I am a seasoned traveller for both Business and Leisure; please read my profile to put this review into perspective.
My wife and I stayed at the Lodge for a 4-day long weekend. The location is an easy 60 minute drive from Cairns Airport - and the drive in itself, along the winding ocean road, is already your first great experience. Take it easy so you can get into the right mood!
Location is the first positive I want to mention about the Lodge. The region is basically famous for 4 things - The Daintree Forest, Mossman Gorge, the many fantastic beaches, and the great barrier reef. The location of the lodge is perfect in a sense that
- it is 10 minutes away from the Mosman Gorge (which is wonderful)
- has one of the two large rivers (the Mosman River) of the overall region flow through its property with all the water holes, swimming spots and photo opportunities you'd want from the region, right at your doorstep
- makes the Daintree region easily accessible with a 1 hour relaxed drive along the various scenic spots and beaches
- You can do day-tours to the reef which is straight off the coast - which is about 3km away. After cruising around the region for 4 days, I can truly say the location could not be better.
Second, the overall flair is exactly what you'd expect from the pictures on the webpage. The rainforest feel is omnipresent, with the river and little rapids right under restaurant with fantastic views - by the way, it doesn’t even matter whether it is sunny or rainy, you will love both! - the huts sufficiently separated for complete privacy and true forest feel, and if you book a 'river hut' as we did, you have an uninterrupted view down a hill through the rainforest onto the river - magical.
Thirdly, the quality of the rooms was impeccable, with the wooden style perfectly blending into the overall feel of the forest. From the bed you look into the Rainforest, just meters away from your balcony, where you can also lie in a hammock and look towards the river without seeing anything or anybody but nature. I did so lots, during sun and rain and it was both paradise. The rooms are very large, have a nice sitting area and a decent sized bathroom with a jacuzzi bathtub again looking out of the window into the forest; my wife used it daily. The shower could have been done a little nicer but that is a very minor detail given the rest of the rooms.
Next, the quality of the food was (mostly) outstanding and easily Sydney top restaurant quality (so were the prices). Unfortunately I have to say "mostly" as
a) the breakfast was not up to scratch - limited choice and limited quality, with a number of items clearly not fresh
b) all deserts we had were pre-prepared a loooong time ago and very frozen and just not good at all
c) the occasional part of the mains seemed to be a couple of days old
d) the wine list is VERY limited not so much in choice but quality and price range options which is surprising given the overall quality of the place. Also, most wines were overprised at typically ~200-300% retail price where I'd typically only expect them to double it?
Those issues are a real shame as overall, this restaurant is probably the best I have experienced in any resort in Australia including peers such as the Qualia or the Wilderness Lodge. Please get those little things right as well!
We did not book activities via the hotel but I highly recommend the snorkeling the Mossman river tour as well as the nature walks. They really do teach you a lot of interesting things about the rainforest and I am not usually a “walking tour kinda guy”… Also, do visit the Mossman Gorge and make sure you take the 2km extended walk – it has amazing forest scenes.
We had a quite nice but very expensive spa session; the couples’s room is very nice.
Lastly, we were disappointed by the fact that the resort charges for table bread and the 2nd coffee at breakfast. That is just not right in a 700$ / roomnight place... And also the proactiveness of some of the staff at the front desk was quite variable. A letdown also that our final bill was completely wrong and some charges at the restaurant were also incorrect. It took us 30 minutes to check everything which made us leave this otherwise fantastic place with a sour taste. However, my overall outstanding rating holds.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Silky Oaks Lodge & Spa is the ultimate destination from which to explore Far North Queensland. This luxury eco lodge consists of elegant spacious lounges and living areas adjoining the stunningly located open sided Tree House restaurant which overlooks the surrounding rainforest and river. Spectacularly located in the Mossman Gorge region adjoining the Daintree National Park offering complete privacy and isolation yet only 20 minutes from Port Douglas ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Silky Oaks Hotel Mossman
- Silky Oaks Lodge Mossman, Australia - Daintree Region