My wife and I visited Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Cairns for our honeymoon, and stayed at the Rydges Esplanade Resort for the final leg of our vacation.
Don't be fooled by the outlook of the hotel - granted it looks a little old and scruffy from the exterior, but inside the deco is modern, exotic and overall very clean and inviting. Of the three hotels we stayed in (Sebel Suites in Brisbane, Watermark in the Gold Coast) the staff at Rydges were by far the best - extremely sincere, very friendly and supremely helpful. They always smiled and chatted to you everytime they bumped into you and were never too busy to help. Of the 3 hotels, the Rydges Esplanade Resort were also the only ones to have addressed our honeymoon and provided us with a 'nice' bottle of champagne upon reaching our room. A very nice touch indeed.
The rooms themselves were very big and spacious. We had a lovely room with a panoramic view overlooking the Reef Pier on the left to Cairns Central shopping centre on the right. The deco was arguably a little 'old-skool' but was nonetheless very well kept and clean. The bathroom was huge with a separate bath tub and shower area. The room came with a small lounge with sofas and of course the essential were there (TV, minibar, wardrobes) etc.
The hotel also has a good business centre, a nice restaurant with a lovely breakfast buffet, and a large tourist information area where they have all the pamphlets for the various day tours which you can join. The hotel even have designated staff and desk to help with booking the day tours.
Location-wise it is hard to assess the Resort. Its a 20 or so minute walk into the town centre - granted, this is not overly far (relatively speaking) and the walk itself (either down the esplanade or through the town itself) is a very pleasant one, but when you see that there are similar looking resorts and hotels located closer to the town centre and when you consider that the town itself is pretty quiet all round - even when you're close to the town centre - you cannot help but think that maybe somewhere a little closer would be better.
The hotel does have a nice shuttle bus which stops at all the major attractions and landmarks in Cairns, but while this a nice feature, the bus only departs on an hourly basis and the service ends a little early.
I never got to use the pool, in fact I think it was being renovated, but it looked pretty good when I walked past it.
Overall, we had an excellent stay and the service, as well as the room itself, was virtually flawless. Distance and travel was a little bit of a disadvantage, but this all depends on the individual.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Oceanfront 12-story hotel towers, 3 blocks from city center. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Rydges Esplanade Resort Cairns Hotel Cairns
- Rydges Esplanade Hotel Cairns
- Rydges Esplanade Cairns
- Rydges Cairns