More about Thala Beach Resort
Understanding the Thala Beach
I spent 4 glorious days and nights at the Thala Beach from 03Jan06, with my partner. Having just returned home and back to reality, I felt it important to share my own thoughts on the Thala, as I have been somewhat disappointed in some other reviews left by guests.
The Thala is a breathtaking property, built on it's own private land with 2kms of deserted beach, and peaceful bungalows nestled in the trees. It is rated 5* and is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of The World group, and rightly so.
The Thala does not have butlers, fancy toiletries in the bathroom, pitch and putt or any other run-of-the-mill facilities. It is rated 5* because it is a stunning natural property, which relies on you as an adult finding your own blissful entertainment....try watching the butterflies in the trees next to you while sipping a freshly squeezed fruit cocktail. Or perhaps count the lizards you pass on route from your private cabin to the delightful restaurant. It is about peace and quiet, tranquility and just relaxing amid the beautiful surroundings. You will feel as though you have the place to yourself, as even though the resort was full during our stay we saw a dozen people maximum each day. Read a book on a lounger, and perhaps take a dip in the pool to cool down. If you feel like a seeing a few more humans, take the shuttle into Port Douglas at 5$pp each way.
This is not Disneyland, you will not find people following you around to pander to your every need. The staff are slick and professional, but very much in the background - they are there if you need them. There is literally nothing to do, and that is the whole point. I would suggest that past reviewers who have been negative about the Thala's solitude or lack of activities or even the quality of the in-room toiletries just don't "get it". There are plenty of big name chain hotels nearby to cater for these people, which would then leave the Thala for the rest of us to enjoy the resort as it was meant to be.
A breathtaking experience
I stayed in February 06 and this property is one of best hotels I ever stayed. At Thala Beach Lodge you can immerse yourself in all that this fascinating region has to offer or enjoy luxury of doing absolutely nothing at all in a truly beautiful location.
An absolutely breathtaking experience in every way.
Like living in a dream!
we had 10 glorious days at thala beach. we thought we were in paradise. staff fantastic nothing a problem to them.stunning views abundance of wildlife.if you want to unwind go here no stuffinness like some hotels.a romantic hideaway.go here you will not regret it. staff will organise all your trips for you and have you picked up at the hotel.
only one slight query shuttle times could be more flexible and it should state in brouchures the charge for this.
but otherwise just go there.
michael&shirley mc brien
A 5 star jungle retreat
My husband and I stayed at the Thala Beach Resort in February. Researching where to stay in this area was difficult, whether to be 20 minutes out of Port Douglas at Thala Beach or stay in town. The minute we stepped onto the property, I knew Thala was the hands down choice. The owners of the resort had great vision when they bought the 100 acres of coconut groves, with a private beach, over 20 years ago. This is actually a newer property and the entire entrance, restaurant and lounge area are open, complemented by mahogany woods and slow moving fans creating an exotic, serene and exclusive ambiance nestled away in the jungle (without the tent - thank you).
Our room (or upscale little suite) was on stilts hanging over the trees. Shining wood floors, granite in the bathroom and a beautiful deck added to our first class getaway. Check their website for pictures of the room-they are accurate.
The meals were all well presented, delightful and perfectly prepared using local organic ingredients . Try a "Room with a View" for breakfast, which which we enjoyed, while watching the antics of colorful birds (The resort has water and feeding trays to attract these beauties every day.) In the evening, I had requested certain tables next to the open windows with a view of the ocean. It's was a romantic setting that complimented the meals (which far exceeded anything we tried in Port Douglas)... And then there is the multi-level waterfall pool. The staff knew I was hoping for a 30 minute delay on the shuttle to the airport, which they arranged, and found us at the pool, with the news. I jumped back in to just enjoy 30 more minutes in this lovely getaway.
I can't finish this review without giving a "high-five" the staff. We just didn't feel like we were "in-line" at some resort. Anything we desired, a special table, a special meal or arrangements were carefully and delightfully accomodated by the staff. Don't miss it.
Once, Twice in a Lifetime
You won't find anywhere on earth like this. We've stayed in luxury hotels all over the world - and none can compete.
The setting is breathtaking... where the Australian Rain Forest sweeps down to the Great Barrier Reef.
Step out of your room and you are a few yards away from two deserted beaches. Deserted apart from the palm trees and the crabs and some spectacular seabirds. And at night, if you're lucky, luminous waves.
