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“A Most Romantic Getaway”

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Thala Beach Nature Reserve
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Oak Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A Most Romantic Getaway”
Reviewed 9 January 2014

On top of a hill overlooking the crisp turquoise water lies the hotel reception. Among the tropical forest, the rooms are individual wood cabins sprawling from the top of the hill down to the beach (except for the jungle rooms towards the parking). My wife fell in love with the place. Perfect for nature lovers, you’ll love hearing the sound of the waves as you fall asleep at night. The pristine beach has that natural feel of an untouched spot. The food at the restaurant is fine and very good. We stayed for 5 nights and had dinner every night there. I could not convince my wife to try one of the restaurants at Port Douglas. The price is totally in line with the quality of the food served. Congratulations to the chef! Only regret is to have some specials sold out on one or two nights.
Staff is so nice. Ned the porter and Erin at the restaurant were so nice and helpful.
Definitely, cleanliness can be improved. Cupboard was very dusty. Being an eco-lodge should not prevent the management and owners from washing the curtains, cushions and bed cover.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank mustang_california
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2014

We had a great stay over the holidays. Staff is top notch, friendly and helpful. Property is unique and special. great place to explore, hike or just enjoy the views. It is a bit hilly, so you need to be relatively in shape. Carl, the nature guide is fantastic! So was the star gazing and apologize I don't recall the guides name for this but she was also fantastic. Food in the restaurant is also very good, we included breakfast in our stay and glad we did. We wanted to book a dive trip last minute and was able to thanks to the diligence of the front desk. Johan and team - you rock. Cleanliness would be the only items to mention, while it was certainly acceptable, the bungalows are serviced every other day. We didnt know this prior to our stay and it didnt impact our stay, I was just surprised given the price. Would go back in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: we had a partial water view - just lucky that this particular Eucalyptus bungalow had it and would p...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank J0hnC880
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
42 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2014

just look at the brochure it's all true and more! It wouldn't take much to stowaway there for ever. The setting and grounds are fabulous and the food is amazing. Unless you want all to wall glitz rather than natural magic, this is THE place

Room Tip: They are all individual cabins, some are bigger it size does not matter!
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank flipandjude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2014

We recently stayed at this property for 6 nights over the Christmas / New Year period. We were welcomed upon arrival with a free drink from the friendly staff member. I have never stayed anywhere like Thala Beach Lodge as it offers something 'unique and we certainly got that. This is a place where you need to hire a car as it's a good 15 minute drive into town from the location of the lodge. There are plenty of activities to occupy yourself with whilst staying at Port Douglas. The only few minor things I would say - for the money the televisions in the room need to be bigger as you can barely see them from the bed (even if it is an eco resort), there should be no smoking next to the pool as the smoke wafted over when I was in the pool and this is not fair on other guests who don't smoke as it is contradictory to Thala being an 'eco' resort. I would also like to pay a personal thanks to Diana, the Guest Relations Manager of Thala for making this an unforgettable stay. Your staff at this lodge were fantastic and were always willing to assist. Overall, I would definitely return.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank kingsford1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dix Hiils, NY
Level Contributor
226 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2014 via mobile

This is probably the top choice when staying in the Port Douglas area; however there are things to consider when deciding on a vacation in this part of Australia during the summer months.

First, the resort. Every guest has their own villa which can best be described as a well appointed hut. The units are air conditioned, but the ac didn't do a great job of cooling off the bathroom. The view from our villa was breathtaking with a magnificent view of the beach in the near distance. Our adult children staying next door, paying a lower rate, did not have a view of the beach. Both villas had nice large balconies. The overall resort property is vast. The restaurant, Osprey's, is open air. Trees practically extend into the restaurant with birds chirping happily during the day. The beach was about a 10 minute walk from our villa. It was lovely, but we were strongly cautioned to stay out of the water due to potentially deadly jellyfish which are present during the summer. There are pools, two I believe, but they are small with limited seating. This is a negative when the beach water can't be enjoyed. Staff were generally friendly and helpful. Rooms are serviced only every other day. I found this disappointing for a top rated property. Wi fi is free, but only available in the lobby area.

The property is isolated. It's about a 20 minute ride into the town of Port Douglas. I couldn't help but think the property is best suited for honeymooners. There is a van service ($8 per person each way) that wasn't as reliable as I would have liked. Taxis are available, but expensive, $55 each way.

Aside from the jellyfish issue, the heat and humidity can be oppressive in the summer. We were lucky though, as we saw no rain at the beginning of the rainy season. We were told that it can rain heavily for prolonged periods of time.

Note that almost all restaurants in Port Douglas are open air. This is great in good weather, but we found them to be a bit too hot and humid during our visit. Also note that the town shops close at 5pm.

Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank JLTP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 January 2014 via mobile

From the moment we arrived at Thala, we knew it was just what we were after for our honeymoon getaway. We were welcomed with a welcome drink and were informed about the facilities. Thala is Quiet, private, within a short drive to various activities and perfect. Our bungalow had an sea view out toward Oaks Beach. What a lovely way to start the day. The furniture seems a little in need of updating but it was still comfortable and nice. Staff were always friendly and approachable. They were willing to share advice for our days tours etc. We ate at Ospreys most evenings (as we spent the day out and about) and thoroughly enjoyed the meals. The rock pools were lovely and the walkway around the lodge to the bungalows although were a little steep were nice to walk through. When we were feeling a little less enthused, a staff member arrived in a buggy to collect us and take us to reception or the restaurant. We even saw turtles one afternoon whilst sitting at one of the little lookouts. Our only suggestion would be to have Herbies Beach Shack open at the times listed. We walked down to the shack twice during the listed times and came back disappointed as it was not open. Also, hire a car as this will allow you to explore Port Douglas and the surrounds at your leisure. Thala has valet parking and 24 hour service.
We had an amazing time and only wish we had booked for an extra couple nights so that we could enjoy it even more. It was a memorable honeymoon location and we plan on going back for our anniversary.

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Leesa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2014

This hotel is beautiful and the privacy of your own cabin is amazing. We loved the rock pools and the beach was stunning (even though November/December it is unswimmable due to those nasty box jellyfish).

Port Douglas is overpriced in general and the hotel was also very expensive. We did not even eat the Ospreys (Thala's only resaturant) because of how expensive it is. Some of the other hotels in Port Douglas feature ktichenettes or BBQs which I think would be a huge asset for Thala.

The shuttle into town is $16 AUD (round-trip, per person) or $50 for a cab...so I would say that getting to/from Port Douglas is a little bit pricey too. I believe that the shuttle comes back fairly early too (If I remember correctly it's 8 or 9pm) so staying out in Port Douglas isn't really an option unless you want to take a very expensive cab.

I was also under the impression that there would be a bit more activity at this resort. The website and brochures indicate things like "nature walks" and various other eco-activities. Unfortunately this wasn't a reality, This made things get a bit boring at night time.

Although our cabin was beautiful and even featured a bit of the oceanview it was a challenge to get to/from the building. I am in my mid-twenties and I found the steep-inclines coupled with the extreme heat to be a bit of a test on my endurance and balance. I couldn't imagine being physically challenged and staying at this hotel. There are golf carts available but the one time we called for a pick-up (we had luggage) it took over 25min for the cart to arrive.

The service from some of the staff was great - others seemed confused and unwilling to help.

I would reccommend ths hotel in the non-jellyfish season for people who love a great beach, tranquility and sleep.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank BretonFlightCentre
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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