Most of the unfavourable reviews read here are generally brought about because of misinterpretation or lack of communication of requirements. Don't Assume.....Ask. 

Apartment facilities differ from hotels and motels.  Many travellers assume they have booked a hotel when in fact they have chosen a self contained, self catering apartment. Following are some of the major differences.

 Unserviced Apartments - are apartments with a full kitchen or kitchenette facilities.  It is the same as renting a flat except you are staying short term.  However, bed linen is provided including 1 bath towel per person (more if 4 star or above) and a tea towel.  Most will also supply hand towel, face washer and bath mat ( varies from place to place)  The apartment is not cleaned by management until after you leave.  Some provide a small quantity of tea/coffee/milk/sugar/toilet roll but not always.  You will be required to provide your own after this runs out. Laundry facilities are usually in the apartment or on site for communal use.  Apartment Managers mostly do not offer Porter services and most complexes do not have lifts.  Most do not have restaurants or meals on site.

 Serviced Apartments - are the same as above except for a linen change weekly.  So if you are staying 10 days you can expect a mid stay service with clean linen and towels. A daily service may be available for a charge. Most do not clean the apartment.  Brooms and mops etc are available if required.

Departing your Apartment - Most apartments will charge a fee if the apartment is not left in a tidy state.  Removal of all garbage is expected and dishes should be washed and dried and put away or at the very least loaded into the dishwasher.  Check out time is always 10.00am unless arranged otherwise with management. As check in time is generally 2pm, this leaves only a 4 hour window to have rooms cleaned and ready for that days arrivals.

Checking In - As a rule check in time is always 2pm.  However when possible the managers will endeavour to get you into your apartment as soon as possible.  By providing your approximate arrival time, this helps greatly in organising housekeeping schedules.  For eg If you know you are arriving at midday call ahead and advise so that your apartment can be done first OR if you are arriving at 9pm, by advising ahead of time, your apartment will be left with aircon and lights on for you as receptions are usually closed by 5pm.  In 99% of cases you will be asked for a credit card no for security or a cash bond to cover incidentals ie phone calls.

Most apartment Managers work a 7 day week 8 - 5/6pm and shorter hours on the weekends.  They are also on call 24 hours a day for emergencies.  They live on site.  They are the ones that will let you in when you have locked yourselves out at 2am or will be there when you set your fire alarm off  cooking with the doors and window shut.  They do not run 24 hour reception or tour desk but are more than willing to help you in any way they can during their open hours.

Lastly, if you have specific needs ie diabled facilities, no stairs, flat shower recesses,ground floor please double check with property first.  Many properties in Port Douglas have ground floor apartments that are accessed by stairs.  This is usually because the block is on a slope.

With a little thought before hand, your holiday can be hassle free.