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“Retreat to Paradise” 5 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   |  
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Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Palm Cove
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Retreat to Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

I'm actually amazed at how moany some of these reviews are - it's funny, I was almost hesitant to book at first because of noise complaints, but I am so glad I ignored them because my partner and I have just returned from the most tranquil and relaxing holiday of our lives!

We stayed in a second floor Superior Spa Suite at The Reef Retreat for my 30th birthday and we cannot fault a single thing between us. Ok, maybe the bugs, of which there are a few around, but what do you expect from the Tropics?! The apartments themselves don't attract bugs (and are air-conditioned so you can shut yourself in) but you tend to get a few at night around the outdoor areas, so bring some Aeroguard! Pest spray is provided and it's probably wise not to leave food lying around for long periods of time and take the bins out regularly - just common sense really.

The room itself was tastefully furnished, spotlessly clean on arrival and thoughtfully stocked (milk in the fridge for tea and coffee was a good call). The outdoor kitchen is a really nice concept - loved cooking out 'in the wild' and it gave us more space in the room to chill without food smells infesting the bedroom. Breakfast overlooking the beautiful rainforest pool surrounded by trees was a treat in itself. Oh and bring little bottles of oil, salt, pepper, balsamic and the like so all you need to do is buy fresh produce from Coles (the veg store by the entrance is really affordable). We took the bus there for just short of $5 each, but I'm under the impression that some people order online in the area - worth looking into. There are affordably priced drinks available for purchase on reception (including wine) and you can hire a car if you really need one. We didn't as transfers are available to and from the airport and for the trips.

The spa bath had a huge window over it which I loved to open all the way for a real sense of outdoor bathing - only a bath person would really understand this joy! I was also pleased to discover a candle in a beautiful glass on the dining table - Clive happily provided me with matches so I could take advantage of this ambiance. Let's just say I did some serious spa-style bathing!

The best thing about the place - the peaceful and visually stunning setting. The Reef Retreat is sympathetically built into the natural environment so you get a real sense of tranquility. The lights around the pool are a lovely touch too and you can swim in the gently heated pool or use the communal spa until 11pm without getting a chill. Could have stared up at those trees forever.

Want to experience some of the action? Clive is very knowledgeable about the local area and gives unbiased advice as to the trips most suited to you. We did the Great Barrier Reef and full day rafting on the Tully river. Both incredible fun! On a calm day, it's also well worth hiring a sea kayak from Shannon (by the pier) to explore the nearby Double Island - worth it just for the mangroves and stingrays. We found everyone out here to be professional, honest and friendly and loved that it was full of couples and older folk. None of the hooligans!

Great value, lots of character and of a really great standard. I'm already planning my return, so thanks Clive and Mary (and Ruby) - hope to see you again!

P.S. Don't pack pool towels. These are included and we wasted luggage space on them! May also be worth bringing a little bottle of hand laundry wash for your swimwear.

Room Tip: Pick to suit your budget. We heard good reports all round, but the upper floors do seem to get more...
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  • Stayed October 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clive and Mary R, Owner/Manager at The Reef Retreat Palm Cove, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Many thanks for your very thoughtful review Gemma J, we are pleased that you were able to see through certain comments about noise during school holidays and decided to stay with us at Reef Retreat. We appreciate that you have taken the time to share your positive experience with the TripAdvisor community in such a full and considered way and are happy that you had a lovely stay.
Clive & Mary
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310 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

Great location. Only 50 metres to the beach and a street a 20+ great restaurants. Great facilities in the 1 bedroom apartment. Comfy king size bed and enough room in the lounge area to sit around and relax. Clean pool and good BBQ facilities. The staff were very helpful. Always willing to offer advice on tourist activities. Only downside was some noise from the carpark which was outside our room. We'd definitely stay again.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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, October 21, 2013
Thank you for sharing your experience Nathan C, it is good to hear that you enjoyed the location and facilities, it is a great spot to be in Palm Cove.
Clive & Mary
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Melbourne, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2013

Quiet location, really close to beach & restaurants. Spotlessly clean & modern premises. Clive & Mary were the perfect hosts, nothing was too much trouble, and their trip advice from our endless questions was excellent. Wouldnt hesistate to recommend this place to anyone. Our daughter loved the laser lights around the pool that came on for a couple of hours each night. Thanks for making our trip north so enjoyable. Lisa, Mark & Caity.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
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, October 21, 2013
Many thanks Lisa B we are so pleased that you and your family enjoyed your stay and have taken the time to share this on TripAdvisor. It is a pleasure to share our knowledge of the area with guests such as yourselves.
Clive & Mary
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Brisbane, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

Thoroughly enjoyable stay. Close to beach and restaurants while not in the middle of the hustle and bustle. Extra services such as Internet, scanning and drinks were affordably provided. Nothing was too much trouble.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 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 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, October 1, 2013
Thank you for your review Alan Y. We were pleased to be of assistance during your stay and glad that you enjoyed the tranquillity of our unique spot.

