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“Loved this Hilton” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hilton Cairns

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Hilton Cairns
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   34 Esplanade, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia   |  
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Ranked #9 of 66 Hotels in Cairns
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
“Loved this Hilton”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2009

We stayed for 5 nights to celebrate our anniversay and really enjoyed it. We were upgraded to a room with a view of the beautiful Trinity Inlet with a balcony to enjoy it from. The staff were as good as we have encountered anywhere and we congratulate whoever is responsible for staff training.
The position is excellent at the southern end of the marina and very close to several restaurants and the boat trips. The walk by the marina and along The Esplanade is very pleasant and the shops are a short walk away.
We booked an excellent price online that was great value for money and included breakfast which was very good.
We booked a car for 2 days through the hotel which worked well and we enjoyed The Botanic Gardens and drives in the hinterland.
The hotel's Hanuman Restaurant was so good that we ate there twice.
When next in Cairns we would be very happy to stay at The Hilton.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,211 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (219)
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English first
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2009

I have just returned from a week in Cairns and stayed at the Cairns Hilton. This hotel is perefectly situated on the Marina and the facilities were excellent. I thoroughly recommend the Asian restaurant located in the hotel. A few tips for first time visitors to the Cairns region. The public transport system is excellent for travelling to the northern beaches such as Palm Cove ,Trinity Point and Clifton Beach. Although these areas are quite picturesque, they have few facilities except for eating and shopping. The public transpoprt runs every half hour and you can hope on and off to travel as far north as Palm Cove.
To travel further north to Port Douglas and the Daintree a hire car is ideal- $53 for the day plus petrol.
Cairns is a much better option to use as a base and travel daily to other locations.
Alcohol is expensive in the many bars at the marina but a six pack of beer or bottle of wine can be purchased for $10 in Cairns CBD and can be placed in the bar fridge in hotel room. Sitting on the balcony of hotel room looking over the marina at sunset is the ideal location for a beer and glass of wine.
Unless a train buff use the sky rail for both ways journey to the magnificent kanungra rainforest. Public bus ($3) will drop you right at the sky rail and return journey on sky rail is $50.
We paid $120 per person for same organised tour using pick up from hotel.
Can't wait to visit Cairns again.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Top Contributor
170 reviews 170 reviews
83 hotel reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
171 helpful votes 171 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2009

I have read some of the less than glowing reviews on here and don't know what people are comparing the Hilton to. In my opinion the Hilton and Reef Casino are together as the best hotels in Cairns city.

I find the northern beaches a little too remote and enjoy being in Cairns. Despite other comments the Hilton was not built in the 1960's but rather the 1980's. It was built to a high standard. Fast elevators, nice size rooms and full width balconies.

The staff are second to none and always smiled and greeted me - something that doesn't happen in many other places. The breakfast was awesome and I really have nothing serious to complain about.

The parking is a slight hassle but $10 A DAY FOR VALET parking isn't too bad. The bathrooms are fairly much original but totally functional. Maybe some better lighting would be my only real issue.

Subject to paying a reasonable rate I would be all for staying here again

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, North Carolina
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2009

My wife and I were on our honeymoon and decided to switch to a familiar hotel name, we had always had good experiences with Hilton, and we are glad we did. First the negatives, the vines on the outside make the hotel look a little outdated and you the asian themed restaurant in the hotel was overpriced and had horrible dinner time service, and we tried it for dinner and twice just for desert, each time the service was laughable. The bar downstairs, Mondo,was quite good and reasonable, and the wings are a definite must try. If you walk down the pier the Waterbar is great and has one of the best steaks I had all trip. The trip planner/concierge downstairs, amanda, i think was incredible. She took a genuine interest in making out honeymoon special and helped us weed out a lot of unnecessary functions.
A must for breakfast is the Lily Pad, about a 5minute walk and located next to Gilligans. The food is incredible and the price is again affordable. Don't get suckered into the downstairs breakfast buffet, it is very overpriced and isn't as big as you are led to believe.
We stayed on the Aromatherapy level and were very impressed, the shower and bathtub had an adjustable blind that opened into the room and gave a great view of the bay, a very nice addition to our honeymoon.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dayton, Ohio
Top Contributor
253 reviews 253 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 75 cities Reviews in 75 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2009

