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.
- 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