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“Achingly beautiful”

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Thala Beach Nature Reserve
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Oak Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 6, 2007

Beautifully set alongside nature whilst maintaining luxurious standards. Spa excellent. Staff extremely friendly and welcoming, also very knowledgeable about the surrounding flora and wildlife, always happy to help. Service slow and slightly patchy but lots of new staff starting when we stayed. Overall and amazing experience and we would go back.

Stayed: January 2007
3  Thank uniquescreenname
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 4, 2007

Was passing by, went in to take a look, and ended up staying 4 days. In a tourist industry awash with inflated claims, it was so nice to find somewhere that quietly and thoughtfully delivered the outstanding experience that so many promise but few produce.

The setting, the accommodation, and the service were exceptional. Staff were outstanding; friendly, herlpful, thoughful, and ,together with the amenities, contributed to the sense of being unobtrusively but effectively taken care of, which is the hallmark of a genuinely first class resort.

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank GilScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2007

My husband and I stayed at the Thala Beach for 5 days whilst on our honeymoon in Oz. It was really lovely. The views from the guest lounge are stunning, the walks are fabulous and the food! We still talk about the food in hushed tones over a year later! Seriously if you're staying here don't bother going to PD for meals because you won't find anything better than what the Thala Beach chefs have on the menu!

The only bad thing about this place was the location of our cabin. A travel agent friend of ours booked the hotel, mentioned the fact we were on honeymoon and hadn't thought of asking where our cabin would be. We were ended up at the bottom of a hill with trees right up to the door and windows so there wasn't a hint of a view despite their claim that "All bungalows have views either to the ocean or the forested mountains".

The other thing to think of is the humidity (we were there in early October) - the hotel has fabulous walks and nature trails (Brett, the Steve Irwin type nature guide does walks of the acres of grounds every morning). Unfortunately it was just too humid for me (Irish -not used to heat and quite lazy) to walk anywhere so I let my husband off and stayed in the lounge drinking freshly squeezed juice and looking out over the miles of coastline.

The hotel is v close to Port Douglas however you do need to order the shuttle bus or hire a car to get there as it's a good 15 minute drive.
All in all I'd most definitely recommend this place and would stay there again but next time I'd specify a room with a view!

  • Stayed: October 2005, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LynSept05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2007

Our first impressions weren't fantastic: we had expected more of a luxurious retreat. There was a little disappointment on the first evening, mostly with our "hut". It wasn't very well decorated; looked a bit dated and, well, cheap. But by next morning, we had fallen for this place; so quiet, beautiful location, fantastic views, and good food. They have a travel agent on site that is really useful if you want to book trips: reef dives, rainforest walks, etc. The air con in the room is pretty noisy but cools it down very well. There are also fans on the ceiling. I loved the deck out front of the room, with a light and fan for a relaxing, and I mean really relaxing evening drink.
If you find it difficult to walk about, or have difficulty with steep inclines, then this place may be problematic for you: the complex is on a headland and between the beaches and lodge, there is quite a height difference: all the rooms and stringed out at various levels between. To cope with luggage, etc, the lodge uses little mini-vans to ferry stuff up and down. This kind of went against the eco-feel of this place. We went in December, and it was nearly empty, so very relaxing at all times; around the pool or at dinner, but this is because its box jelly fish season so you can't venture into the sea. They don't warn you of this until you arrive and then the warnings are everywhere. I would recommend this place purely on the basis of its location and ultimate hideaway feel (it was less than 10% occupied during my visit though). Its not luxurious but its also not so expensive. The views are awesome.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank godphila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2007

This is a place to relax, eat great food, drink good wine, sit by the pool, stroll by the beach or explore the rainforest. We had a fabulous time. Rooms are cabin style away from the main building. The public areas are all open air. No air conditioning and NOT bug proof. But what the hell it was great to get back to nature and the food.... brilliant try the Oyster soup sounds weird but was unbelievable as was the duck entree. The restaurnat over looks the Coral Sea, with a great sea breeze in the afternoons. This is not a place for kids and we didnt see any. Beware if you have difficulty walking. Although they have a great golf buggy service to and from rooms it is situated at the top of a hill with the cabins below the main building and a steep walk to the main building.

