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“money sucking deluxe camping”

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Thala Beach Nature Reserve
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Oak Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 January 2014

Unfortunately no one told me how insanely expensive australia is! this hotel would have been a nice experience had we not felt like we were being held financially hostage . It's not in a convenient location so every time we leave a bus costs 32$ one way into port douglas The restaurant here is mediocre and shockingly expensive!! 30$ per person for breakfast at least 50$ per person for dinner without drinks. We live in nyc and Santa Barbara California and are accustomed to pricey food and entertainment. But, paying 600$ for three of us to snorkel and 550$ for 4 of us to see crocodiles is a joke. My advice, don't go to australia. It's pretty but not that interesting and twice the price of anywhere I've traveled. P.s. The Great Barrier Reef looks kind of dead and there are poisonous jelly fish ! DONT BOTHER!

Room Tip: Next to big pool
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Ellen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thala_management, Manager at Thala Beach Nature Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 27 January 2014

We are disappointed these clients didn’t enjoy their time in Australia.

NB our shuttle into Port Douglas is $8 per person each way, not $32 as indicated above.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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637 - 643 of 1,462 reviews

Reviewed 16 January 2014

Thala Beach Lodge is on top of a hill with awesome views, it occupies a vast area with beautiful beach and nature walks, the photos tell the truth. I also liked the pool a lot, it was beautifully arranged. The staff is super friendly everywhere and the reception booked us a day exploring the outer reef and another in the Daintree forest, both were excellent choices and with transport to and from the hotel. Thala is about 10 km from Port Douglas, there is a shuttle bus about every other hour. We did not have enough days to explore all Thala had to offer but thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Breakfast was OK, maybe not as spectacular as the views from the open air restaurant, the parrots are fun to watch too. The dinners were generally good. Nature lovers will love this place, where you can see and hear the tropical forest around you. It is lovely to wake up and see the sun raise above the sea.

Room Tip: Once there, the sea view is a pleasure, but if you don't have it, make sure you walk down to the...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Aila189934
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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Thank mustang_california
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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Thank J0hnC880
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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Thank flipandjude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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Thank kingsford1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2014

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
4  Thank JLTP
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

Address: Private Road | 5078 Captain Cook Highway, Oak Beach, Port Douglas, Queensland 4871, Australia (Formerly Thala Beach Lodge)
Phone Number:
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: £146 - £294 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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