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“Excellent but for one major drawback...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mantra PortSea

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Mantra PortSea
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   76 Davidson Street, Port Douglas, Queensland 4877, Australia (Formerly BreakFree Portsea Resort)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #28 of 46 hotels in Port Douglas
Dorset, UK
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
“Excellent but for one major drawback...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

Located just a few yards from the stunning "four-mile beach", and an easy ten-minute walk to the main street in Port Douglas (local shuttle buses stop outside, but we never used them), it is in a good location.
Our 'Lagoon View Studio' room was very well appointed; spacious and comfortable, with facilities for preparing food. The reception area presents a good impression and this is continued in the rooms. Staff are charming, helpful... a real delight!
The swimming pools are quirky or interesting, depending on your view! The main pool ('lagoon') is a fairly narrow strip which starts with a cascade at one end and winds between the accommodation blocks, past the poolside bar, sun-decks, crocodile (sculpture!) little bridge, etc. Interesting for the kids to play but not really any good for swimming. However, it is the proximity of the three-storey accommodation blocks to each other, across the 'lagoon' which presents the only serious negative point …. The noise from the hoard of mainly pre-school children playing in the pool echoed back from the walls across the 'canyon' and was intolerable most days and evenings. Sitting out on the balcony was not a pleasurable experience!
If the sound of screaming children is not your ideal, just visit when there are likely to be fewer children about, or ensure you choose a room not overlooking the lagoon.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HECrampton, Manager at Mantra PortSea, responded to this review, December 5, 2012
Hello MacgeorgeDorset

Thank you for writing a review on Mantra Portsea. Our staff at this resort are a truly lovely team and I'm so glad you enjoyed their attention.

We have three pools at Mantra Portsea. The lagoon pool can be noisy as children love it so much. We have a lap pool and a plunge pool in other quieter parts of the resort. The quietest rooms are garden view apartments and I would recommend booking these if you are seeking peace. For those who love a pool bar vibe I would suggest the lagoon view apartments.

Thank you again
Helen
Assistant Manager
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (97)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

We booked this hotel on a fairly tight budget so were not expecting anything particularly amazing. The hotel room was small and basic. Unfortunately ours was over one of the pools near the spa and the noise that started from early in the morning with swimmers carried through to the room which meant that sleep-ins were not possible.

The breakfast was a bonus inclusion and although fairly limited, it was a nice complimentary addition to our package.

Disappointing that the room is not cleaned during the stay (unless over 8 nights), however the staff were always willing to refresh towels etc as needed at the reception desk.

Note: This hotel requires a $200 holding deposit when you check in. We were not made aware of this prior to arrival (booked via travel agent)

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
HECrampton, Manager at Mantra PortSea, responded to this review, December 5, 2012
Hello eternalgringo

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your stay at Mantra Portsea. Hotel rooms are budget options and if guests prefer a kitchenette and balcony I would recommend booking a one bedroom apartment.

We serve a continental buffet breakfast at the hotel and this includes cereals, fruit, yoghurt, toast, pastries, croissants, ham, cheese, juice, tea and coffee.

We offer unserviced rates to provide a more cost effective stay for our guests but daily servicing is available daily for an additional charge. Many people like the choice in this regard.

Kind regards
Helen
Assistant Manager
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Manchester, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

Spent 4 nights here with my partner. had a great stay. location great with the stunning beach just behind. 10 mins bus to centre of port douglas or 20 mins walk or so . hotel room was ok quite small but did not let that spoilt it has we only slept in it.bed was comfy. breakfast was fine nothing special but did the job. lay out of hotel is good with a few pools dotted around. found the the staff we dealt with very helpful. and cheerful which didt seem false. one small complaint was bar shut about 17.30 may be could have stayed open a little later. but i suppose added to the peacefulness. all in all great stay if in area again would stay again.

