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“First class staff” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Thala Beach Nature Reserve

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Thala Beach Nature Reserve
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   Private Road | 5078 Captain Cook Highway, Oak Beach, Port Douglas, Queensland 4871, Australia (Formerly Thala Beach Lodge)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Oak Beach
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“First class staff”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

I took my Mum to Thala Beach as a Christmas present in the last week of Jan 2013 for 2 nights in a jungle walk bungalow. It was as ex tropical cyclone Oswald was starting to move south. This meant torrential rain the entire 2 nights we were there - However, this didn't matter as the staff were outstanding. We were greeted on the steps on our arrival by the delightful Rose who knew exactly who we were - and despite a mix up with the bed arrangement - which was fixed asap - explained everything and had our bags taken to our room and then took us down the hill in the little buggy. This buggy was very useful in taking us up and down the hill in the rain as walking was impossible. All the staff were very happy to ferry us around. We joined the Nature Tour on the Tuesday with the head gardener - sorry forgot name - this is an absolute must as despite the rain and the mozzies we saw amazing spiders, birds and frogs and interesting plants. He was extremely knowledgeable and I even saw a sea turtle -one of the highlights of the trip. This 2 hour tour around the extensive property would be even better in dry conditions but we soldiered on and it was wonderful.

The Osprey restaurant was incredible where I had one of the best beef meals of my life and the chocolate caramel fondant dessert is to die for. Craig and Michael really made us feel welcome and were always up for a laugh.

We also attended the Coconut tour on the Wednesday. This was very informative - who knew coconut oil repealed Mozzies??? wish we had had it the day before! This tour/talk was a little long as the wooden benches aren't that comfortable for long periods of sitting and this tour went for 2 hours also and then made us late to check out. - even thought this really wasn't a problem we still felt rushed to get out of our room and as result left several things behind.

Overall this is a lovely special place - we still went swimming in the beautiful pool in the rain, and the happy hour was great. The view is amazing but pales next to the excellent staff. All were very friendly, welcoming and treated us like old friends. I would love to go back in better weather and really explore the interesting wildlife on offer here.

Just a note it is very steep with many stairs that people with mobility issues may have trouble with but the staff are very happy to zip people from place to place in the buggy.

Room Tip: Choose a room close to the main building
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 5 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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949 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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 (190)
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English first
Uitgeest, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013 via mobile

We stayed 3 nights in Thala and we thought €850 is way too much for 3 nights without breakfast.
Rooms are clean but old fashioned, food was too expensive for quality offered and in comparison to other hotels services were limited (no free guest washing machine, no free transfers to port douglas and/or airport). Airco in room were incredible loud and very old. Surrounding of the lodge was beautiful but Thala has no stinger net so we could not swim.
Before Thala we stayed in Silky Oaks lodge for 3 days and although the package was more expensive, it was way more value for money.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thala1, Manager at Thala Beach Nature Reserve, responded to this review, February 5, 2013
We thank these guests for their praise re our cleanliness and beautiful surrounds.

We are disappointed they didn’t see value in the travel option they chose – we have many packages catering for all tastes and budgets, one including transfers may have been more suitable for them.

We don’t provide washing machines (nor promote such) as we find the majority of our clients prefer a laundry service. We have two free-form swimming pools for our guest enjoyment during the summer months – we do not promote that we provide a stinger net on our beach.

We are happy to advise that an airconditioning upgrade across the property is 90% complete, however do apologise for any disruption their unit caused (and wish they had let us know during their stay so we could have rectified as best possible).
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed here for one night in January in one of the Jungle Walk suites. The service by all staff was so friendly and welcoming. They are happy to help with anything you request and do it with a smile. The room which was nestled into the forest was lovely, nothing too flash but perfect for what we wanted. Private, clean, spacious with a nice big comfy bed. We really enjoyed relaxing with a few drinks on our balcony listening to the sounds of the forest before we went to dinner.

The restaurant is a little expensive but my partner thoroughly enjoyed his steak. Me being vegan obviously had limited choices on the menu but they were happy to turn the vegetarian pasta vegan for me. It was nice, but a little too oily for my liking. Personal preference... Breakfast was much of the same the next day, on the expensive side but still enjoyable and as usual, fantastic service.

The thing that really sets Thala apart is the location. You could spend days exploring all the bushwalks and surrounding beaches. We're going again in a weeks time, and this time we are going to grab one of the pre packed resort picnic baskets to take down and eat on the beach and watch the sun set. Can't wait!

