With relations residing in Port Douglas, my loved ones and I often take the short flight from Townsvile to Cairns for the holidays or family celebrations. Flights to Cairns from Brisbane are with Jetstar meaning more regularly than not the flights departs at 7am. For years, I used to clean up the household and car and drive across the Bruce Highway at 4am in the morning so I could get to cairns with enough time to enjoy the full day. As you can imagine this is not fun especially with young kids. When I realised that it didn’t break the bank to stay in a modest hotel the night before my flight, things became a whole lot easier.
Over recent years, I’ve stayed in all the branded hotels servicing ; these generally include the Hilton, Rydges, Cairns Sheridan and Harbour lights. So whenever we talk about an airport and what’s most significant to us, it comes down seriously to price, proximity to the airport, transfers, price, parking options and lastly PRICE.
The most effective deals I’ve had are typically at the Cairns Hotel; very often I have paid under $90 for a double room that normally includes an extra single bed. To get that price you need to plan ahead and pre book in advance; if you do not prices will creep up to $150 or even $200 if you turn up on the day. I can’t fault the Cairns Hotel, it’s a reasonably hotel with a good bar/coffee bar and restaurant, the rooms are clean and of good size and the beds are very comfortable. Transfers run every 30 minutes and cost $10 each way and the transfer bus takes 4-5 minutes.
The Hilton hotel was always my preferred choice when I first began staying the night time before my flight. The staff are very helpful and the restaurant has a really good buffet style arrangement. The hotel is in a quiet location, although it’s located within 5 minutes transfer time of the terminal. The Hilton includes a small gym and an indoor swimming pool; this is ideal for the children until the hotel made a principle about certain times kids can use the pool.
The very best hotel undoubtedly may be the Shangri-la, located in the city. Its convenient location means you can easily walk to the terminal inside a few minutes. The hotel has large, comfortable rooms and a great choice of restaurants within its open plan atrium.
Eating at the hotels restaurants gets the added bonus of great views . This is a fascinating surprise to me the first time I stayed .
Entertainment aside, the Shangri-la is a fabulous hotel although of course you have to pay for a tad bit more for the stay. I’ve paid $150 for a dual room, but very often I have experienced offers for less than $100 which I do believe is a good deal considering the close proximity of the hotel to the terminal.