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“We loved it here...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Port Douglas Retreat

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Port Douglas Retreat
3.5 of 5 Condominium   |   31 - 33 Mowbray Street, Port Douglas, Queensland 4877, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Chelmsford, Essex, England.
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
“We loved it here...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012

After our 2 night stay at the Desert Gardens Hotel, Uluru (please see my review if interested) we land at Cairns early evening and take the one hour transfer to Port Douglas dropping off at Trinity Beach and Palm Cove enroute.
Port Douglas is lovely and our home for the next 8 nights is the Retreat.
Our travel advisor listened to our requirements and budget etc, and recommended Port Douglas as a great location to stay at. Cairns is big and doesn’t have a beach apparently but mudflats. The Northern Beaches, Trinity and Palm Cove are nice but quite small resorts. Port Douglas is in-between and has lots of shops and restaurants but a nice manageable size if you stay in the main area. And it has the gorgeous 4 mile tropical beach. It is also home to the Quicksilver Barrier Reef cruises and tours, and is convenient for the Daintree Rain Forest and Cape Tribulation as they are to the north of here.
Port Douglas itself does extend a few miles to the south so you do need to check on Google where your accommodation is situated, otherwise you might need a car to get to the main area.
There is some sort of local shuttle bus but public transport is fairly limited around these parts.
The Retreat, though, on Mowbray Street is situated in a perfect location, very quiet but very convenient. Walk around 5 minutes to your left and you come to the Marina, 5 minutes to your right and you come to 4 mile beach and the main swimming net. Walk straight ahead for around 5 minutes and you come to Macrossan Street, the main street with shops, pubs, restaurants, and takeaways. There is a big Coles supermarket here and several bottle shops.
Unlike our serviced accommodation in Sydney the Retreat is self catering and this is reflected in the price. You get a few supplies to start you off but these won’t be replaced.
We stayed for 8 nights so got fresh sheets and towels mid-stay, if you stay for any less nights then they are not changed. But you can request fresh linen for a fee of around A$27- This is quite reasonable and I think we would pay this if we were staying for say one week.
We had a pool view studio apartment and very nice it was indeed. Perhaps a little more rustic than the professional website photos portray, but it was perfect for our requirements.
The air-con was very noisy, but we found that in Australia generally. There was a ceiling fan which is quite efficient, so we tended just to leave that on during the night.
We particularly enjoyed the balcony with its lovely views over the pool, with the trees and gas flares that surround it. We would often eat out here in the evening and it was just perfect with a cold glass of something in the lovely November warmth.
The only criticism I have is around a possible lack of privacy on our balcony. We had room 8 I think it was and the balcony had a concrete screen to the right but nothing to its left. Because of the building’s design, room 9 to our left was further forward and so its balcony overlooked ours and ours theirs to some extent. Presumably the same situation with room 10 to their left. They were rarely out there so it wasn’t a problem really but it might be for some people.
There is also some petty rule about not smoking on the balconies or patios but people seem to ignore this, the young couple below us had a dish full of butts and no one bothered them, so no worries there.
The pool is open to 10pm and people enjoy swimming in the dark under the light of the flares.
There is a covered BBQ area and fridge for guests use, and some tables and seating if you want to eat down there.
There is a coin operated laundry room, and soap powder is available at reception.
David & Joyce who run the place are very helpful. We had pre-booked some tours and Joyce kindly rang the various places and confirmed our pick-up times etc. They can book trips and tours for you as well, and there is a wide selection of leaflets at reception.
They don’t have computer facilities for guests but there is an internet place up in the main street if you need to do any online check-in or emails etc...
We thought Port Douglas was just lovely, especially the area where the Old Court House is, and the little white church by the beach. They regularly have weddings here on a Saturday and we enjoyed chatting to the lady minister after one.
And of course 4 mile beach, fringed and shaded with coconut palms it was just gorgeous. We swam in the stinger net of course, but the sea was so warm.
We did the Barrier Reef, Daintree, and Kuranda train and Skyrail tours, loved them and I’ll review them separately when I get the time.
But at this price range I would certainly recommend the Retreat, and of course Port Douglas.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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186 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012 via mobile

I stayed here for 5 nights and I was most impressed with Port douglas retreat. Firstly, the location is ideal. A 5 minute walk to beautiful Four mile beach and a stones throw away from local bars, cafes and restsurants. David and Joyce are very welcoming and they will book all your excursions and day trips, which is one less thing to worry about. Plus they have a wealth of info on all the trips and can offer great advice to help you choose. The rooms are clean and well maintained. I stayed in a pool view room which was beautiful. The room has a two hob cooker, kettlw, toaster, microwave and crockery. Plus there are two communal BBQ which have everything you need. Ideal utensils if on a budget or your get sick of eating out. I would recommend this place to my friends and family and if I were to visit P.douglas again then this is where I'd stay.

Sean & Helen

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PDRetreat, Owner at Port Douglas Retreat, responded to this review, December 10, 2012
Thank you for your kind words and thank you for choosing us for your holidays.
We are so glad that we could help you enjoy your holidays. We enjoyed having you stay with us.

Our location is often mentioned as being ideal. Being so close to the beach and restaurants means that you do not need to get shuttle buses or have long walks to get anywhere.

Your tours would have been great, you certainly had a wonderful variety and you experienced some great adventures.

