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“It certainly is a Retreat.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Reef Retreat Palm Cove

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The Reef Retreat Palm Cove
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   10 - 14 Harpa St, Palm Cove, Queensland 4879, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 13 Hotels in Palm Cove
Auckland
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“It certainly is a Retreat.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012 via mobile

Palm Cove is the place to stay if you are in the general area. We took a drive up to Port Douglas (not very far away by car) and were very pleased we had decided to stay at PC. This Hotel is very nice albeit slightly quirky, our unit was very roomy with an "outdoor" kitchen/eating area, not really sure if I was that keen on the outdoor kitchen as if you decide to get up in the middle of the night or wake early to make a drink, it isn't that appealing to wander out there without any light or shoes on if you get my drift, not that we saw anything other than some rather large ants and the odd small lizard.
Don't let this put you off though, it is a very nice place and very quiet given there are surrounding buildings, it has been built for the shade so sun worshippers probably wouldn't be so keen but when you are trying to get out of the Northern Queensland heat this place is perfect.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Clive and Mary R, Owner/Managers at The Reef Retreat Palm Cove, responded to this review, December 18, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience tigerglaz, we cannot place your booking but gather from your description of the outdoor kitchen that you must have stayed in one of the Superior Spa Suites as these 6 apartments overlook the pool and gardens and unlike the other apartment types have kitchen facilites on the balcony. They have a very tropical essence and guests spend hours on their balconies both day and night, there is plenty of lighting and privacy should nocturnal guests feel like a wander in the small hours. All other apartment types have indoor kitchen facilities and maybe you would like to try one of these should you return someday.

The property was built around the natural environment as the Melaleuca trees are protected. There are some areas of natural shade around the pool, it is a bonus that we therefore have no need for umbrellas to protect guests from the intense heat of the day which enables guests to enjoy a natural ambience at Reef Retreat however there are plenty of sunny spots to choose from for guests determined to top up their tans and of course beautiful Palm Cove beach is only 50 metres away.

Thank you for staying and for your review we are pleased that you enjoyed Palm Cove & The Reef Retreat.

Clive & Mary
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255 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
    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 (59)
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English first
Goulburn
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

Apon arrival we were warmly greeted by Clive who even helped us carry our bags to our room. Clive is a wealth of info and also helped us book all our tours.
Ahhh, now this is how you relax! The reef retreat is nestled within beautiful paperbark gumtrees and gorgeous tropical flora. The over hanging trees around the pool and spa means you can swim and lounge around all day without burning to a crisp(lucky for me as I fell asleep on more than one occasion on the sun lounge). Even though the retreat is not beach front, it is only 1 street behind the Esplanard and restraunts.
Remember these are self contained units, so if you want your room serviced everyday you'd be better off going to a hotel. Personally we enjoyed the privacy and the idea of being self sufficiant. Clive was more than happy to change our towels if we needed to in the middle of our stay.
I highly recommend the retreat for any couple/person who are looking for a place to chill out and relax especially towards the end of November into December when the busy seasons is coming to an end- We just about had the pool to ourselves!

  • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clive and Mary R, Owner/Managers at The Reef Retreat Palm Cove, responded to this review, December 7, 2012
Thank you Steph B for taking the time to share your experience here at The Reef Retreat. We always love November time as the tropical ambience really kicks in. We are pleased that you enjoyed a relaxing time especially by the pool, it is a lovely spot to cool down this time of year.

Clive & Mary
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Burnie, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

As a regular traveller with a family I was VERY DISAPPOINTED! The cost was through the roof, the apartment dodgy (broken locks, flooding bathroom, leaking toilet, yard flooding etc etc etc), the booking was mismanaged and management wouldn't let the kids use the pool without constant harassment and even made a slur on my parenting. Other kids were present at the resort they were never at the pool. I can only assume that they were treated as badly as we were.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 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
    • 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.
Clive and Mary R, Owner/Managers at The Reef Retreat Palm Cove, responded to this review, December 3, 2012
We are sorry to read that you were very disappointed with your recent stay and must say that we were very disappointed too and would like to assure the TripAdvisor community that in no way was this reservation mismanaged on our part.

When you made your reservation over 12 months ago for the Eclipse period in one of the Three Bedroom Townhouses that we manage, that are located off site just opposite The Reef Retreat you advised that the number of persons occupying the apartment would be 5, on arrival we noticed there were in fact 8 people in total. Our website clearly states that the bedding and tarriff allows for 6 persons with a maximum of 7 permitted with the use of a rollaway bed. Had you advised that you planned to bring 8 persons we would not have taken the booking. Confronted with the situation and the lack of alternative accommodation in the area at the time we had little option but to allow the additional persons to stay however advised that there would be an additional charge for the rollaway beds for the other 2 people as your request for them to sleep on the couches was not acceptable, your co travellers were understanding and fair on the issue. This was not a good start.

