It was relatively good value considering that it was school holidays. The hotel has a great main pool for kids and the resort is generally very family-friendly (has other sport facilities that we didn't use). The ground floor of our (deluxe) villa had been fully-modernised with a new kitchen, laundry, bathroom & lounge area so it had most modern conveniences like a dishwasher, washing machine, tubble drier, microwave, stove, fridge etc. The villa also had 3 aircon units (one downstairs, one in each bedroom) which would make it comfortable in the hot months.
Whilst the ground floor has been fully-modernised, the bedrooms looked dated. The main bedroom was quite small (couldn't fit a portacot next to the bed), the bed was too soft, the dressing table in the second bedroom was worn/damaged and the upstairs bathroom (whilst newish) had mouldy shower tiles/grout and obvious soap scum on the dark wall tiles.
We were there for 5 nights and the villa was not serviced during that time (which we knew would be the case). My guess is that many of the villas are privately-owned and let out by the managing resort, and hence the owners are charged for cleaning on a per-clean basis and the cleaning is often only superficial cleaning. The resort itself (aside from the pool/restaurant area) feels more like a residential villa complex than having that "holiday vibe".
Because the villas aren't serviced regularly, a recommendation would be for guests to bring the following from home (or buy at the nearby IGA):
1) a few extra dishwashing tablets from home (hotel only provided one for entire stay)
2) some washing powder & fabric softener (none provided by the hotel)
3) one or two extra bars of soap (only a few small bars of soap provided)
4) Tea, coffee, milk & sugar (only about a day's supply provided)
5) Salt, pepper, margarine i.e. usual condiments (none provided)
The staff were friendly and helpful. My primary complaint was that you often find only one (occasionally two) staff members running the reception, tour desk and the(Swish) restaurant bar at the same time. The problem then is that you might wait 10 minutes to speak to someone about a resort issue because someone else is trying to book a tour etc. We twice had a problem with one of our tour bookings because the resort was under-staffed and the requested tour's details were only written down but not actually booked.
The resort is about 5 minutes drive to the Port Douglas main strip but that was never an issue for us because we had a rental car. In the event of you not having a car, most tour operators will pick you up and there is a regular shuttle bus into Port Douglas.
One other positive about the resort was that if you bring your own laptop along, the resort will provide you with a network cable (or bring your own) and you can plug straight in and get 512K broadband in your villa at no charge. There are two internet computers in the reception area that cost something like $2 per 20 minutes to use.
All-in-all, we had a positive experience and we would consider staying again. We paid $183 per night for a 2 bedroom deluxe (renovated) villa but it was in the middle of the school holidays so in comparison to the other resorts, it was reasonably good value.
- 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