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“Turtle Cove - had a great Australia day”

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Turtle Cove Beach Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 14, 2007

We stayed over Australia Day at the end of January and had a great time. Stayed in the Apartment which was the same price as the Beachfront units but offered two bedrooms and a separate lounge. I guess if you wanted to be right on the water you would gone for the beachfront but I was travelling with a friend and we wanted the privacy of two bedrooms.

The rooms had just been repainted and upgraded with new curtains as had the beach front units. Ross was the manager who had replaced Paul who we met when we were last at Turtle Cove last year as part of their 13th birthday package. Ross was very “hands on” at breakfast each morning enquiring how we were going and what were we doing that day. Good to see.

Meals were great although the servings were rather large.

Some new faces were at reception with Kent running the front office very calmly dealing with our last minute tour bookings and changes. All our panics were dealt with very professionally.

Had two massages at their Spa with Michael and another one with Colin. Very professional and “no funny business” so they got rid of my computer tight neck & shoulders and a few swims in the ocean and warm sunbaking did the rest to get my body into holiday mode.

There were a good mix of guests from America, the UK and Europe so we made some good friends who we hope to catch up when we next travel their way. Did not do the Great Barrier Reef day trip as we had done this before but the other guests spoke highly of it when we had a drink on the terrace when they go back.

We had stayed before and noticed that the gardens were looking much better but then this may just be the tropical weather as every thing seems to grow very quickly. Rooms had been upgraded and they had added some rooms just with a king size bed and desk rather than a queen size bed and sofa. I guess you chose depending on who you are travelling with.

Breakfast was yummy with plenty of choice of cereals, juices and fruit.

When we were there they has a Australia Day tea dance so got to mix with a lot of the locals who were up as the day was a public holiday. Good BBQ, cool music from a DJ and great weather to just chill out.

We will certainly be back next year.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled with friends
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7  Thank David_Albert_Park
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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428 - 434 of 446 reviews

Reviewed November 21, 2006

Partner & I spent a week here and it was one of the most relaxed holidays we've had. Lay on the "clothing-optional" beach (careful of marine-stingers over summer !) most days & read novels & listened to music; when we were hungry grazed at the all day bar/meals area; Swam in the pool & spa; used the gym & internet room, or just lay in the sun, and met heaps of fabulous people from all over the world. The beachfront rooms were a little tired, but ours was comfortable, large, cool & clean, and the seaview was superb. The two level apartment building at the back has nicer renovated (2005) rooms, but the view is over the carpark (downstairs rooms) & treetops/horizon (upstairs); Hey, you're not going to spend much time in your room except sleeping & showering !!
The resort is a secluded/isolated, but a shuttle bus/taxi service from Cairns airport is available. Unless you inted to stay the whole time in the resort, you'll want a hire car for at least some of your stay (if you change your mind mid-stay, they have a few to hire too) else you need to take one of their organised tours. The food is superb / 5 star quality, although a little on the pricy side. Set up under a canopy (outdoors) by the bar, the meals area has several smaller tables & a communal "turtle" table for single travellers who want to meet new people. Cairns is 30mins drive or so, and Port Douglas about 15mins, so other cuisine options are available if you venture out by taxi/car. Staff were so friendly, and full of suggestions/ideas about what to do/see.

  • Stayed: February 2006, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank WorldTraveller5000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2006

You can't beat the private beach. But a private beach alone doesn't cut it when you pay $200+ for a room with broken fixtures, grime and pubic hair in the bathroom tiles, and stained bedding.

The hotel staff are kind enough and seem to be so proud of what their reputation USED to be that they are blind to what the resort looks like now.

Their beach is beautiful but mother nature keeps it that way. Turtle Cove needs to focus on the filth and CLEAN UP!

I was so appalled by the stains on the bedspread and the broken fixures that I almost took pictures but something about that seemed too cruel. Next time I go to enjoy their beach, I'll stay somewhere else and do the cheaper day visit instead.

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled with friends
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11  Thank arrowhead78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2006

On a recent visit to the Cairns area, whilst staying at Palm Cove we decided to try Turtle Cove again. We first visited & stayed at this unique setting before it became a Gay Haven & enjoyed it`s natural beauty & serenity very much. Several years ago we revisited with a friend who was visiting from England, & the idea of Turtle Cove attracted him to stay, & we had the afternoon & evening together. We wre very disappointed that such a magnificant site was so tacky & ordinary in every way.
Our recent visit has spirits soaring. The Contrast !!!!!
We arrived at approx 5pm, & we were shown to our room, with typical Northern Hospitality, by a most charming man. A letter of welcome awaited us which set the pace for the rest of our stay. The room was spotless & well appointed with a balcony with ocean view & breeze. Tea & coffee making facilities were in abundance, & a very informative "To Do" book plus a TV & a bar fridge.
At dusk the lights came on - superb lighting which cast shadows where needed & brilliance when not. We did not partake of cocktails [available] but sat down by the pool to dine around 7pm. Real table cloths & linen & good cutlery & crockery & fine glassware. A very comprehensive list of good quality wines. A brillient description of meals available given by a pretty waitress, & the food when it came was top class. Finished with coffee whilst looking through the palms at the moon. Magic.
Throughout there was an air of general happiness, particularly by a man who wanted to stay Saturday night & not miss a planned beach party, but "full house" bookings prevented it ----- so the Manager allowed him to stay in a vacant staff room [free of charge]
Lovely sleep & early morning up to go down to the beach [past a smiling receptionist] to take photos, & as if by cue, to further impress, a turtle popped it`s head above the waves.
Breakfast had a buzz, particularly from the big table, which is to share - & juices, fruits, meuslies, crumpets, "happy eggs", toasts, coffee & teas were presented in an attractive fashion.
A wondrous experience - made possible by caring people, who know what they are doing.
Keep up the good work - hope the beach party was a rage.

Zarnoque of Brisbane

Stayed: September 2006
5  Thank Zarnoque
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2006

Went back again to Turtle Cove in July 2006 for 6 nights. Had the usual fun time with a great group of other guests - about 40 people dropping down to around 20 early in the next week and 80% guys, 20% women all mostly in the 28 - 50 age group. It was all very social and inclusive in the evenings with a big group table if you are on your own or just want to join in.

The beach is very attractive with a pod of dolphins swimming very close in on one morning. You can laze around or do some of the tours to the beach and rainforest. Some people had hired cars to get around or you can rent one from the resort.

The rooms do need a little bit of a spruce up but are still very clean and comfortable around the 3.5* range. Food was good and I found AUD$80 per day was fine for all I felt like eating and drinking whenever I felt like it. You can go into Port Douglas (about 20 minutes away) for a change of menu if you feel like it.

All in all a good time was had by all and I'll go back again.

  • Stayed: July 2006, traveled solo
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9  Thank wonderboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2006

I was looking forward to staying at Turtle Cove because it received several awards in recent years. However, we only stayed 2 nights of our 4 night reservation because it was disappointing. The natural landscape is beautiful and the beach is nice, however the resort is not well managed, and the facilities are run down and dated. We had a couple meals and it was like cafeteria food. In general, you need a car and the resort isn't too convenient. Australia is gay friendly so I would recommend a mainstream resort when visiting Queensland.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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20  Thank bdh1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Sydney, Australia
117
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
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17  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Queensland > Port Douglas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 56 Specialty Lodging in Port Douglas
Price Range: $141 - $243 (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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