Room Tip: to get a better room upgrade is 40 dollars a night.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HECrampton, General Manager at Mantra PortSea, responded to this review, November 8, 2012
Dear DaisyChain052001, we are thrilled to hear that you had a GREAT STAY at Mantra Portsea. The hotel rooms are our basic lead in room type but we are so glad that you found the bed to be comfy. This is such an important aspect to an enjoyable stay. The pools are spread across the property, one on every side which means that you can always find a spot to yourself for some peace and quiet. Our guests love these pool areas!! Thank you for your kind words about our staff, we have wonderful people representing our company. The pool bar most days closes around 6pm, mainly because we trialed staying open longer and guests were gone by around 5.30pm to start their evenings. If we have a number of people wanting to use the bar for longer we certainly stay open for them to enjoy. We appreciate your feedback and hope that you will choose to stay with us again or any other Mantra properties as one of our valued guests.
Kindest Regards
Kyla Sippel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashmore ,Queensland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

Oh the soap was really nice and the pen.I simply cannot believe that people can call this place ' amazing or fantastic.What a joke.The rooms spacious??? are you kidding me.We were placed in a tiny room that was suposed to have a king size bed in it.A king size bed wouldn't fit in that room.(requested as my wife is 6 ft + and has a bad back).I had to argue it out with staff that it wasn't a king bed.It also was voiced that it was for our anniversary and we were placed beside the main pool area.(just what you need on a romantic weekend-kids playing at 7am)THERE WAS NO BALCONY OR WINDOWS-just some aluminium louvers that give little to no view or airflow, you do realise its get very hot up in the tropics.Apparently however there is such a thing as a king size zip bed which is Mantras' version.oh but it's the same--just smaller than a normal one.???We had to prove that we had breakfast included in our deal and produce paperwork.Oh, its a 'continental breakfast' some tinned fruit, cereal, some bread and a toaster, some ham and some cheese slices .No salt or pepper to be seen anywhere.My wife had asked( in an email as a surprise for me) for Champagne and chocolates be left in our room when checking in(at a price which is fine),nothing was mentioned or seen.So when asked we were told to 'check the fridge'.No champagne glasses supplied or offer of ice/bucket.
To try to resolve the issue( all this was done quite repectfully and calm i didnt want any boats rocked and didnt want to upset my wife , it was our 1st Anniversary) we were show 2 other rooms.One room pretty much exactly to same just on another floor closer to the pool area.(WHY i don't know..).The other which had a kitchenette, and sitting area,with a balcony area. Given little to no choice i said we would take it-since there was no way they could give us a king size bed or any other rooms.It's an extra $40 a night...!
We weren't given what we paid for, we certainly weren't treated with any compensation, we had to pay extra for a reasonable room.The english lady who had to deal with us was very nice and of course trying to help the situation but i could see her hands were tied from the manager.
We have travelled a lot.We have stayed in many hotels all over the world.I worked in hospitality for many years.I am certainly not a person who carries on and makes too much of a fuss or expects things i dont pay for or expect.I'd like to think i am courteous and respectful of staff whether at a local pub, a luxury resort or the supermarket.We are not well off and have to save for such luxuries as an anniversary away.
Who designed and built the monstrosity-it is a maze of halls and doors-possibly one of the worst designed resorts ever,take a compas and a GPS to get out.
I ran into serveral other people in town during our stay, that were staying at Portsea too and they all said the same thing-this is just not one person airing a grievance.
After looking about we had discovered better deals and much better hotels around the area.My biggest regret is that i didnt read through all the reviews before we booked as there are several with the same comments as I have.The pictures do NOT tell the story here!!
I will be contacting Wotif and letting them know of this too. This was suposed to be 4 STAR--this is far from it, and the only way we got near a second or 4rth star is we had to pay more for it!!

And to you Mr/Ms Manger..I do not expect you to comment.I expected you to deliver what you advertised, to instruct your staff to make compensation for your hotels short commings and to act like someone holding your postion with proffessionalism.It would not have taken much..So if this letter only but helps take that measly $120 out of your profits,if not more, that you charged us extra, then my job is done.A little goes a long way.
When asked that 'did you realise by treating us this way i would leave this review'- and the smug way you had said 'you welcome all feed back-it helps monitor the hotels business'-well i hope this helps you!
Just like word of mouth and Trip advisor-it is the best/ or worst form of advertisment.!
Look about people there is better for the same $$, and you may even get what you pay for!

Oh and the pen broke after a few days too,,, so i guess its down to the lovely soap.

