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“a great quality hotel in a good location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Pullman Reef Hotel Casino

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Pullman Reef Hotel Casino
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   35-41 Wharf St, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia   |  
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Early Booker
Ranked #4 of 66 Hotels in Cairns
A TripAdvisor Member
“a great quality hotel in a good location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

A true 5 star hotel close to the casino, convention centre and with easy accessible and relatively cheap car parking. The rooms are spacious (we had a suite) and staff attentative. A place good for business and pleasure. Close to good and award winning eating spots within the hotel complex and in the new esplanade areas. No real business centre (but arrangments can be made) and the accessible computers and wifi a bit limited.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne R, General Manager at Pullman Reef Hotel Casino, responded to this review, February 10, 2013
Dear Accortraveller,
Thank you for your kind words, we do appreciate you staying with us and taking the time to post your feedback. I do apologise for any inconvenience that may have been experienced with your business requirements and hope that he team were able to assist as needed. It is great to see that we have exceeded your expectations with our service and facilities. We look forward to welcoming you back when you next travel to Cairns.
Kind regards
Wayne Reynolds
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,173 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (166)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Atherton, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

Pullman Reef Hotel Casino is in the center of town, within walking distance to shopping and Esplanade. Staff very courteous and helpful. Rooms are comfortable and clean. Value for money for meals at Flinders Bar & Grill and Casino available if you wish to play.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne R, General Manager at Pullman Reef Hotel Casino, responded to this review, February 10, 2013
Dear 38Traveler,
Thank you for your kind words, we do appreciate you staying with us and taking the time to post your feedback. We look forward to welcoming you back when you next travel to Cairns.
Kind regards
Wayne Reynolds
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

Room Ad bed very comfortable, well located. My only issues is with the limited choice for eating, there appears to be a priority for Asian clients as there is a very large Chinese restaurant in prime spot I the hotel. However the food was good

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne R, General Manager at Pullman Reef Hotel Casino, responded to this review, February 10, 2013
Dear Accor traveller,
Thank you for staying with us and taking the time to post your feedback. It is great to see that we have exceeded your expectations with our room and comfy beds. Flinders Bar and Grill and In room dining is available in the complex if you do not wish to try Cafe China or Tamarind. We look forward to welcoming you back when you next travel to Cairns.
Kind regards
Wayne Reynolds
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairns
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

If staying in Cairns this is the place to stay. Great staff make that 5 star experience even better. The location is perfect. Close to all amenities including all the great restaurants Cairns has to offer. We had breakfast in our package and we weren't disappointed. We'll be going back again, especially as we won playing keno on our last night.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne R, General Manager at Pullman Reef Hotel Casino, responded to this review, February 10, 2013
Dear ianpurr,
Congratulations on your win and thank you for your kind words, we do appreciate you staying with us and taking the time to post your feedback. It is great to see that we have exceeded your expectations with our service and facilities. We look forward to welcoming you back when you next travel to Cairns.
Kind regards
Wayne Reynolds
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
152 helpful votes 152 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

My usual report format is to try to include as much detail as possible, but after such a long trip the reports by necessity have to be slightly shorter, and I also know that some people just want a recommendation so I put this first.

Pullman Reef is located close to the Terminal for the Reef tours and nicely placed along the waterfront promenade. Views over the river outlet to the hills beyond are pleasant if you have a room on that side, but not sufficiently stunning to pay too much more for them. The hotel is genuine 5* with rooms of a very good standard, but the staff are a bit impersonal and the casino is genuinely awful – Ceasers Palace it certainly isn’t.

On the whole the Pullman Reef (http://www.reefcasino.com.au/hotel.php) is a pretty good hotel and if Cairns is your destination, you can do a lot worse. We would certainly stay again if we were staying in Cairns, but Cairns itself doesn’t have much to see unless you want the convenience of the reef terminal. Otherwise Port Douglas might be worth a consideration.