As far as tarriff is concerned the Eclipse was a unique one off event where all properties in the region were fully booked and rates were at a premium. Incidentally rather than inflate rates for the period we kept our rates the same as usual but did not give specials.

The only maintenance issues that were bought to our attention while in house was that the mop was missing from the apartment and this was replaced, you also advised that the lint holder in the tumble dryer was broken, we advised that you could bring any drying to reception and we would attend to it for you which you declined. When checking the tumble dryer it was not broken simply the plastic carrier was not attached properly. From your review comments we have found that there are no broken locks or leaking toilets the only thing that we have found that is a problem is the excess water from the shower soaking the floor, this is being rectified as it appears that the new showers fitted did not have restrictors. On your last night we were awoken after 11pm by yourself via the emergency phone at reception saying that there was water all over the front lawn of the Townhouse complex, when Sarah got dressed and investigated she found that this was in fact the sprinkler system which is timed to come on late at night doing its job.

We have a diverse clientele at The Reef Retreat, couples, singles, families, friends, honeymooners, the young and the not so young. We like to see them all enjoying themselves but also respecting the peaceful enjoyment of others. In the 10 years that we have been in the accommodation business we do not recall ever having to ask a parent to quieten down their children however were forced to do this daily when you and your family were at the pool in response to the complaints from numerous in house guests. If we had failed to act on the guest complaints we would now probably be writing TripAdvisor responses to guests complaining that their stay was spoiled by noise coming from pool. Clive did comment to the children that he knew they could enjoy themselves without shouting excessively as they had done so the day before when their Grandad was supervising, if this was taken as a slur on your parenting, it was unintentional. Regarding the other children on site at the time we can assure you that they did frequent the pool but obviously gave it a wide berth at certain times. We also received complaints from guests in the Townhouse complex regarding noise coming from your apartment however did not bring this to your attention as your departure date was imminent.

We do hope that like everyone else you enjoyed the Eclipse here in beautiful Palm Cove.

Clive & Mary Ratcliffe
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Barby
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

Large, comfortable rooms with self-catering facilities and a shared BBQ area. Perfect for a short or long stay. Clive couldn't have been more friendly or helpful, booking excursions for us and offering advice on places to visit. The location was perfect, near to the supermarket in the neighbouring village and close to the main road to sightsee other tourist locations. Off the main drag in Palm Cove, it was quiet but we could still hear the sea from our room! A perfect end to a brilliant holiday!

Room Tip: I would recommend asking for a room on the 1st floor, rather than the ground floor, as we didn't...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
    • 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.
Clive and Mary R, Owner/Managers at The Reef Retreat Palm Cove, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
Thank you Leslie B for posting your review, we are pleased that you enjoyed a relaxing time here at The Reef Retreat, it is a pleasure to help guests get the most from a stay in our region and it is good to hear that you enjoyed your excursions

Thank you for staying.

Clive & Mary
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Zurich, Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

No free internet
No cleaning service if you have short stay under 5 days, no possibility of room service (you have your own kitchen = cook yourself)
As written on their web info, due to "environment protection" they do not do any towel / sheet change for 4 days (received 1 set of towel on request) or if you want a "make up my room" it's against payment only !
Protecting environment is very OK for me, (reuse of towels 2 times), but cleaning the room of dust/sand/ trash with a broom or redoing the bed does not impact environment for what I know ?
I think they just want to save on staff/salary doing minimum service.
I found long black lady's hairs in my bathroom (not only one!) the day I arrived !
During the morning, I heard loud motor noise and smell exhaust fume coming into my room ! I could not believe to see the owner blowing old leaves away with a fuel operated blower, making incredible noise and a bad smell for 30 min. ( would be nicer to use a broom, no ?) not very relaxing for a Retreat and what about the environment ?

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clive and Mary R, Owner/Managers at The Reef Retreat Palm Cove, responded to this review, November 21, 2012
Our thanks to TripAdvisor for the opportunity to respond to Swiss_Travellers comments.

Internet is not free at The Reef Retreat, we make it clear on our website and other accomodation websites we list on including the one that you booked through. Charges apply to cover the cost of running and maintaining the service, you in fact commented to us on how efficient and cost effective the service was in comparison to other establishments.