We arrived by limo from Cairns Airport. Half an hour up the coast road towards Port Douglas, the sea on our right and the forest on the left. Hidden in the trees was our hotel.
Thala Beach is a triumph of eco design, set in its own peninsula jutting out into the Coral Sea. Somehow they have managed to put a haven of luxury in the middle of the forest, without compromising the wildlife setting in any way. The rooms, mini-bungalows perched on stilts, nestle among the eucalyptus trees, offering a wonderful sense of seclusion. All you can hear are the sounds of the forest and of the breaking waves.
Even the siwmming pools feel as though they were designed by nature, sculpted out of the rocks. Just a step away from the open restaurant and its views over the forest canopy and out to sea, with the breeze coming in over the balcony. Try the lobster bisque and the Australian lamb. It doesn't get any better than this.
Port Douglas and its more down-to-earth, slightly naive, charms are just up the road. As are Mossman Gorge and its prehistoric trees, waterfalls, saltwater crocodiles, real live roadside Cassowaries... We saw them all
We didn't come here to be pampered; we wanted to see the Great Australian Outdoors. Staying here we lived in it, without leaving the luxuries behind.
Why Twice in a LIfetime? Because we must come back. It is in the stars.
Magnificent setting Magnificent hotel
Booked the Thala Beach ( pronounced Ta La ) after reading Trip advisor comments & were not disapointed. We arrived and there was a host waiting to greet us personally and the quality of service from then on never faultered. Opted for Jungle walk lodged which are about 5 min walk from main public areas. Would not recommend them for old folk but my parents enjoyed the walk and we all loved the privacy and secluded position. The bungalows on stilts in the rainforest were spacious and comfortable with a balcony to soak up the rainforest sounds. Wildlife is in abundance with lorikeets, lizards and cain toads to name a few. The swimming pools are blended into the surroundings with waterfalls joining each of the 4 pools. The open dining area has fantastic views over the Barrier Reef and Lorikeets play in a bird bath in the surrounding trees. The staff could not have been more helpful and courteous, they all knew our names. This hotel is special because of the magnificent seting and outstanding staff. My wife could not even find fault so it must be good ! It is definately worth visiting and is very good value for money. For more images the hotels website is very good. We hired a car which proved to be good move. Self drive trips to Kuranda and Cape Tribulation were more than half the price and could be booked via the hotel. Kuranda is a must, catching the scenic railway into the mountains and returning via a cable car over the rainforest. You can also hold a Koala bear at the Koala sanctuary in Kuranda. Cape Tribulation is a one and half hour drive but is one of the most perfect white sand beaches. It is better to get there around 8.30am before the bus loads of tourists arrive. Mossman george is a must with a 2.5k rainforest walk, croc free water holes for swimming in - And its all free ! Most nights we ate in Port Douglas. A $5 shuttletakes you to and from town. For steak the Hogs Breath by the harbour is a must and for top notch sea food you have to visit On the Inlet, again down by the harbour. I cannot recommend the Thala and Port Douglas highly enough. We spent 1 night in Cairns and it was not in the same league. It is a little more quiet than Cairns but a whole lot more classy.
outstanding property in a magnificent location
I have just returned from my second short break at Thala and although I am a local to the area it felt like I could have been a thousand miles from home as all the stress of work and daily life vanished with the welcoming smile of Rose, (the lady on reception) on the steps of the Lodge. From that moment on the staff look after your every whim .... we were taken to comfortable lounge area on thier huge balcony with stunning views to enjoy a welcome fruit cocktail while the remainder of our checkin procedures were completed. Meanwhile our luggage was collected from the car and placed in our villa and the car taken back to the carpark and safely secured.
Once we had settled in to our beautiful room and spent some time relaxing and taking in the stunning views from our balcony we wandered down to one of the swimming pools desinged to blend beautifully into their natural surroundings .... it made you feel like you were in your very own natural rock pool.
Time for dinner, so we made our way to the restaurant where we enjoyed the most outstanding meal with service you simply couldn't fault!! Waitering staff came and went from our table, often without our even noticing, which meant we were able to enjoy a rare evening together without distraction ... that is apart from the incredible views and interesting wildlife that was all around .... pretty butterflies and more birds than I can mention ... all going about their business without any concern that we were sharing their backyard. As I said the meal was outstanding ... highly recommend the smoked salmon for entree, followed by the duck for main course while my partner enjoyed the "best steak ever!!" Once we finished our deserts (something this good can't be bad for you can it?) and coffee we returned to our room to enjoy the sounds of the evening wildlife going about their business as we drifted off to a blissful sleep.
