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“Lovely location, very good value restaurant”

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Thala Beach Nature Reserve
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Oak Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Shropshire
Level Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Lovely location, very good value restaurant”
Reviewed 18 April 2011

We got a very good deal on our room rate, so felt we got good value for money at this 4 to 4.5 star resort. The location nestled in the rainforest, with excellent communal areas open to views of the sea and surrounding forests is perfect, and only a 10 minute drive to Port Douglas. The swimming pools, athough not large, fit perfectly into the setting. The bungalows have a very secluded feel with nice decks overlooking sea and forest, and although just a little tired, are very nice and spaceous with nice bathrooms. A big highlight for us was the food, very well cooked, innovative and fresh, and not too expensive. The staff were always friendly and helpful, we will definitely be back!

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank OJGS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (308)
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English first
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2011

Everything at Thala is top notch. The service is excellent, staff are really helpful, friendly and welcoming. We ate dinner on two nights in the restaurant and the food was delicious if a little on the pricier side but worth it nonethe less.

  • Stayed April 2011
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Holidaybilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2011

Loved this place with our family and parents. Location is perfect, quite and beautiful. Food and dining is in a great setting and the food is varied and delicious. We looked a the possiblity of eating at Nautilus in Port Douglas one night but decided that here was a far better option ;0) Possibly a few too many mosquitos, so you need to cream up but that is the tropics!

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Smichols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Poland, Maine
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2011

We spent 5 nights at this wonderful resort. The accommodations are all individual, private cottages with a wonderful view of the ocean. The main lobby and restaurant are open to local foliage, no windows or doors. The staff is very friendly and helpful. After meeting us once, they knew us by name. We enjoyed dinners at the restaurant each night. The presentation and the flavor of the meals were excellent. The service was impeccable. This is definitely a 5 star resort.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank sctet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cairns
1 review
Reviewed 5 March 2011

On returning from a days Golf with friends at Sea Temple Port Douglas we decided to call into Thala Beach Lodge for a first experience since we live locally at Cairns Northern Beaches.
After having a look at the Lunch Menu and deciding the meals were very well priced we decided to stay for Lunch. We were very pleased with the service and the meals were very impressive. So much so that we returned two weeks later to celebrate a birthday. Once again the hospitality was not to be faulted and the meals, amazing. We will be back with friends and family in the future. A hidden gem to be recommended for others to enjoy.
Well Done Thala Lodge

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank IdealCairns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cairns, Australia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2011

My husband and I stayed at Thala Beach Lodge this last weekend and we wanted to comment on our experience. We travel often, for both business and pleasure and have been fortunate to have had a wide variety of experiences, at both ends of the spectrum, from hostels to five star rated, all inclusive resorts. We both work in tourism and hospitality, and that always influences our experiences as well.

We were welcomed warmly, the reception staff were warm and friendly. The location is scenic and the rooms well laid out, whilst close enough to walk around the resort, the rooms still had an implied seclusion, giving you the feeling that you were away from the rest of the world.


We were a little surprised that there was an open bottle of white wine left in the fridge, I can only assume that housekeeping did not check the mini bar thoroughly. We called through to reception and they advised for us to leave this outside the front door so that it could be picked up and disposed of immediately. It was still outside the door when we checked out 2 days later.


The rooms are pleasant and cosy, which was fine, as it was a wet weekend, so that meant lots of time in the room, which was what we had planned to do. The weekend was a much need break from a very hectic and busy start to the year. All we planned on doing was drinking some nice wine and eating a great meal.


Our biggest disappointment was the Restaurant. The service at first seemed okay, we booked for 8 and were seated, then waited for 15 minutes before being seen by wait staff. We placed our drink order and starter order and waited another 10 minutes before our wine was brought over. Whilst it may be argued that the restaurant was slightly busy, the staff didn't seem to have much focus or attention .

Our starters were Scallop Cerviche and Soft Shelled Crab. The scallop dish was fair, one scallop tasted of grit, and the cold noodles didn't really add anything to the dish, just gave it a different, not that pleasant, texture. The crab was very overcooked and burnt, the dipping sauce was very acidic and too sharp and the rice was very overcooked with a mushy texture, it blandly just tasted of soy, but mainly tasted of old rice. It was very unpleasant and not eaten. Neither dish was seasoned at all. I did let the server know and she said that she would talk to the chef. Nothing came of this, I was just left hungry and unsatisfied.


We both ordered the steak, rare, for our main course. The timing was okay between dishes, not too close but we weren't left waiting to long. On first bite of the steak we could not eat anymore. Mine was cold, not warm at all, and very over seasoned- All you could taste was salt. It was a messy plate with a huge mound of salty and oily walnut salad, with the greasy pancetta lost amongst all these big flavours. We both like and enjoy gorgonzola but the amount in the salad was over whelming.


