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Turtle Cove Beach Resort
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
Sydney, Australia
Reviewed May 19, 2006

I've now stayed at Turtle Cove 5 or 6 times. I was there a few months after it opened in 1993 and roughly every couple of years since. It is part of my gay history and I loved the place for its location, friendliness and standards. I had always had good experiences there. But 6 visits is enough. Last time but one, in late 2004, I noticed a decline in standards. The rooms were starting to show wear, the place looked run down, it was not as clean as it could have been and the staff, while still friendly, were inexperienced and unprofessional. I was assured that the problems were temporary and that things would be back to normal.

So I went back in April, 2006. To my great disappointment the decline has continued. The resort really needs money spent on it. Furniture is ageing, the whole resort looks tatty, the public areas are worn. The new spa area is a great addition but I only saw it used once. Food standards had declined and, though not overpriced, it was pub grub. The whole place looked dirty . Dirty tables, ashtrays etc It desperately needed a sweep and there was mould on many things such as walkways, walls etc While there was plenty of staff, they seemed to lack supervision.

I have been for the last time. Its sad that such a beautiful location isn't being capitalised upon. The staff are saying that the its for sale and its going straight. The whole thing seems to have run out of steam. Its very sad but life goes on. I see in another review the Manager, who had left when I was there, said that it's won a prize for the best gay resort in the world. If that's so, it does not say a lot for the ones that Turtle Cove beat. I'd advise anyone going to do their research before committing their dollars and also look at the many similarly priced but now far superior hotels in Port Douglas.

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
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18  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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444 - 450 of 456 reviews

Reviewed April 11, 2006

We visited Turtle Cove in March 2006. It was proported to be the best gay resrot in the wolrd.
We, and many other guests we met, were very disappointed.

The good points:

1. The ocean and beach front are quite nice. Isolated. Romantic.
2. Hotel room was clean. A/C worked great.
3. Continental breakfast was very good.

Negative points:

1. The "ocean view" room we booked had a view of the parking lot. Way over the parking lot we could only see the ocean from one corner of our balcony because of a large palm tree growing in front of our balcony. When we booked the room, we were not told there was a parking lot to look past. When we inquired upon check out about the tree, we were told "they grow fast". Well, then cut it back every week!!

2. The grounds need to be cleaned more. It just felt like there was not enough staff cleaning. There was mold in a lot of places. The overhang whre you eat has dirt and mold on it. The restaurant needs to be swept more. They just need to be on top of things much more. Being nice only goes so far. (And they are all very nice)

3. They do not let you know in an "above board" way that you cannot swim in the ocean due to deadly Jelly fish between Nov and April.
This was very disappointing. When we asked why they did not tell us in the many back and forth emails we sent in booking, the response "it's clearly on our webiste". Well, when we checked, it is on the website, but in smaller print on an obscure page called "weather". This seems a bit shady to me.
Why not be up front, put it on the title page, and let people know when we book that they have deadly jelly fish for 5 months of the year??
We would have gladly booked antoher time of year. Instead, we wated time and money. Many other guests were also very disappointed/angry about this.

If you have any questions about this place, you can email me

17  Thank Scott S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2006

Okay seriously i wished i had used the money it cost me to go here towards a trip i knew for a fact i would of enjoyed.

I was completly let down by turtle cover when i checked it out over the christmas period. The thing that got me was the amout of money that i had to spend just to eat there.

$3 for a can of drink and again another $3.50 (i think it was) for a packet of chips which were in fact all out of date. Very Classy.

Not only was the place completly dead it was miss leading, we grabbed some breakfast one morning with the understanding it was included with stay, even reconfirmed it before we grabbed any. We noticed that when we checked out we were charged $40 per head for a (one off) breakfast. Not bloody happy at all. Even after confirming it with the staff that morning. I would of stuck with cerial or not bothered with breaky if i knew i was going to get ripped off $40each for some toast and bacon.

Alot of the staff were cool except for one particular lady at the bar, it didnt matter how many times i thanked her for bringing us drinks she still had this --- off attitude about her. I didnt actaully wanna have drinks brought to me as it seemed like a big effort for her. Real let down.

The atmosphere was completly dead, we were with the understanding that the place was booked out. If that was the case it they must of all gone out and not stayed at the resort as it was like a ghost town when we were there. Also another thing, when there were people, they all knew each other already, it was like they were locals or something. We felt like we were intruding on a family getaway (at a gay resort). It was bizzare.

