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“Unbelievable!”

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Thala Beach Nature Reserve
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Oak Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Brisbane, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Unbelievable!”
Reviewed 8 April 2014

The best place I have ever stayed at by far, service is 2nd to none! they will make you feel like a king, Location is perfect, but would recommend picking up a rental car at Cairns or Port Douglas for extra convenience and quite essential for tourist activities. The rooms are very spacious and quiet, only disappointment was that we had one bottle of champagne left when we departed after 4days. Pool was awesome and well designed and was warm still in April, Beach shack was good could be better with fresh fruit cocktails and fresh coconuts drinks , There lodge buggy was always available to shuttle you around the large complex.
Very Highly recommended place to get away from it all and relax.
M & M

Room Tip: We had rm 63 it was very secluded and extremely quiet.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank MarkJ9346HD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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LA, CA
Level 6 Contributor
122 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2014

We arrived late in the evening at the Thala Beach Lodge after initially missing our flight and then missing a turn on a roundabout and ending up 50 km from the resort. Check in went well and we slept for a few hours in our Coral Sea Bungalow before leaving for a rain forest tour in the morning. The view from the room was initially very nice. The next day we notified the resort staff about a non-working outside fan and an issue with an air conditioner. They were very helpful and quickly provided us with a different room once we brought it to their attention The room they moved us to had an even better view very close to the beach. All the resort buildings have an incredibly beautiful wood floors. The resort is nicely decorated and well landscaped with the trails and wading pools blending in to the surroundings. We had an enjoyable evening meal at the Ospreys restaurant. The menu had a nice selection and the food was very good. We received Great service from the resort staff. The Thala Beach Lodge has a magnificent secluded location and the view from the Ospreys restaurant is spectacular !!!

Room Tip: Most of the rooms have forest / jungle views, there are a limited number of view rooms that see over...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank beachman77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nashville, Tennessee
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2014

My family and I stayed here for one week and we had a fabulous time. If you are looking for a secluded private getaway from big cities. The views from the dining room are absolutely fabulous and the pool is beautiful. We did the nature walk at 9:00 am and learned about the different plants and animals that inhabited the area. If you are looking for a relaxing beach, Oak Beach is absolutely wonderful. There are many different walking paths to go on and explore the grounds. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful. Also, the cultural presentation given by locals is a must-see. Other activities include Star-Gazing, a tour through the coconut plantations, and they also have a spa. For rooms, I recommend the tree house rooms as the views from them are great. If you want to go into Port Douglas, then you can either rent a car or take a shuttle. If you are looking for a relaxing vacation, then Thala Beach Lodge is the place to go.

Room Tip: The rooms that are in the trees have beautiful views.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank lisa m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2014

We stayed here 5 days, and thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The resort is quite large, and if you don't like to (or can't) walk far without assistance, I would ask for a room close to the main lodge or else on the buggy route (they have electric golf-buggy type vehicles for getting around the resort quickly). We stayed in room 54 which was almost at the end of the resort, not far from the beach - it took 7-9mins to walk to and from the main lodge but it was lovely and secluded which was part of the enjoyment. We were there at the end of March which is still stinger season, so we were advised not to swim in the Coral Sea, but the beach itself is ~1.5km long, and it was a lovely walk along the waters edge. There are 2 pools at the resort - a big one with several smaller pools branching off, located near the main lodge, and a smaller pool at the far end of the resort. Both were well maintained, and it was a delight to be able to access a cool refreshing pool at any time when the weather was warm and humid.
We did not have a car - there are regular shuttle bus services to and from Port Douglas if needed. This could be seen as an issue if you're used to having a car and wanting to drive everywhere to see things when you want, but this was not a problem for us. We spent one day diving on the reef, and the local dive company Blue Dive arranged pick-up and drop-off as part of their service for the day. Otherwise we walked along the beach, walked along the nature trails throughout the resort, lounged by the pool and just relaxed. This is an easy place for doing that sort of thing! There is a bird hide for twitchers, not far from the osprey nest, and there is also a wallaby lawn where you can see these marsupials come at dawn and dusk to feed.
The cold breakfast buffet was generous - lots of fresh and tinned fruit, many different breads, juices, cereals, ham and cheese. There was also quite a bit of variety on the cooked breakfast list. Lunch and dinners were generous servings. Prices were expensive if comparing to cheaper cafes in Port Douglas, but the quality and presentation of the food was very good, and the location and aspect of Ospreys Restaurant is stunning. We also had cocktails one evening down on the beach at Herbie's beach hut (also part of the resort).
I would certainly take personal insect repellent with you, and have it on at all times when walking around, especially if you go in the wet season. If you are concerned by close encounters with tropical fauna, be prepared. There are many small lizards along the paths, and frogs are common at dusk. There are also some resident Golden Orbs - beautiful and harmless but a bit of a shock if you're not used to them.

Room Tip: We had a bungalow that had ocean views and sounds - if you like that (as we did), that's a bette...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank macfitz1 .
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ilkley, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2014

Stayed here in the middle of a month long tour of Australia and it was a nice change from the big hotel chains.
Great welcome and excellent service throughout our stay. The chalet style rooms are well appointed and quite large. Breakfast is a feast and the views from the dining room are to die for.
One evening we opted to have a picnic basket dinner in our room which was delivered right on time it was relaxing and a bit different if a bit pricey.
If hill climbing is a problem book a room not to far from the main building as it can be quite a walk up hill otherwise. The hotel does provide a golf buggy style pick up if required
Guided walks in the grounds on different topics are free of charge to guests. We did the coconut walk with Carl it was great, imformative and fun.
Remember to take insect repellent !

