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“Nice place away from Central Business District”
Review of Reef Palms

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Reef Palms
Ranked #3 of 64 Hotels in Cairns
Certificate of Excellence
Lodi, California
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Nice place away from Central Business District”
Reviewed October 10, 2013

We recently stayed here before we got a car to drive up to Daintree. We were only staying one night, so I didn’t want to pay a lot. Even though it was kind of far from Cairns Central Business District; a shuttle from the airport and complimentary breakfast, which based on some of the reviews I believed were part of the price, made it a good deal that we could put up with the inconvenience of the distance from CBD. When we called to be picked up at the airport we were informed, in a not so pleasant tone, we don’t pick up from the airport; we only drop off so take a cab. Then we learned the breakfast was not complimentary but available if you paid for it. These two misunderstandings kind of colored my opinion negatively, especially since these were the factors that tipped me to stay here. We could have stayed in a comparably priced place that had good Tripadviser reviews and closer to CBD.
But I have to say after sometime and observing how Sharon helped the guests, my attitude changed about the place. I still think this was not the place for us as we were only using it as an overnight stay. I would have liked to have been closer to more amenities. But I could see people, especially people staying for an extended time period, would appreciate all its amenities: kitchenette, spaciousness rooms, quiet neighborhood (except plane noises, but they didn’t bother me, but we were on the bottom floor), pool, BBQ, easy parking, nice/well kept furnishings, cleanliness of the rooms and entire place, and helpfulness of Sharon on tour arrangements or information about Cairns. However I have to add, I felt that Sharon’s disposition was not consistent, my opinion is she does so much to have a nice place for the guest and the number of people she helps may at times be challenging, especially if there is a communication challenge. But for the most part she is Very pleasant and Very helpful. I don’t think I could be as patient in the same circumstances.
We did not have good luck in connecting to their WIFI and when I called the front desk for help, no real help was provided (other than look in the binder). When Sharon and Dave’s daughter came on duty she VERY nicely offered to help get us connected, but I was already using their computer in the lobby to do what I needed, so at this point I did not want to bother her.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Ellies852
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharon H, Owner at Reef Palms, responded to this review, October 25, 2013
Thank you for writing to us. Days can be challenging sometimes, especially the time when you visited us as David was away fishing - I might add he didn't bring any fish home though! I am sorry if you thought we collected guests from the airport, in all our literature on the internet it does state that we drop off guests to the airport only for departing flights. We are not licenced to collect guests. I do hope you enjoyed your time in North Queensland and got to see all the things the region has to offer and you enjoy fond memories of your trip to Australia. Take care.
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Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2013

We really enjoyed the Reef Palms, and Sharon, David, and Sharon's daughter make the small hotel what it is. We arrived in Cairns with no itinerary but looking for fun, and Sharon gave honest advice that proved spot on for filling our days. We never would have found the better adventures had we not asked for advice. Instead of spending one of our days on a long drive to cross the Daintree River, we instead visited Hartley's to see crocodiles and then hiked and swam at Mossman Gorge to visit the rainforest. We would have taken one of the mass-market tour boats to Green Island, but Sharon pointed us to Ocean Freedom, which takes a maximum of 75 people to two spots near Upolu Cay.
The room was great, with a smart use of the space. There was room for our older son to have a bit of privacy. The kids prefer dinner in to eating out, and with a full kitchen and a dining table, we were able to bring their dinner back and then we could go out to eat.
The airplanes do take off beginning early in the morning from the airport, but if you close the balcony doors then it muffles the sound.
The air-conditioner rattled like mad, but we had such full days that we always forgot to mention that on our way out. It was only once we were back in our room, exhausted, that we remembered that the air-conditioner probably needed attention.
Our last night I needed to do laundry, and I hadn't read the laundry details closely. When I realized that the laundry closed at 9 p.m., I left a message with the clerk at the desk that I had things in the clothes dryer. I figured the door would just be locked and I would continue to dry our things first thing in the morning, before our flight left Cairns. Instead, when I went back to the laundry area that evening, someone had waited until our things were dry and then had placed them in a laundry basket in front of the door.
That's the kind of help that the Reef Palms offers.

