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“Great location - small rooms”

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Cairns Harbour Lights
Ranked #17 of 85 Specialty Lodging in Cairns
GreenLeadersSilver level
Queensland, Australia
Level Contributor
132 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Great location - small rooms”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2009

Harbour Lights is in such a fabulous location in Cairns. Located within the epicentre of Cairns' restaurant district and boasting spectacular views of the harbour Harbour Lights has everything going for it - well almost...

After a slick foyer and attentive staff my colleagues and i were disappointed when we got to our rooms only to find they were clean but small and sparsely furnished. Although room size really isn't all that important for short business stays, the rooms were so sparsely furnished that we were a little disappointed.

Perhaps the two bedroom apartments are better but we thought Harbour Lights somewhat basic. Would we stay there again? Probably not. The cairns accommodation market is just loaded with terrific hotels at competitive prices. It's a good location - but maybe not quite good enough.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank seaview088
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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732 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (168)
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England
Level Contributor
61 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2009

Harbour Lights is the best location in Cairns. It is right on the waterfront and away from busy roads. The rooms are modern and very comfortable. We stayed in a harbour view apartment which was well worth the extra for the fantastic view. Also that side of the building has only the marina front boardwalk between it and the sea and so there is no traffic noise. There is a bit of noise from boats leaving on pleasure trips in the morning but this was not a problem and if you choose to sleep with the windows closed and the air con on then it is barely audible. Ours was a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment. there is a good rooftop swimming pool and gym to work off the excesses. Hop on the lift and emerge on the waterfront and you have a series of sea front restaurants and bars. We had a very good meal in Dundees. Alternatively it is less than 5 minutes walk to the Esplanade which has loads of restaurants etc.
All in all we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Harbour Lights and Cairns is a great place to base yourself to explore the region.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mahonia100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
56 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2009

The Sebel Harbour Lights in Cairns was fantastic from the start of our stay till the end. We paid $297.00 for three nights and the room we had was 404 which is looking up the esturary not over the harbour, but the view was gorgeous. This rate we found on wotif.com. We walked in and straight away got the wow factor. The apartment has a living room, dining room, kitchen area with amazing facilities, washing machine seperate dryer, bedroom and luxury bathroom with a brilliant power shower. Everything was brand new, and well fitted out. We had a massive 40" flat screen tv, another flat screen tv in the bedroom, radio alarm clock, phones internet connection. You could not ask for more. .The hotel is situated right at the marina & a short walk to the restaurants and shops. The desk staff were friendly and helpful. The outside swimming pool was lovely as was the gym and facilities. There is also an outside BBQ area for guests to use which was very quiet and very pleasant.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Duck-Feet-67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 5, 2009

I booked to be close to the conference I was attending and paid for the room in advance. The hotel location is good but the place itself was rather sterile and sad. They phoned me two days before arrival to say that there was a "maintenance problem" and my room would not be available. I was booked instead at the other end of Cairns, 45 minutes walk away. None of the dozens of colleagues I knew staying in Cairns at the same time were subject to this problem or displaced in the same way, so who knows whether this "maintenance problem" really existed or if they just screwed up their bookings. Only when I pointed out that the place they had moved me to had a tariff 30% lower than I had already prepaid did they finally agree to a refund. Basically they tried to shaft me and make a profit while not honoring the booking. Beware.

Stayed May 2009, traveled on business
Helpful?
4 Thank Melb0urne_Melb0urne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2009

We stayed here for 5 nights on our honeymoon. We were put in room 309. We had booked months in advance direct with the website for a harbour view 1 bedroom apartment so we got a fairly decent rate of around $180 per night. The rooms were nice enough - very 'Mirvac'. In another few months, I would say they will look fairly dingy.

Location was fantastic - right on the marina and the view from the room was great. The restaurants below the hotel looked constantly busy but we didnt visit either of them.

I agree with the person below re housekeeping. Our room was vaccummed only once during the whole 5 day stay - not very pleasant when you walk in sand from snorkelling on the reef etc. The room was 'serviced' every day if you could call it that - all they did was make the bed. Even if we left towels on the bathroom floor to be replaced, they would be still left there with new towels just put on the bench. Weird. The lack of housekeeping was probably the biggest turn off about this place.

One other strange thing was an extra door in our bathroom - it led into some massive machinery room? I'm not sure what it was used for but it would be annoying for people with kids. There was no lock on the door so anyone could go in and out.

The other thing that REALLY bugged me about this place is that if you pay for ANYTHING by credit card they charge you a fee. We had to check out early because of an early morning flight and we let them know this the night before. When we went to check out, there was some computer problem and even though our room was totally pre-paid, the lady at reception tried to charge me an additional 3% fee per night. All we had left to pay was for some movies and they charge the credit card fee on this also. Bad, bad, bad.

If you are looking for a reef cruise, we used Ocean Free and they were really good - laid back and comfortable. I wouldn't recommend this place and would only stay there again if we got a super cheap rate. If you are looking to stay in the same area try to Shangri La or the Hilton

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank livmack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
irvine, california
Level Contributor
101 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2009

The Sebel Harbour Lights in Cairns was terrific! Our room (in off season under $100 US per night) was actually an apartment, with living room, dining room, kitchen facilities, washer/dryer, and separate bedroom and bath. Everything was brand new. The view from the room was gorgeous. The hotel is situated right at the marina from where all the day boats leave, and a short walking distance from the esplanade with all the restaurants and shops. The desk staff were accommodating - the only problem was they messed up our 3:00 a.m. taxi pick-up and wake-up call.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank drmmb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sydney
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2009

My husband and I spent 4 nights at this hotel . The hotel is on the edge of the harbour so is near some nice restaurants overlooking the water and a few minutes further to walk into the shops of Cairns. WE stayed in room 212 the apartment was very luxurious with a nice big bed, kitchen area with dishwasher and full sized fridge and flatscreen TV in lounge and a smaller TV in beedroom , the appartment had the best views over the harbour and side views of the inlet . Fantasic service from the front desk,Serviced daily how could you not enjoyed your stay - very modern and extremely clean with good facilities and extremely fantastic location.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank thearkf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cairns Harbour Lights

Property: Cairns Harbour Lights
Address: 1 Marlin Parade | CityPort Harbourfront Complex, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 85 Specialty Lodging in Cairns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Cairns Harbour Lights 4*
Number of rooms: 94
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Cairns Harbour Lights Hotel Cairns
Harbour Lights Apartments Cairns

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