This attractive hotel has an enviable location near the waterfront, a flotilla of services, and classy on-site drinking and dining options. Bullt around a central, open-air atrium, Hilton Cairns has large, stylishly rooms and suites with all the amenities you'd expect of a modern business hotel and some pleasant additions you might not, including big, breezy balconies. Spa rooms have large hydotherapy tubs for post-dive-trip pummellings. Spoil yourself with dinner at Hanuman
restaurant; comparatively casual Mondo Cafe Bar and Grill, overlooking Trinity Inlet, has a fresh, eclectic menu and hosts weekly events.
Mar 14, 2013
My spouse and I stayed at the Hilton Cairns for four nights in late August 2012. (With a pre-paid booking, we saved about 30% per night, for a total of about $200 per night.) We investigated staying at several hotels in the area (such as the Pullman Reef/Sofitel, Shangri-La, Sebel), but decided on the Hilton because we have Diamond Hhonors status, and we hoped to be upgraded on arrival, as well as to partake in the complimentary morning breakfast
and evening cocktails/canapes in the executive/club lounge. We were happy with our hotel choice - we found the Hilton to be excellently located on the waterfront while still being near the center of town, giving us easy access to shopping, dining, and entertainment. Upon check-in, we were assigned to the executive/club floor, which is located on the top floor of the hotel, and we were assigned a room with a water view. All rooms appear to be of similar size. It seemed like there was only one suite on our floor, and it was occupied by members of a business group who were in town for a convention that culminated in a black-tie dinner, so we didn’t receive an upgrade. Every room in this hotel features a balcony, and smoking is permitted there. The two rooms on the end of every floor overlooking the pool area are the most desirable because they contain an extra window for letting in additional light, plus they enjoy the pool view. We did not notice whether the rooms on the end of the hotel opposite the pool also had these windows. The swimming pool is on the second floor of the hotel and sort of faces the nearby casino/hotel. The pool area itself is not huge, but it is nicely landscaped and provides lounge chairs in both the sun and the shade. There is an outdoor hot tub and indoor fitness center near the pool. When we visited, the pool area was not staffed, but a telephone was provided if you wanted to order drinks and snacks to be delivered, and there were plenty of towels available. The number of chairs is a somewhat limited, but there is a grassy area where you could spread your towel if necessary (perhaps they have additional chairs stacked somewhere out of sight for busy times?). You enter the pool area from the third floor and then walk down a circular stairway; we did not see an elevator for handicap access, although there must be some provision made for the mobility-challenged. If you exit the pool by using the wrought-iron gate/fence towards the back of the property, a landscaped path leads you to just outside the conference/convention area. When the swimming pool area is crowded, this hidden oasis provides some quiet space (although no chairs are present). The lobby area is starkly attractive and features a hip bar (Six Degrees), Asian-themed restaurant (Hanuman), sundry shop, and tour desk, as well as some modern-looking seating. The Mondo Cafe is on the waterfront, with mostly outdoor seating. A shop that sells non-alcoholic drinks and snacks and souvenirs is just outside of the hotel lobby on the corner nearest the casino. A large grocery store (Woolworths) is a block away. You can buy alcoholic beverages about a block away as well (at the Crown Hotel). We used the executive club lounge every evening for cocktails (he hours are approximately 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm). The club is rather small, with about six tiny tables that each seat four people, a small sofa/chair grouping in front of a TV, and a few computers. There is some outdoor space equivalent to two room balconies joined together. Breakfast in the club is acceptable, and we ate there two of our four mornings, but on the other two days, we ventured downstairs to the Hanuman restaurant, where a much more extensive buffet was available (if you could bear the crowded, crazy atmosphere). The evening buffet setup is fine - neither the best nor the worst that we have seen in a club, with many cold options and two hot selections. The food was enough to make a meal of; it was not a fantastic meal like at clubs we have used in places like Shanghai and Beijing, but it was a meal nonetheless. Drinks containing alcohol (complimentary) are served to you by an attendant (who was a bit surly); you cannot simply pour yourself a glass of wine or open your own beer. We had a fine stay at the Hilton and would stay there again - it is a good option in downtown Cairns.