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“Stay away - Not a resort- Swarmed with day trippers” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Green Island Resort

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Green Island Resort
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   Green Island, Great Barrier Reef, Green Island, Queensland 4870, Australia   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Green Island
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cairns Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Stay away - Not a resort- Swarmed with day trippers”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

My husband and I spent our anniversary here (we live in Cairns) and can't believe people come from all over the world to have a Great Barrier Reef Island experience here and pay the $$$$ they do. The island and resort only caters to the the Day Tourist market and if you are a resort guest the only place to hide from the swarm of day tourists on this tiny island is at the resort pool interior to the resort with no view of the beach. Once the swarm leaves at 4:30 that arrived at 9 you find you can now come out to roam but don't expect anything to be open. If you have the money go to Lizard Island, or on a medium budget go the Fitzroy Island a great value. I have noticed that Fitzroy has started some day tours as well hope they don't ruin it. The amount of fish seen a Green Island snorkeling under the pier is better than Ftizroy but Fitzroy has more snorkeling area and chances to see more variety. Go on day trip snorkeling withe the dive shop.

Room Tip: Ask to be away from the bird poop smell, too pungent to sit on the patio and can't open the wind...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
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524 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (97)
Date | Rating
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English first
Whitstable, United Kingdom
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

That is what is written in the literature at the resort but you won't find it on Green Island Resort or Thomas Cook promotional material. My rough calculation is that this means the average daily count is around 800 people on an island that is 600m/250m.

We stayed on GI for 6 days at the end of an otherwise excellent 3 weeks in Australia. The idea was that we would have a relaxing Great barrier Reef experience at the end of a multi site trip. We did not expect to share the island with boat load after boat load of day trippers. The island is geared to the day visitors who pack the area outside reception and spend their money in the food court. Yes - food court - like you get at a shopping mall or airport terminal.

Positive element - the room is nicely furnished. However, the view from the terrace was trees (don't expect a nice beach view - the alternative is a swimming pool view). Also the room is very dark. There are 2 reasons: the trees and the fact that the bathroom is next to the passageway so you need to draw the blinds if you don't want other guests and staff to see you in all your glory emerging from the shower.

After the day visitors leave at around 4.30, everything except the main restaurant closes, including the pool bar and the spa - after all, the main money generating body has gone. That leaves you with the main restaurant as the only place to grab a beer. The restaurant food was overpriced and poor in quality - we had to send back a pizza that was burnt.

The snorkeling is also very poor. We are used to the Maldives but have always wanted to snorkel on the "Barrier Reef" - this was not the barrier reef of my imagination. After two days trying to find the coral following instructions from the Dive shop and the life guards, we realised that a small area of soft coral and anemone was the extent. There were a few patches only of hard coral and very few fish.

Should I go on? The supervised beach is small (around 50m) and packed with the day trippers. The main pool is shared with the hundreds of day visitors. An attraction is the crocodile park where they keep salt crocodiles and turtles in a small area and sell you artifacts. If you go on a trip to the outer reef (as we did) you will see plenty of dead hard coral and a few fish.

Overall a big disappointment.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

My husband and I spent 3 nights on Green Island after staying in Cairns for a night. It was even better than we anticipated.

The accommodations themselves are clean, comfortable, and modern, but the main reasons to stay at the resort are for the immediate snorkeling opportunities (no need to take a ferry out for the day, because you can snorkel right along the island) and the feeling of privacy and tranquility of being on your own private island (after the day trippers leave).

As a guest of the resort all of your snorkeling gear is complemetary including lifejackets. As someone who can't swim and is generally afraid of the water, I didn't expect to be able to take advantage of the snorkeling opportunities, but with the lifejacket, I was able to snorkel with no problem and saw so many cool things including sea turtles, stingrays, lobsters, gorgeous tropical fish, and of course lots of reef.

There is a glass bottom boat tour you can catch on the island, which is also complementary for resort guests. It's a cool experience and only a half an hour long, so I would recommend doing that while there.

I would also recommend taking advantage of some of the activities offered for guests, such as the evening nature walk where you will see lots of little crabs walking around on the beach, and the star gazing, which is done from the jetty. They bring out a celestron telescope to enhance the experience. The stars are so clear from the island, and for those from the Northern Hemisphere, it's especially cool to observe how all of the constellations appear upside down from what you're accustomed to.

