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“Location great, rooms great, can be a little noisy”

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Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns
Ranked #8 of 64 Hotels in Cairns
Certificate of Excellence
Geelong & Bellarine, Australia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“Location great, rooms great, can be a little noisy”
Reviewed October 17, 2009

With work courses and private stays for anniversaries and birthdays, we have had a busy year with hotel stays. Hyatts in Adelaide, Canberra and Melbourne along with private stays at the Langham, Crown and the Sofitel have given us great 5 star experiences. We chose the Shangri-la in Cairns for a 9 night stay for a number of reasons, one of them being that the GM actually responded to TA reviews, which I thought was interesting and commendable. We picked up a pretty good deal with expedia and had formed a pretty good idea of what this hotel would offer through the range of TA reviews. I don't think it is fair to rate it against the excellent 5 star Melbourne hotels but they did give us a good base to form our opinions.
One thing that did surprise me and I hadn't picked up in the reviews was that this is a low rise hotel with lots of rooms. This means that you can have long walks from the elevators to your rooms if you are at the far end of the hotel. We didn't mind this at all and it made for more meetings with the cleaning staff as you do the 100yard dash down the long hallways :-)). We had a very nice room overlooking the bay and lagoon area. Tiny little balcony but it was still enough for one or both of us to enjoy reading or a glass of wine. Free wireless internet kept us in touch with the outside world (and Melbourne's cold weather). Pier Hotel was directly under us, so there was some night time noise....only one day of the rugby league GF did we find it a nuisance but still fell asleep fine and didn't hear it most nights.
Overall we had an excellent stay and enjoyed the hotel. Here are some small things that I would suggest to improve the hotel.
King beds....Two king singles are ok but not great beds. As good as you join them, they are still not as good as one complete bed.
Pool....We stayed at PD and Mission Beach as well and the Shangri la pool was coldest by a mile. Surely they can solar heat it during 6 months of the year to just take the chill out of the water. With the breeze that Cairns gets the water can be a tad chilly....coming from a Victorian, so we don't mind it cool.
Spa pool...Probably the worst feature of the hotel. Small and poor seating in it. Guard rail is loose and needs attention. Most local swimming pools have better spa pools.
Promotion...Over 9 days we did not get recommended anything to do or places to eat. I know there is a tourist promotion desk at the front but it was a bit impersonal and uninviting....seemed to be there mainly for groups.
Overall very good, maybe needs an injection of personality but then most of the 5 star hotels are the same. Forgot to mention the fitness centre. It is located at the bottom of the hotel and like a lot of hotels now, is a part hotel/part private enterprise gym. Great facilities and you could do a whole range of aerobic classes as well.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Will G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RugbyRob, General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns, responded to this review, November 1, 2009
Thank you to the author for the comments and the kind words acknowledging my own contribution to the Trip Advisor reviews. Fortunately most reviewers are gracious and constructive in their comments which makes this a fun contribution.

We sure do get a lot of comments about the length of the corridors which of course allows us to provide more accommodation with views of the Marina and Trinity Bay. So it’s an opportunity cost but I do like the way it has just been referenced – we like meeting our guests in the hallways too.

Every room does have a balcony with a table and a couple of director chairs. I highly recommend a chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc at around 5pm to watch the Reef Fleet coming in each evening to the Marina.

The comments about the pool and the spa are noted and will have a look. Ordinarily the pool is around the 24-26ºC mark.

Safe travels

Rob Weeden
General Manager.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
76 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2009

We stayed there for two nights at the end of our week-long trip to Northern Queensland and it was the best choice we could have made. We were on the Club floor, and the room was perfectly clean and spacious, with beautiful modern decor. The bathroom was large, and had a window into the bedroom, with a roller-blind that could be pulled down for privacy. The afternoon snacks in the Club Room were delicious, as was the breakfast. The only minor inconvenience in terms of the service was the fact that we couldn't check out on the floor because the counter was busy.

There was no wireless internet available, and as we only had an iPhone with us, we weren't able to go online other than by using the mobile carrier and paying roaming charges.

The location was great. Downstairs in the building there are about a dozen amazing restaurants, plus you are right on the marina and can walk on the promenade right from your doorstep. It was a bit loud at night, so we had to close the balcony door, but there is air-conditioning, of course, so it wasn't too much of a bother.

