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“Disappointing accommodation”

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Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park
Certificate of Excellence
Toowoomba
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Disappointing accommodation”
Reviewed June 30, 2013

On our recent trip to the Whitsunday's we wanted to revisit Cape Hillsborough National Park, a lovely place that we hadn't seen for 23 years. The national park is as beautiful and untouched as we remembered, and the nature resort is well set up for both caravans and campers. However our overnight stay in Beachfront Cabin 5 at the Nature Resort was disappointing, cold, uncomfortable and comparatively expensive, and I would not recommend a stay in their cabin accommodation to anyone in winter if they feel the cold. In addition we found the telephone booking service was misleading with resort staff providing a variety of feedback on availability of accommodation. In general the park lacked the warmth and hospitality we have found at other Whitsunday tourism establishments which is disappointing as this area of the coast is so unique and beautiful.

The Nature Resort has a variety of cabin accommodation, of which full details with pictures can be found on their website. After reviewing the available choices, my preferred accommodation was in a two bedroom beachfront cabin. I contacted the resort to book accommodation well in advance but was informed they would only take bookings for the minimum of two nights. However if I called back 48 hours beforehand, they would take overnight bookings. I gladly accepted this policy as accommodation in this area is scarce and I understood that a small business such as this resort would rather accept two night stays where possible. I concluded that if accommodation at the resort was unavailable, we could still visit the national park as a day visitor if we wanted.

Three days prior to our travel to the area, I again contacted the nature resort to check on cabin availability. A male receptionist told me that there were still beachfront two bedroom cabins available and to ring back the next day and they would take my overnight booking. The following day a female receptionist told me she had received a run on bookings and there was no accommodation available however please ring back a few hours beforehand as some times there are late cancellations. Annoying as this was, accommodation is scarce in this area, so my daughter rang back as we approached Cape Hillsborough and she was told there was luckily one studio Beachfront Cabin 5 available at $150 per night. We accepted the accommodation. Later that night we noticed that only half the cabins were occupied including the biggest 2 bedroom Beachfront Cabin vacant.

There are many things about the Beachfront Cabins that are disappointing. Although they are called “beachfront”, there is no view of the beach as it is obstructed by shrubbery. A better view is available on the level higher up the resort. The cabins are very old, draughty and not particularly clean. We also noticed that the windows could not be locked securely. The shower and toilet are very substandard with hot water that takes almost 5 minutes to warm up. The kitchen is poorly equipped with limited old mismatching crockery. Above the sink is a sign in large bold capital letters to inform guests that a fee of $70 will be charged to their credit card if they leave any dirty dishes in the sink! Our cabin had two uncomfortable queen sized beds. Unfortunately the night we stayed experienced very cold temperatures. To stay warm we needed to put on more clothing as there were few warm bed covers and the air conditioner could not be set to warm the cabin. At one stage I arose to try to have a hot shower to warm up, however as the water temperature took forever to heat, I abandoned that plan. Needless to say we were up early to greet the dawn and watch the kangaroos feed on the beachfront, yet this did not compensate for a poor interrupted nights sleep in an uncomfortable bed.

During our holiday we noticed huge differences in the pricing of tourist accommodation in the Whitsunday’s which was determined by supply and demand. These varied from $170 per night to stay in a huge new five star 2 bedroom waterfront apartment at Airlie to a $150 per night for a stay in older style two bedroom cabin in the mountains at Eungella. To me it doesn’t matter how old the accommodation is where I stay. What does matter is that the place is clean and warm, the beds are comfortable, the shower is hot and works well, the kitchen is functional and the management is hospitable. The Beachfront Cabins don't tick any of those boxes. At present the Nature Resort is well set up for caravans and campers but their cabin accommodation (which is nothing more than upmarket camping) needs to be improved or reduced in price considerably to stay competitive. Only those visitors who adore Cape Hillsborough will keep returning to the Nature Resort as there are so many nicer places to visit and stay in the Whitsunday’s.

Room Tip: If you don't have your own caravan or camping gear just visit Cape Hillsborough as a day visitor...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MOMAustralia, Guest Relations Manager at Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park, responded to this review, July 7, 2013
Thank you for your review as this feedback helps us to continually improve our accommodation and service.

Minimum stay periods are determined by several factors including those that you have pointed out. We understand that it can be frustrating to have to wait to confirm your reservation and are constantly reviewing how to make this process more simple.

The park is under new management since August 2012 and we are working our way through a refurbishment process after many years of neglect. Our rates do reflect demand although this is not often apparent as guests come and go at varying times. The night you stayed is not necessarily a reflection of occupancy the days before and after.