Pullman Reef can be considered a low rise tower with 3 parts.
1) Hotel Accommodation
2) Casino/Entertainment
3) Wildlife Dome

ACCOMODATION –

In the hotel part there are 128 rooms with a mixture of king/twin rooms and suites with city or water views. We had a water view room about half way up the building and the views were pleasant rather than dramatic. I believe all the rooms have similar facilities and ours certainly had:

- Large room with casual seating and sleeping areas
- Opening doors onto Balcony
- Plantation shutters and light timbers
- Bathroom with separate shower and bath
- large television,
- mini bar, tea & coffee making facilities
- In room safe,
- WiFi Internet (at an additional extortionate cost)

The quality of the fitments and furniture was very good and the small details were well executed. The bathroom was equally nice, well laid out and with quality fittings. The feel of the room was quality and really felt like a 5* room.

The nice touch of a bottle of champagne sent to our room for our anniversary was very much appreciated and all added to the feel of a hotel doing things well to make their guests feel comfortable and welcomed.

Overall, we really liked the room and would definitely stay here again.

All of which was good but there were a couple of issues which they need to review. Firstly although the room looked clean, there were hairs (of a type you don’t want to find) in the bath. Many apologies from the hotel and acceptance that this was not appropriate – which was good – except they were still there when we left 3 days later. As you may guess we used the shower only.

Secondly the cost of internet is extortionate to the point that the Mafia would be embarrassed to charge that much. Now I accept providing quality internet connections in the room is not free to the hotel, but equally it’s not that expensive either. Yes the hotel does provide 3 Apple computers in the lobby for the guests free use, but there are 180 rooms and even when it was not full we had to wait to get use of them. In this day and age the most that should be charged is a nominal fee, but Pullman reef wanted more per day than I pay for my very fast broadband at home per year. Just unacceptable – especially when the hotel we stayed in Sydney the week before was another Accor hotel and was merely expensive.

Because of these two things the overall rating is only average which is a shame as it should be higher.

POOL – There is a heated rooftop pool which is not massive, but large enough and well laid out. Around the pool is a pleasant lounging area and flower beds. Unfortunately the one day we weren’t out on a boat or in the rainforest the weather was wet in Cairns and we were unable to make better use of the pool. But the short time we were there it was great.

Leading out to the pool is a sauna and a smallish gym which is well maintained.

BREAKFAST – Breakfast is a buffet for the cold food and cooked to order for the hot menu, and is taken in Tamarind restaurant in the Casino side of the building. It’s a pleasant enough room but a bit generic.

The cold food buffet is reasonable with even a small selection of indigenous food if you fancy trying something a bit different. Quality is pretty good as well, but perhaps not quite as extensive as we had expected for this level of hotel. You wont go hungry though.

The hot food is cooked to order and chosen from the waitress supplied menu. The selection was quite good if a little predictable and the quality of ingredients was excellent.

Unfortunately there are a number of negatives – key amongst them is the staff. Whilst they are friendly enough, the service is at best patchy. We had a mixture of menus provided but orders not taken, or orders taken and food forgotten about together with very little apology when we were forced to go and chase. And to add to issues, the hot food was occasionally poorly cooked which detracted from the experience. Certainly some things that they need to address.

RESTAURANTS – There are 3 restaurants available:

1) Tamarind – claimed to be a contemporary fusion of Asian and Western cuisine. We can’t comment really as we didn’t eat here. We didn’t find it a particularly welcoming room and like the bars felt a bit generic serving the Casino crowd. Breakfast is also served every day in Tamarind.

2) Flinders Bar & Grill – the strap line is “A casual dining and bar area situated on Level 1 of The Reef Casino”. The reality is a very basic school canteen like server selling the usual burgers and beer in plastic cups. We did eat here as the day of our arrival it was late and we were tired so wanted a snack before bed. The food was edible and not too expensive, but it really is just a snack bar to allow the slot machine crowd a chance to eat without leaving the casino. Unless you are using the casino and like McDonalds quality junk food, I’d avoid

3) Café China Restaurant – The name pretty much covers it. I can only assume it is good as there were a lot of Chinese patrons using it whilst we were there which suggests it’s authentic. The downside is that the restaurant is completely open with the main corridor from hotel to casino on one side and the Vertigo bar (where the entertainment is held) on the other side. It’s also big and impersonal.