  • Stayed: January 2006, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Travellingsafe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2006

We went to Thala in December 2006 to get married. It was a magical place where attention to guest comfort was first class. The staff were excellent giving special thanks to Angie our wedding planner and Tammy who looked after us in the Dining Room.

Our wedding was beautiful and they made it such a memorable experience, the attention we received was second to none. We are so happy we chose Thala to get married.

The location was spectacular with views to die for. The setting of Thala was amongst secret pools and beautiful flora and fauna. The food was delicous on every sitting.

We will return with out doubt to this magical, beautiful place. Thanks to all the staff who were friendly and attentive, and for making our trip one we will never forget.

Roy and Jeanie Stevens - UK

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Felindre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2006

What we loved:

1. The location of Thala is well-situated with easy access to Port Douglass, but far enough away from the crowds to offer isolated beaches and lush rain forest surroundings. The Bungalows were simple, clean, and offered great privacy -- we didn’t hear the sound of a TV set or any neighbors. The hardwood floors are kept very tidy and the bathroom was sparkling.

We spent several evenings out on our terrace drinking Australian wine and listening to the waves crashing and frogs/bugs singing. Also, if you like to start the day with a good cup of coffee, the room comes equipped with a French Press /Plunger style coffee maker and a hot-water heater.

2. Food at Thala was excellent. We ate almost every meal there for a week and never grew tired of the menu. The cuisine features freshly prepared food with Asian and European influences. I asked and found out the head chef is a classically swiss-trained chef. It’s been over 2 months since our trip and I still remember the Barramundi fish steamed in banana leaves, local artisan cheeses, a homemade mango sorbet, and a mouth watering cut of succulent pork belly.

They will even cook "off-menu" with special requests – they accommodated me with a salad featuring local seafood. You can also order picnic baskets if you want to enjoy a meal on the beach or in your room.

3. The Great Barrier Reef was breathtaking and traveling out to the reef to snorkel was a not-to- be missed experience. Mikela, who runs the tour office at Thala is very helpful and they arranged a sailing tour to the low isles reef with a company called "Sail Away". The boat is the first to motor out to this popular location so you get there before the crowds and then you let the winds take you home, sailing on the return trip. We have never snorkeled before so this location, which is located off an island/sand quay was a good starter before we traveled out to the more intimidating and stronger currents of the outer reef.. There were fish of every color, giant purple clams, and many sea turtles swimming side by side us.

Several days later we took a trip to the outer reef for more snorkeling on one of the faster boats called "The Poseidon". The staff of was fun and the on-board biologist was very knowledgeable. There were high winds and strong currents that day with a very low number of people on the boat and we were rewarded with a snorkeling experience that was other worldly. The experience might have been different and a lot less personal if the ship had been at capacity with 50+ people. If you want to avoid the crowds, Mikela can recommend more private options on both sail and powered boats.

4. Orbitz. There was an issue with the marketing company promoting the hotel package we signed up for. The customer service department at Orbitz was excellent and extremely fair about resolving the problem.

Other:

1. As other reviews have noted, don’t expect to see postcard-perfect blue waters immediately offshore. The water is somewhat cloudy and muddy. However, as you travel out to The Great Barrier Reef, you will see clearer waters. This area is still abundant with natural beauty and Thala has done a great job blending in and preserving the shoreline and rainforest.

2. Although the food at Thala is excellent and well worth the premium price, we picked up small food and snack items at the Coles market in Port Douglas. Port Douglas also has some nice restaurant options.

3. Thala is located outside of Port Douglas, so if you don’t have a car you can take their free shuttle which runs a limited schedule in the morning and late evening. There are also cabs, but we didn’t look into the price of this.

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank djkevykev1
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

Address: Private Road | 5078 Captain Cook Highway, Oak Beach, Port Douglas, Queensland 4871, Australia (Formerly Thala Beach Lodge)
Phone Number:
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: $192 - $381 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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