Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina
What We Love
- Scenic views of the Marlin Marina
- The pool area, surrounded by palm trees and Bali-style daybeds
- Luxury shopping in the retail complex below the hotel
- A short walk to the Reef Fleet Terminal, where many Great Barrier Reef excursions begin — no long drive necessary
What To Know
- Upgrade to a Horizon Club Room for special amenities, including VIP check-in, daily free hot breakfast, snacks and cocktails in the lounge
- Those in marinafront rooms may hear late night noise from waterfront restaurants
- Business-traveler friendly
- Some rooms show their age
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
With a stay at Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina in Cairns (Cairns), you’ll be minutes from ZOO To You HQ Wildlife Discovery Centre and Reef Fleet Terminal. This 5-star hotel is within close proximity of Esplanade Lagoon and Cairns Regional Gallery.
Make yourself at home in one of the 255 air-conditioned rooms featuring refrigerators and LCD televisions. Rooms have private balconies. Satellite programming and video-game consoles are provided for your entertainment, while complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected. Bathrooms have designer toiletries and hair dryers.
Enjoy recreational amenities such as an outdoor pool and a fitness center. Additional amenities include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and gift shops/newsstands.
Grab a bite to eat at the hotel’s restaurant, where you can enjoy drinks at a bar and dine alfresco (weather permitting). Or stay in and take advantage of 24-hour room service. Relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge or a poolside bar. Buffet breakfasts are available daily for a fee.
Featured amenities include a business center, limo/town car service, and express check-in. Event facilities at this hotel consist of a conference center and meeting rooms. Self parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.
How to Get There
Since I was a little girl, I've loved the idea and Shangri-La hotels, even the symbol makes me happy!
The Cairns Shangri La is a different type of hotel to the style that is usual for this group.
However, we had a very late check in (midnight) and were greeted by friendly night staff whom we requested a late check out. No problems and 1pm check out confirmed.
Porter helped us to our room, lovely room overlooking the marina, room tidy and although a bit dated, perfectly fine. Bed was excellent (king size) very comfortable.
Breakfast buffet was a bit disappointing, one of us is a vegetarian and there was very little fruit on offer and the tea and coffee were self serve. Brilliant, calm female chef made stunning egg dishes and the our omelet was sensational.
Spent the morning by the most beautiful clear blue pool, a few dirty dishes from the night before near the towel dispenser, but otherwise, just a lovely place to spend a few hours before we left for Port Douglas.
Effortless and polite staff on check out and all in all a pretty good experience. Certainly not a typical Shangri La hotel, but the staff were really lovely.
We have stayed at many Shangri La hotels around the world and never are disappointed. We booked a room with harbour views and lounge access as we usually do. The afternoon canapés were really bad, like frozen spring rolls and spinach puffs you get at stores like Woolworths and heat up in the oven, not restaurant quality food at all. The wine on offer was just as cheap, like quaffing wine you would pay $10.00 or less at bottle. Also the lounge overlooks the car park entry , no view at all, what’s the point . We complained to the duty manager but no satisfaction, don’t waste your money on a club room at this hotel, you will be disappointed, and they really don’t care about return customers
Really really disappointed！The hotel arranged a room with a huge pillar in the middle of the room without telling us after we triple checked that there was no problem of the room layout or view. We were guaranteed that the room is in the same layout as we lived before. Beware of the coke in the mini fridge! They were expired in both rooms. Really isn't what I would expect from Shangri-la.
We usually stay at the Hilton when in Cairns but having reached Jade status with Shangri-La and having recently stayed in some of there other properties which are usually REALLY nice, we decided to what we thought would be “spoiling ourselves” by trying the Shangri-La Cairns at the Marina. Oh boy, were we wrong! Shangri-La should be terribly ashamed to allow this property to bear its name because, quite frankly, it is terrible through and through. It needs to be explained why so many travelers give it still such a good rating- in Australia this very often tends to be people who hardly ever stay in a hotel, let alone travel internationally, so they’re impressed that there’s a minibar. However, if you compare this hotel with other properties of the same chain, particularly in Asia or the Middle East, it becomes very clear very quickly that this particular hotel is sub par on so many levels. Even their property in Sydney, while old and certainly in urgent need for a thorough refurbishment, at least still has this air of old grandees, but the Cairns hotel is even far from that!
We had checked in on the Shang mobile app and had a room assigned well before our late arrival around 11pm. Only the night clerk was at reception, offered zero Shangri-La Golden Circle membership or status recognition and sent us to the room. As others have said, the hotel suffers from a really strange triangular layout around the pool and you could end up on the other end which would require an endless walk. We were lucky in this respect and had only a short walk to our room. The room was spacious but not particularly “luxury” at first view with lots of run down furnishings and scuff marks everywhere and so on. However, the worst thing we noticed straight away was the sins of sins that hotels can commit: While we had booked a King Bed, they had assigned us one of those nasty lazy two single beds shoved together constructions. I HATE when this happens as we’re not paying hostel prices so we shouldn’t have to stay in hostel beds. I went down to reception straight away and complained. The night clerk had to check with who ever sits behind a one mirrored glass behind the reception desk (we noticed that again at a later time and found this extremely old-fashioned if not outright creepy: The front desk personnel was empowered to decide on absolutely nothing but then had to ask whoever secretive boss was hiding behind that one way glass. This reminded me of some border passings into certain Eastern European countries at the hight of the Cold War but I haven’t encountered such a thing ever since then) but came back telling us they were completely booked out. I wasn’t happy with that and wondered why we, amongst the only Golden Circle members in the entire hotel and having even checked in on the app, why we for all get assigned one of those awful rooms with two single beds and a canyon sized gap in the middle. However, the night clerk assured us that someone would be in touch the next day and would either offer us a new room or arrange for a proper King bed to be brought in and “also make up for your inconvenience tonight with something.”