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the beach. Most rooms are surrounded by vegitation with no view.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank 907Chris43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
leicester, UK
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2014

Having reviewed several other hotels on Tripadvisor, I have to say that this is one of the most difficult to assess.
I think its fair to say that Thala IS different from any other resort, and you have to bear this in mind. We were fully aware when we booked. The first, and possibly most important factor, to bear in mind is its location. It is very remote. a car is an absolute essential - forget about shuttle services, buses etc. There are no real facilities like restaurants, nearby, or even within a 15 minute drive. The seclusion of Thala can never be under estimated.

We had a hire car, so travelled out to Port Douglas itself, or Palm Cove to eat, so I can't comment of the standard or cost of eating at Thala's restaurant.
Now - the resort itself. Firstly- its quite large, and the accommodations - in reality, all identical lodges spread throughout the resort, can be quite a distance from the main lodge/ reception area. We had one the furthest, which meant a good 10 minute walk thru the wooded area. We are reasonably fit and able, but even so, this was a challenge sometimes - particularly going FROM the room - it seemed all uphill!
Despite the fact that our "lodge" was almost at the beach area, we could not actually see the beach, or indeed the sea, from the balcony, due to the vegetation. A difficult issue to redress tho, I'm sure, but perhaps just a little pruning back? It was also disappointing to note that previous guests had thrown/dropped empty beer bottles from the balcony, and they remained there for the duration of our stay. Not the fault of the staff of course, but something they need to be conscious of.

Many other reviewers have commented on the rooms being serviced every other day. Thala states that this is to ensure that the guests get maximum privacy? Whilst it didn't make any real significant impact on our stay, possibly Thala should re think this policy, as it is an expectation these days that rooms are serviced daily, irrespective of cost and staffing implications.
The room itself was spacious, and comfortable. If I have to be picky - perhaps the shower could be updated - it is a small spray head, set quite low into the wall of the shower unit, meaning that you have to 'stoop' to shower. Functional, but could be improved upon. Likewise the TV, it is quite small in reality. Slightly bigger/ better TVs please!
The rooms just need a little attention to update, but are otherwise more than acceptable. You have to bear in mind that this is not a modern 5 star corporate resort, after all.

There are a couple of small rock pools within the complex. Whilst indeed they are lovely to look at, they are not at all practical as leisure 'pools'.


On the subject of staff, I have say that everyone we spoke to was friendly, helpful, and courteous. Nothing was too much trouble it seemed.
The main reception area of the lodge has a very useful small area, which has plenty of brochures and flyers, for ideas and suggestions to do in in the Port Douglas area.

Wi-Fi is only available in the main lodge, not in the rooms, which is something I would suggest they look at. Whether we like it or not- the internet is no longer a luxury these days, and is almost a given expectation when travelling. There should be the facility to extend the coverage to all accommodation units, as its not really practical to walk back to the main lodge. Just a personal opinion.
Also -as a suggestion- perhaps they could provide some coffee and small refreshments at the main lodge for the benefit of guests. As this would clearly only be used by the guests of the resort, and not the 'general public/ passers by'- I think this would be a nice gesture, and be very welcome. I'm sure the cost would not be too prohibitive for the resort to absorb.

Overall - we enjoyed the stay at Thala very much. It is certainly very different, if only for its seclusion. A few issues here and there, if addressed, would turn it from being very good, to excellent.

Room Tip: Be aware of the distance you may have to walk, on some locations!
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank mel.w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2014 via mobile

We arrived at Thala beach lodge for a week stay at the end of our 5 week holiday down in Australia/New Zealand.

We had a busy holiday so booked this as our bit of luxury and relaxation at the end of the stay. Thala is that somewhere a bit different, you won't stay in many places like this and for the main part it feels very special as well, with just a few areas of improvement needed.

We stayed in a Eucalypt bungalow which was very comfortable with gorgeous views. The room had good air con which is a must in the steamy Queensland heat. Some of the shutter window nets are a bit worn, so we didn't feel safe opening them for the mosquitoes - this can hopefully be tightened up (room 55). The only other slight down with the room was the balcony. It was idyllic to look at, but we never felt like sitting out in it, as it was generally covered with webs, or crawling with green ants. This is an inevitable issue in the forest, but a shame.

There is a complimentary buggy ride around the resort whenever you need it which is brilliant because it is a big resort and you often don't feel like the long walks.

The lodge itself is a big spacious wooden construction over two floors. There's lots of places to have a relaxing seat without it becoming busy or congested. There are a couple of big webs with golden orb spiders up, this isn't just a Eco lodge kind to nature feature, it's a point of interest, there are signs up with info about the spiders there ( these ones being harmless ).

The restaurant has a beautiful setting overlooking the bay towards Port Douglas. There are no windows, just wide open views, as the climate doesn't need windows. The restaurant serves nice food, but it is a little pricey, so it is wise to mix with some of the local Port Doglas restaurants. We had a great Thai meal in town on our second last night for about half the cost of Thala.

The biggest shame at Thala is the pool. They've created such a nice natural looking pool which is so refreshing, but like most hotels it's still kept very cold, so getting in is horrific and there's a spa feature at one part but only in the same temperature water which despite he warm air is just plain cold after a while. Finally and importantly, there is so much vegetation round the pool that it's impossible to sit in the sun for more than 10-15 mins without the sun moving behind a tree. We found ourselves moving a few times and still not getting it right.

Overall experience here is very positive. It definitely makes you feel like you've been in tropical Queensland unlike some of the more generic hotels, it's just after a few finishing touches which would create a more perfect experience.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Craigsoota
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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