More about The Sebel Reef House & Spa
We arrived at the Sebel Reef House after four busy days in Sydney. We were looking forward to warm weather and relaxation at the hotel; and we found it at the Sebel Reef House. We were welcomed with lemon scented cooling cloths and were given a quick introductory tour around the hotel and then escorted to our room. Our bags were delivered waiting for us. Our room was absolutely beautiful (recently completely renovated). We had the beachfront spa room overlooking the ocean, with a Jacuzzi spa, waterfall shower, stereo/dvd/tv combo, porch swing and fan, and comfortable bed with net overhang. We felt relaxed right away.
The staff fulfilled all of our expectations; confirming reservations, making diving arrangements, giving us restaurant recommendations, providing room service, turn down service, spa arrangements, anything we wanted we were given with a smile. They never had to ask us our room number or name; they knew who we were every time.
We visited the spa and were very impressed. The level of service was superb and the "extras," like foot bath, tea, aromatherapy, and couples changing room made you feel extra cared for.
The main dining room was currently under construction, so the front of the hotel didn’t look extremely inviting, but once inside the hotel, you didn’t even notice. We both loved mixing drinks at the on-your-honor bar and made sure to stop there before each dinner.
Palm Cove was a very sleepy town. We didn't spend much time there, since diving the reef and visiting the rainforest kept us busy enough, but I don't think there would have been much "to do" if we would've stayed there during the day, which is sometimes exactly what is nice.
Full renovation should be done soon on the hotel, and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised, just like we were.
My husband and I were very happy with our stay at the Sebel Reef House and if we ever get the chance to go back to Palm Cove, we'll stay there again.
Not a 5 star hotel as advertised
Like the previous reviewers, my new husband and I had a very disappointing experience at the Sebel Reef House in Palm Cove. We were in Australia for our honeymoon visiting Sydney, Melbourne and finally Palm Cove. We booked this hotel on some recommendations I found on the internet including Trip Advisor's ratings (this was in April before the last 2 reviewers posted). The hotel is rated as a "5-star boutique" hotel with a reputation for its spa services. We thought we would be "treating" ourselves by booking the end of our trip at a luxurious resort. But what when we arrived, we saw a run-down, white building, with constructions signs on its front deck and letters missing off of the hotel sign. The inside courtyard of the hotel is fairly nice. The staff was very helpful and polite. They told us that they upgraded us to the Veranda Room which we thought was a nice perk to being on honeymoon. However, the room was on the ground floor and its veranda faced the courtyard pool and eatting area. The decor of the room reminded us of a Florida motel. A sign was posted about ants and other insects occasionally being spotted in the rooms with instructions to report any sightings to the front desk if needed. The king bed was a "zipperbed", something new to us Americans. What it felt like on our first night was 2 twin beds pushed together. The zipper lining could be felt by my husband all night long and so he got no sleep that night. At 5:30am we called our travel agency to make new arrangements for the rest of our stay. Construction noise could be heard from our room so we decided not to bother seeing if a new room could be provided to us. We were switched to the Sea Temple Resort. It was wonderful- definitely what we had hoped for as the final end to our stay. The king bed suite was advertised as a zipper king bed as well but this time there was actually more padding on top so we couldn't feel the zipper lining. We had a much more restful sleep on this bed with its goose down comforter and pillows. The studio suite featured a jacuzzi in the bathroom as well as a shower. The rooms were much cleaner and modern and the pools were in much better shape and in more abundance than the Sea Temple. If you are looking for a luxury style resort in Palm Cove, I highly recommend the Sea Temple. Later, my husband and I browsed the hotel sites to compare their room pricing and noticed that the Sea Temple is actually a little cheaper (King Studio Suite compared to Veranda Room of Sebel).
Aside from the politeness of the Sebel Reef House staff, I rate all other aspects of the hotel to be very poor. I don't know how long the construction is going to last but I suggest they look at working on the rest of the hotel once it is done. Ants were all over the place- we noticed them marching along the lining of the roof that lead into the kitchen.
One other note- if you are interested in amenities (selection of cafes, stores, boutiques, etc) and are trying to decide between Port Douglas, Cairns and Palm Cove, I would recommend Port Douglas. The town was much bigger, had more than a single main drag of restaurants, stores) and seemed to have more to do. Some may say it has become more commercial but compared to Palm Cove which is a single main drag of hotels and shops, I would have wished we were placed there. We were plagued by rain most of our stay so we couldn't really find that much to do in Palm Cove alone during our stay. We were there for 6 days and had only booked 2 day tours thinking we could spend the rest relaxing at the beach or pool. Beach water was brown when we were there due to the heavy winds and rain. Hope this info helps.
