More about Holiday Inn Cairns
we loved Australia
we stayed at the holiday inn cairns for eight nights in April 07, we read some of the reveiws on this web site, we were concerned about staying here , we were pleasantly surprised, the hotel staff were friendly and helpful, the room was clean, the bedding was clean and the bed was comfortable,yes the bathroom was small but come on how long do you spend in there when you are in such a lovely place. the breakfast in the hotel was excellent, I would recomend this hotel to my friends, and would stay there again.
Good, Bad and Ugly
We have just returned from a week long holiday in Cairns, staying at Holiday Inn Cairns early September. I am a gold member of their Priority reward program and paid ~$170 per night for a deluxe king size bed ocean view room via the hotel website.
IMO, the good and bad reviews seen here on the Holiday Inn are both accurate --- the guests' experience really depends on which room they were given.
- good location - the hotel is across the road from Cairn's Esplanade (great for morning and evening walk), playground and swimming lagoon (great for kids), free BBQ facilities, cycling track and excellent restaurants -- and just far enough to avoid the crowd and traffic. It is about 15 min brisk walk to the Marina where the reef boats are. Note that Cairns fronts a mud flat at low tide which good for pelican watching but not suitable for swimming etc.
- hotel staff (and almost everyone else in Cairns) are general friendly, attentive and professional considering the surprising number of rude and obnoxious tourist I saw in Cairns. I think this is the reason why polite and subtle Japanese tourist are treated better, not that they bring in more revenue.
- other than some marks on a chair, my room was large, clean and airy. I did not experience foul smell, old bed/bedding or problems with ants.
- free parking (cars and bikes) that are locked at night
- the construction next door - if you are a light sleeper you will be woken up by banging/drilling/thumping at 6:30 am in any room numbered between X00-X20 (where X is the floor level) and the pool area. And if you paid the extra $25-$35 for a "water view" like I did, chances are you will be disappointed as you will get mostly a view of the construction site and a view "round the corner" of the water (the IC hotel group has a habit of calling any glimpse of water "ocean view" and charging a lot of money for it ). Save your $ for a trip to the reef instead.
- loud rattling air conditioning unit - I end up turning it off and opening the balcony door at 2 am. This can be a problem if you are in Cairns during the wet and humid months of Nov-Feb.
- small and cramp bathroom (but otherwise updated and clean).
- the room service breakfast (A$25 per head) wasn't great -- supermarket fair and nearly cold when delivered. In addition, we asked for 1 serve to share, the reason being we were going to spend the day in a boat (fearing sea sickness), and was charged A$50 since there were two adults in the room. This still would have been fine except that we were given rather odd serving, e.g. 1 glass of orange juice and 1 cup of coffee etc. A menu card clearly specifying the number of serve for each food item would have avoided such misunderstanding.
- the hotel offer A$35 (discount with voucher from local newspaper, otherwise ~A$42) seafood buffet which we did not try -- however, if you are not a fussy oyster or prawn lover, this can be a good deal since 1/2 dozen oyster will easily set you back A$14-A$20 in Cairns.
- IMO, better meals and value can be had from the large selection of restaurants on the Esplanade. The Mangostins offers excellent waffle or egg Benedict for breakfast/brunch at around A$12 to $14, and spicy pork or herd crusted baramundi (a local fish) for dinner (around $28-$32), Beez Neez boutique beer for ~A$6 --- give the fruit platter or lamb shank a miss. The mango+passion fruit ice cream from New Zealand Ice Cream (a local chain) makes a nice dessert.
- I don't think being a Priority Club member offers any real benefit at this particular hotel other than the usual extended check-out. I was given a laminated card which identify me as a gold member and a number to call, but no information as to what benefits there may be. My request for early check-in (11 AM) made via the online booking system was not granted.
Cairns is a good jumping off point to the Great Barrier Reef (WOW!), waterfall circuit and swimming holes in the Atherton Tablelands (swam under a waterfall - cold in September but definitely an experience) or a drive next to the Coral Sea to the rainforest at Mossman Gouge in a convertible sport car hired locally.