If you look at the pic, there is aboit 1.5 foot on this side and i am up against the small fridge to take this.on the right is where a couple of sets of louvers opens,,no windows, no view, and open to all noise,the door on other side enters the tiny bathroom. Its very hard to pass each other .
The leather satchel in the picture is
approx 38cm wide x approx 4 wide= 153cm = queen bed..=room tiny noisy hot box
Nothing bigger was seen.or offered..

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HECrampton, General Manager at Mantra PortSea, responded to this review, November 8, 2012
To TrippinRob, thank you for taking your time to write such a lengthy review of your stay at Mantra Portsea. I can see you are clearly frustrated and appologise that the room you booked did not reach your expectations.

The room you booked and paid for was a hotel room through a ‘mystery deal’ on wotif, which does indeed state that the hotel rooms have a kingzip bed available. All of our Hotel rooms do have this bedding, it was a pure unfortunate circumstance that the unit you were booked into originally , the bedding had been swapped between the 2 adjoining rooms without our knowledge. This is extremely rare occurrence which has been rectified immediately. You were given an alternate hotel room option immediately that had the king bed but you declined this offer. The size of the Kingzip beds is the true size of an industry standard king bed, as supplied by commercial bedding companies for hotels. Regarding the location of the room, as it was your anniversary we opted to give you a lagoon view room as we thought this would be a nice option as most guests really enjoy the lagoon location.

The room that you opted to move to was actually 2 room types higher than the room you had booked and paid for. The one bedroom studio is a larger room type and does have the kitchenette facilities, spa bath, balcony and much more space. This is why you were charged to upgrade as you were moving to a different room type all together. The rate you were given to upgrade was actually discounted.

Our breakfast as stated on your reservation is ‘continental buffet’ and is included in the majority of our bookings as a complementary service to our guests. Our continental buffet breakfast is not limited as mentioned, it actually consists of five types of cereal, four types of bread (including gluten free), pastries (croissants, muffins and crumpets), ham, cheese, fruit salad (both freshly made every morning, tinned peaches/pears and whole fruits eg apple and oranges), two varieties of yoghurt, two choices of juice, coffee (machine in which you can choose your favourite coffee eg latte) and tea, including herbal options. There are lovely cafes in town should guests seek a full cooked breakfast.

As you mentioned it does get very hot up here in the tropics which is why we must place all food and wine in the fridges for our guests. If we were to leave the chocolates and wine out on the bench and you were to arrive later in the evening the chocolates and ice in the ice buckets would melt and not be of use. Sorry if this caused confusion for you, our intention was to ensure the gifts were ready to enjoy when you arrived.

Unfortunately you did not speak with me during your stay, so I apologise that you were under the impression the management gave you a smug reply. That is not our level of service and it is disappointing to hear that is how any comments by staff was taken. I do however agree with our staff, we do welcome all feedback and yes it certainly does help us monitor the hotels business. We agree that trip advisor is an important forum. Our staff are given levels of authority to resolve guest complaints and we operate to the best of our ability within our procedures and policies to ensure we are achieving the highest possible result for our guests. We cannot be making decisions outside of reasonable parameters just because a guest advised that they will post a trip advisor review if we cannot take the action they request. It’s important to us that we our guests have an enjoyable time and we welcome all feedback so we can continue to strive for the best.

So I do thank you very much for taking your time to post your review on your stay, your feedback was appreciated and duly noted.

Kindest Regards
Kyla Sippel
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Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

I have stayed in this property 3 times now... I just cant go past it. Yes there are other bigger better hotels but I would rather save those few extra dollars to spend on activities.
This hotel has a great pool! A pool bar which makes great cocktails... and is walking distance to the main street where there are shops and restaurants etc.
Staff are very friendly and helpful, the only reason this property gets the 4 instead of 5 stars is because they dont have a restaurant on site... but other than that I cannot flaw the Portsea.
Do yourself a favour and stay there.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
HECrampton, General Manager at Mantra PortSea, responded to this review, November 8, 2012
Dear krystal g, Thank you very much for your positive review of our resort as well as your continued loyalty to Mantra Portsea. We are so grateful to have wonderful repeat clientele that we see year after year. We are glad that you have such an enjoyable holiday. Your comments about our staff are appreciated. We truly do love our working environment and doing all we can to make our guests happy. We hope that we can continue to make your holidays memorable and look forward to seeing you again soon.
Kindest Regards
Kyla Sippel
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

