My wife Vicki and I have just had the most relaxing and enjoyable holiday ever, thanks to the wonderful hospitality of Andre and the beautiful piece of paradise he and Anthony have so passionately created at the Mai Tai Resort.
After a lot of searching for somewhere very special, as a surprise mystery vacation to celebrate Vicki’s birthday, I eventually stumbling upon the umpteen excellent TripAdvisor reviews for the Mai Tai resort, and then booked the Orchid Suite. We couldn’t have been more thrilled with the outcome. Like so many holidaymakers before us, I was looking for somewhere different to the typical commercial resort. Mai Tai easily ticked all the boxes for us. We stayed 9 nights, but wish we stayed longer.
We love children, but we were so pleased that Mai Tai is an adults only resort so that we could truly relax and enjoy the sounds of the rainforest. We also loved the many unique features that make this resort so special, such as the amazing and authentic Balinese theme throughout, the huge comfy bed and nice pillows, the lovely views from our very private room and courtyard, the romantic outdoor (yet private) shower, the wonderful breakfasts on the terrace with spectacular views, the lovely pool area, and perhaps best of all the outstanding customer service from Andre, one of the owners. (Anthony, the other owner was away at the time of our stay, but was really helpful and patient with my many questions at the time I made the reservation). It’s so true what so many other past reviewers have said: ‘You arrive as guests and leave as friends’. It’s no wonder that Mai Tai has won so many well-deserved awards.
There are just four suites and a separate executive villa here at this resort, so it is so peaceful and secluded. The Orchid Suite is by far the best suite (in our opinion). Apart from the romantic outdoor shower, it has a huge outdoor (yet very private) courtyard and garden area with spectacular distant views. Due to the private location, we didn’t need to draw the curtains, and with the screens and fans preferred most of the time not to use the air conditioner. That way we could be gently woken in the morning with the sounds of the birds in the rainforest, at which point we’d lay on the outdoor lounges for an hour or so before breakfast, enjoying this special time of the day. We also loved lounging in the shade there at other parts of the day too. By the way, there is another suite there with an outdoor shower too, as well as two other suites with the shower inside in case you’d prefer it that way. All have their own lovely outdoor garden patio area.
Every morning Andre prepared the tastiest, healthiest, most interesting and filling ‘light’ breakfasts I think we’ve ever had. On arrival Andre will ask if you have any particular preferences or dietary requirements, and then surprise you. In our case, every morning our ‘light’ breakfast consisted of a glass of juice, a choice of cereals, a platter of about 9 or 10 different types of diced tropical fruits, yoghurt, a warm croissant and roll, and a plunger of tea or coffee. The wonderful terrace setting and views for breakfast helped breakfast time to be a great start to the day. Sometimes we’d get to meet other guests at breakfast time, or if there were just us we’d ask Andre to sit with us for a chat over breakfast. Being pet-lovers, we encouraged Andre to also bring out his lovely, huge, friendly Bernese Swiss Mountain dogs to join us too (as otherwise he tends to keep them indoors in case any of the guests might mind). Andre knows so much about the local tourist attractions and eateries that his knowledge and spot-on recommendations helped to round out our enjoyable stay here. We also found the TripAdvisor reviews for eateries and attractions to be helpful. For lunch we especially enjoyed Ospreys Restaurant at the Thala Beach Lodge (just south of Port Douglas), On the Turps Restaurant at the Heritage Lodge & Spa (in the Daintree) and the Treehouse Restaurant at the Silky Oakes Lodge (in the Mossman Gorge area). Each of these venues had fantastic views, great food, and excellent customer service. Mojos in Mossman was our favourite for dinner, though we did also enjoy dining at Nautilus and Harrisons in Port Douglas too. As a courtesy and to avoid disappointment we recommend making a reservation. Another treat we recommend (despite it being fairly expensive) is the “Flames of the Forest” Aboriginal Heritage culture evening. The illuminated forest setting, fantastic food, interesting story telling, sounds of the didgeridoo, great customer service and meeting other travellers made for a wonderful experience. Of course something involving the reef is a must too, as are self drive day-trips of the region from Kuranda in the south to Cape Trib in the north – but best of all is returning to the Mai Tai after your day’s adventures. You will of course need a car if staying at the Mai Tai, but you will appreciate the freedom a car provides for exploring anyway.
Just a minor little tip, which I learned from Andre: if your skin is a bit sensitive with respect to mozzies etc (which mine is inclined to be), use an aerosol style tropical strength insect repellent rather than a regular roll-on or non-aerosol type spray for better results. (Provided your aerosol cans are capped and declared you can apparently carry them on most domestic flights). Also, coils (lit with a match) are very effective too in the garden courtyard area. Mozzies and various other insects are a part of the tropical environment anywhere in this region – and the great outdoors in general for that matter, but with this simple preventative measure they shouldn’t spoil your amazing holiday here. Don’t forget your sunscreen either, be sure to carry water on your day trips and be careful about where you swim – the pool at the Mai Tai is the best place.
Thank you Andre and Anthony for daring to be different with the paradise you have created here. Thank you too Andre for your wonderful hospitality and friendship. We look forward to meeting you next time Anthony. Now that we have discovered Mai Tai, we hope to have the opportunity to stay there many times in the future, though as more people discover this paradise we’ll need to book well in advance – especially to get the Orchid Suite.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mai Tai is a small adults only boutique Resort / Retreat set in the Port Douglas Hinterlands just 10 minutes North from the Port Douglas entrance. - With only 6 rooms - 2 Superior Rooms / 2 Deluxe Rooms and One 2 bedroom Executive Villa it's sure to guarantee you privacy and excellent service. Mai Tai commands some of the most spectacular views within the region across the Rainforest towards Thornton's Peak and the Coral Coast. With our high altitude you can always be guaranteed of peaceful days and cool breezes. Mai Tai is the perfect location away from the hustle and bustle of big cities, traffic and people offering a stress free environment and total relaxation. Mai Tai is within easy reach of beautiful beaches, fine dining, shopping and all local tours and attractions the region has to offer. This exclusive retreat caters for a maximum of only 12 discerning guests at any one time. Consisting of four romantic Balinese influenced rooms (2 Superior / 2 Deluxe), which have been carefully designed with hand carved furnishings and fittings from around Asia. Plus our Exclusive 2 bedroom Executive Villa set high above the Mai Tai Resort - Hidden amongst the Rainforest with it's own private plunge pool. Escape to Paradise and discover our hidden treasure, amidst the mountains, with cool sea breeze while relaxing around the saltwater pool. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mai Tai Hotel Port Douglas
- Mai Tai Port Douglas