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“Biggest slice of heaven!” 5 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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Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Palm Cove
Adelaide
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Biggest slice of heaven!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2008

Where could we start? We can not reccomend the Sebel Reef House and Spa highly enough!!! It is just gorgeous, quiet, very well set out, has great swimming pools and great spas, the rooms are very nice, We were lucky enough to see 3 different rooms (the brigadier, verandah & verandah spa rooms) as My husband & I got married through the sebel and spent majority of our honeymoon there - we had guests stay in different rooms. All 3 styles were great!!!
The staff were FANTASTIC!!!! Caroline (function co-ordinator) organised our wedding on the GORGEOUS beach right accross the road & was so eager to please and make sure everything went well! As soon as we arrived we had a staff member greet us out the front and collect our baggage for us. The breakfast staff are really great & one staff in particular Hamish made us feel so welcome - he was a great laid back guy! The Reception staff are also FANTASTIC anything we needed was not a hassle at all.
On the day of check in when we were taken to our room we initially got a shock because the Verandah Spa room we got given was totally different to the photos we had previously seen and obviously not what we expected although was very very nice indeed, But just mentioning that to the staff member that walked us up resulted in a change of room in not even 5 minutes, they just wanted us to be 110% satisfied and happy!
The main meals at the hotel are delicious but there is not a big variety, still very very yummy! If you stay we definantly reccomend the 'Full Breakfast' Includes buffet breaky aswell as a main breaky menu item!!! Wont need to eat for the rest of the day or night! Lots of fresh yummy fruit, cereals, a meat platter, fresh pastries, muffins, Toast, english muffins & a huge amount of spreads to choose from along with tea, coffee and 4 choices of juices! Breakfast is on the timber decking out the front of the reef house and looks directly at the gorgeous beach front. One morning we even saw dolphins playing around in the water!
The Whole Reef House is very tidy, there is a honour system at the communal 'Bar' where you help your self to drinks out of the fridge then record your room number and name along with what you have had to drink or snack on. Every night at 5pm there is a alcoholic fruit punch placed out on the bar and is help your self at no charge - it is a really nice punch we must say with fresh fruit aswell!
The halls between rooms are lit up with candles every night and the whole of the 'resort' is just beautiful!!! The pools all light up a gorgeous shade of blue & so do the spas.
We spent 4 nights there then went to Port Doulas.... only to be disapointed at Port Douglas.... way too comercial and built up! we ended up only spending 2 nights there and coming back to the Reef House!!! Thats how much we loved it and absoulutely missed it! We called up and they had a room available for us and welcomed us back and had a laugh with us too when we arrived... again! We have aldready planned to go back in Janurary.
All in all the Sebel Reef House and Spa is our slice of heaven!!!!

  • Liked — Everything!!!!!!!! onsite Spa House was Excellent too! Highly recommend
  • Disliked — Nothing at all!
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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579 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 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (104)
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English first
Herne Bay, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2008

Just stayed at the Sebel Reef...gets 10 out of 10 and we will be back.

Ian & Claire Blanthorn
Herne Bay, Kent, England

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Yorkshire
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2008

We had an amazing stay! We got married her in December 2007 and it was absolutely perfect! The hotel was beautiful and we loved the relaxed atmosphere and the boutique feel, without it being pretentious. The staff were friendly and helpful and made our day incredibly special. We had a meal at the restaurant on the evening of our wedding and the food was amazing. We were originally placed in a room by the poolside, but were upgraded on the night of our wedding to a room with a spa and a swing! Our champagne breakfast was fab, we still rave about it. We also loved the free 5 o'clock punch (nice touch) and the honesty bar! Would you get one of those back home...I don't think so! All in all, We would highly recommend the Sebel Reef. We have such fond memories and would love to go back...maybe one day! (fingers crossed).

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2008

We stayed at the Reef House for two nights of our honeymoon. We had a "spa room" with a partial ocean view. The room had a lovely tropical feel without being cheesey. The balcony with ocean view and whirlpool was extremely romantic.

The staff was very attentive, helpful and welcoming. They called our dive company to confirm our reservation and pick-up even though we didn't book through the hotel.

The in-house restaurant was good, although it has limited hours and can book up at night.

While we enjoyed our time on the hotel property, the location is what really makes this place special. The beach at Palm Cove is beautiful, very well maintained and has a private feel.

I highly recommend this hotel as a luxurious retreat in a beautiful place.

  • Liked — Great beach location, lovely rooms, attentive staff
  • Disliked — Meals at the restaurant were a bit expensive.
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Dublin
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2008

We stayed in the Sebel Reef Hotel for our honeymoon in July this year. We booked it through trailfinders which seemed to have the best deal including free transfers and breakfast every day.

To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with the hotel. It is marketed as a luxury 4 star boutique hotel and while it was very nice in many many ways, it most definitely does not have that feel of luxury which I had expected. We booked a verandah spa room. We had requested a view but be warned! None of the spa rooms have a view. We had also requested a private room though and we certainly had that.

The room was very spacious and I loved the doors that slid back to open the whole room to the outside. There was a separate lobby with plenty of wardrobe space and the bathroom was also quite nice with a two sinks and a separate toilet. The bed was very large and comfortable.