Guess what- next day we were woken up by a very unapologetic call by a so called shift leader who told us that because they’re full, they only move us to a downgraded room or else we’ll have to live with the two single beds. He told us that our current room is apparently an upgraded room and the interior would be older in a different room which is hard to believe on so many levels but no, we definitely would not want to be reprimanded for their error of allocating is a different bed type than the King we had booked so we decided to stay. The guy offered us to add a better layer of mattress topper during the day which sounded like it might at least give some relief but alas, it never materialised. What a smack in the face of a loyal customer! Complete disregard and zero attempt even to rectify the situation. And needless to say, we saw all day parties checking in and out so the “we are full” was clearly just a cheap excuse and really only meant “we couldn’t give a toss”. We were also surprised to find out that our room apparently was already refurbished as furniture had scuff marks all over them and the bathroom, while looking like newishly renovated, still only offered one of those awful over bathtub showered which a shower head that doesn’t even go high enough for you to properly stand under! We also usually receive three welcome amenities at the Shang hotels due to our status which is two beers and one water usually. All we got here was one beer and to make it worse even, it was a Crown Lager, yikes yikes yikes!
What else can we say about the property? Like the room, the entire hotel seemed like a patch work of several tiny upgrades, refurbishments and leave-it-to-rot parts which just felt odd. In the room, the bathroom was new but most furniture was really old and run down. The carpet seemed to be recent but the little sofa bed at the end of the bed has seen better times (and plenty of guests pouring all sorts of liquids over it during the years). Two lamp shades in the room where attached using a light tone of wood which was clearly different to the darker brown of the furnishings so they appeared like they came straight out of IKEA. Maybe they did- I would not be surprised! And then one really strange lamp by the bed was hung on a super odd cable that was covered in some bright red cotton material that attracted fluff and dust like a lamp at night attracts mozzies. It all didn’t really fit and left a distinctly non Shangri-La impression. Outside, the hotel facade just looks really old but then at the pool, they seem to have recently painted the floor boards around it, at least. But then again the pool bar which wildly advertises their 3-5 Happy Hour all over the hotel turns up to be completely locked up and a big bright poster tells you to order from the restaurant instead (at a $6 additional tray charge, no less). The pool itself is quite nice but freezing cold as not heated at all while the sun loungers appear to be fixed to the ground and come straight out of the 80ies. The water dispenser by the pool doesn’t work and on the way to the elevators you have to endure some really low quality badly designed promotional posters which would maybe befit an Ibis Budget, but not a Shang. “Chuck for a Buck” was our favourite one, advertising $1 oysters at the restaurant (yikes) which generally, was a real downer. We avoided it luckily but noticed the most horrible possible live music there on a Saturday so we knew it was the right decision not to eat there. Having breakfast in the same place exposed it to be one of this soul less stock standard hotel restaurants but the option to order freshly made omelettes and even Eggs Benedict made the breakfast one of the highlights of our stay, it you can look beyond the fact that no one ever cared to clean the tables or re-deck them with cutlery.
All in all, we felt that this hotel felt short on almost every level. Service was not willing or caring, often downright slack or even hostile to their guests. Housekeeping did a very bad job and was entirely inconsistent- one day, we didn’t get new water, the other day no bathroom toiletries. The first night no turndown whatsoever and then the second night, while out for dinner, someone had replenished the towels and toiletries, to our big surprise. The balcony had never been cleaned a single time and housekeeping simply ignored our empty wine bottle and glasses out there even though they were clearly visible. So bad! To add insult to injury, one night we called to get clean glasses delivered to the room and the lady on the phone had the nerve to tell us that they would charge $6 delivery fee for that. I think she must have felt that slight tremble of anger moving through the entire property so she said “Well, this first time okay but next time you have to pay.” What a remarkable attitude, particularly given that it was their housekeeping who left our used wine glasses out in the sun all day! And you just have to imagine what kind of stingy-to- the-penny careless operator or licensee must give them the guideline to charge a tray charge for to take glasses to the room! Even in a 3 Star property, this would be a pretty nasty way to make a quick buck. Once we finally got our glasses, the lady gave such an attitude, we felt insulted just by her aggressive demeanour. So in the end, we left unhappy and had slept badly all three nights on those hostel-style single beds. A Shangri-La? Should do WAY better than that. I would call this hotel an insult to the brand. We’ll certainly stay at the Hilton around the corner again next time when in Cairns.
The hotel is in an excellent location, the facilities are first class, and all the staff are very friendly and go out of their way to do anything they can for you. The prices are not particularly cheap, but the cost is excellent value.