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“beautiful magical place”

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Green Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Green Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 19, 2014

This truly was a highlight of our Australian tour. Beautiful accommodation and magical snorkeling off the pier. A must for anyone wanting to escape for a few days. Not a place to go if you are looking for nightlife....stay in Cairns for that.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank albacanadian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 19, 2014

Green Island is delightful rain-forested coral cay about 45 minutes from Cairns by high-speed ferry. Virtually all activities around the island are water-based so, if that’s not your interest, go elsewhere.
The resort part of GI is discreetly fenced off from the throngs of day-trippers but it does mean that if you are there for long enough to want some peace and quiet you will be confined to a fairly small corner of the forest with no outlook over the beach or access to water – expect for a modest swimming pool.
The GI experience is very largely weather-dependent but even if the weather is great a few days are as much as you are likely enjoy there. Anything more could prove to be an expensive endurance test and other Trip Advisor reporters seem to bear that out.

What’s good: although the resort is now around 20 years old it has been well maintained and our room was quiet, spacious and comfortable. But, being under the rainforest canopy, it was also somewhat dark and cloistered. Although there is little reason to spend daytime in your room unless the weather drives you there.
The transfers to and from Cairns are slick and well managed – check your luggage in at Cairns wharf and it magically appears in your room at GI Resort. Overall the transportation and front desk staff are polite and efficient.
A platoon of leaf-sweepers keep the grounds (or decks), pool and common areas of the resort enclosure pristine. There is a daily round of gratis ‘welcome drinks’ where guests can gather at the pool or beach bar after the last of the day-trippers have decamped and left the island in peace – with most facilities closed.
The breakfast buffet is of modest size but quite good although a crowd can strain the kitchen and service staff – see below. The same applies to what amounts to the only dining option for resort guests – also see below.
There is full Telstra 4G wireless service on the island but service with other carriers is either non-existent or virtually useless.

What’s not so good: two things hit the headlines here, the restaurant and internet access. When the day trippers have gone there is only one dining option – Emeralds – and its performance is, well, patchy.
For reasons that seem inexplicable the experience can be either good or woeful. Two of our three dinners were quite good although the service can be a little casual. However the third was as bad as it gets with less-than-warm dishes served after a one and a half hour wait in a restaurant that was barely a quarter full. If it had been our first night on the island it would probably have been our last.
Once again, two of three breakfasts were fine but our last was less agreeable as the early rush seemed to have cleaned out most of the food choices which the kitchen was either unwilling or unable to replace and we didn’t have time to wait.

If you don’t have the aforementioned Telstra 4G service then you probably won’t get on the net but if you do, don’t expect it to be stable. The included wifi service is only available in or around the resort lounge which has seating for maybe 10 which includes the communal TV and coffee bar and the system has to be the world’s most cumbersome and unreliable.
There is not enough space here to describe the login process so it’s probably enough to say that it seems to frustrate the staff at least as much as the guests.
C’mon Green Island, it’s 2014 and there are coffee shops in Cairns with free, fast and painless Wifi – fix it up.

If we were to return to GI it would be as day-trippers having cherry-picked a good weather day.

Room Tip: Second floor rooms may be a little brighter.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank Tedstravelblogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2014

Our three night stay on Green Island was a highlight if our recent trip. Beautiful location , great staff and wonderful service in all areas . Special mention goes to little Sam for her great fish feeding advice , wonderful night walks and wonderful pleasant nature making all feel very special. Trip to outer reef is a must and the sea walker was an amazing experience . A wonderful trip

Room Tip: Think it would not matter all rooms great feel like your alone on a beautiful island in luxury
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Kathie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Green_Island_Resort, Manager at Green Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 17, 2015

Hi Kathie,

thanks for taking the time to leave a review.

Wonderful to have you stay with us, hope we see you again soon.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2014

Green island is the first stop off on the way to the Great barrier Reef and the resort is a wonderful place to take a short break. I think it's particularly suited to those with a keen wildlife interest due to the rainforest and national park that inhabits the island. It isn't five star luxury but the rooms are spacious and clean with beautiful plantation shutters and the island itself is magical.

We loved the sunset drinks (which we unfortunately only got to experience on our first night due to rain) and the thirty minute walk around the island.

On the downside from 9.30-4.30 there is an influx of day trippers. A lot depart during the day to the Great Barrier Reef pontoon, but if you're looking for a quiet time you'll be forced to your room or the resort's private pool. In our experience, it's best to get up early for a snorkel and walk around before the day trippers arrive and emerge again when they leave for fish feeding (a must do experience), sunset drinks, star gazing and nature walks. The island is magic with nobody around.

