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“Great low cost family holiday venue”

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Reef Resort Port Douglas by Rydges
Ranked #29 of 43 Hotels in Port Douglas
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great low cost family holiday venue”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2013

Stayed 5 nights and would happily return for a low-cost family holiday.

Pros:
- restuarant meals and pricing - we ate every meal in the restuarant during our stay and couldn't fault a single experience. Enormous serves, excellent value, great variety. A free child's meal with every main is great value and the kid's meals were terrific (steam chicken breast and fresh veg / spag bog/ fish and chips)

- happy hour in the bar is good value, $10 cocktails, $5 beer/wine/bubbles

- pools are fantastic, better than their website depict in fact. Four pools to choose from, waterfalls, tunnels, spas, lots of little paddling places for babies to splash, lap pool, really the highlight of the resort to be honest.

- rooms are fairly spacious. We stayed in a 2 bedroom deluxe - lounge/dining/kitchen/laundry/shower/WC downstairs, 2 bedrooms each with balcony plus bathroom upstairs.

- Beds are super comfy with good quality, proper hotel linen

- breakfast is a good variety and hot selection changes daily (although no sweet offerings such as pancakes - only savoury in the hot selection)

- being from Melbourne I was surprised the lattes were really good too ($4 extra)

- On check in I upgraded our 'included' continential breakfast for a hot breakfast at no cost (as we had less people staying than originally booked for)

- 5-6 min walk to the beach down a defined beach walk track (although dont listen to the instructions from the reception staff who all tell you to go to QT Hotel next door and THEN cross the road) - you'll be left wandering the highway looking for the track. Easy beach access is DIRECTLY out the front of Rendevous's entrance, look for the blue signs. Beach is absolutely stunning and surrounded with trees so lots of shady areas

- the grass ovals next to the lap pool are stunning - I think they might be shared with the QT Hotel next door? Far better maintained than the gardens around the resort and a great place for kids to stretch their legs. Althought lots of bites after an afternoon running around - suggest you use aeroguard as there's something bity in the grass?!

- lots of feedback in the reviews about the limited amenities but we found there to be plenty for our (5 day) stay. If you run out of anything you can purchase all items from reception for a resonable cost. I didn't find this an issue at all. Their website clearly explains what's included so good to review that before you get there if you think you need to. ALso, they're pretty clear that the rooms aren't serviced so we weren't expecting otherwise, You can hire additional linen (towels $2, etc) which are all really resonably priced as well.

- the play ground for the kids is great (best suited to 3+ year old) slides, swings, a climbing wall. If travelling with children it would be good to request a room near the kids playground/kid's pool as it's a good place for them to burn off energy. Although we spent more time at the grassed area near the gym!

- lots of shaded areas in every pool which is great for the little kids. The walkways around the pools all cemented pebbles which were painful on little feet after a while. Id recommend those water-shoes just to give little toes a break every day or so.

- within the restuarant there's one side of the verandah (usually in the shade) which has a couple of tables and a corner full of toys (lego, kid's chairs/table, play BBQ, etc). Its a great addition to the resort and a good place for kids to play while parent eat/drink/relax. Its not tucked out the back as many can be but has a lovely view of the pools too.

Cons:

- gardens and surrounds could do with a clean up, mostly dirt hills and lots of fallen leaves. Heaps of palm trees so does have a garden feel, but looks and feels quite tired. Grotty slimy puddles around the 'kids' pool which would be easily fixed with a quick spritz with a hose but are left as

- the floors in the room are really dirty - we had spider webs in the dust bunnies in our second bedroom, yuk. It looks like they get a quick once-over in the main walkways and that's all. The amount of dirt on the windowsills is truly awful.

- $4.40 per day to pay for the use of the in-room safe at a resort where guests are encouraged to be out all day, outragoues

- no wifi in rooms, only available in main reception/bar

- Reception staff are generally really unhelpful. Lots of shrugging of shoulders and one word answers. It got so depressing trying to get information we started to ask the gardeners/maintenance staff instead - they were much cheerier and much more helpful. Im on holidays, I know you're not, but a "good morning!" or a comment on the lovely weather every so often wouldn't go astray. It has the general feeling like the manager has gone away for the day so the staff all give up and noone wants to work or talk to their customers.

- staff in restuarant are helpful and chatty but so slow it's unbearable at times. Drinks arrive when you're already half way through your meal despite ordering them as soon as you arrive. To place orders you have to go wandering around and stand at the waiter's station to try and catch their attention - despite often being the only table in the place.

- only about 6 high chairs for the whole restuarant so at breakfast time they are fiercly sought after. For a family resort this was definitely an issue - and much talked about with parents. For the sake of $300 go buy an extra 10 from Ikea please!

- I'm not sure if its the case with all rooms, but we were in an upgraded 2 bedroom deluxe and EVERY SINGLE light switch, fan control, aircondition control and DOOR HANDLE was located ~1 metre from the ground - perfect for toddler's to constantly play with, open, turn on. The locks on the doors that go outside are useles and a quick turn unlocks the lock and opens the door. Where are the chain locks??? The buttons for every fan falls off in your hand when you operate them - a choking hazard if ever there was one (we ended up removing them all storing them in a bowl in the kitchen away from little fingers which got annoying when you wanted to change the speed of the fans).


Summary

All in all it's a great family resort, low cost and with great pools, play ground, grassed oval and waterplay. The restaurant is truly excellent both in terms of value and quality. If the staff perked up and the gardens were better kept it would be even better. I'd happily return. My last tip - given to us by our airport transfer driver when we arrived, there's a large stair case leading to reception - leave your suitcases down the bottom and go check in, someone will help take them to your room for you (avoid lugging them up the stairs as we saw many people do).