my husband and i just stayed their for 3 nights and loved it! they have free wi-fi in the business center and a nice lobby with lots of chairs to wait for rides and such. they have a great breakfast buffet! i would recommend it. our room was a view room with a king bed. the room was basic but comfortable. the pool is small and the hot tub wasn't that hot. but! the best thing about this hotel is that it is right next to the port! so when we did our great barrier reef tour, it took us less then 10 minutes to walk there! they have an onsite tour booking company and everyone there is very friendly

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keizer, Oregon
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2009

Stayed here 3 total nights with one night out of the middle to visit the reef. Service was incredible, I had arrived quite early for checkin and was fully aware I would most likely need to wait awhile for a room to be ready. The staff upgraded my room to the executive floor within 5 minutes. The staff was very attentive and offered multiple times to hold my additional luggage until I returned from my reef encounter.

Upon return, staff greeted me by name (still wondering how they knew who i was) and the manager had upgraded my room to a water view on a higher floor and had left a plate of fruit and a wonderful personalized note

Room service was great - always arrived quickly and very very hot. Mondo's downstairs is amazing - the fajitas are a must try! Food very good and reasonable for the portions.

Great location for reef tours and the marlin jetty. Shopping and tourist locations within walking distance and the casino right across the street. Couldn't ask for anything more.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2009

You can tell some hotels are old and undergo an extensive refurb to hide away the fact it is 40 years old. This hotel is not one of those – and even though this hotel has recently been refurbished (April 2009) – you can honestly tell it was built in the 60’s. The sign on the building, the toilets, all old. But what they have done is a welcome change (especially after seeing some photos of unrenovated rooms on this website!). Level 7, 8 and 9 have been ‘completely’ renovated (except the toilet), while the lower floors have been ‘refreshed’ (new TV but same beds and carpets). For standard rooms, level 7 is the only floor available (8 and 9 are Executive floors) so try and request level 7 at reservation.
The room was of ample size, with brand new carpeting and fittings, Hilton heavenly beds and a host of features like new balcony furniture, lazyboy seat and plasma TV. Beds were very comfortable and were blissful after a whole day on the reef or after a tour. It’s a real pity that the bathroom was left completely untouched in the remodel. While it was relatively clean, it looks like it comes straight out of the 60s with low ceiling, fluorescent lighting, white granite bench top, shower/bathtub in one and small in size. Considering they just completed a renovation, I wonder how long it will take before they re-do the bathrooms. It is just completely out of place with the rest of the room. Room features fluffy bathrobes, slippers, iron and board, electronic safe, tea and coffee, and adequately stocked mini-bar.
What we did find amusing was the fact that in the hotel directory book, we found out we could borrow iPods and foot spas. Out of interest, we ordered these and some extra pillows (we wanted to see what kind of music was on the iPod). We were then told that the there were no iPods left and there were no more pillows (the whole hotel ran out of pillows?), but the foot spa arrived! Just one of those $30 ones you can buy at K-mart.
Due to the GFC (Global Financial Crisis), Hilton is trying to fill up beds so we made use of an Asia Pacific 2 for 1 offer (stay one night get one free – including breakfast for 2). So we ended up staying at this hotel at a ridiculously low price! Normal pricing though is quite comparable to the Shangri-La across the road – and considering that is a newer hotel and in a slightly better location (at least for the view), so perhaps look at that hotel as well (really the Hilton and the Shangri-La are the only 2 international hotels in this city).
Included breakfast is usually around $AUD35 per person and is a typical hotel buffet breakfast. Nice touches include a small Japanese section, proper coffee (none of this percolated crap), fruit juicing machine, and the view of the water. It was never really busy which was also a bonus. During dinner this is an Asian restaurant (think Malay/Thai), but apart from this, there is a brassiere type burger place downstairs and a cocktail bar in the lobby. So food wise, the hotel is a little lacking. But 5 minutes walk away is Esplanade, where every second store is a food outlet. So it was not an issue.
The hotel is right across the road from the Reef casino, although we didn’t get much noise at all. Further down the next block is pretty much Cairns city, where the markets, restaurants, souvenir shops, take outs, etc. are. Then in the other direction (north) is the Marina which pretty much all boats depart from to go to the reef or estuary. Incredibly convenient considering we spent both days either fishing or on the reef. The airport is also about 15 minutes drive away so about $AUD20 by taxi.
The pool facilities are quite with a sufficient sized gym, bubbling spa, a cold plunge pool and of course a larger swimming pool, surrounded in trees that kind of wraps around one side of the building. Given it was winter, the pool was never busy at all, so we enjoyed the size and almost seclusion!
Perhaps it was the GFC which has seen hotel guest numbers plummet, but this hotel honestly did not feel like a typical Hilton at all. There were so few people it was almost like a boutique hotel in a massive building. Upon arrival, there were no porters or anyone to assist with luggage or open the doors. There was never more than 1 attendant at the reception desk (even if there were a few people waiting) and pretty much no-one ever at the concierge desk. On the Sunday night at 10pm, we wanted to get a cocktail from the hotel bar – we were told to call a number to ask the bartender to come out – then when she did she didn’t hold a cocktail licence or something and was only able t to give us beers or wine. So service was pretty much non-existent! The requests, however, for additional towels were always very fast – so thumbs up for housekeeping.
All things considered, a steal for a deal, and even though it is tempting to say the service is not their forte, it is the GFC at the moment so I would have to retry the hotel at a better time!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HiltonCairns, General Manager at Hilton Cairns, responded to this review, August 25, 2009
Many thanks for taking the time to post a review. Your comments and feedback are of great value to us as we are always striving to improve future customer service.