The water in the swimming pool was freezing, but it was the middle of the Australian winter (25-30 degrees Celcius), so I guess we can't complain.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank abere8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RugbyRob, General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns, responded to this review, November 1, 2009
Thank you to our Kiwi friends for the wonderful review.

Delighted that these guests enjoyed our Horizon Club accommodation – it really is very special and the value added benefits of the private lounge and free breakfast and then evening cocktails makes it all the more special.

Internet throughout the hotel is complimentary and to the very best of my knowledge we are still the only hotel to offer the free service. If you do not have a notebook then the business centre is available too, again complimentary. To access the wireless network one does need to activate over the wired network first. It’s a security precaution.

Love the Horizon Club balcony – particularly with a good book or the Sunday papers.

Rob Weeden
General Manager.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2009

As a Sales Rep who travels frequently throughout QLD, it is the highlight of my trips when I am able to get a room at the Shangri La Cairns.

Other posters have commented on the price - it's true, it can be pricey - but if you can book in advance they do some great and affordable rates through the Hotel itself and even Wotif.

The hotel is stunning, very well fit out with a great little shopping centre on the ground floor and an easy walk to everything the Cairns Esplanade has to offer. Fantastic fitness centre and a nice looking pool.

The Room Service Menu is divine - I absolutely love their steak with porcini butter, chips and green beans. Always perfectly cooked and keep an eye out for the Restaurant specials - I had local Red Spot prawns last time I visited and have been unable to find the same quality anywhere else.

The rooms are lovely - modern, clean and with all the mod cons you would expect. Air con that you CAN actually control, nice toiletries and a well stocked minibar. The pillows and bed are out of this world - everytime I stay here I try and book a late start for work just so I can sleep in - and one day I will leave enough room in my suitcase to actually buy some pillows to take home.

This hotel is a great example of a well run hotel and it's a shame more don't follow suit. There is obviously an employee recognition program in place as I found many staff going above and beyond during my many stays - e.g. Waiter in the Restaurant who remembered what coffee I drank, Concierge who asked in passing what my plans were and had my car ready for me after breakfast, Room Service who remember me asking for cracked pepper had it sent up on my next order.

Love this hotel, and as long as it's within my work budget - will always return.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Joy6328
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RugbyRob, General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns, responded to this review, November 1, 2009
Terrific review and great travel tips.

Shangri-La offers a best rate guarantee so if you can find it on the web you will see the same rate on our booking site.

Your Fitness is located within the Pier complex and really is a wonderful gym facility complete with the usual aerobic and weight machines but the highlight really is the classes on offer. Well worth an investigation.

Room Service – I’ll be sure to pass this on to the Chef.

Safe travels.

Rob Weeden
General Manager.
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Tampa, FL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2009

This was a wonderful hotel with an awesome location. If you don't want to pay to upgrade to the marina view, ask for a pool view. It was still very nice and relaxing!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MrsErwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RugbyRob, General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns, responded to this review, November 1, 2009
You know we stayed in one of our Garden view rooms this past weekend. The kids fed the birds in the morning, chased butterflies and had quick access to the gardens and pool – highly recommended.

Many thanks for the comments and delighted the writer had a wonderful stay.

Rob Weeden
General Manager.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
170 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2009

This is a very nice hotel. The rooms were huge in comparison to other 5-star hotels we stayed at. However, the biggest selling point of this hotel is the location. It is unbeatable. It is right on the pier where all the tourist boats leave. Hundreds of restaurants, stores, and clubs are within 5 minutes or less walk. The hotel offered free parking and free internet use. The beds and pillows were extremely comfortable. The only issue that I had was with the location. It was a bit noisy, outside. There were no windows, just a door to the balcony. If you leave the door open, you cannot sleep. The air conditioner was quiet.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Eugene K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RugbyRob, General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns, responded to this review, November 1, 2009
Location, location, location. It’s a theme with our comments and we really are blessed with a terrific location which saves our guests time and money and stunning views over the Marina and Trinity Bay.