However, I thought the decor looked a bit tired/dated. The walls are plain white and it was very simply tiled with terracotta tiles. The fixtures in the bathroom looked particularly tired. The coverlet on the bed was very thin. The seating area was of wicker seats which were not only uncomfortable to lounge around in, but actually smelled a little musty if you did sit into them.

Now I am not into the packaged commercial hotels such as the hilton, four seasons etc. I find them quite bland. I wanted somewhere with character and a bit different. However here, the standard of the furnishings and the decor was simply not good enough for the price being paid. It didn't feel like low key luxury, it felt rather cheap!

Anyway, I got over that disappointment and there is no doubt it is a very pleasant place to stay. Few kids, lovely pools, very relaxed atmosphere and the staff were very friendly, approachable and accomodating. We had a problem with our tv which was fixed the moment we mentioned it. They helped us book tours, find buses and all that kind of thing. We never ate there in the evening but I understand it is supposed to be wonderful. Their breakfasts are certainly very nice. The honour system was great too. Oh, and they also provide towels for the pool/beach which I thought was a really lovely touch for their guests.

We were also quite unlucky with the weather. In seven days (mid July), we had only one day where it was gloriously sunny all day. Every other day was overcast with maybe an hour or two of sunshine in the afternoon if you were lucky. We had at least one day where it rained all day. And it rained in general, several days.

But we had a great time nonetheless. The restaurants are fantastic and while expensive by Australian standards, fairly standard for good food in Dublin! I think the dearest thing I saw on any menu was moreton bay bugs (lobster I think) which was only AU$40, ie about €24. The quality of the food and service in restuarants was second to none. Night after night! We particularly liked Casmars as you sat on a balcony looking out over the pacific which eating your food. Seriously very enjoyable.

We also hired a car a day (also v reasonable, maybe €40 for the day) and drove to Mossman Gorge and Daintree. Mossman Gorge was great and do take the time to walk around Mossman too - you really get a sense of how far you are from Europe. Although don't leave buying a rain jacket to there - I ended up with a horrible see through plastic thing that I dumped at the first opportunity!

We also did the a Low Isle Tour of the reef. We chose this because it was on a catamaran and seemed smaller and friendlier than the other tours. The catamaran was wonderful and we did get to chat to a lot of people. But the reef in the low Isles is soft coral and not as colourful as the hard coral further out. So not like it is on tv but a very enjoyable day out nonetheless.

We also did the cable car to Kuranda which was also v nice but I preferred Mossman Gorge.

Ok, can't think of anything else that might help you decide. Palm Cove was a lovely, laid back resort with a really beautiful beach and plenty of vg restaurants. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it for a relaxing break to anyone. The Sebel was also good, just don't go there expecting a sense of luxury. But you do get a nice hotel, right on the beach in the centre of Palm Cove with good staff and a very relaxing atmosphere.

  • Liked — It's location
  • Disliked — Felt the accomodation was tired/dated.Definitely overrated for the cost.
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2008

My wife and I stayed at the Sebel for our honeymoon. There was a slight hiccup when we checked in and the room they gave us hadn't been cleaned properly. The desk guy couldn't have been more apologetic. FIrstly he asked us to wait in the bar with a free drink while he sorted it out, then upgraded us to a better room. Mistakes happen in all hotels, but only good hotels rectify them like this.

The hotel itself is fantastic - we didn't hear a thing from any other rooms, just the wonderful sound of the waves on the beach.

The Sebel's restaurant was exceptional. My wife and I are both foodies and we loved the food there, although it's not cheap, even by Palm Cove's high prices.

The facilities in the hotel are great - free WiFi, honour system bar by the pool and lots of books/DVDs available to borrow. However I thought it strange that the internet room wasn't free. Not a problem if you have your laptop with you.

Palm Cove itself is a fantastic place for a quiet getaway. (particularly from Melbourne's winter!) There are about 4-5 great restaurants and the beach is great. However it's very quiet at night, so definitely don't come here with a bunch of friends looking for a party. On the other hand, it's hard to beat for a couple looking for a quiet time.

The Sebel will definitely be my first choice the next time I'm going to Palm Cove.

  • Liked — Service, location, restaurant, room
  • Stayed August 2007
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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London
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2008

Sebel Reef House is a great boutique hotel. The service is amazing - everyone was always helpful and did everything they could to make our stay enjoyable. There are lots of little things that the hotel does to make you feel at home - free DVD collection to borrow from, complimentary punch in the evenings, etc. The grounds of the resort are well done and beautiful and the rooms are very cozy. I agree with other reviews that this is not the place to find marble bathrooms or other luxury features, but if you are looking for a beautifully-landscaped hotel that makes you feel like a guest in a good friend's home - then this is the place.

They were also very helpful in planning our snorkelling and diving trips.

Would highly recommend for anyone looking for a fun boutique experience!

  • Liked — The Staff and Landscaping
  • Disliked — Noisy on the night that the hotel hosted a wedding reception
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Palm Cove
#5 Spa Hotel in Palm Cove
#7 Family Hotel in Palm Cove
#8 Luxury Hotel in Palm Cove
#8 Romantic 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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