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“Dissappointed” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection

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The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   99 Williams Esplanade, Palm Cove, Queensland 4879, Australia (Formerly Sebel Reef House)   |  
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Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Palm Cove
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Dissappointed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013 via mobile

Very unimpressed.
Staff were rude sloppy and unkept. In the mornings we went down for our complimentary breakfasts and received no smiles or "good mornings" just a rude "what's your room number, it cost $10 to upgrade". We didn't upgrade and the basic breakfast was fine ( fruit, yogurt, toast, cereal) however on the second day the fruit had mostly gone bad. When my partner asked for soy milk for her coffee she was huffed at before being given a tiny drop of milk.
On our first night we were told that our were playing music too loud in our room. ( keep in mind it was 4pm and we were playing our iPod from a tiny iPod dock that the hotel provided. )
We turned the music off IMMEDIATELY and yet were told of by a very rude staff member AGAIN when we walked down stairs for dinner. This staff member argued with us for 10 minutes and was very patronising just because we are two young ladies. ( one a successful lawyer, the other a high school teacher - not in the business of trouble making).
The next morning we were rudely told off for the music AGAIN by the manager who was rude and very messy looking sweating and shirt untucked - Not what we expect from a '5 star resort'.
The room it's self was ok but very boring and you couldn't shut the windows properly - probably a bad idea in a tropical environment. The bugs were shocking.
On our second day the resort was doing heavy Maintenance for the entire day - drilling, hammering and making heaps of noise. Really ruined our last day there we didn't want to sit by the pool as we couldn't even hear each other talk.
No warning of this disturbance and no apologies.
The evening punch which we were looking forward too was a joke, a sad looking bowl of juice sitting alone in a bench with no one around in sight, including staff, to stop the flies from swimming it.
We would have loved to talk management about our horrible experience however on our last day at check out there was no "how was your stay?" just a swipe of the credit card.
Having had a read of all the prior comments below it is clear that whenever a bad review is put up someone from the resort tries to justify their bad behaviour and blame the customer, so ild love to state in advance the customer is always right (especially when paying $320 per night) and the staff here do need some training in hospitality.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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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533 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (95)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

Stayed here with my partner for two nights in mid-March. This is a picturesque complex with two rectangular pools, around either of which you can easily while away the hours on a lounger. The staff here are excellent and serviced all of our requirements promptly. It's in a great location - on the beach esplanade in the centre of Palm Cove. Our room was high up on the 2nd or 3rd floor overlooking the spa roof, but we still had a good view of the ocean and it was a very comfortable and large room on the end of the building. I think the bed was posturepedic or something, because it was very comfortable and had a mozzie net over it, which wasn't required, but was a nice feature. We didn't get around to trying any spa treatments - they were very booked up, so they must be worth it? A great place (especially on a deal :).

Room Tip: Can't comment on the spa, because we didn't get a chance to use it. Obviously better if you...
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  • Stayed March 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobart, Australia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013 via mobile

If you're looking for a wonderful place to relax, sleep by the pool, have dip in the ocean (in the safety nets!) and enjoy great food - Reef House will suit you to the ground. A bit of renovation work happening at the moment, but we were placed far away from it, and with two pools to choose from, it wasn't painful at all. It does have that old world charm - arrival cocktails, honour system bar - and how lovely is that?! It is top little hotel in one of the most gorgeous spots in Australia - Palm Cove is blessed with a beautiful beach, lots of great restaurants to try and an amazing laid back feel. Reef House fits the bill nicely.

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
139 reviews 139 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

OK, let's note up front this "old girl" suffered when it left the Sebel brand, going into the wilderness for a year or so and not worthy of the luxury tag. Now part of M Gallery, even the staff have a Spring in their step again. It deserves to be treated as a boutique hotel. If you want squeaky clean and new, this is not for you. One of the first resorts ever built at Palm Cove, fashioned around an original millionaire's beach house, rooms spread out with a Mediterranean feel, stone, arches, white, you get the idea. Rooms with louvres, fans and mosquito nets over the bed hark back to its early life. Two pools provide choice, the restaurant deck has the million dollar sea view and their famous honour system bar still draws one and all at dusk. We spent an idyllic weekend, wandering aimlessly to and from dinner at night, striding out on the pier by morning. Just lovely.

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Rome, Italy
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Palm Cove is the sweetest little place with the loveliest people around. We stayed at the Reef house and spa during our honeymoon for Xmas 2012 and must say that the fresh seafood and roast lunch buffet on Christmas Day was one of the very best meals in our month away! Pizzeria 'Il forno' just next door was fab and the fresh crab at 'Beach Almond' is a must!
The hotel is situated opposite the beach and although swimming is very limited due to jellyfish, we made the most of both pools within the resort. Furniture is a little tired and a bit of paint and upkeep overall would do it wonders. Otherwise, a gem of a place in Cairns.

  • Stayed December 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
    • 3 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.
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

My partner and I stayed at the Reef House this week. It was our first experience in Palm Cove and we were not disappointed. The resort is wonderful and had everything we needed. The staff were lovely and very helpful. Room, pool and restaurant were fantastic. We're already looking at dates for our next visit to Palm Cove, and will definitely be staying at the Reef House. The day spa was wonderful too ! Highly recommend staying here.

  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kellie_Eustace, General Manager at The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection, responded to this review, February 10, 2013
Wonderful to read your comments following your first stay in Palm Cove and on behalf of the team we look forward to welcoming you and your partner back when you have selected your dates.

Thank you

Your sincerely
Kellie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Papua New Guinea
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

Stayed for a week to see the eclipse. Had also stayed here 20 years ago. The location is great. Cross the street to a wonderful white tropical beach. In the middle of Palm Cove, close to local cafes, restaurants, shops etc.
The hotel, however, is very tired. Furnishings are still identical to those from 20 odd years ago. The room had a lovely balcony overlooking the beach, with reasonable sized bedroom, a lounge and small kitchenette with very limited glassware. It has the potential to be fabulous but needs serious overhaul.
Pools were adequate only. Single restaurant struggled serving the buffet breakfast and after day 1, we opted to go to the better offers at the local cafes.
Staff were friendly and everyone tried very hard to make our holiday pleasant.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Kellie_Eustace, General Manager at The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection, responded to this review, February 10, 2013
Thank you for staying with us again, your well rounded comments and for acknowledging the team. We do have the perfect position to enjoy the very best of Palm Cove and particularly during the Eclipse, simply magic.

Our three swimming pools and two outdoor spas are very popular, perfect place to laze the day away with a good book or refreshing cocktail in hand. I apologise you found we struggled with breakfast service on the day you joined us for breakfast, it was a busy period for us and we were training new team members. The large balconies on our rooms do allow our guests to enjoy the best of the tropics.

Thank you

Yours sincerely
Kellie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection

Address: 99 Williams Esplanade, Palm Cove, Queensland 4879, Australia (Formerly Sebel Reef House)
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Palm Cove
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Palm Cove
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Palm Cove
#7 Family Hotel in Palm Cove
#8 Romantic Hotel in Palm Cove
#8 Luxury Hotel in Palm Cove
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection 5*
Number of rooms: 69
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just 25 minutes north of Cairns in the secluded Palm Cove, an upscale boutique beachfront experience awaits guests at Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection.The resort offers a warm, personalised service for all guests and together with its comprehensive range of resort facilities, The Reef House is the perfect getaway for couples seeking romantic bliss or simply a holiday in sheer relaxation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Reef House Hotel Palm Cove
The Sebel Reef Hotel
Sebel Reef Hotel

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