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“Met our expectations”

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Citysider Holiday Apartments
Ranked #33 of 84 Specialty Lodging in Cairns
Reviewed September 28, 2013

Before traveling to Cairns, I did a search on the Web to identify suitable accommodation for 4 adults. In all the searches, I kept coming back to Citysider Holiday Apartments as this best meet our requirements for location and cost. When we arrived on Saturday afternoon, the office had a sign saying to ring managers on the outdoor phone, he turned up within a couple of minutes. During our stay for 8 days, this happened a couple of times but we only had to wait no more than a couple of minutes for someone to turn up. While we did not have a lot of contact with the manager, he was friendly and provided the information we were after. The apartment we were in was on the ground floor. It was spacious and we found the beds and other furniture comfortable. As we cooked most of our meals, the kitchen was adequate but some of the cooking utensils ie frypan needs to be updated. Overall the apartment while showing signs of its age, met our expectations and we would certainly consider staying here again.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Colin_F172
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 22, 2013

We stayed 4 nights at the Citysider during August. I am so glad we weren't staying longer. We nicknamed the manager 'Mr Grumpy'. When we first arrived he was very cold and unfriendly. He asked if we wanted to book some trips and we explained that we already had our trips arranged (when you are coming all the way from the UK you don't want to arrive somewhere to find that all the trips are booked up for the days you want.) He was most put out telling us that he could have saved us money and that we shouldn't come complaining to him if the trips we had booked didn't turn out the way we had hoped as only he knew the best operators. (All our trips turned out to be first class!)

The list of rules of what you can and can't do are vast. I am surprised there weren't rules about breathing too! There was a very curt/sarcastic message that was put on the reception door when it was closed. Reception hours are very short.

We travelled throughout Australia, NZ and the South Pacific and nowhere we went was unfriendly like this place is. The place wasn't that clean and the pool was green! All the other places we stayed (for similar cost) had been cleaned and the bed made daily. Not so here - the apartment wasn't that clean and at no time was it cleaned whilst we were there. All the other places had given us washing powder for the washing machine, washing up liquid etc on a daily basis as we needed it. A good touch as you don't want to be buying a whole box of washing cubes for a few days. Here though they ask you to pay for any sachets at the vast price of a dollar a sachet. :-( On departure we were presented with a long list of jobs that we should do before we departed e.g. putting the rubbish in the skips out by the road, cleaning the place and leaving it as we found it or we would be charged.

Just one other thing it is quite a long walk to the quay and shops.

I wouldn't recommend anyone stay here! Oh and the property has a 'for sale' sign up outside which may explain a lot!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Ingrid P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
citysider, Manager at Citysider Holiday Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2014

We are sorry that you did not enjoy your stay at Citysider Cairns. To be fair, we do believe that you have exaggerated quite a bit and misread a few things. We will try to address as many of these as possible.

‘Mr Grumpy’ is not half as grumpy as he seems. He just has a dry sense of humour.

The pool is green because the beige pebbles cause the surface reflection to be green, not because it is dirty (typical of pools constructed in the 80s and 90s in Australia. It is supposed to give the pool a natural look).

You booked a self-catering apartment, which means you are given a starter pack to get you by until you make it to the shops, and rooms are only serviced weekly (typical of this style accommodation in Australia). It also means you have to do the dishes (dishwasher provided), take out the trash, and leave the place in a reasonable state. That’s three things. It is not a long list. Truth be told, as long as the place is not trashed, we are happy.

We can see by your profile that you’ve been to quite a few places, and we admit that Australia is quite possibly the most expensive of them, which is unfortunate, but it’s just the market here. You will notice that most of our guests consider us good value. This is most likely because they’ve shopped around and compared the cost relative to other accommodation, and they are accustomed to the high cost of living in Australia.

It is unfortunate to have terms & conditions, by-laws, and pool rules in a complex (ALL businesses of this sort have them even if they are hidden away), but they are present for legal reasons, not because establishments enjoy having rules for rules’ sake.

The sign on the front door of reception says, ‘the office is open but currently unattended. For assistance, please pick up the phone to your right- >->->.’ This style of business requires the manager to be out of the office at times but still in the complex, and we are simply a phone call away, and reception hours are 8am to 6pm Mon-Sat and 9am-2pm Sun.

For those who don’t mind walking 10 to 15 minutes to either the esplanade or Cairns Centeral, we do have a good location.

