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This post is part of our Australia/New Zealand Series. You can find the rest of the series here.
The primary industry in the warm, coastal city of Cairns is tourism, which means you have plenty of hotel options. We combed through a few of them, looking for the best redemption value for our points. IHG has a Holiday Inn near the water, but it was relatively expensive on points and a bit farther from the action. We decided to stay at the Doubletree Cairns by Hilton, which turned out to be a great decision!
- Cash & Point Expense – Hotel costs in terms of cash, points, or both.
- Hotel Overview & Rooms – Overview of the property and room choices.
- Service & Conveniences – Service and amenities offered by the hotel.
- Restaurants & Dining – Restaurant and bar choices in the hotel.
- X-Factor – What sets this property apart from others.
Cash & Point Expense
We used our HHonors points, earned from a few rounds of the Amex HHonors Surpass card and the Amex HHonors card. At 30,000 points per night, this is an excellent value. The cash price ranges from $133 for a basic room to $161 for an ocean-view room like ours, which is quite fair for the location and service at the hotel.
Hotel Overview & Rooms
Location, location, location! The Doubletree is an easy, five-minute walk from anywhere you want to go in Cairns. The other hotel options we looked at would have been farther away from the action.
The Doubletree also features a rainforest-themed atrium with a live barramundi habitat. These huge fish were added to the hotel atrium habitat as tiny fingerlings. If you time your visit right, you may even be able to catch a feeding.
You will find a bottle shop on-site if you want to grab a bottle of wine or beer.
Our room was a King Ocean View on the 6th floor. The room and bathroom were relatively small, but that didn’t bother us a bit. Our favorite part of the room was the panoramic window with a view of the ocean! We sat out on the balcony sipping champagne, while taking in the cool, ocean breeze.
Services & Conveniences
All Doubletree hotels provide a warm, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie at check-in. It’s hard to overstate how much I enjoy these cookies. We also received free breakfast and food/drink vouchers for the bar. Free breakfast is provided to Hilton Gold and Diamond members.
When we settled into our room, we heard a knock at the door. One of the staff members was holding a bottle of champagne and a fruit platter. We try to take a big trip each year to celebrate our anniversary. In the notes section of each hotel reservation, we make a brief note about this. Occasionally, a hotel will do something awesome like this for us. We enjoyed the bubbles and fruit on the balcony at sunset. Cheers to the Doubletree staff for the thoughtful gift!
One additional benefit that’s worth mentioning is free wifi. Since our room was at the far end of the hotel from the lobby, our Internet was quite poor. I put in a quick call to the front desk, and literally within one minute, a staff member delivered a signal-boosting device. This completely solved our problem.
Restaurants & Dining
During our visit, the main Atrium restaurant was under renovation, so we did not get to check it out.
Our Hilton Diamond status includes free breakfast at the Doubletree. Gold members also get free breakfast. You can earn HHonors Gold Status from the Amex Platinum card or Hilton Surpass card (see the Top Offers – Hotel tab for details). Breakfast would normally be served in the Atrium restaurant, but it was relocated to the bar. Hot options include eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, fried rice, miso soup, and samosas. There was an assortment of pastries and fresh fruit as well.
At check-in, we received a voucher for a free drink and a free appetizer at the bar. The bar offers a limited menu throughout the day. We grabbed a local beer and a meat/cheese platter. The meats and cheeses were tasty… the beer was not, but that’s probably not the bar’s fault.
The x-factor that really made our experience at the Doubletree great is a guy named Abraham. He is a staff member at the hotel, and he was literally everywhere! When we pulled up in the cab, Abraham helped unload our bags. When we were having trouble with wifi reception, Abraham brought a signal enhancer. When we needed recommendations for a nice dinner, Abraham pointed us to the best ribs in Cairns. He even cleared our plates after breakfast. Virtually every time we walked through the hotel lobby, Abraham was there to greet us with a smile and a “G’day!” I’m not entirely sure that he ever left the hotel during our three days there! Thanks for all of your help and hard work, mate!
The entire staff was very friendly, from the guy who helped us check in, to the lady who called for our dinner reservations, to the bartender who served our appetizer & drinks.
If your travels bring you to Cairns, we highly recommend the Doubletree. The rooms are a bit basic, but the view is fantastic. The location is prime to walk anywhere, and the staff is wonderful. Say hi to Abraham for us! Cheers!