property. We didn't see any major issues just some smaller details that mean it is time for some hotel-wide touch ups. With some sprucing up the RH could be stellar.

Our room was near the sal-water pool and very comfortable. Two weddings and receptions (with music) during our stay didn't really detract from our stay.

The staff was super-friendly and accommodating, especially with a very early check out (breakfast boxes helped with the early flight for our departure). Be sure to join the other guests in the evening for house punch and canapes. It is a great way to meet other travellers and exchange tips and stories.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mixrg
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 review, 27 June 2016
Dear Mixrg,

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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection

Property: 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:
#5 Spa Hotel in Palm Cove
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Palm Cove
#6 Luxury Hotel in Palm Cove
#7 Romantic Hotel in Palm Cove
#8 Family Hotel in Palm Cove
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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