DoubleTree by Hilton Cairns Hotel Review (and a chocolate chip Signature cookie)

19 May 2017

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Closing a beautiful experience – Cruising through Australia and New Zealand, we planned for a big ending to our family travel with children: a special Great Barrier Reef family tour, to swim and snorkel with the fish, see the corals and be amazed. And indeed, we were!

As travel professionals, we always plan and book ahead whatever we can: flights, hotels, some tours and transportation. Trying to find the best accommodation option for us in Cairns, as we only spend a short while there, I studied the online booking systems in order to seek the most suitable and good value hotel in Cairns.
I wouldn’t have mind to stay in Shangri La or Marriott, I have to admit, but this time it was just not worth it. For our 2 nights stay, 17th to 19th of February, these hotels were double the prices of DoubleTree by Hilton, which we eventually chose.

Exterior DoubleTree Cairns


The reasons for choosing DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel instead of others?

Good value for quality and price report;
• We knew the brand consists of apartment hotels with double beds (which can easily accommodate us and 2 children);
• very good location, 10 minutes drive (8 km) from Cairns airport, 5 minutes walk to Cairns Esplanade and best restaurants and shops, and 10 minutes walk to Reef Fleet Terminal (where we had to be for the Great Barrier Reef family tour departure early next morning);
• Price included buffet breakfast and all local taxes for all 4 of us, the other hotels didn’t.


As I already told you about our negative experience with the shuttle from Cairns airport, by the time we got to DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns we were all so upset and tired that we just wanted to check in, leave the luggage, take a shower and go for a walk.


Smooth check in procedures helped our state of mind!

We arrived at the hotel around 1 p.m., made the arrangements with the friendly Reception staff, which was very helpful and gave us the available rooms immediately (though their check in time is 3 p.m.). They were sympathetic with the incident of the lost luggage and they made efforts to quickly check us in. And we got their Signature delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies as well, during check in process!

Lobby view towards Rainforest Atrium

As HiltonHonors member, we got free wi-fi access and an upgrade to HiltonHonors Floor (6th floor, seaview room with extra amenities). But then we switched that (the only available room at the time, with only one king bed) with our sister and brother-in-law’s room, and we were accommodated in a standard twin Guest room at second floor (room 202), so that we could have 2 double beds for us and the boys.


The room

Standard Guest Room was spacious (28 sq.m.), the amenities included: air conditioning, panoramic floor to ceiling windows, work desk and ergonomic chair, bath with bathtub (rather small bath, but hey – we do not sleep in the bathroom!), LCD TV with HD channels and the Sweet Dreams Sleep Experience, where you can choose your preferred type of pillow. Also present: Hairdryer, Hand Held Shower, High Speed Internet Access, Iron/Ironing Board, Mini Refrigerator (empty, useful for us as we bought some beer for us and chocolate milk for the boys), Newspaper 7 days/week.
It was clean and cosy, that’s all we wanted! By the end of the days, we were so tired we just wanted to sunk in that comfy beds and sleep.

Standard room with twin beds


Standard room amenities


Breakfast was good, although options were not so many, but for 2 mornings it worked just fine. We got to choose from eggs (fried and scrambled), bacon, beans, a small selection of cheese and meats, vegetables (cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, olives), pastry stuff (croissant, pastry with different fillings), cereals and milk, fruits, coffee and tea, natural orange, apple and pineapple juices, yoghourts.

It was served in the Atrium restaurant, overlooking the Rainforest atrium, Monday to Sunday from 06.00 a.m. to 09.30 a.m., it was rather small for the capacity of the hotel, and during peak time (07.00 – 08.30 a.m.) there was always a big queue, most of the people came down for breakfast at that time and waited to be seated. But we did not wait more than 10 – 15 minutes, and then we enjoyed the buffet breakfast.

Atrium restaurant

Facilities and overall look

We loved the interior patio of the hotel, the Rainforest atrium, with tropical gardens and the barramundi giant fish that were fed with public at 1.00 p.m. each day.

Rainforest atrium DoubleTree Cairns


Giant barramundi

Unfortunately, we did not have time to use the Gym or Pool (the boys chose to dive into Cairns Esplanade salted pool instead), and we had already prearranged our tour for the Great Barrier Reef, so we did not have to contact the Concierge or Tour Desk, which looked lovely, by the way. We used the 24-hour Business center though, trying to make the online check in for our flight to Europe. There are so many things you can do in Cairns that we did not know about before the trip!

Outdoor pool view

Overall, it was a pleasant family stay in DoubleTree by Hilton Cairns and would definitely use this accommodation option if we (so help us God!) ever return to Cairns for more excitement.

More info about the the hotel on their official website.
More photos of our experience during our Cairns stay and Great Barrier Reef family tour – on our Instagram and Facebook accounts.

You might also want to read about our experience in:

Cairns – a lovely tropical seaside town, gateway to Great Barrier Reef tours, where we wished we had spent more time, or our Great Barrier Reef family tour – TOP PICKS and 10 SMART TIPS


Maybe next time we will plan a whole week here, there are so many interesting things to do and see around here.


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