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“disappointed but have stayed in worse”

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The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection
Ranked #6 of 11 Hotels in Palm Cove
Certificate of Excellence
Canberra, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“disappointed but have stayed in worse”
Reviewed June 10, 2013

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.

Room Tip: If you want a beach front room be prepared for early morning wake up calls from tour buses, rubbish...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank towrag72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne H, General Manager at The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection, responded to this review, June 27, 2016
Dear towrag72,

I know it has been a while since your stay with us however I just wanted to thank you for staying with us and for sharing your feedback. Take care and we hope to see you back at the Reef House again in the near future,
Best regards,

Wayne Harris
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (173)
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australia
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2013

We stayed at the Reef House for 2 nights after a week in Port Douglas. This is our 7th trip to Palm Cove/Port Douglas and we thought the Reef House is the best place that we have stayed. It is not as modern and pristine as Mantra Amphora or Peppers but it has much more personality. We stayed in an upper level Brigadier Room overlooking the pool. The swing on the balcony is so relaxing and it was so sheltered from the strong afternoon Palm Cove winds. After dinner it is a beautiful place to sit back and enjoy the sounds of the sea and have a night cap. The room doesn't have a couch but we thought the swing was much nicer.
The restaurant has arguably the best view along the esplanade and breakfast was good and not overpriced. One of the pools was heated which made the winter experience so much better as we usually freeze getting into the Palm Cove Pools. Staff were very accommodating but maybe not quite enough of them but the resort was quiet when we were there. A special thanks to Brenda who showed us around and was lovely. We are already looking for our next available dates to book our next escape and it is certainly to the Reef House!

Room Tip: Really loved the Brigadier Room with the swing on the porch. We had room 117 on the upper level ove...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank realitychick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne H, General Manager at The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection, responded to this review, June 27, 2016
Dear realitychick,

I know it has been a while since your stay with us however I just wanted to thank you for staying with us and for sharing your feedback. Take care and we hope to see you back at the Reef House again in the near future,
Best regards,

Wayne Harris
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 1, 2013

We stayed at the Reef House for 4 nights to celebrate a 30th birthday. The staff couldn't have been more helpful or friendly, and happily organised transfers and tours for us, along with a bottle of sparking wine to celebrate. The hotel itself is perfectly located in the centre of Palm Cove on the esplanade, with the beach just across the street. There are also a couple of lovely pools and the spa is amazing (if a little pricey, but worth it as a treat). Whilst it doesn't have the 'wow' of some of the larger chain hotels in the area, this is more than made up for by the relaxed atmosphere, location and charm. Our room was a tiny bit tired, but still charming in its own way, with a big comfy bed, robes and a lovely balcony overlooking the pool. We'll definitely be back!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Accorhotels.com

Helpful?
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne H, General Manager at The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection, responded to this review, June 27, 2016
Dear Guest,

I know it has been a while since your stay with us however I just wanted to thank you for staying with us and for sharing your feedback. Take care and we hope to see you back at the Reef House again in the near future,
Best regards,

Wayne Harris
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bay Area, CA
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2013

A nice resort and pleasant 4-night stay in Palm Cove. We stayed in a brigadier beachfront spa room because we wanted to be facing the beach and hear the ocean during the night. While certain windows of our room faced the beach, and we could definitely hear the ocean, our very nice and spacious verandah (with a swing) faced the side of a building and another room at the resort next door. We thought this orientation was a little odd. At the very least, they should have hung the swing so it faced the ocean, or better yet, the room should have been designed so the verandah faced the ocean. The room pictures for this category are definitely misleading (I think we were in #101). The staff were helpful although not overly friendly, and the restaurant had very good food and good service. The location of the hotel is excellent within short walking distance to everything in Palm Cove.

Room Tip: Be sure you know exactly what you are getting in advance.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank nvnight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne H, General Manager at The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection, responded to this review, June 27, 2016
Dear nvnight,

I know it has been a while since your stay with us however I just wanted to thank you for staying with us and for sharing your feedback. Take care and we hope to see you back at the Reef House again in the near future,
Best regards,

Wayne Harris
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2013

Great location, and a perfect time to go to Palm Cove. The hotel needs an upgrade though, staff service was good & friendly but needs to pay more attention to details, especially the younger staff. The house keeping missed making our room for one day. On the whole, it was a nice place but it could be even better.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Accorhotels.com

Helpful?
Thank Marty1702
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne H, General Manager at The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection, responded to this review, July 8, 2016
Dear Marty1702,
I know it has been a while since your stay with us however I just wanted to thank you for staying with us and for sharing your feedback.

Take care and we hope to see you back at the Reef House again in the near future,
Best regards,
Wayne Harris
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2013

Great location, nice facilities and an overall very pleasant stay in Palm Cove.
I have read the mixed reviews of this hotel and simply do not understand the bad reviews.
The room and stay were fantastic value (off season), location is right on the beach and the colonial style and atmosphere are just right.
Yes, perhaps they are a little understaffed and the cleanliness of the outdoor areas are not perfect, but apart from this, the hotel is very nice and definitely worth considering when going to Palm Cove.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Junget
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne H, General Manager at The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection, responded to this review, June 24, 2016
Dear Junget,
I know it has been a while since your stay with us however I just wanted to thank you for staying with us and for sharing your feedback.

Take care and we hope to see you back at the Reef House again in the near future,
Best regards,
Wayne Harris
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Reef House for 8 nights and we both felt that instant feeling of being in a friends home, it really took me back to my childhood. We did have some minor hicups in the first couple of nights of our stay but the fabulous staff and management were extremely attentive and went beyond duties to make the rest of our stay comfortable and wonderful. We stayed in a Verandah Spa room which was of generous size for and super private, I also noticed that all balcony areas were generous in size at the resort. We dined at the Reef restaurant a couple of times during our stay and found the staff so welcoming, engaging and we both made feeling very special, I can recommend there amazing Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee, the best I have had in a long time and any of there mains. All in all this resort would suit couples, families and friends as there is entertainment for everyone to enjoy and we look forward to staying there again soon. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the most friendliest and fabulous Mandy on the front desk for making us feel so welcome and it was a pleasure to talk to you everyday, also the wonderful bar staff Karrie and team you were all amazing and lastly the General Manager, Brett, thank you for your time in welcoming us to your fabulous resort!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GGianp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne H, General Manager at The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection, responded to this review, June 24, 2016
Dear GGianp,
I know it has been a while since your stay with us however I just wanted to thank you for staying with us and for sharing your feedback.

Take care and we hope to see you back at the Reef House again in the near future,
Best regards,
Wayne Harris
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection

Property: The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection
Address: 99 Williams Esp, Palm Cove, Queensland 4879, Australia (Formerly Sebel Reef House)
Location: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Palm Cove
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Palm Cove
#5 Spa Hotel in Palm Cove
#6 Luxury Hotel in Palm Cove
#7 Romantic Hotel in Palm Cove
#8 Family Hotel in Palm Cove
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Reef House Palm Cove - MGallery Collection 5*
Number of rooms: 69
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

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