Silky Oaks Lodge Restaurant
After a visit to Mossman Gorge we headed to the Silky Oaks Lodge for lunch. The lodge is located on the northern bank of the Mossman River Gorge, on the edge of the Daintree Rainforest.
It is an eco-friendly resort and has been constructed into the rainforest, making you feel at one with nature. The restaurant is open to the public, and its lovely open air balcony has views down into the river gorge. It was a beautiful day when we visited and, having booked ahead, we were lucky to get one of the best tables so we could enjoy the rainforest views.
Relaxed but stylish, and a bit pricy, this is a beautiful place for a meal. Service was friendly but professional, and we very much enjoyed our meal here.
God is everywhere in this place
I have stayed at many beautiful places around the world, but Silky Oaks is possibly one of the best. Silky Oaks Lodge is magnificent. The staff are superb, the food outstanding, the setting is beyond comparison. Words cannot convey how beautiful this place is.
As I said, God is everywhere. Just open your eyes and see.
Look nowhere else, this is the place you must stay at.
Peaceful, relaxing retreat in the rainforest
In the midst of a month-long overseas business trip to Australia, I treated myself to a long weekend up at Silky Oaks Lodge - and it truly was a treat. I had initially thought that my requests for a particularly remote/private "treehouse" had been ignored or rebuffed (via e-mail and a phone call the morning of my arrival), but much to my delight I arrived to find that some kind soul had taken pity on me and moved me out to a very private little treehouse at the outer edges of the property. Many of the treehouses front the little path that connects all the rooms, and so if you want a truly private experience, try to talk one of the staff into giving you a more remote room.
The room itself was sort of "luxury summer camp" in feel - not exactly as luxurious as the pictures make the rooms look - but it was charming and clean and very relaxing. The CD player and soothing selection of CDs in the room are a nice touch. The highlight of my room was my deck, which looked right off into the rainforest and from which I could hear the gentle trickling of a small stream. I could have spent hours just lazing in the hammock on the deck - but there were too many other things to do. I never made it to the spa for any treatments for the same reason - too many more active things to do!
I didn't have any meals at the restaurant, so I can't offer much insight into that part of the lodge. I did stop by the breakfast buffet most mornings and surreptiously stuff a couple of muffins into my bag for my adventures for that day, and they were quite tasty.
I did a snorkeling day trip out to the Great Barrier reef the first morning of my visit, which I very much enjoyed - despite the "A Perfect Storm" sea conditions. The seas are often quite rough in this part of the world, even on ships that claim to offer a "rapid, comfortable" trip out to the reef. Fortunately I'd taken my Dramamine in advance and was fine - but a lot of other folks on the boat weren't. Note to future travelers - diving/snorkeling the reef is definitely a "must-do" activity - but take seasickness medication before getting on the boat!
The second night of my visit I arranged to join the "Dusk River Cruise," which is run by a local naturalist exclusively for Silky Oaks Lodge guests, and it was great. Note that when I say "cruise" this means a 7-person Zodiac inflatable boat - which I suppose is cruising rainforest style. Peter (the naturalist) is encyclopedic is his knowledge of the local flora and fauna, and I very much enjoyed the "cruise."
There is also some great hiking in the area, to include Mossman Gorge - one of the most beautiful forest areas I've ever visited. It can get a bit crowded on the weekends (at least the areas close to the car park - not that many folks venture all the way into the far reaches of the park). Be forewarned that there are green ant nests in the area of the car park, so be sure to tightly close all the doors and windows of your (rental) car before you go for your hike!
With regard to bugs and rain - there were virtually none of either (except for the green ants at Mossman Gorge). I visited in August - the middle of the dry season in the Daintree - which accounts for the relative lack of rain and critters.
In sum, I had been hoping for a truly secluded, quiet, remote and peaceful retreat - but one that still offered me access to all the outdoor activities I was hoping to enjoy (snorkeling, hiking, nature watching, horseback riding) - and Silky Oaks Lodge definitely delivered. I travel extensively for work and pleasure, and it's rare for me to encounter places/experiences that meet my expectations - but Silky Oaks definitely did. Truly a wonderful retreat from the stresses of the outside world.
Nice place, but not worth the money
Although we only had 1 "spare" night to spend in the Mossman/Port Douglas area, we really wanted to stay at Silky Oaks.
Silky Oaks was a nice place to stay in the middle of a 2-week trip. It's clean, quiet, situated in the middle of the rainforest along the river, and generally has a very serene feel. Great place to relax and do very little.
However, we felt the cost was a bit excessive for what you get. At about US$525/night, one might expect a very luxury experience. However, it did not deliver.
The rooms, which are in individual buildings in the forest on stilts, are very much in need of updating. And nothing about the room spoke luxury- bed, linens, bathroom, etc. And our room overlooked the tennis court, which would have been awful had people been playing.
The cost includes a 4-course dinner and buffet breakfast, both of which were good. And we took advantage of the kayaks, and did some sitting on the veranda reading and playing the board games offered by the hotel.
All-in-all, we did have an enjoyable stay, but would probably think twice before coming back (unless the rate were lowered or premium amenities were increased).
Rainy! Hot! and Bugs!
ACCOMODATIONS: The rooms were very unique with hard wood floors. Each was its own cabin. I enjoyed sitting ont he hammock on our balcony
SERVICE: It was fine. Your rooms were turned down for you and relaxing music was on when you get back from your evening meal. The staff was nice, but nothing to write home about.
POOL: It was salt water! I personally did not like that.