It was our first time in Port Douglas (wife and I and three year old) and we thoroughly enjoyed our nine day stay at the Portsea. My daughter & I loved the huge lagoon style pool and the beach was just a short walk away. Lots of other kids in the pool too so it is a good choice if travelling as a family. The room was clean and well laid out with a great view of the lagoon pool. I requested a cartain type of room and was pleased that my request was met. I liked the fact that the room was serviced daily. I could relax and not feel I needed to tidy up after my daughter ready for the cleaner. The pool lighting and flame torches at night were a nice touch. The walk isn't too far into town but with a three year old we tended to catch the shuttle bus most of the time. Breakfast was nice although I think finishing at 9:30am is a bit early. The other thing to be mindful of is there is no real dinner or room service option. The pool bar menu is a bit limited and is only available up to about 6pm. Having a semi kitchen with full fridge out weighed this though as we just made sure we were stocked up with food. It was handy with a bottle shop, Chinese & Japanese restaurants just across the road too.
If we ever have the opportunity we wouldn't hesitate staying here again.

Room Tip: It's worth paying the extra to get a pool view. The doors and windows are very good at blocking...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
HECrampton, General Manager at Mantra PortSea, responded to this review, October 21, 2012
Hi AussieGuy1,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on your stay at Mantra PortSea.

The shuttle bus that leaves across the road from the Resort is definitely a service worth taking advantage of for parents with young children. Being able to buy 1 day, 3 day and weekly passes also makes it a bit more cost effective for families.

Lighting the flares around the pool at night really sets the atmosphere for a relaxing tropical holiday for guests. They can enjoy a lovely meal on their balcony overlooking the pool with the added serenity of the flares.

We do always work our hardest to ensure all of our guests requests are met and we are only too happy that we could meet all of your requests. We value your feedback and look forward to welcoming you back to Mantra PortSea.

Kind Regards,
Kyla Sippel
General Manager
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Buderim, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

We had one of the best stays ever here at port sea. Everything was terrific. The staff were excellent and did everything they could to help you. The pool area was amazing. Everyone just lived in it. They had a pool bar which was great. It was right next to an amazing beach. The tennis courts were top notch so we did not even have to leave to have a holiday. There was underground private parking and was about 1km from the centre of town. Very clean and the rooms were excellent. Thanks Mantra so much.

Room Tip: Higher floors have great views.
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  • Stayed September 2012, 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
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HECrampton, General Manager at Mantra PortSea, responded to this review, October 21, 2012
Hi Heather R,
Thank you for your glowing review of Mantra PortSea.

We are very pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us at Mantra PortSea.
Our swim up pool bar is a facility that guests enjoy whilst staying with us at Mantra PortSea. With light meals, ice creams and a fully licensed bar what more could you need!

Guests enjoy our location here as we are close to town and only a stone’s throw from the beautiful Four Mile Beach. There is nothing better than a nice walk back to your accommodation along the beach after dining at some of Port Douglas best restaurants.

Our staff work extremely hard to ensure our guests enjoy their stay here with us at Mantra PortSea and we are only too pleased to thank you for recognising their achievements.
We hope to welcome you back to Mantra PortSea again sometime soon.

Kind Regards,
Kyla Sippel
General Manager
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Additional Information about Mantra PortSea

Also Known As:
Mantra Portsea Port Douglas
Mantra Portsea Resort Port Douglas
Address: 76 Davidson Street, Port Douglas, Queensland 4877, Australia (Formerly BreakFree Portsea Resort)
Location: Australia > Queensland > Port Douglas
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#13 Romantic Hotel in Port Douglas
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Port Douglas
#21 Family Hotel in Port Douglas
#22 Luxury Hotel in Port Douglas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Mantra PortSea 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mantra Portsea Resort is a short walk to golden beaches and Port Douglas’ main tourist strip on Macrossan Street. The resort offers hotel rooms, one and two bedroom studio apartments. Facilities include three swimming pools, a waterslide, spas and waterfalls linked by a central lagoon with a swim-up pool bar serving drinks and light snacks, exercise room, tennis court, 24 hour reception, barbecue facilities, breakfast room, guest laundry, internet room, PortSea massage room (by appointment), undercover parking. ... more   less 
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