This is a first class hotel. Well located in the centre of the beachfront in Palm Cove. This is a really relaxing place. The staff are very friendly and efficient, the room we had was very spacious and well appointed. Eating at the hotel is expensive but you get what you pay for. There are at least 12 other restaurants nearby with a range of prices and styles. Ideal for the barrier reef and a trip to Kuranda on the train and skyrail is recommended. Cant fault the hotel.
Perfect for relaxation
After a very hectic year - got married, moved house, moved country and job and all that entails it was bliss to be able to put our feet and relax.
I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone wanting to get away from it all for a week or so. The hotel bedrooms are not luxurious but they are more than ample for a holiday. They have large verandahs and an outside sink and fridge which is all you really want when the weather is hot and humid. The restaurant was excellent, particularly the New Years Eve menu. It was not expensive for the quality, especially if you are used to London prices!. We couldn't fault the staff who were discreet but very helpful. We will certainly be going back, probably around May time, once our next lot of visitors have been and gone - we will need the break again!
Like a well worn pair of slippers.....
Like a well worn pair of slippers The Sebel Reef is slightly frayed round the edges but ever so welcoming & comfortable! If you asking expecting a typical clinical hotel experience then you will be pleasantly surprised by the Sebel Reef. It is cosy, friendly & welcoming.
We stayed here for the 1st leg of our honeymoon around Australia & what a place to start. We arrived on Christmas Day & were upgraded to a Brigadier room, it was very spacious & overlooked the pool. Breakfast is a must, in particular the House Breakfast & the Eggs Benedict - a truly splendicious awakening for your taste buds in the morning!!
All the staff are extremely helpful & knowledgeable. There is an information desk for all activities in Cairns at the hotel too, from Diving to Hot Air Balloon Rides to White Water rafting.
Palm Cove itself although quite small is appointed with several fantastic eateries & also handy supermarkets for all your needs. To get to the beach you basically cross the road! It is a lovely white sand beach with a stinger net in place so you can still enjoy the warm waters!
If you want to travel into Cairns, you can catch the bus right outside the hotel on the opposite side, getting a travel card is the cheapest way to travel. Access to the Reef is also very easy as most of the major excursions companies such as Poseidon & Quicksilver come & collect you from your hotel. We used Poseidon & they were fantastic. You do not need to have dived before, although we had done a few assisted dives. We did 3 dives off the Agincourt Reef & had the opportunity to hire a digital camera on board (approx £40 for the hire). We took this down with us on our 2nd & 3rd dives. You cannot put into words how beautiful the Reef is - If you are coming to Cairns - even if you only intend to snorkel, the Barrier Reef is a MUST!!!
We also visited the Rainforest on the Sky Rail & Kurunda Railway. Again they will collect you from your hotel & drop you back. We went on the train first, then to Koala Gardens for a hug with a furry friend, then returned via the Sky Rail stopping off to walk through the rainforest. This is a truly amazing experience as you travel right over the top of the rainforest, the views are magnificent!
We thoroughly recommend Sebel Reef in Palm Cove. This sleepy little resort offers a tranquil base to enjoy Tropical North Queensland.
Myself and my partner stayed here for 5 nights in January. After being in Sydney for New Year, this hotel and overall the whole area provided an excellent break for us both. The weather, in comparison to dull and wet Scotland back home, really sealed it for us. The hotel from check in to check out really lived up to previous reviews.
We stayed in a veraandah spa room, where the room was large with a terrace and a spa on the terrace that we fully used and enjoyed ;-). We enjoyed the romance package that the hotel offered, this included an excellent luxurious day trip to the reef, limo transfers, a fantastic spa treatment and diner on our terrace on the last night which sealed a perfect break. The hotel itself is not located on the beach, it is across the road from the beach but I would say this road is more a path, seriously it is more suited for pedestrians than cars and that is the way the resort is built. The staff at the hotel were great, very informal and relaxing, just like Palm Cove itself. This place is a lovely resort, its clearly upmarket with some excellent restaurants (Sebel Reef being the best in our opinion). Breakfast daily was included in our rate and this was a real treat each morning, with the restaurant looking out to the sea and the staff tending to every need, including dealing with my allergies in a superb way.
