Review of my trip to Palm Cove and Sydney

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May 12th, 2005, 02:10 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Review of my trip to Palm Cove and Sydney

My husband and I recently travelled to Australia (I had won 2 free tickets on Continental Airlines) where we spent several nights at the Novotel Palm Cove and the Old Sydney Holiday Inn.

I found both hotels from reading this message board and I can't tell you how thankful I am that that we stayed at both places.

The Novotel was perfect for us. The Novotel sent a shuttle to pick us up at the airport in Cairns and even though we were delayed due to customs, the driver graciously waited for an hour. We booked a resort suite and were given the first room closest to the bar and reception area. It was perfect for us. We had a short stroll from our room to the lobby, bar, restaurant and entrance where we were picked up for our daily tours. It was handy as we were back and forth to the room several times. We weren't looking for a wonderful view, as we were going to spend most of our time away from the hotel on tours, and we didn't have one. But we had plenty of space for the two of us (plus a guest who stayed 2 nights). We utilized the full kitchen, dishes and all.

If you're thinking of staying there and want a view, I'd guess you should ask for a room with a view of the golf course, as the resort is not directly on the beach. Those rooms may be the 2-bedroom suites or apartments, however.The beach is only a 5 minute walk away.

We did choose to spend the day after we arrived in Australia at the resort and in Palm Cove. It's not a bustling town, but it had plenty of services to accomodate us for the 6 days that we were there. We had breakfast outside at Cocky's and had drinks at the Apres Beach Bar, both were very friendly with good food and drink.

The Novotel itself was very accomodating. We had a friend from Perth fly in and stay a few nights with us and housekeeping made up the guest bed before he arrived, left him extra towels, and even washed the few dishes that I had left in the sink!

The front desk was very helpful, as were the bartenders. We had dinner 2 nights at the Spice Market, and I highly recommend doing that, especially if you'll be staying there! Both nights, my husband and I raved about the food (and ordered plenty of it)so much that the chef came out to meet us.

The staff at the Spice Market was fabulous. We're still raving about them. Matthew accomodated us on the second night without a reservation and remembered our name when we walked in the door - and we don't have an easy name to remember or pronounce! We felt like the King and Queen as the service and food were both phenomenal.

There were also plenty of young families at the Novotel resort and they seemed very happy. The pools were great for the kids, with water slides and even scuba lessons.

We did take advantage of the Great Barrier Reef tour with Wavelength - which I thought was very well done. These guys take their jobs seriously and want you to have the best experience you can. I did see plenty of fish and snapped plenty of photos (almost 200) with one of their underwater digital cameras. They provided me with a CD of my photos at the end of the day, when we returned to their office. We also did the Kuranda Skyrail and Train tour and that was enjoyable, and would be wonderful if you're a fan of the rainforest - which I'm not. So it ranks as "ok" for me. There was plenty to see and I did enjoy the train ride and the Kuranda village, but I wouldn't make a full day of it next time. I could have easily booked for a later Skyrail ride (10am or 11am, as opposed to 9am) and still have plenty of time to shop and eat lunch in the village and make the 3pm-ish train. We found we were basically hanging around for an hour waiting for the train that we had tickets for.

My husband went on a day hunting trip to the Outback with the Strathburn Experience. He and our friend from Perth were picked up at the resort at 5am, were driven to Cairns where they flew in a 6-seat plane to Strathburn Station in Queensland. They then spent the day hunting for wild boar, dodging
jabiru storks, blue-winged kookaburra, magpie geese, swans, pelicans and parrots of all stripes, plus dingos, wild cats, kangaroo, forest dragons, wallabies, emu, crocodiles, brumbies and wild bulls. They had a fantastic time and he recommends it to all the men out there who like an Outback experience. (They also shot 13 wild boar between 4 of them - for those who want to know if the hunt was successful!)

As for the trip to Sydney, we flew Qantas to Sydney and were very impressed. I have flown with several major and small airlines in Canada, USA and Britain and I found them to be quite happy to serve, as opposed to several of the other airlines I've frequently flown with.

We arrived to early to check in at the Old Sydney Holiday Inn (the PERFECT location) and so they held our luggage for us while we explored the Circular Quay and Rocks areas. I had requested a room with a view and booked an executive suite (I'm a Priority Club rewards member)and we were booked in what I would think would be one of the 2 best rooms in the hotel - Room 830. I would highly recommend asking for it if you're thinking of booking there in the future. It's a larger corner room with a king-sized bed that has 3 windows (plus one in the bathroom) from which you can clearly view both the Syndey Harbor Bridge and the Opera House. The room was extremely quiet - no hotel noise and the room was very large with tons of ammenities.

Our luggage was delivered to our room, we ordered room service, and we were given 2 free drinks at the bar upon check-in (Priority Club membership feature). We ordered food from the bar also.

Shoot - I think I just posted this by accident. Oh well - I'll finish up here with this last bit. We did take the Taronga Zoo and to Darling Harbour - both very enjoyable.

Thanks to all who recommended these hotels and tours to us - we had a fabulous time.(I'm leaving plenty out, I'm sure!)


cpprpenny is offline  
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May 12th, 2005, 03:12 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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That's a great report, cpprpenny, and I was particularly interested to hear that you had a view of the harbour and the Opera House from the Old Sydney Holiday Inn; while I often rave about its great location, I always thought, from looking at it, that it was probably not tall enough to allow any views of note. Now I know better. Thanks!

Hope you return to our shores some day!
Alan is offline  
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May 12th, 2005, 03:53 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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Thanks for posting this review! Glad you had a great time.
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
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May 24th, 2005, 11:00 AM
  #4
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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We can't wait to return. We loved our time in Australia and wish to see more and do more in years to come. I'm sure this will just be the first of many visits.

Thanks to all who recommended Wavelength, Novotel and Old Sydney Holiday Inn.
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