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“Incredibly impressive! A spectacular way to break free from the rat race!”

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Thala Beach Nature Reserve
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Oak Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Montreal
1 review
“Incredibly impressive! A spectacular way to break free from the rat race!”
Reviewed June 26, 2009

Undoubtedly a 5 star resort. If you could go back to camp as an adult and have your own private cabin submerged in the forest, with the friendliest staff around to help make your stay perfect, fine food and all the luxuries you want available to you at any time...this is it! I think this place is suitable for a romantic getaway or a fun place to go with friends. Deservant of any and all awards trip advisor!!! Diana, Tanya and the rest of the group at Thala Beach Lodge is by far the most welcoming, helpful and friendly team of staff ever! They attended to any and all our needs, especially accomodating my allergy issues, made suggestions and answered any questions we had, any time! The individual cabins are clean, well equipped and well maintained. Anything you could wish for to enjoy the experience and area...living in the rainforest with room service...what style! The Lodge offers breathtaking views to enjoy during breakfast or at dinner or any time of day. The area is kept as mother nature wanted it to be. Even the birds are happily fed out there! What a peaceful, quiet, serene escape...the secluded beach is a nice walk in the jungle leading the way to paradise on earth. We spoiled ourselves with a Helicopter over the Reef...now that was an experience of a lifetime. The Thala Lodge offers direct chauffering from a landing strip located at the resort which takes you around the daintree rainforest and over the reefs to a pontoon for snorkelling and back. Unbelievable! The Lodge offers guests free shuttle to Port Douglas, which is a beautiful 20 min ride away...great shopping and awesome beach there as well. Book your trip now!!!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank WiseMontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Aberdeen, Scotland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2009

We stayed at Thala Beach Lodge for 4 nights for our Honeymoon and it was just amazing! It wasn't long enough! The staff were so friendly and considerate and the restaurant was great and catered for my husband's many allergies - even when he couldn't eat much from the menu.
Breakfast every morning with the lorikeets was just amazing, the lodge have a bowl of food hanging from a tree beside the restaurant and I was just in my element watching the birds hang around just a few feet from us while we were eating breakfast!

The whole area was just fantastic, the staff made the place extra special and were always willing to bend over backwards to help you. Diana helped a lot with the tours and she gave us some fantastic advice and the tours we went on were amazing.

The room was stunning, we could've lived there permanently!! It was very clean, spacious and remote. The air conditioning was a bit noisy which took away some of the tranquility but it was better having that than being far too hot!!

The beach was very nice and clean, unfortunately the hottest day there was the day we were leaving, so we didn't get to relax on the beach.

The birdwatching tour was great, unfortunately I can't remember the gentleman's name who took us around. But he was very knowledgeable and friendly and pointed out a lot of lovely birds for us.

We will definitely be going back one day!! I think we will choose a warmer time of year, so we can enjoy the sunshine!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Ryiah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Murwillumbah
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2009

My husband and I just loved our stay at Thala. From the moment we enquired about accommodation, to the organising of all our trip details, and throughout our stay the service was exceptional. The food at Osprey's was scrumptious, the views to Port Douglas and to Cairns from the two main decks were spectacular, and the rooms were spacious with all we needed. We loved the location and setting, not wanting to be in the heart of Port Douglas, and the shuttle was a great option for the days we were without a car. The service was amazing - the staff were always so friendly, warm and attentive! We wanted a five-night stay away from kids in hope to unwind, and by day two felt totally relaxed. A big thank you to Diane and the wonderful staff at Thala for a memorable holiday - we will be highly recommending Thala to everyone we know and hope to return again soon.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ftumsch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2009

We booked Thala through the Internet due to the series of good reviews on Trip Advisor. However, we still did not know if it would meet our expectations for our Honeymoon. The resort turned out to be beyond our expectations and was exactly what we had envisioned. The private bungalows that are a short walk to the mostly desolate beach were perfect for a Honeymoon couple. We were traveling from the US, and this was the first time to Australia for both of us. We really liked the programs they offered to the guests. We took the Nature walk which gave us a great introduction to the flora and fauna of the area. We also participated in the star gazing evening, and we were introduced to stars that could only be seen in the Southern Hemisphere. The leaders of both programs were extremely knowledgeable and passionate about what they do.
We also liked the fact, that the Lodge was eco-friendly and did not over-manicure the grounds in an attempt to keep the area as natural as possible.

I almost forgot to mention that although a bit pricey, the food was of excellent quality and was beautifully displayed.

It was sad when we had to leave after our 7 days in paradise.

