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“Extremely disappointing, not a five star lodge at all”

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Thala Beach Nature Reserve
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Oak Beach
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Extremely disappointing, not a five star lodge at all”
Reviewed 23 August 2014

We stayed at Thala for a total of one night before we escaped to a real five star resort in Port Douglas. We felt that we should write this review as we used trip advisor to pick it. Here are the reasons why we left and some factors that are misleading in the reviews. Firstly it is a Eco
lodge not a luxurious resort, which means that yes you are in the beautiful rainforest and the scenery is gorgeous but the bungalows have windows with wooden slats no glass so when they are open ppl can see in and as they are close together you have no privacy. It also means that if you are light sleepers be prepared for no sleep ( our main reason for leaving) the noise from the rainforest is so loud at night you cannot sleep and there is no sound proofing or escape from it. The decor is outdated, dirty and old; I walked bare foot in our room and had to wash my feet. The bed is uncomfortable and the bathroom was dirty and tired looking. We had to have someone out from reception in the middle if the night to fix the toilet that kept refilling and keeping us awake. Then there is the food I will keep it short by saying the menu is pretentious, with not a lot of variation but a lot of contrasting flavours for example you might pick the lamb as the one thing you like as my husband did but you don't like the exotic over the top accompaniments plus it's such a small portion you have to buy a £2 mars bar from the shop to fill you up! Plus the breakfast is majorly overpriced so you either pay way over what you should or travel out every morning early to eat. Port Douglas is not close, you are isolated and a captive audience it's 15-20 mins away in your own car but if you want to get a shuttle in you have to pay for it each way! The lodge is overpriced,outdated and just not worth it stay at a much nicer resort in Port Douglas and visit the rainforest on a trip and save yourself a lot of money while having a nicer holiday we are so glad we moved and would not recommend Thala to anyone!

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Vhargreaveshall
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 review, 29 August 2014
We are so pleased these clients enjoyed our beautiful rainforest and gorgeous scenery.

As everyone is aware, Trip Advisor reviews are compiled by actual travellers – reviews reflect the independent thoughts, opinions and experiences of past guests. To say that some reviews are ‘misleading’ is absurd – independent thought is the whole purpose of this forum.

Yes we are proudly an eco lodge and private nature reserve – we do not promote ourselves as a luxurious resort online or via any other medium.

We believe wooden slats are more conducive to privacy than glass. Many of our customers remark that one of the highlight's of their stay was the sounds of the forest, birdsong and ocean through the screened windows – immersion in nature at its best!

We regret there were housekeeping and maintenance issues however wish to advise other readers that these were swiftly rectified upon report and have been followed through since.

Typically, ‘Modern Australian’ cuisine represents a mix of different cultural influences by using exotic and contrasting flavours. It’s a shame these clients didn’t enjoy this style of fare nor understand, or enjoy, our property in general.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
67 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2014

Wonderful location with comfortable cabins. Glamping at its best. The environment is just beautiful and you are living right amongst the trees and birds. The cabins are located amongst all different parts of the headland. You can have a tree house style south facing cabin with stunning big views over the tree tops (the balcony can be quite exposed if its windy, but it is worth it for the atmosphere), or a more protected cabin facing north to a quieter cove. Make sure you do the nature walks on the property - they are really gorgeous and show all parts of what the headland and surrounds has to offer. You can really feel the care and attention given to looking after this place.The beach is just beautiful and so is the cove. The bird life is great. The central lodge is open air and brilliantly located and lovely for relaxing and reading a book/playing board games etc. The food/restaurant was pretty average but you dont stay here for the food. Port Douglas is a quick comfortable scenic drive away. Staff are really nice. Absolutely loved this place.

Room Tip: Go for a cabin with water views as they are higher up and really allow engagement with the views and...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank anchor228
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belleville, Canada
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2014

This was a great start to our Australian vacation. You do need some level of fitness to climb the hill from your cabin to the main building but the privacy of the cabins is great. We really liked the staff. The real highlight was the morning breakfast with the beautiful rainbow lorikeets.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Catherine R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2014

The rooms are lodges built on a headland around the main building. Ours was quite far away, but the team there have golf buggies at your beck and call, so you'll never have to walk too far. The room was lovely and had the feeling of "colonial comfort". It's not absolutely opulent, but it's very comfortable.
The hotel is only a short drive from Port Douglas where so many boats sail to the Great Barrier Reef. There are buses that will get you there and back to Cairns, including the airport.
There's no wifi in the room, but there is in the main hotel foyer.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PaulCoyne73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
165 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2014

We started our trip at Thala Beach Lodge, so we could get over jetlag. What an amazing place. Starting with our check-in, the staff were extremely attentive, knew our names for the duration of our five days with them, and were most helpful in booking tours and recommending restaurants in Pt. Douglas, about a 20 minute ride away. We stayed in bungalow 40, which was close enough to the main lodge to walk comfortably either during the day or in the dark at night. The room was extremely comfortable; the beds and pillows were perfect and the bathroom was large, with a good shower. We had dinner one night at the Lodge and the food was excellent. We thought it was expensive, but later found that the food everywhere, including restaurants in Pt. Douglas, was expensive. We went on an organized nature walk on the property and learned all about trees, birds and the area in general. This was a fabulous experience.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms near the lodge as some are quite a walk up/down a steep hill towards the beach.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Beverley R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2014

This was our second stay at Thala Beach Lodge and it more than lived up to our expectations and memories. The location is magical; so quiet and peaceful, a perfect escape from our hectic lives. The service was excellent and all the staff were genuinely friendly and helpful. We swam at the beach every day & really enjoyed sitting under the shade of a palm tree with hardly a soul around. Spoiled ourselves with great cocktails at the Beach Shack and at the bar before heading into the restaurant for superb evening meals. My only complaint was that 6 nights just wasn't long enough! Eagerly looking forward to our next visit.

Room Tip: Coral Sea bungalows have spectacular views over the treetops across to the Coral Sea
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jan-n-lee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cairns
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014

Me and my husband spent our anniversary here recently and were greatly rewarded. This resort is absolutely beautiful. The accommodation, views, food and service were a delight to be had. The cocounut drinks were so refreshing and would have to be the best cocktail we have had anywhere. Highly recommend anyone visit this little piece of paradise.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Julie H
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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