A small travel tip about the balcony doors and air-conditioning. As mould and damp can be an issue in the tropics the air-conditioning will disengage when the doors are open allowing the outside humidity inside. Humidity and cool air are not good bedfellows.

Many thanks for the constructive comments and delighted the writer enjoyed their Australian holiday.

Rob Weeden
General Manager.
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Australia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2009

This is a great hotel - we were actually sad to leave it. Cairns is not the most exciting city in the world so it was wonderful to have somewhere nice to come back to where we felt comfortable.
The location is perfect, especially if you are going out with any of the dive boats - we simply walked 2 minutes down to the marina after our free buffet breakfast and hopped on the boat out to the reef.
The rooms are a decent size - not the most fancy appliances; a small TV - but this is all made up for by the great balcony and proximity to the marina and nice boardwalks.
It's certainly an interesting layout - most likely designed to optimize the views from each room - though it can be a long walk to your room; almost like a labyrinth!
Buffet breakfast was good - and it's great to have coffee in a big mug rather than the tiny cup that most hotels have.
It's also a quiet hotel after 10pm with the most comfortable bed of any hotel I've been to.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AussieTravelsAround
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RugbyRob, General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns, responded to this review, October 4, 2009
Thank you so much to the author for the balanced and helpful review. Our restaurant ‘North’ overlooking the Marina is a terrific way to start the day, our buffet is one of the best value offerings in the city and as has been highlighted previously only 50m from the Reef Fleet Terminal.

Cairns has over 500 tours on offer on any given day so please do make contact with our tour desk in the lobby to discuss your adventure needs, we will find something to entertain you.

Rob Weeden
General Manager.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
36 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2009

The saying you get what you pay for is true at this hotel. This is a nice property with nice staff and an awesome location! The rooms were decent sized as was the bathroom. I really liked the balcony and wished we had more time to spend outside, if you have time try to have at least one breakfast outside :)

The pool area was nice, although on one of the days our group of 4 girls was not able to get chairs next to each other. The weird thing is you have to go order your food & drinks at the bar area and they give you a number and deliver the food to you. Seems like an upscale hotel should be able to come to you and take your ordering while you are relaxing poolside. The drinks are delicious, but about $15 each. But hey you are on vacation so splurge a little bit :) The pool menu is also a limited on food items. Lastly the water temperature at the pool is a little chilly and the water temperature in the jacuzzi area would never get past luke warm.

We booked 2 excursions thru the concierge desk and they were nice & professional. Like I mentioned earlier all the staff was always very friendly. On one of the days when we got back from our white water rafting excursion one of the staff members were at the door to greet us as well as take away our wet towels.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank bebe624
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RugbyRob, General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns, responded to this review, October 4, 2009
Well we do have to concur with the writer – you do get what you pay for in the long run. We like to believe that we offer great value for money and while not the cheapest do offer some terrific packages and benefits – for example free internet, a location that saves travel costs, larger than average guestrooms, linen that is changed daily and branded amenities to name a few.

As highlighted by the writer our rooms are 40 metres square and every guest room has a balcony. My tip is to enjoy a chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc on the balcony and watch the Marina and city close down the afternoon and ready itself for evening. We have a terrific vantage point.

The pool and pool bar is a hive of activity and extremely popular. We do offer table (deck chair) service and can only assume the service team were unbelievably busy when you ordered. Please accept my sincere apologies and I do hope we can be indulged on this occasion.

Not sure what happened with the pool temperature. Yesterday (04 October) was 24ºC.

Great review and thank you again to the author for referencing the team.

Rob Weeden
General Manager.
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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 Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns

Property: Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns
Address: Pierpoint Rd, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Business Hotel in Cairns
#7 Luxury Hotel in Cairns
#8 Romantic Hotel in Cairns
#11 Family Hotel in Cairns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns 5*
Number of rooms: 255
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideally located in the heart of Cairns, the Shangri-La Hotel overlooks Marlin Marina, Trinity Bay and the lush green mountains of Cairns.The hotel is just ten minutes' drive from Cairns International Airport, and a short stroll to the Esplanade Lagoon and Cairns' premier dining precinct. The hotel offers airy, modern accommodations with elegant furniture and spectacular views. ... more   less 
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Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns Hotel Cairns

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