The small touches like having food suitable to me in prior to arrival, going to the local mall to get photos developed for me, arranging pick up of a lost camera and many more things throughout our stay, really sets this hotel apart from most others we have stayed in. As you depart the hotel in your car returning to the airport you wil glance around, with a smilE on your face and a tear in your eye, sad to leave but knowing fine weLl that you will be back..........this place really hits the spot.
Happy to recommend the Reef House
My husband & I visted the Reef House in early February 2006.We felt at home from the moment we arrived.The staff were confident, friendly & discreet.
The Reef House is a small, private hotel & we quite often felt like we were the resort's only guests.
The hotel is surrounded by tropical gardens & guests have a choice of two pools & a number of spa pools.We particularly enjoyed the salt water pool.
The main pool has a waterfall feature and we often relaxed here afterdark with a complimentary glass of tropical punch.
The hotel is seconds away from beautifully clean & wonderfully quiet beach(although swimming at this time of year is recommended only within the confines of the "stinger net". The beach was also closed for a short time during our stay due to a crocodile sighting !)
We stayed in a Verandah room overlooking the main pool.The balcony was large and felt very private.The room itself was also spacious, a vanity room in addition to the main bathroom was a bonus.
The airconditioning was also very welcome as Palm Cove is very hot at this time of year.
There are many excellent restaurants in Palm Cove.
We wished we could have stayed longer in order to revisit some of them.Particularly memorable was the Reef House lunch by the pool and Choc Dee Thai at the Ourigger Resort. Palm Cove is a romantic place to unwind, read by the pool and enjoy a walk along a deserted beach. It is a place where you can enjoy doing nothing at all or it is also conveniently located close to Cairns, the Barrier Reef and Port Douglas if you want to explore.I look forward to returning to the Reef House.... we just wish we had discovered it sooner.
Good times at the Reef house
I used this website to book a 5 night stay at the Swbel Reef House in Palm Cove for myself and my parents.
We stayed in the immaculately clean Reef Suite with great views from the terrace towards the sea.
The staff were unfailingly polite and helpful, especially those who worked in the restaurant.
Being in the Tropics the hotel is a little warn in places, but this is in no way impacts it's charm.
We had a very pleasurable, but too short, a stay. I'm sure I'll be back in the dry season for cocktails at 5.30 in the Brigadiers Bar!
What a disappointment
After reading various articles, but not reviews, of this hotel we were expecting a truly welcoming luxurious experience. This was far from what we experienced. We arrived to the hotel in the middle of renovations, which we were not informed about at any point of our booking. We awoke on the first morning at 8.00 am to drills, hammers and various other noises of a work site right outside our beachfront suite window! Not only was the place a mess from the building works, the hotel itself is very tired with the rooms extremely worn. The wear and tear has gone beyond rustic and has just become poor presentation. Our air conditioner leaked water all over the floor and the bathroom was almost dingy. The breakfast was poor and accompanied by the noises of the renovations going on at the hotel.
We were booked to stay for 3 nights but checked out after the first night extremely dissapointed. If you are looking for some great accommodation in Palm Cove I would recommend the Angsana Spa which is fantastic. Great service, great location and a restaurant with truly great views.
After reading the reviews on Trip advisor and the recommendation from Frommers both formerly trusted sources, I booked the first 6 nights of my honeymoon here. The place was under minor renovations which was far from the problem as we were notified of this in advance. The problem is the entire resort needs massive renovations. I booked a Veranda Spa room which supposedly looked at a garden but actually looked out over a parking lot and the SPA looked like it hadn't been cleaned in years. We immediately cancelled our reservations and moved down the street to the Outrigger which was very nice and the folks at Sebel were very understanding. It was clear we were not the first to do this to them. I would also warn people that Palm Cove is not the greatest place either. It is a sleepy little town which attacted me to there, but the beaches are very average and the water is dark green not blue like in any pictures you'll see advertising it. We actually left after 2 days and flew to the Whitsundays. I would highly suggest you all do the same. The Beach club on Hamilton Island was first rate. We stayed there several nights and then hired out a sail boat and sailed the Whitsundays for 2 days. Much much better place to start a Honeymoon or just get away and sit on a large sandy beach with blue water and beautiful scenery.
After this experience I am not sure I will ever trust trip advisor or Frommer's again which is too bad because previously they both suggested Punta Islita in Costa Rica which was totally amazing.