Fairly close to the airport (about $20 cab fare) and very close to the beach, pubs, etc but I found the place a little... Odd, I guess.
On check-in I was greeted by a front desk employee that, when presented with my name and the company I work for, said "You need to go to the trade winds." No hello, no can I help you, no explanation of what "the trade winds" was, nothing. When I told him I had just gotten off of a series of bumpy flights and was just doing what my employer told me to do he then looked, found my reservation, and presented me with my keys to that property (not the trade winds, which I learned was one of their sister properties... Somewhere.
The room was nothing remarkable but did have a balcony with a view of the neighbouring backpackers hotel and part of the area. No beach view that I could see but it was at night and in the beginning stages of a tropical storm so the views may be better normally. No mini bar in the room but there were basic coffee and tea facilities and a sign saying that drinks could be ordered via room service. The bathtub was about the right length and comfortable enough but was very deep. Definitely the deepest bathtub I've ever seen. There was also an area of wasted space at the end of the tub and partially walled off from the sink area to make it unusable. I'm not sure what the original design was but it is now a bit odd and unusable. Toiletries provided were nice enough. Again, nothing remarkable but nice enough. There is a huge shower that would be perfect for two people but there is only one shower head so, again, it makes for wasted space.
The hotel bar seemed nice enough, again nothing special, and was empty except for the bartender. I bought two beers and a packet of potato chips ($21, typical pricing for a hotel bar in the area) and took them to my room. I didn't use the restaurant or other facilities on this quick overnight trip so I can't really comment on them.
The staff were of mixed backgrounds and the only other guests that I saw were Japanese, part of a tour group, I think. No complaints or criticisms, here. Just an observation that may/may not impact on your ability to communicate with other guests if you desire to do so.
Perhaps the worst thing, however, is the Rydges loyalty program. In effect, it's worthless. You only get points if you book through their web site and the only other benefit is the 10% discount in their restaurant. Both of these "benefits" are worthless to a business traveller that is on an expense account and has their stays booked by the company travel agency. Compare this to the IHG group that gives me points toward free nights, upgrades (usually to a suite or better), fruit & mineral water, a welcome gift, free mini bar, and often free breakfast and/or free drinks and canapés in the evening and you quickly realise how poor the Rydges program is and how much better the one at IHG is.
This is the preferred hotel for my company in Cairns but I think I'll see if there's a Crowne Plaza or Holiday Inn in the area and get permission to stay there from now on instead.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.