On a final note at the end of our stay we decided we proberly would never return to turtle cove. It just didnt live up to what it made out to be. We were bord outta our brains. BE WARNNED

  • Stayed: December 2005
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19  Thank Cricket G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2005

I have stayed here twice with a two-year gap between and I noticed that it didn't seem to be as well run as my first visit or as popular.

The food is still excellent but the rooms and public areas are looking a little tired and there doesn't seem to be the same service level from the staff.

During the "Stinger Season" from Nov-May (Stingers are a very venemous box Jellyfish) you cannot swim from the beach and the pool is unheated and can be cool.

If you're there during a quiet period you may find it somewhat isolated.

  • Stayed: November 2004
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11  Thank Pewit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded December 27, 2005

Firstly, my sincere thanks to everyone who has provided feedback on Turtle Cove Resort & Spa. The Resort also encourages feedback from guest comment forms which are closely monitored and genuinely assist in addressing issues and recognising jobs well done. Significant improvements have been made since my commencement recently, to ensure we strive to exceed our important guest expectations in every area. Our current performance data indicates a 92% satisfaction level, which also indicates some room for improvement. Public areas, room presentations and facilities, resort facilities, services, a new return guest program and our new Resort Spa are just some, while we've also introduced a diverse calendar of events designed to cater for every taste, beyond our exclusive gay and lesbian client appeal. We are always improving the Resort, while striving to achieve real value for money in an exclusive, private, boutique resort setting where feedback remains critical to implementing significant, ongoing improvements. We're also proud to have been recently awarded 'Best Gay Resort in the World' and look forward to ensuring every experience is beyond the best. Thanks again to everyone for your valuable feedback and best wishes for the New Year. Best Regards, Paul.

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed October 23, 2005

Just wanted to say haow much I enjoyed my stay at Turtle Cove. Staff friendly and the rooms, although simply furnished were very comfortable and clean. Meals in the restaurant were very good and by English standards, very reasonably priced. Can't wait to return.

  • Stayed: May 2003
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Chicago, Illinois
Reviewed May 22, 2005

A mixed bag. After being on several gay cruises (Atlantis Events), we had high hopes for Turtle Cove. We flew into Cairns, about a 40 minute ride to the resort, where we were met by a friendly van driver and another couple heading to the property. We had booked a four-day package and stayed in a beachfront room. It was comfortable for a basic resort property, and we had comfortable lawn chairs and our own little patio area. Hammocks were available on the beach but were in so-so condition. (I nearly fell through one of them because it was in such sorry shape). Staff was friendly and outgoing, which was nice. When we were there, it was the week prior to the annual "Women's Week", which meant that there were fewer guests than usual. As a result it was great for relaxing and spending time with other gay and lesbian travelers, but pretty dull overall.

Meals were excellent but very expensive. Unless you rent a car (at AUD $75 from the hotel), you have no options other than the resort restaurant/bar for meals. Buffet breakfast was provided each morning and included toast, juice, coffee and muffins. Eggs/sausage/bacon would have been nice.

The pool was beautiful but too cold to swim, unfortunately. The hot tub was a good alternative. And although the resort is on the beach, there is no ocean swimming due to jellyfish and sharks.

Diving the Barrier Reef was fantastic and well-organized with a dive shop in Port Douglas.

Overall, we didn't feel the resort offered value for money. Next time we'll stay at a larger resort in Port Douglas.

  • Stayed: May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
21  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2016 via mobile
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Stayed: March 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
turtlecovegayresort, General Manager at Turtle Cove Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded March 17, 2016
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Turtle Cove Beach Resort

Address: 4500 Captain Cook Hwy, Port Douglas, Queensland 4877, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Port Douglas
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 57 Specialty Lodging in Port Douglas
Price Range: $145 - $207 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Turtle Cove Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Turtle Cove Beach Resort is a Gay and Lesbian, Adults Only, Absolute Beach Front Holiday Resort near Cairns, Australia. Join us in Tropical Far North Queensland and experience the most fantastic and secluded piece of unspoilt GLBT Paradise in Australia,some say the world. Be assured,Turtle Cove Beach Resort is not your ordinary Gay and Lesbian Hotel! Come and explore our totally private, clothing optional, tropical beach and have the holiday/vacation of your life time! Turtle Cove Beach Resort is an absolute beachfront slice of Gay and Lesbian Heaven and is conveniently located between Cairns, Palm Cove and Port Douglas, it is the perfect place to chill and relax. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Turtle Cove Hotel Port Douglas
Turtle Cove Smithfield

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