We do take on board your comments and regret that the accommodation did not meet your expectations. We hope that you return to Cape Hillsborough Nature Resort again some day
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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227 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
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English first
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 5, 2013

We have been going to cape hillsborough for 10 years! We find the new management enthusiastic and keen to make our stay fun and comfortable. I love the 9.30 pm quiet time rule.
New management doing a fantastic job!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Suebarnard78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MOMAustralia, Guest Relations Manager at Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park, responded to this review, June 9, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us and the Trip Advisor community. We love to hear that long term guests continue to enjoy their time with us. We look forward to providing you with another ten years of holiday memories :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
newstead vic
1 review
Reviewed June 2, 2013

hi guys we had a great time staying with you . all your staff were very pleasant. all the facilities were keept clean. thanks to mick we got a nice feed of crabs. keep the good work up guys with your hard working staff you will go along way.renae thanks for stocking those great pants thay kept the sand flys of.we will be back one day. Lindsay andrea xxxxx

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank andrea f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2013

Our favorourite destination made so by the wonderful mgmt and staff that go out of their way to make yr stay memorable. Collected at airport, taken shopping before staying 3 weeks and returned back to airport with a scenic drive along the coastal route. Always a friendly chat at the cafe with nothing too much trouble. I agree with Mark J, new owners with new ideas trying to update facility after steady decline due to past owners, approaching retirement who were also special people. This is truly a piece of paradise and the new mgmt want to ensure the next generation of converts can enjoy it as we and many others want to in the future. I have nothing but admiration for the new owners and their vision for the resort and hope to continue staying there for many years to come with my wife avoiding the Melbourne cold.Our now grown up children share the same love for this beautiful national park and resort. Booking another 3 weeks soon and cannot wait
Neil & Jennie C.

Room Tip: Cabins close to beach quiet and relaxing with the sound of the waves at night .
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Neil C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MOMAustralia, Guest Relations Manager at Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park, responded to this review, June 9, 2013
Thank you for this kind review and your appreciation of the little extras we try to provide. We are committed to providing the best possible holiday expereince for all guests and know that small things can make the difference between a good holiday and a GREAT one! Come back to Cape Hillsborough Narture Resort soon
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mackay, Australia
1 review
Reviewed May 28, 2013

I have read with interest the comments made by people who stayed at Cape Hillsborough over the Easter break March 2013. I find it very disturbing that people can be so self-centred as to slander others to make a point. My husband and I along with our 3 grandchildren have been holidaying there for about 8 years, over which time we have always paid for our grandchildren to stay with us and fully expected to do so.
As for day visitors coming to the park and using the facilities, such as the pool, toilets, showers etc; why should they do it for free when we all have to pay to be there? There is a shower, toilets, Barbeques, tables & chairs in the park outside for day visitors to use all free.
I must admit I felt $8.00 was a bit steep for adults to visit I think $5.00 is sufficient but hopefully that may be revised. Some other parks have a fee and charge up to $10 a head, one should look at this when deciding to shift camp.
I was there at Easter and I did not complain to Management but I was not happy to be kept awake until 1.30am with campers sitting outside and getting quite loud as the alcohol took over, I was pleased to see management put a stop to it. I felt sorry for those campers with small children, and there were a lot of them. Campers can still play cards we do, but you need to consider others and keep your noise down.
Another point made was no scooters allowed after dark, “Bravo” myself and several others have nearly been run down so many times it’s not funny, I don’t have a problem with kids having fun it’s great but no lights on them and racing is rather dangerous, after all they have all day to ride.
I can’t comment on the activities for children I have always considered that is my job as a responsible adult to take care of my own and arrange things to amuse them. Cape Hillsborough is a wonderful place to take the family and my grandchildren have spent their childhood going there on holidays. There is so much for them to do, fishing, crabbing, building forts & cubbies in the bush, being at one with the wildlife just to name a few.
The facilities are cleaned every day and are much cleaner since people have been stopped coming from the beach and using them. As for the new owners I must say in their defence I have always found them to be reasonable and ready to listen and as far as rude I have never had the owners or any staff be rude to me ever.
Anyone who decides to not go to Cape Hillsborough will be doing themselves an injustice. The place is still the same maybe the new owners approach to things is a little different but that is their privilege. If anything has changed with the new owners it’s probably a change for the better. Cape Hillsborough Resort is still the same as it’s always been as far as I am concerned a great place to holiday.
We will, and I hope you too have many nice holidays in this friendly and family orientated park. Look forward to meeting you.
Kevin & Jeanette

Room Tip: Beach front are in the best location.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jeanette C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed May 25, 2013

We have been staying at the Cape for the past eleven years; same time each year, under the past and current owners: The pst owners were beautiful, but they were getting on and the children didn't want the responsibilities of the park: The new owners are very keen and dedicated to making the park a place where people can come and totally relax, without the late night parties and noise associated with them.

This is a glorious place and it offers so much to those who want to enjoy the surrounds, ambience and the quietness so as to be able to relax. Parents have to be responsible for their children; just as the new owners are with theirs. This, along with trying to run a business for others to enjoy, thus encouraging guests to return as often as possible; just as we have.

Ben & Renae, keep doing what you're doing, looking forward to seeing you and your pleasant staff again very soon. This year, next and every year!
Happy Campers
Mark, Nerida & The Boys'

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mark J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 24, 2013

Staff were friendly, has a good shop with fish and chip nights in the weekends. great location, beautiful beach only fault was that the cabins were very run down and not well cleaned, for the price charged. We found a pretzel in our bed- certainly not ours!

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JemimaPuddleDucks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park

Property: Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park
Address: 51 Risley Parade, Cape Hillsborough, Queensland 4740, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Cape Hillsborough
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cape Hillsborough
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 113
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A haven nestled in the forest, and surrounded by the beautiful Cape Hillsborough National Park - the ultimate destination to seek respite from the pace of every day living. Awaiting you is private comfortable accommodation and beach front sites in an environment of natural beauty. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cape Hillsborough Nature Hotel

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