We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Just lovely” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Port Douglas Retreat

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Save Saved
You added Port Douglas Retreat to your Saves list
Port Douglas Retreat
3.5 of 5 Condominium   |   31 - 33 Mowbray Street, Port Douglas, Queensland 4877, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Norwich
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Just lovely”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

This is a lovely family run apartment hotel. As part of our Australia tour we stayed here the longest as the relaxing beach holiday section.
The room we had was pool view on 1st floor, good studio size room with comfortable beds, small sofa to watch tv, decent size balcony for dining on, large bathroom that is just a corner shower. The kitchen area is very small which was tricky for preparing salads but somehow manageable. No oven so for our Christmas dinner we wrapped chicken in bacon with stuffing in tinfoil and left on the good BBQ area by the pool. Everything you may need is generally there. The air con is good but noisy so we just had the fan on at night.
The hotel has a garage which was good for us as we had come by hire car to give us a bit of freedom to travel, even to the wildlife area that is up the road but a very long way up the road. The pool is lovely to swim in, and the surrounding area is decked nicely. Not that many sunbeds but there is a beach five minutes up the road, and if there were any more then the decking would become overcrowded. There is plenty of information about tours in the area at reception.
The main shopping road is nearby with a good variety of cafes and bars, a small market on Sunday I think it was, plus Coles supermarket set back slightly from the main shopping road.
We took a trip on the quicksilver outer reef which was smooth (me and mum aren't good on boats). Like all tours, try to sell you all the extras, the main thing (as well as being very overcrowded although having a large pontoon area) was this whole swimsuit thing for $7. I am allergic to insect bites and stings so was convinced the jellyfish would get me while snorkelling. Just sitting at the pontoon there were many small ones floating around me, and promptly I swam through them, and I did not get stung. So it seems a farce as I'd say 200 of the 300 onboard hired the suits so made the company a nice $1400.
Back to the hotel! It is in a great location, lovely pool and BBQ area, the guys know a lot about the area and suggest some good tours to do, and the room is a good apartment, however the wifi was the most expensive on our tour around Australia so didn't use it. But the hotel has a great retreat feel with all the vegetation and trees around making it feel secluded. Great little place.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

178 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    85
    70
    18
    2
    3
See reviews for
13
117
12
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 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 (59)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Surfers Paradise, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

We stayed 4 nights at the Port Douglas retreat during the weekend before New Year. Apon arrival I inquired about a reef trip and was told by David about the various options available. Later in the day when I came back to confirm my booking David and his wife Joyce were attending to two other guests about their bookings to the reef aswell. I was informed that every boat going out to the reef the next day was completely full. They seemed very overwhelmed by the amount of guests inquiring and appeared to be a bit frazzled. When I was asked, I clearly stated that I was able to go the day after or the next. David did not understand this and told me that it wasn't his fault that he could not book me onto a boat the next day. His tone when pressed as to why he didnt suggest I book it when I first arrived, as surely he knew then that he had a full house was sarcastic and patronising. He then proceeded to serve another guest. His wife, Joyce jumped in and was able to book our trip two days later as she obviously understood that was ok with us. When I questioned her about the booking cancellation policy (there was a cyclone off the coast at the time) she was very abrupt in her retort and replied "Oh great, now you want to cancell after ALL our hard work!" I did no want to cancel,l but was concerned about not getting my money back, as it was almost $450 for two people. Clearly listening and customer service skills are lacking. We had been looking forward to this trip for two years and were advised to book our trip according to the weather, otherwise I would have booked it before we left home, in France. Although the resort was very clean and at a great location, we were very disappointed about this experience.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 1 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.
PDRetreat, Owner at Port Douglas Retreat, responded to this review, January 10, 2013
We always try our best and help guests with whatever they ask as the other reviews on this site testify.

We tried so hard to help this guest from our own state of Queensland. This was Christmas week, school holidays and we were asked to book a snorkel tour for the next morning.

The guest approached us at 5:45pm and asked us to book a snorkel tour for the following morning. When we told her that the her first choice of boat was already fully booked, we were blamed for not asking her upon morning arrival, if they wanted to go snorkelling the following morning. We normally check guests-in and show them to their rooms in a timely manner. We do not waste guest's time asking about tours as soon as they arrive, as there are so many tours on offer. Most guests prefer to go to their rooms, rest and freshen up after the travels first.

At 5:45pm, we rang every company looking for two seats, we secured two but was told by the guest she did not want this boat so we rang more. After we exhausted all our options we rang back to the first company to try and secure the first two seats but these had already sold.

We suggested to travel to the inner reef as we could still get seats. The guest then explained to her partner why the outer reef, in her opinion, was better and that she didn't want to travel to the inner reef. While she was explaining this to her partner, we served other guests.

When the guest had finished her explanation, we managed to find two seats and book another boat for Sunday. We were then asked what is the cancellation policy for this second choice of boat. We were never told about her worry about a cyclone in Fiji some 3500km away, in fact she told us it was in case she took ill before the departure.

So after reading this review we are still unsure what her reasons were for asking about cancelling her tour which we has spent about half an hour trying to secure. We know it was not our guests first choice of boat, but it was the best we could do.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for a week at the end of June, and from start to finish David and Joyce went above and beyond to be helpful and make us feel at home! We had 2 lovely apartments next to each other. The pool, patio, and grill were lovely for cooking and catching up after a day of sightseeing. Walking to the beach or town was a breeze. An ideal location, quiet but near everything. David was super helpful booking our favorite tour to the Daintree Rainforest. His recommendations were excellent for any questions we had regarding tours or restaurants. Definitely a gem in Port Douglas!

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
london
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

The Port Douglas Retreat comprises serviced apartments, set in lush, peaceful tropical gardens a few minutes walk from the lovely 4 mile beach and from the centre of town. Book a first floor apartment overlooking the pool if you can. The apartments are contemporary, plainly but tastefully furnished and an absolute bargain at $99 a night in the off season. Our apartment comprised a kingsize bed, small lounge, kitchenette and en suite. There's a landscaped swimming pool with waterfall and a couple of BBQs on the patio which you can use, as well as private, secure off street parking. David and Joyce who manage the Retreat are really friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and efficient. The retreat's much, much better value than some of the hostels and cheaper hotels, and in a better location and ideal for couples and families. Our only real improvement would be for free WiFi in the rooms. Overall a great place to stay in a lovely small town.

Room Tip: Book a first floor room with a pool view
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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.
Chelmsford, Essex, England.
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
119 helpful votes 119 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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 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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
See more room tips
  • 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
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 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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Price Your Stay

Been to Port Douglas Retreat? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 54 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia, Priceline, Agoda, Odigeo and Tingo so you can book your Port Douglas Retreat reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Port Douglas Retreat Hotel Port Douglas

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Port Douglas Retreat, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.

;