We do hope the next time you need a tropical holiday you will stay with us.
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Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Port Douglas Retreat. David and Joyce were very warm and welcoming, as well as insightful and readily able to provide local advice. The ability to book tours and activities directly from the reception also facilitated our stay. All of our small requests were met generously, which enabled us to feel well taken care of during our holiday. We also liked the facilities in our room, such as the kitchenette and balcony area, which allowed us to cater for various needs. Additionally, the atmosphere of the Retreat and particularly the lovely pool area was a highlight for us. We definitely feel that the Port Douglas Retreat is situated in a prime location for any travellers, particularly due to its proximity to the main street and beach. We loved our time at the Retreat and highly recommend it to anyone thinking of travelling to Port Douglas.

Room Tip: We asked for a quiet room and were provided for. The only issue was the noisy air con.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PDRetreat, Owner at Port Douglas Retreat, responded to this review, December 6, 2012
Thank you for your review and also thank you for staying with us. We are happy to read that we could help you relax and enjoy your holidays in Port Douglas.

Your title 'A little piece of paradise' is very kind. We try very hard to have our property look and feel like it belongs in the tropics. We are glad that you found your piece of paradise.

If you need to have another relaxing tropical holiday we hope you would consider staying with us again.
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Brisbane, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

We had a wonderful week in Port Douglas and David and Joyce helped to make it a lovely experience. We had a room overlooking the pool which was delightful. The garden was very pretty and the pool and BBQ area always kept clean. The rooms had everything you'd want for self catering and the large double bed was great. We did a lot of the usual tours whilst there and David and Joyce were always on hand to give advice. They recommended one of our best days out which was "Authentic Aboriginal" with two brothers who took us out spear fishing for crabs and fish which we ate at their mothers house later. That was followed by visiting a local Aboriginal artist and took part in painting ourselves. The day ended with a swim in a rainforest waterfall where we learnt a lot from our guide about local life in that area. Chris

Room Tip: The room on first floor facing pool was good for us.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PDRetreat, Owner at Port Douglas Retreat, responded to this review, December 5, 2012
We thank ChrisLee2012 very much for their kind words. It is very encouraging to read that you enjoyed your holidays so much.
We are also very happy to read that we could provide everything you needed for your holidays and that you enjoyed our pool and BBQ area. We receive many positive comments about our pool and BBQ area, the area is enjoyed by many.
The Daintree Dreaming tour run by the Aboriginal brothers, we also agree is a great tour. We have done this tour and enjoyed it immensely. We recommend this tour often for our guests.
We hope one day you can return to Port Douglas Retreat.
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Wollongong, Australia
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

Everything very good EXCEPT the Air conditioning was SO NOISY!
Otherwise the bed was comfortable, the pool was lovely, the amenities were fine for a serve yourself apartment. David and Joyce were very helpful with booking trips and local knowledge, etc. Close to everything
If visiting Port Douglas in peak season - when you only need the fan (not the AC) this place is perfect.
I only wish I could give it 5 stars - but the ACon was too noisy!

Room Tip: Room 30 ("tree view") is away from the pool, so more private (even though overlooking anot...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
PDRetreat, Owner at Port Douglas Retreat, responded to this review, November 27, 2012
We are happy to read that you enjoyed your holidays so much and also enjoyed the tours we recommended for you. You came at at very special time to witness the total solar eclipse and we are glad that you were able to be here. We are also glad that you found us almost perfect.

We are sorry that you found the aircon not to your liking, but also happy to read in Room Tips that you are recommending guests to stay in the same apartment you stayed in. Perhaps the operational noise was just the normal sound of its function. We have many guests mention that they like the tree view apartments for the same reasons you found.

It is good that we can offer two types of apartments.For some, the open pool view apartments are just what they want and enjoy, while others enjoy the tree view apartments.

We hope to see you again the next time you are in Port Douglas.
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Hillam
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

Convenient location, comfortable well equipped apart hotel syle rooms and lovely grounds and gardens. For us, as long stay travellers in Australia with a degree of self catering in our routine, the barbecue area overlooking the beautiful pool, the kitchenette in the apartment and laundry facilities were an important draw.

Room Tip: Balance your priorities and state them when you book. Lovely corner room tree view room also has b...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

We went to Port Douglas as a jumping off point to snorkel and visit Daintree National Park. We had our own car, so the location was great. You can easily walk to the many nearby restaurants in town and is 5 minutes from marina for snorkeling (You can walk there too, but we were picked up) The units are clean and have adequate kitchen for fixing breakfast, but we didn't use it.Think it would be difficult to make dinner as pretty tight. This is not a hotel, but a room with cooking facilities - no service to change towels or make the bed. OK for our needs, but after a long flight from the USA would have preferred a little more luxury, but his does not seem to be available in this location. If you want to be on the beach book elsewhere, although you can easily walk to the beach, nicer sections are further away. The staff here is helpful in terms of driving and info. without being pushy and trying to sell anything. Parking is free. The pool is lovely, but we had our days booked with other activities. Never heard any noise from pool or elsewhere at night.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Port Douglas Retreat

Address: 31 - 33 Mowbray Street, Port Douglas, Queensland 4877, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Port Douglas
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #21 of 55 Specialty Lodging in Port Douglas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Port Douglas Retreat 3.5*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
IDEAL ACCOMMODATION IN PORT DOUGLAS. Port Douglas Retreat Holiday Accommodation offers self-contained studio apartments in Port Douglas, Far North Queensland, Australia. Perfect holiday accommodation for couples or single travellers. EXCELLENT LOCATION. Port Douglas Retreat Holiday Accommodation is superbly located just a few minutes' walk to Four Mile Beach or Macrossan Street and Marina Mirage. VISITOR INFORMATION. With an in-house tour desk and local knowledge, your hosts can help create your wonderful Port Douglas experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
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