Overall, we felt the restaurants were a bit generic serving the Casino crowd rather than a place for a pleasant evening. There are plenty of better places to eat around the harbor in nicer surroundings.

CASINO – I freely admit I am not really into gambling – it leaves me cold – I can think of better things to do. That said I have been in a few and the Reef Casino is by far the tackiest – certainly not Monte Carlo, Las Vegas, Reno or even Blackpool. Think more of a glitzier and extended slot machine room in a motorway service station. Not very flattering, but that’s the impression we got when visiting.

BARS – There are three main bars in the complex, all in the Casino side of the building.

- Vertigo Bar & Lounge – a noisy open sided bar next to China Restaurant where the free live entertainment is held. We say some of the entertainment and it’s free for a reason – you can work out why.
- Lihou Bar - bar in The Reef Casino serving cocktails as well as hot and cold beverages.
- Casino Sportz Arena - sports themed with large screens on Level 2 of The Reef Casino

As it’s a casino, they all felt a bit transient – ie a place to get a drink rather than a destination to enjoy an occasion. We visited but didn’t stay in any of them as there are better places to have a drink and enjoy. But, if you want to see one of the shows or are using the casino, then they serve the purpose.

ZOOM and WILDLIFE DOME –The Cairns Wildlife Dome is claimed to be “a spectacular all-weather wildlife exhibit enclosed by a 20 metre high glass dome on top of Cairns’ Pullman Reef Hotel Casino” and has a new attractions of Dome climbs and walkways over the wildlife.
Whilst we were there it appeared to be closed for the training of the new attractions so we have no idea what it is like. We did look at the website (http://cairnszoom.com.au/) but it was not up to date and did look expensive. I believe it’s now open.

CAIRNS FOOD AND DRINK – Whilst this is not as cosmopolitan as Sydney, there are still more bars and restaurants than you can shake a stick at. I have given more detailed reviews of the restaurants we ate in, in the restaurant review sections of TA, but here is a taster:

Flinders Bar & Grill – cheap school canteen like café in the Reef Casino selling the usual burgers and beer in plastic cups. The food was edible but it really just exists to allow the slot machine crowd a chance to eat without leaving the casino. I’d avoid.

DUNDEE’S – Large relaxed restaurant on the waterfront with a very extensive menu, including some bush tucker. Pretty good food and service.

PESCI – Terrific Fish restaurant with sea views on the marina boardwalk. Not cheap but worth every cent. Fresh food, great service, fabulous atmosphere drew us back a couple of times.

Room Tip: Water view rooms are nice, but unless trhe price is right not worth paying a lot more for
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne R, General Manager at Pullman Reef Hotel Casino, responded to this review, February 10, 2013
Dear mgtfdjim,
Thank you for your kind words, we do appreciate you staying with us and taking the time to post your detailed feedback. It is great to see that we have exceeded your expectations on many occassions and I apologise for those that we did not ,I have passed these onto our team for rectification. We look forward to welcoming you back when you next travel to Cairns.
Kind regards
Wayne Reynolds
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pullman Reef Hotel Casino

Address: 35-41 Wharf St, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Cairns
#1 Business Hotel in Cairns
#2 Romantic Hotel in Cairns
#2 Luxury Hotel in Cairns
#4 Family Hotel in Cairns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Pullman Reef Hotel Casino 5*
Number of rooms: 128
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Cairns city, Pullman Reef Casino overlooks Trinity Bay and the departure point for the Great Barrier Reef. The hotel features 128 rooms and suites, all with spa baths and private garden balconies. Enjoy innovative and award-winning Thai fusion cuisine in the exquisite setting of Tamarind, or any of our eight other restaurants and bars. Other facilities include a well-equipped gymnasium, spa and rooftop swimming pool. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pullman Reef Hotel Cairns
Accor Reef Hotel
Sofitel Cairns
Cairns Sofitel

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