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Where to stay in Port Douglas?

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Jul 20th, 2011, 05:19 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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Where to stay in Port Douglas?

These forums have been an invaluable help as I plan my trip to Australia this coming September. We are flying into Sydney, staying for five nights, then flying up to Cairns. Based on all the research I've done, we've decided to stay in Port Douglas, and we'll be there for 6 nights.

I've narrowed it down to three hotels that sound right for us and would love any advice. We had thought about staying at the Sheraton (we are loyal Starwood members and it's always great to earn points) but from what I've read, it's kind of run down and has mold and mildew odor issues.

We don't want to rent a car, so that's one thing to consider. We'd like to be within walking distance of the beach and the main part of town to go to restaurants. We live in NYC and are used to walking a lot. And it seems like we can sign up for things like dive trips and excursions that will pick us up at most hotels--but please correct me if I've got this wrong!

Here are the three:

Thala Beach Lodge: http://www.thalabeach.com.au/experiences/private-beach/ This one sounds great, and very unique. My one concern is that it is more remote, so we'd likely have to take a taxi to get to restaurants, etc, so I'm leaning towards ruling this one out.

Shantara Resort & Spa: http://www.shantara.com.au/

Meridian: http://www.portdouglasmeridian.com/rates.html

Would love any and all advice if anyone has stayed at these three-or has a different one to suggest!
maitai1 is offline  
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Jul 20th, 2011, 06:05 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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I spent 2 weeks in Port Douglas a couple of years ago and we drove past Thala numerous times. I would rule it out because it is a long way from anywhere are you miss the fun vibe of "Port" if you stay out of town.
We really enjoyed being able to walk everywhere and popping home for an afternoon sleep or swim before heading out again.

Of those two choices I would go to Meridian.. based on location..
emerald125 is offline  
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Jul 20th, 2011, 10:18 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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We had the same concerns but then found out Thala has a shuttle bus that runs every 2 hours or so until late at night, from memory it's about $8pp. So $32 return for a couple - depends on your budget I guess, but we didn't mind paying that a couple of times during our stay. Preferred that to missing out on having our own private beach for the whole stay!

The other option we looked at was to stay in Port for a few nights and enjoy the seclusion of Thala for the last few nights - that might suit you more.

Side note, beware, many of the hotels 'in' Port are not within walking distance of the main drag where the restaurants etc are, you still have to catch a shuttle/cab. The other two hotels you've mentioned are walkable though I think. Oh and yes, all the different day tours pick up from all the hotels (inc Thala). Enjoy!
mrjohnno is offline  
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Jul 23rd, 2011, 08:02 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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I personally wouldn't stay at Thala if I didn't have a car as I found the shuttle a pain as you are reliant on that schedule.
I also thought Thala expensive for what it was. I enjoyed it but wouldnt stay there again.

Enjoy PD it's a lovely place, we hade some FAB meals therre be sure to book a table at Salsa FANTASTIC restaurant.
Smeagol is offline  
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Jul 23rd, 2011, 07:44 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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I stayed in port o call hostel. its affiliated with yha. it has queen beds with private bath/wifi. its about a 10 min walk to 4 mile beach/town.
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