If what you're after is a beautiful room, in a stunning location, with service you can't fault & food you'll never forget .... Thala Beach is the place for you!!
Something a little different in paradise
We had the pleasure of staying at Thala for a week at the end of November. After an 8 day visit in downtown Sydney we were ready for some R&R before the loooonnngg flight back to Toronto. Thala Beach was just the ticket and we were quite pleased that our initial pre-trip research paid off.
I won't bore you by simply repeating the accolades mentioned in other reviews except to say that this is a very unique and special property in a number of ways.
What you do need to know (which is not mentioned by any reviewer here) is that Thala occupies a rather large hunk of very hilly real-estate. The "tree house" style cottages are spread out amongst the acreage and connected by narrow roads and paths which are, in many cases, quite steep. We're avid walkers and it took us a little over 6 minutes to walk from the main lodge to our room along winding paths through the heavily treed grounds. This was kind of fun initially but it gets old fast when your slugging up a steep incline in a sultry 32 degree C (over 90 F)tropical heat wave to arrive at the dining room bathed in sweat. The bottom line is that this is not a place for the inactive or out of shape guest. Seniors would have a rough time here. To be fair the resort offers to pick you up and transport you from your room to the main lodge on request.
Like anything the devil is in the details. Little things mean a lot both good and bad. On the good side, the staff, the food, and the setting. Rarely have I seen more accommodating staff and in every department. If you need help on excursions for advice or booking they are right there for you. If you have a certain way you’d like your meal prepared they will accommodate you. I never sensed a “fakeness” from the staff. They all seemed genuinely interested in being helpful. And I should know after previously being in the resort business for 15 years. They were very good.
The negatives were few but there were some minor annoyances. For instance a $5 a day charge for in room safe (this service is provided free of charge in virtually all modern hotels and resorts). No 110 v outlet in the rooms. The dining room menu is somewhat limited on variety especially if you're not a seafood lover. This is OK if you’re only staying a few nights but not good for longer stays and going into town for dinner is not especially convenient.
So apart from the long (heart attack inducing) uphill trudges to the dinning room, the nickel and dime-ing for the in-room safe and the limited menu this is a very unique and enjoyable experience. Yes there are a few critters scampering about but most are smaller than the average guest. After all, you are in the rain forest.
Having just returned from Thala I can confirm that the positive reviews you'll read on these pages are very accurate. As for the negative comments…well…there will always be something that doesn't work out on any holiday experience. Thala’s positives far outweighed it’s negatives. This is a fine resort in a beautiful, romantic setting very much worthy of your consideration.
Wished we could have stayed longer
We recently stayed at the Thala for 2 nights (Mar 9-10th). We wish we had stayed longer.
As part of our honeymoon in Port Douglas, we had actually split our time in Port Douglas between the Regal Apt (we also posted a review of the Regal). We highly recommend the Regal and Thala as they were both fantastic. We will try to describe the differences between the two places.
Thala is a good 15 minute car ride into "downtown" Port Douglas. The brochure listed a $6/pp shuttle ride or a $40 cab ride. I put quotation marks around "downtown", because it really is not that big of a town(which is a good thing), and therefore advantages of staying in "downtown" Port Douglas are that everything, restaurants, marina, 4 mile beach, is within a 5 minute walk. Staying at the Thala for any period of time probably means that at some point you may want to head into town, if no other reason than to try some other restaurant. There is only 1 restaurant at the Thala. As good as the Osprey restaurant is, I would prefer not to eat at the same place more than 2 nights in a row.
If you want to just get away from it all, obviously the Thala is for you. It is beautiful, and luxurious. I second all the other glowing comments from previous travellers to the Thala.
One thing I wanted to point out in particular was the fantastic service that we received from Mr. Kim at the front desk. We had checked out early on our departure date to head to Tully for white water rafting. When our car service did not show up 4:45 AM, Mr. Kim went out of his way to get another car service to come and get us at such an early hour. He really saved the day as we were able to get to Cairns before the tour bus for Tully took off. He really went beyond the call of duty to get us down there. We still marvel at how he was able to pull this off at such an early hour in the morning.
In summary, both the Regal and the Thala have great customer service. If you want to be in the middle of the action, try staying at the Regal. When you are ready to get away from it all, go to the Thala.
Do what we did, stay at both places. You will have a great experience.