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.
- 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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- Also Known As:
- Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns Hotel Cairns