Clive & Mary
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Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013 via mobile

Spent a week here for our 1st family holiday since kids have grown-up. Palm Cove is great & Reef Retreat was excellent place to stay. Friendly service & very helpful with day trip advice, although I can't imagine why you would want to go away from here.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Clive and Mary R, Owner/Managers at The Reef Retreat Palm Cove, responded to this review, October 1, 2013
Thank you for your review TonyS we are pleased that you and the family enjoyed your stay at Reef Retreat.

Clive & Mary
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Berlin
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013

We had a Spa Room on the 2nd floor, it was very noisy with
a bus stop on the street at one side, and the pool and outdoor
eating area at the other. There was a lot of noise from other
guests in the pool and outdoor area until late.

Also there was a pool lightning machine attached to the roof, which
was making an annoying sound all night long.

The bath room had no ventilation so the air in the room was
sticky. We had to open the windows, but then the noise and
the mosquitoes came in, and there were no protection nets.
Also be prepared to share your room with ants.

The rooms are dark because no windows are facing
open space. You don't get much privacy, because all rooms
are facing the pool, and the walls are very thin. We could
hear the neighbor's heavy breathing and flushing the toilet
at night.

Internet is available for quite expensive hourly or daily rates.

You get room service only once every 5 days, which would
be okay if there just was a space to dry your towels.

The interior was ok and functional, but very small.
The kitchen was well equipped.

Overall this might be good as a budget hotel, but at
this price it was disappointing.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 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, September 28, 2013
We would like to address some points contained in the review by hitravlr from Berlin.
The superior spa apartments overlook the pool and gardens. During school holidays (when this guest stayed) it is inevitable that we will have families with children in house that will be enjoying the pool at certain times of the day, generally early evening, particularly when the weather is as glorious as has been the case throughout September.
A laser light box is attached to the roof outside the apartment that hitravlr stayed in. It operates from 6pm - 10pm (not all night long) to the delight of our guests however had we been aware that this guest found the low hum intrusive we would have disconnected the appliance during this 3 night stay.
This is the tropics and we get our ventilation from opening the numerous windows, doors and louvres, all rooms have new air-conditioning systems if guests prefer to close these and use air-con. The apartments are pest controlled on a 6 monthly basis however small sugar ants are a fact of life in tropical climates especially if you leave food on kitchen tops, insect spray is provided in the apartments and we do have another method of eradication that we can use if bought to our attention.
When the curtain is drawn back there is a glass panelled sliding door that floods the room with natural light in daylight hours. The apartments are solidly built of concrete block walls and how anyone could hear the breathing of another guest in another apartment is beyond us.
Our internet is very affordable at $3-1 hour, $10-8 hour and $25- 24 hours. It is a log in log out system so that the time can be used on and off during or after your stay.
We do full service cleans once during a stay of 5 nights, clean towels both for the apartment and for the pool are available to guests at all other times and indeed this guest made use of this service but seems to have forgotten this aspect of his stay.
We do not often have backpackers stay at Reef Retreat, and it is surprising that this guest found the rate paid disappointing but recall that he did wish to pay cash in order to avoid his bank fees so clearly budget was an issue.
Clive & Mary Ratcliffe
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Sydney
Level Contributor
50 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

Just spent 3 days here - found the bed to be very comfortable and the staff friendly and helpful. We spent as little time as possible in the room as it was very dark being a ground floor garden room with a sweet little garden outside but unfortunately overshadowed by a high rise next door. We liked that the kitchen was out on the balcony it made the room more roomy. Also liked that there was an extra suitcase stand in the cupboard.

Room Tip: Room on a higher floor would have had more light and more view.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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, September 30, 2013
We are pleased that you found your bed comfortable amcee1, it is a very important aspect of any stay. We note that you especially requested a ground floor room and we specifically worked other bookings around yours in order to fulfil your request.
Clive & Mary
Report response as inappropriate
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
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Palm Cove
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Palm Cove
#2 Romantic Hotel in Palm Cove
#3 Luxury Hotel in Palm Cove
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Reef Retreat Palm Cove 4*
Number of rooms: 40
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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The Reef Retreat Hotel Palm Cove

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