The gateway to the oceanic wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is the quintessential tropical paradise. The stunning natural beauty offers crystal clear blue waters, palm fringed beaches and a whole string of picture-perfect tropical islands surrounded by white sand and gently lapping waves to soothe body and mind, with the perfect luxury accommodation to explore from or relax in. Immerse yourself in sheltered snorkelling spots on the islands, take the plunge on the reef itself on a scuba dive or sit back and take it all in whilst staying dry in a glass bottomed boat; either way you will be left with unforgettable memories of the abundant marine life and unique beauty of the world’s largest coral reef. Inland is equally beautiful, with the Atherton Tablelands just a drive away to discover vast ancient rainforests filled with lush greenery, incredible wildlife and breathtaking scenery. Take this chance to experience the uniqueness of Cairns from above on a hot air balloon ride, or swim under waterfalls and let your cares wash away before returning to your 5-star hotel accommodation.
88-90 Moore Street, 4879 Trinity Beach, Australia
Rating: 9.3 Superb
The Bellevue At Trinity Beach is a luxury 5 star hotel that offers 180-degree views, out toward the Great Barrier Reef and over the magnificent Coral Sea. Just a 15 minute drive from downtown Cairns the hotel offers you the chance to stay close to Cairns. Though far enough away to gain some separation from it.
Apartments at the hotel come with either an ocean or garden view. Spacious, beautifully appointed and fully self-contained, they feature a hot tub and large balconies. They also come equipped with kitchens replete with granite benches, a dishwasher and washing machine. The modern lounge areas also have a flat screen cable TV, CD and DVD player.
Onsite there are BBQ facilities. But for those looking to eat out, there are a host of wonderful cafes, bars and restaurants in Cairns that serve up a terrific assortment of gastronomic delights. This includes the Ochre Restaurant who specialise in native game and seafood, and Iyara By Sakare who offer spectacular Thai food.
The beach front resort offers an outdoor swimming pool and spa that faces the ocean. Guests also have direct access to the beach and can rent a bicycle directly or take advantage of the in-house library. There is also a very handy home-delivery service for those wanting to buy groceries and a free tour booking service too.
131-141 The Esplanade, 4870 Cairns, Australia
Rating: 8.6 Fabulous
Widely considered to be one of the best hotels in Cairns, the Crystalbrook Riley enjoys a brilliant location on the northern end of the waterfront esplanade. Close to the Centre of Contemporary Arts, the Cairns Performing Arts Centre and the Cairns Aquarium, the property is also just a 10-minute walk to the Great Barrier Reef Departure Terminal.
The hotel offers 311 rooms and suites that ooze with sophistication, elegance and contemporary design. Most afford a mix of urban, resort and sea views from spacious balconies. All rooms have an Apple iPad control centre, a 55-inch Smart TV and a Nespresso coffee machine with recyclable pods. Family rooms have two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Guests have the choice of two restaurants onsite including the Paper Crane, which serves up an incredible Asian dining experience with Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese-inspired dishes. While Rocco is the city’s highest rooftop bar and restaurant in Cairns. Offering stunning 270 degree panoramic views, their menu includes a lip-smacking range of contemporary Mediterranean cuisine.
The hotel is blessed with an excellent range of amenities including an expansive lagoon pool and private use of a man-made beach. It also houses the world class Eléme Day Spa, a 24-hour fitness centre, events and meeting spaces for up to 400 people and a facility to book Great Barrier Reef and other tours.
163 Abbott Street, 4870 Cairns, Australia
Rating: 8.7 Fabulous
Showcasing a passion for the arts the Crystalbrook Bailey is a deluxe 5 star hotel that champions originality and individuality. Situated close to the Cairns Convention Centre, The Center of Contemporary Arts and Cairns Regional Gallery it is a great place to indulge yourself in a bit of culture, during your stay in the city.
Offering modern urban rooms, as well as plush accommodation with up to three bedrooms, each unit features stunning design details that are sure to inspire your inner artist. Conveying terrific views of the city skyline, rooms have king-size beds, a fully equipped kitchen, Apple iPad Control Centre, 55” HD Smart TV and a Nespresso machine with recyclable pods.