We again told the server of the issues and she again said she would let chef know and left. We were left with inedible plates and this was not good enough. My husband called over a different server who suggested that we order something else and they would replace our meals with the new order. We did that, but were now left waiting a long time. We had finished the wine which we had ordered to go with our meal- So that was a big let down as well.

We were then disappointed when the new meals came out and the "Crispy skin" pork belly, was soft, flabby and burnt underneath. The snow pea stir-fry was very greasy. My husbands lamb, unseasoned and unappealing. I again told the server (this time the German Lady) that the pork was described as having "crispy skin" on the menu. She told me "I was wrong" and "that is how it is served". I had not eaten anything on the plate- except a snow pea (oily) and I said to her that I was sorry but this again isn't good enough. I asked that they take it back as I found it inedible. She did. The male server said that we would not be charged for this as it wasn't eaten. It seemed that at least one member of the restaurant staff was capable. However, I was still left very hungry and very unsatisfied. The whole restaurant experience soured our weekend.


When we checked out it seems that this was not addressed and we were charged. The front desk staff seemed busy, and we were in a hurry, so decided that we would address this when we contacted the manager about the poor experience in the Restaurant.

I emailed the next day and was told that the concerns would be addressed. Whilst they kindly offered to refund the meal that we had already been told would'nt be charged they also refunded the crab starter as well. However, the whole manner of the email suggested that their staff did no wrong and that we were just whinging. The email left me feeling even more dissapointed. The tome suggested that I didn't know what I was talking about and tried to justify clear problems by suggesting that many of the issues no one else had any issues with. Well maybe noone else dining has had the same hospitality back ground and didn't know any better.

I still stand by that the chef is amaturish and clumsy, and the food poorly executed. Overall, the resort isn't at the standard that it believes that it is.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank michnruss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thala1, Manager at Thala Beach Nature Reserve, responded to this review, 7 March 2011
We are pleased this guest enjoyed our surrounds, seclusion and bungalow accommodation.

With regards to the restaurant experience, we feel that much of this complaint comes down to personal taste & preference, as on the very same evening – we had in excess of 50 other extremely happy diners, from a variety of backgrounds, professions & nationalities!

We are confident in the manner in which we responded and know that the complaint was handled in a most courteous & professional manner.

The scathing personal attack on our Chef as ‘amateurish & clumsy’ is deplorable.

We appreciated the apology this guest’s husband made for her behaviour on the way out of the restaurant on the night in question.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Asia
Level Contributor
52 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2011

Our very comfortable room had a lovely view of the water over the trees from the balcony. The beach was wild and unspoiled -- beautiful with the jungle headlands reaching down the water -- and had a discreet shack serving drinks in the afternoon and just enough lounge chairs and hammocks. October is not stinger season so swimming was terrific. The open reception area and dining rooms are some of the nicest I have seen... you feel like you are up in the treetops and the ocean is all around. The pools are natural looking and shaded... loved having the small one hear our room. We did a picnic basket dinner in the room one night which was great -- when they remembered, after many phone calls, to bring it. Then they were incapable of saying 'sorry we made a mistake' but that and the bread in the dining room being horrible were our only issues. I would love to go again and stay longer. Much more appealing than being right in Port Douglas.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank longtermexpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Property: Thala Beach Nature Reserve
Address: Private Road | 5078 Captain Cook Highway, Oak Beach, Port Douglas, Queensland 4871, Australia (Formerly Thala Beach Lodge)
Region: Australia > Queensland > Port Douglas > Oak Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Oak Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Thala Beach Nature Reserve 4.5*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Thala Beach Nature Reserve is a family owned 58 hectare nature and wildlife reserve 15 minutes south of Port Douglas. Get there from Cairns via a spectacular 45 minute drive along Captain Cook Highway. Elevated on stilts, 83 eco designed timber bungalows are discretely concealed within the forest canopy, blending in with the natural environment and feature ocean, mountain or forest views. Panoramic views are enjoyed from open-sided Osprey's Restaurant across the forest canopy and beyond to the Coral Sea. Guests and visitors dine amongst birds in the surrounding treetops, whilst enjoying modern Australian cuisine with friendly and attentive service. Granite boulders, waterfalls and overhanging trees create natural swimming pools blending discretely within the environment. Paths wind through rainforests and woodlands, connecting with secluded coves and beaches, passing through habitats for endemic birds, wildlife and flora. Guests enjoy complimentary guided nature tours by onsite rangers including tree planting, stargazing at an outdoor observatory, beach discovery, wildlife walks and bird-watching tours. A completely organic 650 tree coconut plantation is home to a unique coconut odyssey tour highlighting the extraordinary qualities of the 'tree of life'. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Thala Beach Hotel Port Douglas
Thala Beach Resort
Thala Beach Lodge

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