  • Stayed January 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

We staid for two nights in just before Christmas 2012, wished we had had more time.
The setting is great, away from everything and with a lovely views out over the sea.
The pool area is a bit small but it is a good pool. We were not able to use the beach as it was "stinger" season but it looked good.
The food was the best we had on our trip to Australia. The first night we had a picnic basket delivered to our room with seafood.
The second night we had our meal at the restaurant and it was superb.
We would love to go back.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Solihull, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
322 reviews 322 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 120 cities Reviews in 120 cities
213 helpful votes 213 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

Idyllic setting with individual wooden bungalows, well separated from each other, in plots carved out of the rain forest.
Bespoke wood furnishings and balcony overlooking the rain forest.
Comfortable bed and arm chairs with DVDs available to borrow.
Excellent air-conditioning, bath and shower, but limited hot water.
Excellent breakfast and evening meal. Fantastic watching a dozen brightly coloured lorikeets in the trees only yards away while eating breakfast.
Welcoming coconut cocktails (drunk from a whole coconut) on arrival.
Superb picnic hampers delivered to rooms if meals were not required in the restaurant.
Buggies available on demand if required to transport guests around the somewhat hilly site, with friendly drivers.
Free activities included guided walks around the site, talks on coconuts and swimming in a small rock pool and swimming pool.
Lovely walks through the forest down a fairly steep incline to a beautiful deserted beach.
Lovely staff, nothing too much trouble, including Carl, who was an expert on coconuts ( we spent a fascinating hour with him picking, eating and hearing an amazing amount about coconuts.We didn't realise that there was so much to know about them!)

  • 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.
Hong Kong
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

First the good news : it's in a lovely setting and has been carefully planned to be as unobtrusive as possible; the whole concept of staying in wooden cabins scattered around a well forested, fairly isolated promontory has appeal, and the food was plentiful and imaginative.
Less appealing however : the place needs a deal of resource to keep it in pristine order and it's presently looking a tad worn and unkept; with the beaches understandably left wild it needs a much bigger and better swimming pool area; and I would describe the service as friendly rather than efficient ( for example, it took several attempts to get a debit card service charge annulled ).
Lastly - and this is a plus or minus depending on what is being sought - you are captive without wheels.

Room Tip: Stay close to the main block if you don't want too many uphill walks.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Thala1, Manager at Thala Beach Nature Reserve, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts - we are pleased you enjoyed Thala’s location and seclusion and had a great dining experience in Osprey’s Restaurant.

Per the majority of other reviews, the level of service at Thala is normally described as exemplary – I do apologize that you experienced an unfortunate response time in regards to the finance matter, please trust that I will investigate this further.

Best wishes
Johan Klindt, General Manager
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Brisbane, Australia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

Stayed here for just one night in the first week of January 2013. This has to be one of the best resorts I have ever stayed at. It is truly world class! On its own private peninsula with its own beaches and rocky lookouts.

Accommodation in a private bungalow with its own verandah. Bed was comfortable. Agree with other reviews about the dated bathroom but compensated for by being quite large with bath and shower. Totally surrounded by rainforest, very private and very quiet.

We had a picnic basket for dinner on our verandah which was a wonderful experience.

Peacefulness personified - almost a total lack of mechanical noises (no cars, boats, jetskis, sound systems, etc.) just nature! Golf buggies for housekeeping, room service, etc. but almost silent as they are electricity powered.

The lodge itself has tremendous views which you can see from all of the photos posted on this site. The pools were exceptional with lots of shade and the lack of noisy children was an added bonus. Biggest downside about the whole stay was someone smoking in the pool! Not sure if they were breaking the rules (management care to comment?).

Agree with others that breakfast was a tad expensive but when you consider the stunning view from the restaurant then it was well worth it. Need to also consider free valet parking as further compensation.

If you've ever stayed at the Hyatt Coolum (now the Palmer Resort) on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, then imagine that (without all of the shops and the golf course) perched on top of the cliffs at the National Park at Noosa and you have Thala Lodge!

Already planning a return visit later in the year!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Thala1, Manager at Thala Beach Nature Reserve, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
Thank you for your warming comments - we are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us! I wanted to assure you that most definitely, the person/people smoking in the pool were 'breaking the rules'! We have a designated smoking area that guests are expected to observe - I greatly apologise that your pool-time was tainted due to the actions of a fellow guest.

We look forward to hopefully welcoming you back sometime again in the future!
Best wishes
Johan Klindt
General Manager
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 Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Address: Private Road | 5078 Captain Cook Highway, Oak Beach, Port Douglas, Queensland 4871, Australia (Formerly Thala Beach Lodge)
Location: Australia > Queensland > Port Douglas > Oak Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Oak Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Thala Beach Nature Reserve 4.5*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on a private beach nestled in 145 acres of native forest, family-owned Thala is a deluxe eco and nature resort near Port Douglas. Sitting spectacularly atop a headland with breathtaking vistas, it provides an island-feel holiday from the mainland and is the perfect base to explore the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. Boutique timber bungalows are built high on stilts and nestle in the forest canopy, featuring either ocean or forest views. The views from the restaurant are panoramic across the mountains and coastline. Guests dine among the birds in the surrounding treetops enjoying modern Australian cuisine with friendly service. Osprey's Restaurant is open to the public 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.Paths meander through rainforests onto private sandy beaches placing guests in an unsurpassed secluded, relaxing environment. Complimentary guided onsite tours include a unique coconut odyssey, stargazing, nature walks and bird watching tours. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Thala Beach Hotel Port Douglas
Thala Beach Resort
Thala Beach Lodge

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