Room Tip: Talk to reception staff about what your needs and request a specific location based on their advice...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Bella C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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629 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (153)
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English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2013 via mobile

Overall place was kept well. Pool was child friendly but didn't find it inviting.
Towel rails were so close together that the towels remained wet. No exhaust fan in second bathroom which was downstairs.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank shirley n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2013 via mobile

We stayed in a 2 bedroom villa overlooking the main pool. Furniture trendy and functional. Oversize air conditioner kept us cool. Wonderful breakfasts. Easy access to main st of Port Douglas - Macrossan St. Buses at reception to town regularly. Villa 62 has wonderful balcony with lovely outdoor furniture, overlooks the pool. We'll be back!
Ps grounds and landscaping around main pool area could do with a little attention.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Maise2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tipperary, Ireland
Level Contributor
19 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2013

We stayed in the luxury villa, which was very comfortable, light and airy. All rooms had fans and air conditioning, and were nicely furnished.
The resort itself was lovely, with 3 pools, tennis courts, bar and restaurant.
Port Douglas was a 10 minute drive away and local buses stopped at the resort every 5 minutes.
In all it was a good place to stay and I would recommend it highly.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Berni B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2013

We booked a two-bedroom deluxe villa via the Entertainment Book and a one-bedroom deluxe villa via one of the booking websites.The one-bedroom was exactly the same size as the two-bedroom, with the bedroom taking up most of the top floor.

Like others, we were a little concerned about the quality of the resort based on some previous reviews. Yes, there were some tiny ants in the kitchen however we didn't cook and the resort had provided a can of spray should it have become a problem. Both villas could do with a bit of a spring-clean, basically just a wash down of the walls. Otherwise they were clean and in pretty good condition for apartments with regular use.

Both villas were near the kids playground which concerned us at first but since it and the surrounding pools all closed at 7pm it wasn't a noise problem.

The breakfast was substantial and the hot food slightly varied each morning. Reception offers a free booking service for all the tours in the area and you can charge the cost back to the room.

We ate at the restaurant on our first night and the food was sensational! Take-away of burgers and fries on our last night were probably the biggest disappointment of the stay.

There was a sachet of laundry liquid included and some basic toiletries to tide us over had we needed them.

The resort website is quite clear on what is included in the rooms so I would suggest referring to it before booking through a broker site.

The $5 shuttle picks up from resort reception every 15-20 minutes and it's only a 10 minute walk to four mile beach.

We were all satisfied that we got what we paid for. It's not five-star, but a solid 3.5.

Room Tip: Villa 168 leads out to the pool and spa and is close to the BBQ area and kids playground with a car...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank andrealj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
118 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2013

Port Douglas was not easy to get to as we had to take 2 flights but the place was lovely. The hotel looked promising from the reception area but it was not particularly clean in the villa and only cleaned once during our 5 days there.

Ditto the fact that the sofa was uncomfortable for relaxing as the cushions kept slipping off.

We only had ONE small set of toiletries for 6 of us during our stay. *horrors* Certainly not what I expected in a resort hotel. I mean, I had to run out to buy bath soap and thankfully I had a small bottle of shampoo and just enough conditioner to last 5 days!

And there was only ONE bathroom upstairs for 3 bedrooms.

My mum and I had the single beds and there was a TV in that room, whereas the other rooms didn't have TVs. So that was a bonus for us.

The villa really isn't anything to shout about as it is purely functional. The food was not too bad at all, though!

Wifi was not good and like others had said, it was impossible to get on at certain times and only at the lobby area. So I had a device-free holiday.... Almost.

The jog to town was interesting but it is better to drive to get around as the restaurants are all in town.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Weemeister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
22 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2013

Having read some mixed reviews about this place we were really sure what to expect. We found the place to be great value and we all had a great time. The kids (4 and 6) loved the pools and would happily spent all day, everyday there. The included breakfast was really tasty, the staff were friendly, meals and happy hour cocktails all went down well.

We requested a room near the pool and playground which worked out great, letting the kids play on the playground while we watched from our balcony. Of course the kids decided they preferred the main pool near reception most of the time but that was only a short walk away.

We had a rental car which I would recommend. We even drove it the short distance to the beach as in the heat of the day dragging beach gear and kids too far it not much fun.

Our room was 'deluxe' so had updated kitchens and bathrooms but it still looked a bit rough around the edges. I can see the things that other people commented as being problems (slow wifi, grounds that could do with a tidy, furniture that could be more comfortable) but the things that mattered to our family were all great and we would happily return.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank corfi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Reef Resort Port Douglas by Rydges

Property: Reef Resort Port Douglas by Rydges
Address: 121 Port Douglas Rd, Port Douglas, Queensland 4877, Australia (Formerly Rendezvous Reef Resort Port Douglas)
Location: Australia > Queensland > Port Douglas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Port Douglas
#24 Luxury Hotel in Port Douglas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Reef Resort Port Douglas by Rydges 4*
Number of rooms: 98
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Reef Resort Port Douglas by Rydges offers two storey 1, 2 and 3 bedroom villas each with a kitchen, laundry, separate lounge and dining areas, TV/DVD player and balcony or patio in over 110 square metres of living. Set on 15 acres of lush tropical gardens offering plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the facilities which include 2 large lagoon-style pools, 1 leisure pool, a children's pool, children's playground, gymnasium, 25m lap pool, tennis courts and a family BBQ area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rendezvous Reef Resort Port Douglas Hotel Port Douglas
Rendezvous Reef Port Douglas
Rendezvous Reef Hotel Port Douglas

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