If you are looking for a relaxing, romantic getaway in a beautiful setting. This is it!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank green23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2009

Loved Thala Beach- the staff was great- very accomodating. It is a quiet place; most of the cabins are spaced apart from each other. There are a few that are bunched closely together. It does feel like luxury camping. There are long walks up and down hills to and from the main lobby area. Some people with accessibility issues may not like that. The pools are small and unheated. We didn't see anyine swimming in the pools, likely because they were too cold. Also, the pools don't get much direct sunlight because of the trees. The restaurant is a great spot for breakfast- wonderful views and open air. Breakfast itself is adequate- fresh fruit, store-bought breads and pastries, boiled eggs, cold-cuts and juices. You can also order hot breakfast items a la carte at reasonable prices. We didn't try dinner at the restaurant- the menu was limited with fairly high-priced items. We preferred to get carry-out from Port Douglas (15 minutes away) and brought it back to eat on our private terrace. I'm not sure why Thala doesn't offer less "fussy" menu items; I think they would get much more business. We rented a car so we didn't try Thala's shuttle bus service. Definitely check out the beach- it is deserted and stunning. Thala arranged for a scuba dive day trip for us with Poseidon definitely one of the best dive outfits we've used. We stayed in a Jungle Walk cabin- a bit dated, but very comfortable.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank dougly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Queensland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2009

We stayed at Thala Beach Lodge back in 2007 and it exceeded our expectations. Everything from the service, accommodation, food and views rated 5/5 and we couldn't wait to return. Well after 2 years of waiting and wanting to revisit this beautiful resort we returned recently, but are sad to say that the second time around left us feeling underwhelmed and wishing for the experience we'd enjoyed during our first visit. Having said that we should clarify that it was really only one staff member in particular that we had an issue with and if it weren't for this person our second time at Thala may have been just an enjoyable as our first.

We were amazed by the same breathtaking ocean views, delicious food, comfortable rooms and beautiful natural environment that we saw and experienced during our first stay and it was good to see that the things we loved about Thala hadn't changed. The majority of staff members were friendly and only too happy to make our stay as pleasant as possible and were bending over backwards to accommodate our every request. Sadly there was one staff member who let the side down. Upon checking in we were greeted by a lady named Monique, who at first was friendly and welcoming. But this all changed when we made her aware of our travel arrangements. It was believed that we would arrive by pre-arranged shuttle bus but through miscommunication and a problem with our luggage at the airport we ended up hiring a rental car instead, not knowing that our seats had actually been booked on the bus taking us directly to Thala from the Cairns airport. As far as we knew we had only enquired about the option to use the shuttle service but hadn't received an official booking confirmation and no payment was made. But we were wrong and Monique made this very clear to us upon check-in. She went as far as printing out all of the email correspondence between us and presenting it to us in a very arrogant manner, almost as if to prove that she was right and we were wrong. After we apologetically explained that there must have been a mix up along the way, Monique finally concluded that it would be taken care of and sorted out with Johan, who we believed to be the manager. We assumed we would not be charged the $60 transfer fare as we'd not utilised the service, and had given our apology for the confusion. We spent most of the first day feeling rather uncomfortable about what had happened with Monique and so much so that we made an effort to avoid her during our 4 day stay at the resort.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that every other staff member was as friendly as could be, offering a smile, a hello or even the offer to assist us in any way possible whenever we encountered them. A staff member by the name of Rose deserves special mention, as she made our stay a memorable one with her bubbly personality and impromptu astrology lesson late one evening. Thanks to her we now know how to locate the Southern Cross and find our way home should be ever be lost and in need of direction. It was Rose and several of the other staff members that made us forget about our negative experience the day we arrived.

The accommodation we booked was a coral sea bungalow and while beautiful, the water view was barely seen above or between the trees that lined our porch, and being vertically challenged I was only able to see the water when on my tippy-toes or with the help of my husband. Inside the bungalow was polished timber floors, a king size bed (which we suspected was actually 2 twin beds pushed together - a little disappointing), and a granite bathroom with separate shower and bathtub. We enjoyed the room and its natural features but were a little put off by the white plastic shower head, taps and towel rods which seemed to cheapen the overall look when paired with the granite tiles and polished timber floor. At $595 per night we felt the bungalow was overpriced however we still enjoyed our accommodation and its incredible location.

