What started out as a nice week away with my wife to FNQ to escape the winter down south went downhilletty quickly upon our arrival at reef house. We secured what we thought was a pretty good rate for a verandah room through Accors advantage plus rewards program. N arrival we were places in a room at the rear of the hotel in what could be best described as a cell - yes it had a verandah but this was fully enclosed and did not look out on the ocean or the pool but the back of the hotel's spa. What's more the room was not as presented in all the promo brochures being smaller and somewhat rundown, especially the bathroom.
The Staff did move our room the next day to a beach front room, but this was to the lower floor corner room overlooking both the beach and the northern carpark and accompanied by four airconditioner fans etc. Luckily for our stay (6 nights) no one used them, so it was OK but I imagine that had the hotel been full of southerners then the aircons would have been running flat out and it would have been very noisy. Oh and as for the attitude of the man behind the counter - it was somewhat begrudging to say the least. Given that I had made our booking some 6 weeks prior tour trip, it was not peak period by an means and I had identified that it was our wedding anniversary, I would have thought the staff would have been more accommodating.
As for the hotel itself - it has seen better days. Our second room was claimed to be newly renovated but it looked like a quick finish and the attention to detail was not there. Not even a picture on the wall to break the starkness. The bathroom was ok but both the bath and the sink were well worn and the fittings far from befitting a 5 star establishment. And don't be bashful in the bathroom - Louvre windows freely visible from the street and no other form if ventilation. And the beds are hard, very hard. We don't understand why hotels in Australia seem so reluctant to use the topper styles of mattress which are both comfortable and robust.
The facilities of the hotel are OK but we found it a hard place to relax in. And the littlthings eem ti be missing - for example, if you are going to have an oil burner in the room, then surely there should be a packet of matches, replacement oil and candles. Instead it just looked half finished unclean and lacked attention to detail. Not having a bar on site is also a bit of a disadvantage, although there is a 'help yourself bar fridge behind the bar which you can access on a user pays basis. The highlight is the gardens, especially the giant paperbarks out the front of the hotel.
On checkout, the same bloke who agreed ti change our room checked us out of the hotel. Not even a half attempt at a smile, enquiry about our stay or a "thank you for staying, we hope to see you again". Thank goodness for the girl who started our checkout process but was obviously new and knew something about what it means to work in hospitality.
In all a disappointing experience but we have certainly stayed in worse.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located just 25 minutes north of Cairns in the secluded Palm Cove, an upscale boutique beachfront experience awaits guests at Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection.The resort offers a warm, personalised service for all guests and together with its comprehensive range of resort facilities, The Reef House is the perfect getaway for couples seeking romantic bliss or simply a holiday in sheer relaxation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Reef House Hotel Palm Cove
- The Sebel Reef Hotel
- Sebel Reef Hotel