One other activity they have is a fish feeding, which is also done from the jetty after the day trippers leave. Large fish, including reef sharks, have learned that this feeding happens everyday at the same location, so they congregate in the water awaiting the food. If you're staying at the resort multiple nights and a brave snorkeler, I recommend going to the fish feeding the first afternoon, so you know where it happens. Then the next day you could snorkel out to that area at the time of the feeding and get an amazing show, with all of the large fish and reef sharks (which aren't really dangerous to humans.)

Shortly before sunset (and right after the fish feeding) they offer complementary champagne, beer, and juice by the beach, which is nice.

When visiting the Great Barrier Reef/Cairns area I would say staying at least one night at the Green Island Resort is a must. I wish I could be transported there right now!

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 4 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.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

Can't really say anything bad about Green Island. The staff were amazing from the word go. Really bent over backwards to help with anything and everything. The Island itself is stunning and I'm amazed at how clean and pristine it is considering how many tourists visit each day. We were fortunate to get a great deal to stay overnight as it was their "off" season although nothing about our stay was "off". I had read reviews on here before our stay that said snorkelling was best at the outer reef and that Green Island didn't have much to offer re: fish and coral. This could not be further from the truth. Clearly the people that wrote those reviews didn't snorkel in the right places. My partner and I saw beautiful coral and fish, giant clams, reef sharks, sting rays and even sea turtles on both days. My advice to anyone considering a trip to Green Island is stay overnight if you can. From the moment we arrived we were treated to every activity and amenity the Island and Resort had to offer. The rooms are clean, spacious, and best of all, allow peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the daytrippers (although they really weren't that bad). We also got enjoy the fish feeding, sunset drinks, star gazing and night bush walk that commence after the last boat has left the Island at 4:30pm. There are plenty of things to do and see on Green Island and, thanks to its relatively small size, it's easy to get around and experience it all. That said, the rooms and resort pool area are quiet and perfect for lounging around. The safety and advice provided by staff makes Green Island ideal for kids but it's also obviously a beautiful and romantic place for couples as well. Snorkelling was definitely the highlight for me but there is so much about Green Island to love. If you're looking for a wonderful island holiday with excellent service then get yourself to Green Island now!

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013 via mobile

We spent 2 nights & 3 days on Green Island and loved it. All the staff did a great job and were very helpfull,especially Sandy who we booked with.
We used the kayaks, went on the glass bottom boat a few times, went on the nature walk one evening, snorkled in the clear ocean, fed the fish both nights and my wife & son got in and swam with a couple of reef sharks. Don't miss the sunset drinks.
The rooms are a good size and very clean. The restuarant is nice but a bit expensive.
We would recommend Green Island to anyone.
The Brown Family - Port Macquarie

  • Stayed September 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

Came here on my own for a short break. The staff were wonderful. They were quick with service and have amazing local knowledge. I was a bit apprehensive about getting in the water on my own so they suggested I go on the guided snorkeling tour at the outer reef which was the best! They were also very accommodating in the last minute changes to my itinerary.

On the way back to Cairns, I casually mentioned I have only seen one turtle so one of the crew was helping me spot them.

I would thoroughly recommend this resort and would definitely come back again. The outer reef trip was included in my package and I would avoid Monday and Tuesdays as they are the most popular days with the day trippers

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Earls Colne, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

As most other reviews have said, this is a gorgeous island and a little bit of paradise that you can visit. However, you do have to wait until 4.30 once all the day trippers have gone to really appreciate the island.

Rooms are large, comfy and modern with ice cold air conditioning and fabulous balconies. The resort pool is nice and a lovely place to relax too. The smell in the bathroom can be off-putting due to the recycled water in the toilets!

The restaurant is totally over-priced with indifferent service (they did not write our order down and subsequently forgot part of it), limited choice but good food.

When the day-trippers leave at 4.30pm, you also get the feeling you are slightly abandoned. The life guards leave, the shops close, you cant buy snacks etc. It sort of makes you feel you should not be there!

However, the scenery is breathtaking, the wildlife extraordinary, the sea gorgeous and warm and its a relaxing place to be.

The service and personal attention needs a desperate upgrade to match the image of the resort.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Green Island Resort

Address: Green Island, Great Barrier Reef, Green Island, Queensland 4870, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Queensland > Green Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Green Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Green Island Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located 27 km across the Coral Sea from Cairns in Tropical North Queensland, Green Island Resort is luxury on the Great Barrier Reef. With just 46 suites nestled amongst the rainforest and secluded from the day visitor facilities, this world-class eco-sensitive resort offers a unique blend of luxurious accommodation, first class service and unparalleled access to the Great Barrier Reef. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Green Island Hotel Cairns

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