Priding itself on its gastronomic offerings the hotel boasts a fabulous selection of restaurants. These include CC’s Bar and Grill, whose meals will transport your tastebuds to the Aussie outback, as well as Pachamama, whose bold Latin flavours will take you to Spain. While the Milk Bar is sure to take you back to your childhood.
The hotel has dedicated spaces for art, within the public areas, which feature the works of up to 25 artists at any given time. It also has an outdoor swimming pool, a bar, 24-hour fitness centre, four unique meeting and event spaces, a concierge and a gift shop too.
35-41 Wharf Street, 4870 Cairns, Australia
Rating: 8.7 Fabulous
Few hotels combine an excellent location with 5 Star luxury better than the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino. Situated near the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, the hotel also features a major attraction – The Cairns Wildlife Dome, complete with koalas, wallabies and crocodiles – within its building. The Cairns Convention Centre is just a 5 minute walk away too.
Each of their elegant well-appointed rooms feature a spa bath and a private garden balcony that overlooks the city or the Trinity Inlet. The modern, stylishly decorated, air-conditioned rooms also boast a flat-screen cable TV and tea and coffee making facilities. Their large bathrooms come with complimentary luxury C.O. Bigelow toiletries.
The Reef Hotel Casino is proud to host some of the finest restaurants in Cairns. These include the award-winning Tamarind Restaurant which offers Thai-inspired fusion cuisine. As well as Soy Kitchen Street Food which serves wonderful meals based on Asian inspired street food flavours. The Flinders Bar & Grill also offers light meals in a casual setting.
The hotel features a rooftop swimming pool, spa pool and sauna. It also has a casino and 4 bars with live music including the Lihou Bar and Bar36. The Paramour Cabaret, located inside the property, is an excellent venue for live entertainment. While the hotel, via its tour desk, can arrange trips to the Great Barrier Reef.
155 Esplanade, 4870 Cairns, Australia
Rating: 9.3 Superb
Offering 5 star amenities and facilities, as well as stunning ocean views, the Waters Edge Apartment Cairns is another terrific example of luxury holiday accommodation in the area. Located on the Esplanade, opposite parklands and recreational facilities, it provides an excellent base in which to enjoy your stay in the city.
Offering one, two and three bedroom ocean view apartments, as well as three bedroom swim out apartments, the spacious air-conditioned units has been designed around open plan living. They feature fully equipped gourmet kitchens with modern appliances, free wi-fi, a Smart TV in every bedroom and full laundry facilities.
The kitchen, and onsite barbeque facilities enable you to prepare your own meals. Which you can choose to eat on your large balcony or private pool terrace. Alternatively, the Esplanade Boardwalk will take you to all the best cafes, bars and restaurants in the area – which serve up a wide range of gastronomic delights.
Boasting two saltwater swimming pools, the apartments also have a free tour desk service that can help book all of your tours. As well as activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, white water rafting or bungee jumping. In addition there are numerous tourist attractions within easy walking or driving distance of the accommodation.
125-129 Esplanade, 4870 Cairns, Australia
Rating: 9.0 Superb
The Vision Apartments offer that 5 star luxurious hotel feel in apartment style accommodation. Brilliantly located on the Esplanade in Cairns, the property is right in the heart of the action. Just 100 metres away from shops, restaurants and bars. The Cairns Flat Reef Terminal is also only a 5-minute walk away too.
Showcasing splendid views, from your very own glass balcony, of the Cairns Esplanade, Coral Sea and surrounding Far North Queensland mountain ranges, each fully contained apartment features a well equipped kitchen. Blessed with modern decor and spacious tropical living, they also have laundry facilities, plasma TV’s and stereo systems, full laundry and complimentary undercover parking.
There are barbeque facilities onsite for guests. While Cairns has a fantastic range of eating options. This includes the Ochre Restaurant which serves native game and seafood, as well as the fabulous Thai offerings at Iyara By Sakare. The C’est Bon French Restaurant is a great option too, while Waffle On Cairns is another local favourite.