The resort has a little village style feel- each room is accessed via covered walkways and most of the island has a paved or wooden walkway (bare feet!). Once the day starts the dive shop, helicopter tours, massage spa (which does stay open longer) and souvenir/amenity store all open. Food includes Lite Bites (ice-cream and chips), Canopy Grill (fried food like burgers), the Pool Bar (cocktails and fast food) buffet and Emerald Restaurant (the only place to eat in my opinion and the one you will eat at for dinner and breakfast)

Pros:
The onsite restaurant, Emeralds is fabulous and we wouldn't eat at any of the other on site eateries (Canopy Grill is largely fried food). Plenty of fresh seafood and tasty food that catered to gluten free allergies really well.

We loved the ability to get picnic hampers from the restaurant (complete with picnic basket) and take a trek around the island

The snorkeling is incredible, especially around fish feeding time or in the afternoons when schools of fish literally part for you as you swim.

Make use of activities once guests have left the island like fish feeding. It's magic and sunset drinks on the beach are incredible.

Free use of dive gear (pick it up when you arrive) sun loungers and water sport equipment (on the latter we admittedly witnessed plenty of day trippers doing this for free anyway... water sport activities seemed to be a kayak)

Ability to charge anything back to your room (I do wish the room cards were laminated!)

Take a look art the Melanesia Crocodile Park too- it's worth it to see Cassisus.

Cons:
Day trippers invade the island every day in droves and to be honest, I think the private facilities of the hotel could do with more to make it easier to escape. The pool is very shady (though I did notice discussion while we were there on cutting back trees to make it more sunny) and I'd love the ability to order food and drink to the poolside (this was mentioned in the room services menu but not very clear.. do I order from my room, go to the pool and wait?)

Cranky Frank (as we named him), an older male waiter was very abrupt with us and almost made us feel like we were doing the wrong thing when a beach side meal got rained out.

We had a few issues with the gluten free options on the menu- twice a non gluten free meal was delivered, though both times rectified quickly

There seemed to be confusion on a few elements around the resort. The person who greeted us told us of things that didn't exist (ie stand up paddle boarding). It was noted everywhere to conserve water and hang towels if we didn't need them changed- they were still changed during room service every day with fresh ones delivered every night. Unfortunately room service woke us one day at 8.15am as well. We also had mixed messages about ordering picnic hampers- reception told us restaurant, restaurant told us reception.

There was a distinct difference with the staff at the beginning of our stay to the second and the food quality. The weekend staff were much more on top of it (though the dark haired female restaurant manager was excellent)

I would definitely return to green Island- but perhaps only for a night or two. I'm an introvert who loves peace and quiet and isn't incredibly active. So if you're social and love getting out and about this is the perfect resort for you.

Room Tip: Request an upstairs room (some bathrooms are against the walkways downstairs) with a rainforest view...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
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3  Thank psq063
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2014

Green Island is a 45 minute transfer from Cairns. The morning our boat departed was in rough seas so there were people with sickness (unfortunate and nothing to do with the rating of this review!). There was a bit of rain throughout our two day stay but managed to snorkel when the sky cleared up. There's not much to do when it's pouring rain, perfect if you want to relax in your room. We liked the island suite, it was comfortable and clean and the layout of the room is quite nice along the boardwalks (a bit slippery when wet). We didn't use the pool, however, we dined at the restaurant and were really impressed with the menu selection and service, highly recommended (but you also don't have a choice as it's the only restaurant on the tiny island). Other food options during the day were quite *blah* - our impression of the fast food style outlets wasn't so great and felt this brought down the rest of the resort/island. Staff were very helpful and accommodating, offering helpful tips, free activities etc. Overall, a lovely island getaway (especially when all the day trippers leave on the last boat back to Cairns!). Good snorkeling just near the sandy beaches of the island and a patrolled swimming beach, nature rainforest walk, massage.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank crea8ive_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2014

The island is magical and stating there makes it even more special so you can enjoy when the tourists leave . The rooms are not as separate as it's seems on the site and the ones over the pool are noisy , however the manager was very helpful in trying to sort it out for us

  • Stayed: January 2014
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Thank Jeanetteal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2014

Staying on Green Island is an experience not to be missed. This was our second stay at the resort and even though we struck not so perfect weather this time we loved every minute! The suites are spacious and comfortable and the staff fantastic. It's a wonderful place for snorkelling and relaxing, whether it be by the pool or on the beach. The fish feeding is a must do activity. Don't worry about checking out and spending a day on the island as the day facilities for resort guests are second to none (with the showers well stocked with shampoo, soap etc. and even that much needed hairdryer!) which is great if you have to travel upon departure.

Room Tip: Reef and King Island suites have nicer outlooks and privacy
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Des G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Green Island Resort

Address: Green Island, Great Barrier Reef, Green Island, Queensland 4870, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Queensland > Green Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Green Island
Price Range: $485 - $644 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Green Island Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located 27 km across the Coral Sea from Cairns in Tropical North Queensland, Green Island Resort is luxury on the Great Barrier Reef. With just 46 suites nestled amongst the rainforest and secluded from the day visitor facilities, this world-class eco-sensitive resort offers a unique blend of luxurious accommodation, first class service and unparalleled access to the Great Barrier Reef. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Green Island Hotel Cairns

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