Room Tip: Morning sun and views from the rooms above the lobby area are nice, but probably are louder with air...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank ColoradoMelinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharon H, Owner at Reef Palms, responded to this review, October 25, 2013
It is always a pleasure to help our guests so thank you for your review. We are all happy that you enjoyed your time here with us. It is getting quite hot now with beautiful days on the water and many happy guests making the most of the sunshine to visit the Reef. I always try to give my guests information to ensure they have a great time here. If I can save you money by recommending one trip or activity over another I will. I think my job when recommending tours and day trips is to ensure you get value for your money so by listening to your requirements, I can pretty much work out the best trips or self drive options available. Take care, hope the boys enjoyed there time here too.
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Victoria, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2013

My family of 3 spent 5 days at the modest Reef Palms at the start of our month-long holiday in Australia, and we couldn't have chosen a better place to stay. Big room, full kitchen with cookware and dishes, separate sleeping space for my 15 year old, grocery shopping and pubs nearby, and a 20 minute walk along the wonderful waterfront to the centre of town. The neat little swimming pool was cold except when the sun shone right on it, but it made for a refreshing dip! And our hosts Sharon and David were outstanding! With great recommendations for day trips and tours, Sharon making arrangements for us, and David driving us door to door, these are the kind of hosts you hope to have at every stop. We felt welcome and appreciated. We'll be back!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank bigmom1998
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharon H, Owner at Reef Palms, responded to this review, October 10, 2013
Dave and I are so pleased your enjoyed your adventures in Cairns - we love it when you have a great time. Gosh it is getting hot now, I think we are in for a long hot summer season so perfect weather for swimming on the Barrier Reef or in the waterfalls of the Tablelands. We would love to see you all again and hope that you will make the journey back to Australia again and visit with us.
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Charlotte
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2013

We used this hotel as a base and stayed 4 nights over 3 stays in 3 different rooms. All were clean and comfortable. Of the 3 rooms 204 was the best. If you are looking for a hotel in the action of Cairns this is not it as it is a 20-25 minute walk to downtown. However if you are looking for value and a place where you can save by cooking a few meals this is it. Kitchenette is well set up. At set times the manger will drop you off downtown or at airport but will not pick you up from either. Word of caution for Americans. Although the currency is around 1:1 expect to pay twice what you would pay for meals in the USA although tipping is not expected. Best place to change money was the Western Union downtown Cairns highest rate and no fees.

Room Tip: Rooms on lower floor were quiet as hotel is under Cairns flight path.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dunkirkal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharon H, Owner at Reef Palms, responded to this review, October 8, 2013
Hi and thank you for staying with us - you were great guests and found a new place for us to be able to recommend changing money - so thank you for that tip. We advise all our USA guests that tipping is not expected in Australia, it is not a percentage of the bill like in the USA. Your dollar is increasing against our currency so hopefully our American guests will find it more affordable to come to Australia. You certainly travelled everywhere so hope you enjoy fond memories of your time in our country and in particular, tropical North Queensland.
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Yigo, Mariana Islands
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 6, 2013 via mobile

The price of the hotel was nice and a primary reason for the choice. Not having an elevator was unpleasant especially for those with large luggage on the third floor. The rooms were smaller than seen online but no big deal. My biggest complaint was the older lady that worked the desk. She seemed pleasant at first but when you ask her a question she talks down to you like "duh everyone knows that." It was unfortunate as Cairns was the last Australian city in our east coast trip and her attitude was not reflective of most of the Aussies we met on our trip.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Israel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharon H, Owner at Reef Palms, responded to this review, October 8, 2013
Thank you for writing. We do advise on our sites that we have stairs and no lift here. Spa Studios are located on level 2 so yes, there are two flights of stairs to negotiate so am sorry if you thought there was a lift here.
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Pakenham, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2013

