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“A unique and special place to stay” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Thala Beach Nature Reserve

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Thala Beach Nature Reserve
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Oak Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Bay of Island, New Zealand
Level Contributor
56 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“A unique and special place to stay”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2009

We have just returned from a week in Thala Beach Resort 15 minutes from Port Douglas. We had a very enjoyable stay in this unique and interesting eco-resort situated high overlooking the forest, mountains and sea. The staff were excellent, some of the best we have experienced and a special thank you must go to Loren who helped sort out the right room for us and to the others, Sharon, Rose and Aimee, also Toussaint, the cheeky and charming young Frenchman. Nothing was too much trouble for them. We had a room right down by the beach and it was a bit of a hike to get to the main part of the resort and restaurant but worth it for the excellent position. Many of the bungalows are in deep shade down in the valley amongst the trees so if you want a sea view and sunlight you will probably have to request a Coral Sea bungalow. This was the only downside but on the other hand, they are cool on a hot day.
The bird life is absolutely amazing and at breakfast it is quite a sight to see the Rainbow Lorikeets and other birds in the trees just off the restaurant. As we are keen birdwatchers, it was paradise for us and a big thank you goes to David who took us for an early morning tour around the grounds pointing out birds we never would have seen otherwise.
Very good wifi in the reception area and I believe they are working on it for the individual bungalows, great service with free shuttles into Port Douglas several times a day, wonderful breakfasts and transfer from and to Cairns included in our rate made this an excellent stay.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Hirondelle09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,351 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (297)
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English first
Melbourne
Level Contributor
51 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2009

Resort itself is stunning - set high on a hill, views over the trees to the ocean from the lounge and restaurant. The private beach was indeed private - only ever a handful of other resort guests down at the beach, and at times you were completely alone. Deck chairs and hammocks available on the beach under the palm trees only a few metres from the water, with a handy bar for wine/cocktails. The pool was relatively small but didn't get crowded either - nice lagoon style, with lots of trees (but no real views from pool area). Bungalows are set in the trees, lovely atmosphere and can hear ocean through louvered windows. Some privacy on balcony, but not perfect - a few other bungalows are always within a line of sight (if not direct). 1980's decor and tiny TV, but otherwise spacious and comfortable for a week-long stay.

Only substantial complaints about this resort are location and food - it's about 10 minutes drive from Thala to Port Douglas. If you have a car, that's fine. But if you need to use the shuttles, be warned they are not frequent and they are not always free (only free until 3pm, after that $8/person/each way). There appeared to only be 3 shuttles each way each day that actually operated. Very difficult to go into Port Douglas for lunch or dinner without being stuck there for 3-4 hours. Which means unless you have a car you're stuck at Thala for food. Only one restaurant, no snack bars or kiosks (can order picnic basket). Restaurant location is stunning, food is okay but pricey and no variety. After a few nights in a row of dinner there, we were heartily sick of steak and seafood for lunch and dinner! We were surprised they didn't offer sandwiches/burgers/snacks at the shack on the beach.

Staff were excellent, assisted with booking diving tours etc.

All up, provided you have a car and can eat regularly in Port Douglas, highly recommend this resort. Very relaxing beach holiday.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BFGMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, CA
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2009

My husband and I just spent a fantastic 7 night stay at this wonderful resort, the website does not do it justice. All the staff really love their jobs and only want to make your stay as wonderful as possible and share their little piece of heaven with you. The beach is well worth the short walk to feel like you are on your own private island.

Be sure to talk to Diana for expert advice on what trips to take - she was spot on with her assessment of what we would most enjoy which only made the experience more perfect.

Can't wait for next time ......

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JulieSIrvine_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2009

Having stayed at Thala lodge a few years ago, we vowed to return and we were not disappointed by our second stay. The hotel is incredible and the staff are excellent - nothing is too much trouble. The pools are fantastic. The hotel's situation is amazing - you have your own little house which you reach via a lovely walk down a bush track. Keep your eyes and ears open for the wildlife that you may encounter day or night.
We also did the complimentary 'star walk' which was brilliant and definitely worth doing.
While at Port Douglas I recommend spending at least one day out on the reef. If you enjoy outdoor adventure, try Back Country Bliss tours.
A wonderful place.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank iPLODder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OZtralia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 11, 2009

Thala Beach Lodge is a perfect getaway. Reading other reviews I was told that their beach was secluded which is definitely the case. On a busy day we only saw 4 other couples (I've uploaded pics). In fact I would rate their beach better than the one at Port Douglas.

The missus and I wanted a romantic getaway and we couldn't have done better than Thala. Thala is just far enough away from Port Douglas to make it feel like you are on an island but close enough to get into town easily. Thala is located about 20 mins drive from Port Douglas and offers complimentary transport before 5pm. From what we could see a lot of the other resorts in Port Douglas are also just outside town making walking to town difficult.

Each "room" is a private bungalow and the more money you pay the better the view. However, we paid the cheapest option and we were extremely happy with it. There's no kitchen so we brought a picnic set and lived off groceries from the town which helped keep costs down.

The fine dining night we allowed our selves was at their tree top restaurant with a breath taking view and decent food for the price. There is a reading balcony with another stunning view where you can take your drinks and a good book.

The staff are attentive and friendly and helped find my wife's clothes that had been mistakenly thrown out. Thala also offers free activities like star gazing.

A small complaint would be that their cleaning staff leave at 1 so don't expect a lie in if you want your room cleaned. We called one day after 12 before heading off to the beach and was told that the room would be cleaned. It wasn't. However, they did come down later with fresh sheets and towels etc.

All in all a great holiday experience.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RizzleOZtralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2009

Restaurant great...especially breakfast.
Cabins perfect, especially enjoyed the balcony.
Beach access and walks superb. Fantastic bar area at beachfront with snacks amazing :-)
Tours exceptional.
Gift shop nice, and those working at Thala mostly super friendly...

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Natalie1973Perth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
55 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2009

We stayed for 5 nights in a Eucalypt Bungalow in late August 2009.
Rate was room only of A$385 p/n.

The bungalow was as pictured on their website, with a large main room containing the king size bed, writing desk, tv/dvd, two sitting chairs, a coffee table and a seperate bathroom. The balcony was reasonably large and looked out to the trees. A bit more screening is required for privacy on the balconys though.
The windows have wooden louvres to capture the ocean breeze. We hardly had to use the aircon even though it was quite hot and humid outside.

The valet parking was very good as the carpark is down a steepish slope from the main lodge / reception area.

All in all Thala is presented very nicely. The location is peaceful with great views from the restaurant and high quality materials have been used in the chalets. The exclusive use of the beach is also a bonus (especially when compared with 4 mile beach in Port Douglas).

Downsides:
Depending on which chalet you are given, the location can be a bit painful if you want to just quickly grab something from your room as the chalets are placed down the ridge to the ocean. When going out at night you may feel quite sweaty again after climbing back up the hill to reception. Not that great if you have just showered and put makeup on.
Not a huge thing but it was inconvenient at times.

When checking out we noticed the one breakfast we had in the restaurant had not been included. On pointing this out we were told we had breakfast included in our rate. This was disappointing ws we were never advised of this either by email or when checking in. To their credit Thala gave us a discount of $200 off our hotel bill in lieu of the uneaten breakfasts. We were quite satisifed with this resoloution as the breakfasts had only been included at their discretion due to the length of our stay (5 nights). Apparently most clients only stay 1 or 2 nights. So, if you are staying for 3 or more nights I would recommend you ask if breakfast is included when checking in.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SherrySparkle
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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