We have just had at an Easter family holiday at the Holiday Inn and yes the room has its faults but they are certainly made up for from the service of the staff, the facilities on offer and the overall feeling of the hotel. The staff I could not fault they were extremely polite and went out of their way to assist, for example the breakfast buffet did not have pancakes one morning and I asked the waiter if there were any, with which he replied I will arrange a plate for your table "free". We arrived early and they checked us in at that time. The facilities were lovely and clean, the atrium was alive and it was fun looking for the fish. The breakfast buffet was excellent. Thus with these attributes I was able to forget about our room being on the smallish side and the carpet being dirty in our room. Yes there was a musty smell but on leaving the balcony door open it was gone in an hour or so. So I do not think these things are worth going into detail when everything else was EXCELLENT!! The place also had a nice atmosphere and I would stay there again.
Our family of 4 spent 2 nights here before travelling on to Port Douglas. Great location right on the Esplanade with Muddy's Playground about a 3 minute stroll in one direction and the swimming lagoon, nightmarkets and restaurants about a 3-5 minute stroll in the other direction.
The hotel had a large, pleasant lobby, a restaurant, bar, gift shop, bottle shop, swimming pool, tour desk and a rainforest-like open air atrium in the middle. The atrium had little ponds with large fish in them, which was of great interest to our children ages 10 and 7.
The rooms were typical of any holiday inn - perfectly adequate, comfortable and clean - nothing to complain about.
We ordered room service for breakfast one morning. It was good value, with the one large $25 breakfast being enough for all 4 of us (we are fairly light breakfast eaters, some families might not find this to be enough).
The kids especially loved Muddy's Playground and we spent quite a bit of time there. They preferred it over the swimming lagoon. Muddy's is free and a pleasant place to spend time. Besides the usual swings, slides, climbing apparatus, etc it has water-play areas and a little cafe where you can buy food and drinks.
The Holiday Inn on the esplanade was so convenient to everything, it had everything that we needed and we would certainly stay there again. I got a great price on the Holiday Inn website by purchasing a few months in advance (a restricted rate that could not be changed or cancelled).
We stayed here June 15-17 2007. The hotel is close to down town and the port. However, the AC did not function well and the bathroom was very small. Our room looked old. Other members of our tour reported the same issues. There is a high rise next door that has a few floors that are starting, so it will be a while before it is done. We were busy during the day so I couldn't say if it is noisy. They were not working after dark. They have a good buffet breakfast. You can walk to the port from the hotel. On the weekends there may be local artists, vendors selling their goods just before the pier. For great souvenier shopping take a trip to Kuranda.
Disappointed in Holiday Inn
While the hotel was in a great location, we were disappointed with the standard of the rooms. Bathroom was old and room itself needed makeover - holes in wall etc making the place look shabby. Also we had not been told when booking that the upgrade to a room with "ocean" view also meant a view of the construction site next door!
We had a very enjoyable 3 night stay at the end of our trip around NQL. The room was clean and unlike some other reviews I've read did not smell. We had superb room view overlooking the bay. The hotel is in a great location on the front 5 minutes walk away from the main tourist area.
When we checked in we were offered a cut price rate on the breakfast which we took. It was worth it although at full price it wouldn't have been but, that's no different for 99% of hotel chains.
We had no other meals in the hotel so I can't comment on the standard, value etc.
Wonderful hotel in Cairns!
Date August 3 Reviewer Toggi,Kanagawa Japan
My husband and I stayed here from July 26 to 31.Before leaving Japan, we were worried about staying here due to reading some reviews written by people who made a complaint.However there was nothing to say a bad word about the hotel,moreover staff showed very nice hospitality to us.When we had a problem in our room,which was stains of water were coming on the floor after taking a shower, not our fault but something wrong with a water pipe, they offered to change our room and we were able to move to a nice room the next day.Thanks to them,we supposed to enjoy in Cairns.Speaking of food,breakfast we ate at the restaurant was wonderful! I'm a vegetarian,but I was really satisfied with foods.Vegetable juice you make with a mixer can be fun and yummy! When I visit Cairns next time, I will choose this hotel again!
Great place to stay
We stayed 4 nights at the Holiday Inn, & thought it was great. Very convenient location, nice room with mountain view), & helpful staff.
I was concerned after we had booked, & read some of the reviews but we had no problems. There is a construction site next door, where works starts about 6.30 am - till 2pm (this is due to health & safety guidelines) but it wasn't too noisy.