WEATHER: This was the worst part! When we went, it was the "rainy season." Make sure not to go then. The mosquitos are unbareable and the rain was annoying. On top of that the heat/bugs got so bad that we left for an entire day just to get out of there.
FOOD: Again very unique. It was fun to try some different truly gourmet meals.
great experience - resort a bit faded
Silky Oaks – rainforest location – good but not exceptional villas - a bit faded - some with a long difficult walk from the main complex. Rainforest tours are a must. Spa is exceptionally good and probably the best feature. Food is to a very high standard
Unbelievable - And I'm Not Just Talking About Silky Oaks!
UNBELIEVABLE! To all those contemplating staying here, ignore ALL the negative reviews. "It rained", "Too many bugs", "Too Hot" . Hello...you're in the RAINforest in tropical Queensland!! What did you expect?
You are actually in the middle of one of the earth's oldest rainforests. Your accommodation lies amid this natural wonder. The environment cannot get any better.
Yes, it rains. And it sounds utterly soothing, and it cools the air, so that you actually welcome it. Yes, it's very humid. But you wander down through the trees to the river, jump in and swim in the billabong or cool off in the private pool (surrounded by the rainforest). You then jump in a canoe and drift lazily up and down the river. You head back to your tree house & spend a couple of hours reading (and dozing) in the hammock on your deck.
Later in the day, after a divine Vichy Shower & Salt body polish at the Healing Water Spa, you head up to the lounge area overlooking the river & sip cocktails.
Dinner time, and you head to the restaurant, again overlooking the Mossman river & surrounded by the rainforest. Dinner is exceptional, to say the least. Four courses of senstional food...duck, trout, salmon, crockodile tail, prawns, beef fillet, lobster, caviaar, and more, as well and desserts to die for.
You wander back to your room where your bed has been turned down for you, a couple of chocolates lay upon your pillows, your blinds have been drawn, a CD has been put on and an oil burner lit. You drift off...
This describes just one of the days we spent at Silky Oaks. Another day dawns, and you can do it all over again!
But the thing that sealed it for us was the service and the staff. They really do look after you and make you feel like you are actually a welcomed guest. Everything has been taken care of and the most noticable difference from most places is there are NO HIDDEN CHARGES. Everything is included in the price, (from laundry, canoeing, beach towells, mountain bikes, free internet (if you can't leave it alone).
Ultimately, it is a personal choice. If you don't like a bit of humidity, or a bit of rain, or having to walk a few extra minutes (through the rainforest nonetheless) to get from A to B, or if you are focussed more on material things like how luxurious your rooms are, or if this all sounds boring to you, then don't bother. (By the way, the rooms are perfectly fine (spa bath, air conditioning)
If, however, you allow yourself to be embraced by the natural wonder that is a rainforest, you want peace & tranquility, and you want to indulge yourselves - especilally if, like us, it's a honeymoon - you cannot, in our opinion, get any better than this!
Sean & Diana, New Zealand
Mossman - on the edge of the Daintree Rainforest
During our first visit to Far North Queensland, my parents took us on a drive to Mossman to see the beautiful Mossman Gorge.
Afterwards we had a wonderful lunch at the classy Silky Oaks Lodge restaurant, which is located in the tranquil rainforest.
Mossman River Gorge - heart of Aussie rainforest
"The ultimate escape to the heart of nature"
Mossman is typically known as the serene center of the Aussie rainforest. The region is home to over 200 species of rainforest flora and sanctuary to more than 126 species of native birds. If you have the time and money, I highly recommend a visit to this area...especially if you can stay at the Silky Oaks Lodge & Healing Waters Spa. It is an eco-tourist's dream hideaway spa in the rainforest right along the Mossman River.
Any info on rather upscale travel in No Queensland?
Four of us "high functioning" FOF (folks over 50) are planning a trip to Australia & Tassie. Does anyone have experience with Lizard Island Resort, Silky Oaks Lodge in Daintree Forest, and the Marriot in the rocks area of Sydney. The first two are quite high end, and I want to make sure that we get the most bang for our buck. We are very active, fascinated by culture and nature, and all water lovers. (snorkel, not dive). I would appreciate any reactions that you may have if you have stayed there. Thanks, you have been great help in my China trip - really invaluable!!!
RE: Any info on rather upscale travel in No Queensland?
You can contact one of these agencies in your area to assist with Luxury travel products
www.tropicalislandvacation.com & travelwizard.com
CASTO - THE TRAVEL COMPANY
636 College Avenue
Kentfield, CA 94904
RE: Any info on rather upscale travel in No Queensland?
If you want really good value for your money or bang for your buck don't sit on just one island hire a bareboat in the Whitsundays and cruise around lots of great islands and visit as many as you like. The Whitsundays are absolutely fantastic and the snorkelling is terrific. See our travel pages for more info or www.seastheday.com.au Its a little bit different but just the most relaxing holiday you can have. If you can drive a car you can drive this boat and navigation is easy.
Anyway have fun.
RE: RE: Any info on rather upscale travel in No Queensland?
Yep Marilyn, I agree with the previous comment. Your own hire boat is probably the best way to do the islands up north Queensland! What an adventure! I'm jealous already!! Also the Marriot in the Rocks sounds wonderful!! The Rocks is one of my favourite places in Sydney and of course you can't go wrong in any Marriot Hotel!! I've seen pix of that Lodge in the Daintree Forest,... WoW!! is all I can say,... (Jealous again!! :o) Have heaps of fun downunder!! Cheers, Ann :o)