# Plenty of room to spread out in what I can only describe as a "Home away from home".
# Those beds are ever so comfortable and inviting. Had beautiful sleeps every single night and sometimes in the afternoon(Nanna naps-essential when on holidays)
# The room was clean and uncluttered and the little kitchenette had everything that I needed to whip up a meal.
# The BBQ area downstairs was a bonus and so easy to use. I loved the fact that I was able to meet other guests staying here and share our experiences.
# The pool was delicious. Clean and clear water, I think my granddaughter has gone home water-logged. The only thing that was a little concerning was that I found it a little hard to get out of. The steps up are difficult to maneuver for these old knees of mine - fine for the younger generation though. Would love to have seen the waterfall operating, never mind.
# I was wrapped to see so much Tourist information at our disposal, some of which we took advantage of. Great to be able to ask questions and get the much needed advice.
Being able to book tours directly from the Motel helped as well , so thank you Sharon for helping us out with our tour to Fitzroy Island.
# I enjoyed the fact that the Motel is actually out of the hustle and bustle of Cairns Central. Situated north of Cairns it is still very accessible to the main shopping and business district.
The disadvantage is that you are close to the airport and the planes fly over REALLY close.
For me, I wasn't concerned as I loved seeing these monsters flying overhead as I floated in the pool. They begin to fly over around 5:30am but hey, what a great alarm clock!
# If you don't have your own means of transport, no worries. The Motel may be able to drop you into town, all you have to do is ask.
Taxis are a great and convenient way to get around as well and there is the public transport bus just around the corner that can take you in all directions.
# Like to walk? The terrain is flat, so an early morning walk down to the waters edge is a great way to start the day. Walk to the Tobruk Memorial Pools for a great day out, BBQ's and lawn-beautiful place!
# The fact that the Motel has a small dining room where you can enjoy a delicious breakfast is a bonus as well.
# Motel was quiet, private and secure
# There is a local small supermarket a 10 minute's walk from the motel. Great supply of essentials.
# If you arrive after hours make sure you have some milk for that cuppa before bedtime -wasn't supplied in our room :-(
All in all, we found the Reef Palms an excellent choice and will have no hesitation in recommending the place to friends and family.
Thanks Sharon and David for a most welcoming and friendly stay. It was really far too short a time up there in your wonderful part of the world.

Room Tip: No lift, so to reach rooms above ground level, need to climb the stairs. If you don't like traf...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Marylyn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharon H, Owner at Reef Palms, responded to this review, October 8, 2013
It was lovely to have you and your granddaughter stay with us, she was so polite and obviously loves here nan! You certainly filled your days and we loved hearing about your adventures each afternoon when you returned. It is certainly getting hotter in Cairns now but the weather is absolutely perfect for the Reef with not a puff of wind. Dave and I hope you will come back and stay with us again if you are ever in Cairns again. Take care.
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Boston, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
100 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 189 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2013

We had a nice stay at this inn. It's located a five minute drive from downtown in a residential area about a block or two in from the water. The room was nice and comfortable, and very clean. The free wifi worked very well. If your rate includes free breakfast - great. But if not, do not pay extra, because it's really not worth it. We were a little worried about how pleasant the staff would be based upon prior reviews, but found them to be very nice and helpful. There was a really nice guy who works the counter who gave us some great reco's for Cairns. One of the other ladies was indeed a little bit gruff, but I think her bark was worse than her bite. Overall, this is a good solid choice if you can afford to be a bit out of Cairns center.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank CBEB1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharon H, Owner at Reef Palms, responded to this review, September 20, 2013
Thank you for staying with us for your visit in Cairns. Dave is still learning the rope with tours so he will be very pleased you liked his recommendations. We always try to remind our American guests that tipping is not something we Australians expect to receive as in the USA so Dave always passes along this tip for our guests. We love Cairns and all that it has to offer so are happy that you enjoyed visiting here and seeing the sights. Having a car opens up many driving possibilities although we do have to remind all our US guests that we drive on the correct side of the road - well we think so anyway! Take care and enjoy your future trips.
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Additional Information about Reef Palms

Property: Reef Palms
Address: 41-47 Digger St | corner McKenzie Street, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Cairns
#4 Romantic Hotel in Cairns
#7 Family Hotel in Cairns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Reef Palms 3.5*
Number of rooms: 42
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Also Known As:
Reef Palms Cairns
Reef Palms Hotel Cairns

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