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“Clean, comfortable stay - great location - but a touch off 5-star standards” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns

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Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Pierpoint Rd, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia   |  
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Ranked #8 of 66 Hotels in Cairns
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Clean, comfortable stay - great location - but a touch off 5-star standards”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2011

I stayed here for 3 nights while attending a conference in Cairns. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised considering the poor reviews I had read about the hotel here on TripAdvisor (I guess it's all relative to one's expectations).

The reception desk staff were very friendly and efficient throughout my stay. I was given a quiet room away from this supposedly raging loud night club and was allowed an early check-in as requested. The room itself was clean and spacious. Great shower head; comfortable king-size bed; minimalist decor (they had photographs of macro images of sealife which I thought was a nice touch, especially as Cairns is one of the gateways to the Great Barrier Reef). As far as location goes - the Shangri-La boasts prime location on the Marina, close to the Cairns Esplanade (also just a 10 minute stroll away from the Cairns Convention Centre where the conference I attended was held). My room had no views to speak of; but you get what you pay for (I think the marina-view rooms would be well-worth the extra money).

However, it's a touch off the mark when it comes to true 5-star standards. In an age where 5-star has been redefined - with boutique establishments (ala Small Luxury Hotels of the World) setting new standards in this arena; the traditional "5-star chain hotels" are going to have to really step up, to keep up. In short, this hotel is in desperate need of a revamp - a new paint job, carpets, replacement of old and scratched furniture (they still had those old analog box-TVs!), etc... I was told by the manager that this is on the agenda in the near future; which is very exciting news because this place has so much potential and it would be a shame for it to fall to bits. Another point which I think this hotel (and really all 5-star hotels) should adopt as standard: breakfast should be included in the tariff, regardless of the room type booked. It really is such a petty added cost when, for not a great expense to the hotel, it could be included.

So, overall, with a few renovations and breakfast included in the tariff - I would not hesitate to return to this hotel or recommend it to others when staying in Cairns.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1,406 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (373)
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English first
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2011

We stayed overnight at the hotel after a fab rate on the internet and found it:
- fantastic location with a great range on restaurants on site
- Great pool - but not heated so the water is COLD in winter
- Service was great

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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US
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2011

Hard to beat the location. When you take a Reef tour, you'll meet the boat just steps away from your hotel. And the esplanade and downtown are short walks away. Staff is friendly and effective, always available. Nice pool area. Free wi-fi.

We upgraded to a water view, which was well worth it, since we ended up spending a lot of time enjoying it on the little balcony. The bed looked large, but was actually two small mattresses pushed together - very annoying. Room design is a bit dated and there was some wear and tear. But overall it was nice and sizable.

There are several restaurants on site offering various cuisine. Some are good and some are not, so research carefully before you go.

Very nice service at the activities desk, which was a surprise. I'm always skeptical of hotel tour desks, because the often thrive on kickbacks and fees, so they're not always acting in your best interest. In this case, though, we got great service with no hard sell. The tour desk had access to some specials, so we actually saved money by booking through them.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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UK
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2011

Stayed for a couple of nights, its not a 5 star hotel as such, more like a 4 star built on top a shopping center. Spa is in the mall amoungst other unrelated shops. Diving is "ok", but dissapointing considering it was the GBR.. beware of 90 odd people on a boat, and the loud nightlife is that is what you are trying to avoid when looking for a real 5 star resort. Took the "club" option which entitles you to some refreshments in a room on the very long walk to the bedrooms. Stunning sunrise and sunsets over the marina - that's all I will remember that was "great".

Restaurants around Marina are all good... that's all I can say, friendly service all round in experience.

Room Tip: near the lifts !
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Gold Coast
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2011

What a gem. We arrived on my wife's birthday and were given 'champagne', (a good Australian fizz) and chocolates. We stayed in an executive suite overlooking the marina and seaway and had 2 amazing nights stay. The services was first class, apart from the breakfast crew who were slow, disorganised and forgetful, but we ate on the mezzanine floor once we realised that was complimentary. It as a great location with first class restaurants below, but there was no noise from these heard in the room. One point-beware of the edge of the pool. It is rough sandsone and took the skin off at least two guests in the two days we stayed.

Room Tip: Stay as long as you can!!
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  • Stayed April 2011, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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St Tropez
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2011 via mobile

We checked in for a one night getaway, and were prompty greeted by the porter at the car to help unload the bags, we have stayed here before so we knew where to go. We were welcomed very professionally by Hayley and Nao, they did a fantastic job on check in and couldn't fault their service. The rooms are nicely furnished, not as good as the Asian Shangri La's but they were very clean and had everything one would need including ( FREE WIFI and INTERNET) this was a great unexpected plus, great work Shangri La Cairns. Room service was swift and very tasty.
Check out by Ben was fantastic, she is a true hotel professional, thanks for the great service. Overall the Shang is a little outdated and needs work, but the team seem to always want to assist and meet your needs. Great work everybody.

  • Stayed May 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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cardiff
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2011

probably the best located hotel in the town.

rooms are comfortable, especially in the room we had when returning from the GBR as we were up-graded to a club room which was large and stylish. great restaurant overlooking the harbour for breakfast and dinner. staff were always helpful.

would definitely stay here again

  • Stayed November 2010, 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
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Additional Information about Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns

Address: Pierpoint Rd, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Cairns
#3 Luxury Hotel in Cairns
#4 Business Hotel in Cairns
#5 Romantic Hotel in Cairns
#5 Family Hotel in Cairns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns 5*
Number of rooms: 255
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideally located in the heart of Cairns, the Shangri-La Hotel overlooks Marlin Marina, Trinity Bay and the lush green mountains of Cairns.The hotel is just ten minutes' drive from Cairns International Airport, and a short stroll to the Esplanade Lagoon and Cairns' premier dining precinct. The hotel offers airy, modern accommodations with elegant furniture and spectacular views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns Hotel Cairns

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