We are bemused by your comment stating that we say on our website that daily servicing is not done due to Environmental reasons. This is an untrue statement and we are bewildered why you are attributing it to us as nowhere do we make such a claim. Our website and the one that you booked through clearly advises our policy regarding housekeeping, as with all self-catering apartments daily housekeeping is not included in the room rate but can be arranged for a small fee. Guests staying 5 nights or more receive a mid-stay service with linen and towels changed. (Stay 10 nights receive 2 services etc) Clean towels are available from reception at no extra charge should they be required, you were a single traveller staying just 3 nights, the apartment was supplied with enough towels for dual occupancy, you also had your towels changed free of charge during your stay, it is hard to see where your dissatisfaction is coming from. This housekeeping information is also noted on the accommodation website that you made your booking through and is in no way an attempt to cut costs as implied, it is simply the way the system works in self catering accommodation.

We are upset to hear through TripAdvisor that you claim to have found hair in your bathroom. Our housekeeping staff take great pride in their work and cleanliness is a top priority to us at The Reef Retreat, we personally inspect the apartments prior to guests arrival. Hair is one of our pet hates and if the housekeepers or ourselves missed one we can only apologise.

As The Reef Retreat is in a rainforest setting with giant paperbark trees throughout the property leaf dropping occurs, in order to keep things tidy every 3-4 days a leaf blower is used to clear any build up on pathways, it is usually done after 11am when guests have either checked out, not arrived yet or are out enjoying themselves. The process generally takes 20 minutes max for the whole site and the blower would have been outside your particular apartment for barely 1 minute. We are sorry that you were in at the time and found the procedure intrusive, as you no doubt noticed a broom was used inbetween times.

Thank you for staying at The Reef Retreat at this very busy and special time and for sharing your thoughts with the TripAdvisor community, we hope that you managed to enjoy the Eclipse when you were here, it was a fantastic time to be in Palm Cove.
Clive & Mary Ratcliffe
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012 via mobile

My partner and I stayed here late oct and I choose the Reef retreat based on previous reviews.

We arrived early and were upgraded to a great room with a lovely view of the pool! We had a spacious bathroom with a spa bath (however was a bit dark) and outside kitchenette. Comfy and sizeable bed with a fan and ac. Pool was lovely and shady. We utilized the communal BBQ and outside dining area.

This place is just off main rd and at the quieter end (away from terrible karaoke that was happening at the other end!)

Being a couple with no kids, it was very relaxing and quiet. No crazy kids or screaming parents! We will def recommend this place to family and friends!

  • Stayed October 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clive and Mary R, Owner/Managers at The Reef Retreat Palm Cove, responded to this review, November 20, 2012
Thank you Ling L for taking the time to share your experience at The Reef Retreat, we are pleased that you enjoyed a peaceful and relaxing stay in our Spa Suites, they are ideal for couples. We appreciate you recommending us to your friends and we hope to welcome you back.

Clive & Mary
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rockingham western australia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2012

just got back from a week at the reef retreat - we stayed there with friends - our two bedroom apartment was ideal for two couples - we left all our bookings for trips until we arrived and clive advised and booked them for us - all we had to do was pay ! it was great to have a peaceful relaxing base to come back to after a days' sightseeing - great location for palm coves' many restauraunts and close to the highway for easy access to all surrounding sights. will definitely be recommending the reef retreat to everyone

Room Tip: we were three floors up - so a bit of a walk but great location - very quiet
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  • Stayed October 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clive and Mary R, Owner/Managers at The Reef Retreat Palm Cove, responded to this review, November 20, 2012
Thank you takeiteasytravel for your sharing your experience at Reef Retreat with the TripAdvisor community. We are pleased to hear that you and your friends enjoyed your stay in one of of Two bedroom apartments, they are in a great spot up amongst the Tree Tops and ieal for friends and families to share. We appreciate you arranging your touring through our office, it is a good way to go as we can tailor your itinery to current weather conditions. Thank you for staying.

Clive & Mary
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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 Retreat Palm Cove

Address: 10 - 14 Harpa St, Palm Cove, Queensland 4879, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Palm Cove
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Palm Cove
#2 Family Hotel in Palm Cove
#2 Luxury Hotel in Palm Cove
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Reef Retreat Palm Cove 4*
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Reef Retreat is an intimate 4 star boutique resort style complex of 37 one and two bedroom self-contained studios, suites and spa suites with well-appointed king and twin rooms. Apartments offer kitchenettes and living/dining areas opening onto large private balconies where guests can enjoy views over the pool or tropical gardens. Located in a rainforest setting just a 30 second stroll to the idyllic palm fringed beach in the centre of Palm Cove, the Reef Retreat is peaceful and secluded, ideal for relaxation by our heated swimming and spa pool surrounded by majestic Melaleuca trees, palms and exotic plants and birds. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Reef Retreat Hotel Palm Cove

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