Having undergone an extensive renovation over the past 12 months, I am pleased to read your positive remarks. Notably we are the only hotel in our region to move ahead with an extensive refurbishment in face of current economic challenges. While we were unable to complete a full renovation, we plan to recommence in early 2010. Your feedback on the project thus far is greatly appreciated.

As one of the region’s first 5-star hotels to be built, it is a priority of Hilton to not consistently move forward and create contemporary guest experiences.

Service is a priority for us so please accept my apologies for the bar and lobby incidents outlined; I have addressed these issues and communicated with department heads and staff accordingly.

Thank you again for your feedback. It is greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,
David Kelly
General Manager – Hilton Cairns
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Cairns

Address: 34 Esplanade, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Cairns
#3 Business Hotel in Cairns
#4 Luxury Hotel in Cairns
#4 Spa Hotel in Cairns
#8 Romantic Hotel in Cairns
#12 Family Hotel in Cairns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hilton Cairns 5*
Number of rooms: 262
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of the city, the Hilton Cairns hotel is the perfect base for exploring the diverse wonders of this truly unique region, famous as the meeting place of two natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef and World Heritage Rainforest. Our modern and inviting Cairns hotel rooms and suites are luxurious oases of comfort and convenience, offering pristine new bathrooms and spacious balconies with views of Trinity Inlet or Cairns Esplanade and the unique cityscape and blue-green mountain ranges beyond. Stay connected with the latest technology in the fully-equipped business centre. Enjoy relaxed, alfresco dining at the award-winning Mondo Café Bar and Grill on the waterfront, or discover authentic italian flavours at "Donninis "Simply Italian". Experience modern, tropical, paradise today! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Cairns Hotel Cairns
Hilton International Cairns
Cairns Hilton International

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