The apartments offer a large pool & spa with fabulous views of the Coral Sea. It also has a fully equipped gymnasium, and sauna. They can also arrange for you to have professional massage services and run a tour desk where you can book Great Barrier Reef and other excursions.
107 Esplanade, 4870 Cairns, Australia
Rating: 8.6 Fabulous
Located right on the Esplanade, the Cairns Aquarius is a great choice for those wanting to be in the heart of the action. Offering 5 star luxury apartments, the property is only a 5 minute walk from the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal, where the Great Barrier Reef and island adventure cruises depart.
Elegantly furnished, the self-contained apartments offer you more than most other hotels in Cairns do. This includes a spacious living room, complete with a flat-screen satellite TV and a DVD player, and a dining area that are beautifully appointed. As well as a fully equipped kitchen, laundry and two luxury bathrooms.
In addition to the kitchen, the property also offers barbeque facilities. Within minutes, around it, there is a host of excellent places to eat. Check out the Cairns Burger Cafe. Or pop over to Tha Fish for contemporary seafood. The Orient Express Sushi Train is always popular, while Snoogies serves up healthy vegan food.
Boasting 2 resort-style swimming pools, the apartment complex also has a wide range of other facilities for guests to enjoy, including a hot tub, spa, sauna and outdoor showers. In addition it boasts a half-sized tennis court, an all-weather entertaining area, landscaped tropical gardens and free undercover parking.
Pierpoint Road, 4870 Cairns, Australia
Rating: 8.4 Very Good
Located in the heart of Cairns, Shangri-La The Marina is a 5-star luxury hotel that is an elegant haven for guests. It is opposite the Reef Fleet Terminal, where most of the tour boats going to the stunning Great Barrier Reef depart from.
The spacious rooms feature contemporary styling that reflects the hotel’s oceanside location. Natural light streams through the glass sliding door which leads to a private balcony. The comfortable beds have 100% Egyptian cotton linens and a choice of pillow types, while the bathrooms are modern, with a walk-in shower. Guests have access to an electronic safe, complimentary internet and satellite tv.
The large, 24-hour fitness centre is well equipped for a wide range of workouts, with state-of-the-art cardio and strength training equipment. Outside is a large swimming pool surrounded by sunbeds and the Poolside Bar. There is a dedicated children’s pool and table tennis equipment is available to enjoy in the afternoon.
At The Backyard, diners can enjoy local Queensland produce sourced by the restaurant’s executive head chef. The dining spaces have a relaxed, tropical vibe and feature a patio which overlooks the water, large BBQ garden with food fresh off the smoker and a one-of-a-kind container bar.
17 Abbott Street, 4870 Cairns, Australia
Rating: 7.8 Good
For 5-star luxury at the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, look no further than the Pullman Cairns International. Located opposite the Cains Zoom and Wildlife Dome, this luxury hotel is a short walk from Chinaman Creek and the Reef Fleet Terminal.
The light, spacious guest rooms have been designed to have either a contemporary or classic feel, depending on the room type. The styling is sophisticated, and the comfortable beds are fitted with premium linens. Each room features large glass sliding doors that lead out to a private balcony and guests have access to complimentary Wi-Fi, an in-room safe and quality bathroom amenities.
At the Pullman Cairns International, guests can enjoy a range of wellbeing facilities. Vie Spa is an award-winning spa where qualified therapists offer a range of nourishing treatments. The well-equipped gym has a range of equipment and after a workout any sore muscles can be soothed in the sauna. Outdoors, the large lagoon style pool is perfect for soaking up the Queensland sun.
The hotel is home to Coco’s Kitchen + Bar Cairns. The menu centres around the idea of pure, clean flavours, and features fresh, local fish and seafood. In the evening diners can enjoy a signature cocktail and high tea is available on weekends.