While these didn't worry us too much during our stay, there are a few negatives to point out about the resort. The pools are not heated and are freezing cold due to being shaded by trees 24/7. They look very inviting and it would've been nice to be able to jump in and enjoy them without risking pneumonia. Another sore point is the limited internet access. There is just the one computer available to guests, located next to the reception area. It has a slow internet connection and was being used by other guests (with several waiting in line for their turn) every time I passed by in the hope of checking my emails. It would be nice if there was more than one computer available, even if this incurred a nominal fee. The third and final complaint relates to the resort spa. We were enticed by the massage treatments but found them to be incredibly overpriced. We ended up enjoying a 1 hour couples massage in Port Douglas for $85 each, as the charge for the same treatment at the Thala Beach Spa was more than double this.

We dined in the resort restaurant for breakfast and dinner during our stay and both times were impressed with the service and the food offered. Our meals arrived quickly and were better than expected. The only negative would be that they were on the expensive side but to be fair the amazing view made up for this.

By our last day we had forgotten all about our unfortunate experience with Monique during check-in and were over the moon that we’d had perfect weather the entire time and an overall positive experience. Unfortunately things took a turn for the worst when we went to check out. We were once again greeted by Monique and while friendly to begin with, things soon changed when we pointed out the $60 charge on our account for the shuttle bus transfer service, which we’d previously been assured would be sorted out. We were quite annoyed that she’d not mentioned this and it was us who had to point this out, making the situation more uncomfortable than it needed to be. As soon as the charge was mentioned Monique once again went on the defensive and resorted to pulling out the email correspondence to prove that the transfers had been pre-arranged. By this point we just wanted to pay the fare and get out of there to avoid leaving on a sour note. We actually mentioned this to Monique and she replied that it was unfortunate our stay had to end that way. Rather ironic given that it had done so due to her unprofessional handling of the situation. We'd actually stayed at the resort at a discounted rate due to being previous guests so it wasn’t the charge we were upset with. It was being made to feel that we were liars, and being accused of having knowledge of the booking when we were unaware of this. Things became very uncomfortable by this stage so we just paid the outstanding amount and left Thala Beach Lodge without a backward glance.

As the saying goes, it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch and sadly this was the case for us during our recent stay at Thala Beach Lodge. Despite the beautiful weather, breathtaking surroundings and the majority of friendly staff, the way in which we were (mis)treated by the rude, inconsiderate and disrespectful receptionist during our second visit has put us off returning to Thala Beach Lodge again in the future. Rather unfortunate considering they say third time’s a charm.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kat&Jase
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, CO
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 4, 2009

I booked the hotel online and I was skeptical that the gorgeous pictures on the website would not live up to expectation in real life. Let me assure you that they did! Thala Beach is a quiet paradise. I starting corresponding a few weeks early with Diana, the guest relations manager to set up excursions (snorkeling, rain forest, etc). She is wonderful! She had excellent suggestions and took care of booking everything. She and the rest of the staff at the hotel are focused on making your stay enjoyable in every way. We didn't want to leave! David at the Front Desk, Chris in the beautiful restaurant, and others whose names I cannot remember combined to make our time there very special and we are forever grateful to the Thala Beach staff and hope to be able to return someday.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank ColoradoColleen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Property: Thala Beach Nature Reserve
Address: Private Road | 5078 Captain Cook Highway, Oak Beach, Port Douglas, Queensland 4871, Australia (Formerly Thala Beach Lodge)
Location: Australia > Queensland > Port Douglas > Oak Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Oak Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Thala Beach Nature Reserve 4.5*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Thala Beach Nature Reserve is a family owned 58 hectare nature and wildlife reserve 15 minutes south of Port Douglas. Get there from Cairns via a spectacular 45 minute drive along Captain Cook Highway. Elevated on stilts, 83 eco designed timber bungalows are discretely concealed within the forest canopy, blending in with the natural environment and feature ocean, mountain or forest views. Panoramic views are enjoyed from open-sided Osprey's Restaurant across the forest canopy and beyond to the Coral Sea. Guests and visitors dine amongst birds in the surrounding treetops, whilst enjoying modern Australian cuisine with friendly and attentive service. Granite boulders, waterfalls and overhanging trees create natural swimming pools blending discretely within the environment. Paths wind through rainforests and woodlands, connecting with secluded coves and beaches, passing through habitats for endemic birds, wildlife and flora. Guests enjoy complimentary guided nature tours by onsite rangers including tree planting, stargazing at an outdoor observatory, beach discovery, wildlife walks and bird-watching tours. A completely organic 650 tree coconut plantation is home to a unique coconut odyssey tour highlighting the extraordinary qualities of the 'tree of life'. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Thala Beach Hotel Port Douglas
Thala Beach Resort
Thala Beach Lodge

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