The ‘For Sale’ sign on the front the property was for an individual unit at Citysider, not for the business.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2013

Unfriendly welcome with the clear advice that we can buy everything for our stay at the reception (toilet paper 1 $, washing powder (25gr) 1$, powder for the dishwasher 1$....), Rooms are at first sight clean, but don´t look to close under beds and behind the sofa - you will find unexpected things......Clear regulations for everything - one whole sheet of pool regulation like: if you what to eat something at the pool, stay at least 8 meters away from it. The "fully equipped kitchen" had a very old oven and only a very small pan. After touring for some weeks through Australia that was the first and the only place we cannot recommend. Very small and cold pool. Nevertheless it seems to us a good place for people who like the "deutsche Gründlichkeit". Due to the many regulations they can really feel at home.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank Petra L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
citysider, Manager at Citysider Holiday Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2014

We are sorry that you did not enjoy your stay at Citysider Holiday Apartments. We do have to say that most of the accommodation that you booked in Australia were luxury apartments (Grand Mercure Allegra Hervey Bay and Airlie Waterfront BnB), which are $150 to $200 per night more than us. It is quite hard to compete with the experience and service that you had there, so I think most of your negativity stems from a misunderstanding of the style of accommodation that you picked. We offer self-catering holiday apartments, which means the guests is mostly self-reliant, we provide you with a basic starter pack to get you by until you make it to the shops. It is unfortunate to have terms & conditions, by-laws, and pool rules in a complex (ALL businesses of this sort have them even if they are hidden away), and some of the rules do seem quite silly and obviously do not apply to most people, but when you do have that odd incident where someone is throwing food in the pool, or eating in the pool, then you want to have something in writing. (It says to stay 8 feet or about 2 ½ metres away, not 8 metres.) It is a bit surprising you even read that rule because it is not on open display but tucked away in the back of the compendium. These rules are also present for legal reasons, not because establishments enjoy having rules for rules’ sake. Also, perhaps our apartments are not as immaculate as the luxury apartments you are accustomed to because they are not newly renovated, but they are clean as most of our reviews attest.

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Reviewed September 10, 2013

We had never been to Cairns before so didn't know what to expect. Walter welcomed us with a friendly smile and a quick overview of places to see and the complex etc. We were on the second floor which could be difficult for people who aren't fit as there is no lift. The apartment was neat and tidy and had a lovely balcony. It was a real home away from home. The kitchen was quite well equipped and we had our own washing machine and dryer. It was approx. 15 to 20 minute easy walk to esplanade. We had 4 adults staying in the apartment and we were quite comfortable. The only minus was some of the apartments are permanent rentals and a couple of the residents get up early for work. Other than that it was a lovely holiday and would recommend Citysider Apartments to other travelers.

Room Tip: If you don't like walking up stairs, ask for a ground floor or first floor unit as there are no...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank robyn w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2013

We have been to Cairns six times. Four of those times we have stayed at Citysider. When we stayed in a cheaper place, we were too far from downtown area to walk and there was a significant drop in quality of the accommodations. When we paid MUCH more, we were closer but with only marginally better facilities. Every year we use trip advisor and research what's available, but we still haven't found a place offering better value. This is not a 5 star place but it is clean, well appointed with full kitchen, and fairly close to Muddy's as well as Central Station. Like all established places, Walter and Therese can help you choose then arrange whatever excursions you would like to participate in. Be advised though that you have to pay for Wifi access (although, we did get the first week of our three weeks for free. Thanks Therese!).

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank bossrik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2013

We were welcomed on arrival by Walter who gave us heaps of useful information including showing where everything was on a map in relation to the accommodation - very helpful in orientating quickly. Walter also gave us the benefit of his local knowledge about places to visit in the area. Walter has a very dry sense of humour that sometimes left you wondering whether he was serious or not. The apartment was very clean and well appointed. We immediately felt very comfortable and at home. The inclusion of a washing machine and dryer was very much appreciated as we'd been travelling for a couple of weeks before this and were starting to run out of clean clothes! The location is fantastic being a short distance to major shopping, eateries and the waterfront. Our balcony overlooked the railway so we were able to wave at the Kuranda Railway train as it went past twice a day. We took advantage of the tour desk available through reception. Very efficiently run with little fuss. As others have said the pool water was quite cool so we didn't use that very much. The only drawback is that we were located on the third floor, only accessible by stairs, which is a problem if you have a mobility issue, and we found it tough dragging our suitcases up and down. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed these apartments and would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Christine J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2013

We stayed at Citysider Apartments for a week in July. The apartment was very clean and comfortable, had everything we needed for our stay and was very good value. We used the barbeque beside the pool. The pool was a little cold but it was winter there and it didn't deter our teenage children. The apartments are located away from the town centre and we enjoyed the walks to the beach and into town. The streets nearby are a little dark and quiet at night time but we always walked back to our apartment together. We were located at the back of the complex and we could hear the trains in the morning but we got used to them. The managers, Therese and Walter, were so friendly and helpful and organised our trip to the Great Barrier Reef. The trip to the Reef was the highlight of our holiday in Australia. We would definitely recommend the Citysider and would stay there again if we return to Cairns.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Anne2013999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Citysider Holiday Apartments

Address: 17A Upward St, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Amenities:
Free Parking Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #33 of 84 Specialty Lodging in Cairns
Price Range: $99 - $194 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Citysider Holiday Apartments 3.5*
Number of rooms: 41
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The cosmopolitan, modern city of Cairns is set in the heart of Tropical North Queensland, Australia. Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, pristine World Heritage Rainforest, the scenic waterfalls of the Atherton Tablelands and an abundance of sun soaked beaches and islands. Staying at The Citysider Cairns Holiday Apartments with its Resort Facilities less than 10 minutes from the airport, casino and hundreds of shops, restaurants and cafes, is all about affordability, accessibility, comfort and relaxation. ... more   less 
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