34 Esplanade, 4870 Cairns, Australia
Rating: 8.3 Very Good
Set among tropical greenery and overlooking the water, is the Hilton Cairns. This luxury hotel is well positioned for travellers looking to explore the natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. It is walking distance from the Reef Terminal and is a 10-minute drive from the Cairns Botanic Gardens and Cairns Golf Club.
With floor to ceiling windows, each guestroom has wide views and plenty of natural light. The well-lit, contemporary rooms feature a large TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, and private balcony. Stepping into the ensuite bathroom, guests will find a large mirror, wide vanity, and rain shower.
On the ground level there is a large, lagoon style pool. Surrounding the pool are lounge beds, perfect for relaxing while enjoying a beverage or snack. To rejuvenate the body and soul, guests can visit the spa for a nourishing treatment, while those looking to be active can visit the well-equipped fitness centre.
To start the day, Café Sunrise serves a scrumptious breakfast in an inviting tropical setting. At Mondo on the Waterfront, diners can enjoy an award-winning restaurant which serves a range of dishes to suit every palate. For those looking to end the day in a social setting, Gin Social is open each evening, serving premium beverages and good tunes.
Cairns is a premier location for a beach getaway. After securing your luxury hotel, you may be wondering what kind of experiences are available in the surrounding area. We’ve compiled a list of seven itinerary highlights that can help turn any trip to Cairns into a memorable holiday.
At the Cairns Aquarium, visitors are guaranteed to be able to get up close to animals that are native to Queensland. There are daily talks about the state’s ecosystems, animal presentations, live diver feeds and touch’n’talk shows, as well as a 10m deep reef tank and 20m deep underwater tunnel. You can also tour the Turtle Hospital or organise to dive with the aquarium’s sharks. During your visit, enjoy a gourmet meal at Dundee’s Café and Restaurant, which is situated next to a 70,000L saltwater aquarium.
From Cairns there are a range of exciting helicopter tours which provide guests with spectacular views of the region’s stunning natural environment. Choose to fly over the ocean, rainforest, or both, depending on personal preference. Different routes include views of the Barron Gorge Falls, Daintree National Park, Great Barrier Reef, Mission Bay, Crystal Cascades, Mt Yarrabah, and Green Island.
The jewel of the Queensland Coast, the Great Barrier Reef, is one of the natural wonders of Australia. Given the wide range of tour options, there is something for everyone. To get out there you can go on a sailboat, dive boat, ferry, powerboat or even helicopter or sea plane. Some take guests out to floating pontoons or islands, while others using mooring balls to sit out in the water. You can snorkel, scuba dive, go on a glass bottom boat, do a guided island tour, or go fishing.
On the Spirit of Cairns, a 26m luxury catamaran, guests can experience a premium dinner service with spectacular views of the Trinity Inlet and Cairns waterfront. Enjoy a drink out on the deck as the sun sets, then indulge in delicious local produce and fresh seafood. Depending on the night of the week, the meal is served either buffet style or as a three-course set menu.
North of Cairns is the small town of Kuranda, a picturesque mountain village inside the oldest living rainforest in the world. The best way to see the landscape and move between Kuranda and Cairns, is by taking the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway one way and the Kuranda Scenic Railway the other. The Skyrail is 7.5km long and takes visitors over the rainforest, while the Railway winds its way through using the 37km path that was constructed back in 1891.
Within the World Heritage Rainforest there are incredible waterfalls to explore. There are tours which take visitors through the forest to see the falls and swim in some of the natural pools around them. Josephine Falls has a natural waterslide, Milla Milla Falls is stunning, and Dinner Falls has a large natural pool behind in. Lake Eacham is also included in many of the tours and is unique because is in the crater of a dormant volcano.
North of Cairns is the small beachside town of Palm Cove. A peaceful, tropical place, it is perfect for forgetting about the rest of the world and enjoying nature. The sandy beach is lined with palm trees and the calm waters are nice and warm at the right time of year. Overlooking the beach are many high-quality restaurants, such as Temple of Tastes, Reef House Restaurant, Vivo Palm Beach and Nu Nu Restaurant.