We booked 2 weeks at the Reef Palms over the phone and actually ended up paying a $200 "cancellation fee" so we could cut our stay short after an unpleasant 5 day stay.
The hotel / area:
The Reef Palms is about a 20-30 min walk from Cairns central shopping / restaurant districts and the tour departures are at least 45 mins away. Add on 10-15 minutes travel time if it's hot outside. You will need to rent a car to fully enjoy Cairns and at that point you might as well stay in Palm Cove (I recommend the Melaleuca Resort) or Port Douglas. Cairns proper also has no accessible beach, whereas the majority of resorts in Palm Cove have a beach just steps from the resort front door. If you do visit Cairns, make sure to try the Villa Romano restaurant.
The room / facilities:
Overall our room was dirty and run down and each time we came home to our room we were greeted by a strange smell -- which we arguably got used to. The kitchen consisted of a very simple hotplate with a simple selection of cookware, blackened and dented from use. As mentioned in another review, the ground floor patios should be avoided. My girlfriend also ended up with bites all over her legs that we hope weren't bed bugs. Finally, our $3/hr wireless internet cut out for 2 of the 5 days we were there. The only bright spot was the Reef Palms pool which we enjoyed.
The night staff girl who helped us plan our tour to the Great Barrier Reef was quite friendly and helpful. However, after giving our cancellation notice, Carla the day manager became very rude / hostile and threatened to charge us for our full booking (9 extra days - nearly $900). After requesting more toilet paper (we used the one roll we had) and trying to amicably resolve things, Carla dismissed my girlfriend telling her to "just get out, leave my office - I'm sick of you". Another choice customer service quote was that she would "charge us for as much as she could" because we had made up our mind to leave and the "damage had already been done". Nice..
Not wanting to get into a huge confrontational argument on our vacation, we grudgingly paid the 72 hrs cancellation fee and went on to actually enjoy our vacation in Palm Cove.
Below are a number of pictures we took in our room.
- Also Known As:
- Reef Palms Hotel
- Reef Palms Cairns
- Reef Palms Hotel Cairns
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