4.5
Very Good 954 Reviews
Jetsetter Verified
This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • Balmy evenings dining al fresco while watching the moon rise over the Coral Sea
  • The award-winning Li’Tya spa, which uses techniques based on ancient Aboriginal traditions
  • Mingling with fellow guests over free punch and canapés in the Brigadier’s Bar and Lounge

What To Know

  • The Reef House is just 20 minutes’ drive from Cairns International Airport
  • Tours of the Great Barrier Reef operate from Cairns to the south and Port Douglas (40 minutes to the north)
  • Marine stinger (jellyfish) season occurs in Far North Queensland from November to May/June. Palm Cove Beach has a netted area for safe swimming

Amenities

  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Handicap-accessible
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
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Overview

Tropical home away from home with an award-winning spa, pretty pool and topnotch eats a short drive from the Great Barrier Reef

The Look

Across the road from a glorious mile-long strip of sand, amethyst-blue sea and four small islands dotting the horizon, towering centuries-old melaleuca gum trees stand guard at the entrance to this colonial-style hotel. Grand white colonnades frame the long timber deck leading to reception, and central to the resort is a 25-meter freshwater pool (there’s also a 20-meter saltwater pool), set amid lush gardens, swaying palm trees and blazing bougainvilleas. Daily at sunset the corridors are lit with dozens of candles as guests gather to share stories of their day’s adventures.

Bed and Bath

From the cool, terracotta-tiled floors and white plantation shutters to the rattan furniture and mosquito nets over the beds, everything about The Reef House says ‘tropics’. The rooms are large and airy, all feature king-sized beds with crisp white linen and a burst of color via tasteful throws and cushions, air-conditioning, ceiling fans, free WiFi and in-house movies. Superior Balcony Room guests can start the romance bubbling along in a couples’ spa bath on their own private and expansive verandah. For those whose bubbly days are largely behind them, family suites are also available.

Beyond

The Reef House Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has more than enough variety to sustain a lengthy visit. The evening menu changes according to the season and features a five-course degustation menu with wine pairings. From the à la carte menu, the crispy-skin wild-caught barramundi is worth the trip alone. The Brigadier’s Bar and Lounge operates on an honor system (in the spirit of an army officers’ mess) and offers a library of books, board games and DVDs. There’s also the option of flopping on a comfy deckchair and dining poolside. In Li’Tya Spa, uniquely Australian treatments are carried out in restful yet state-of-the-art rooms. Don’t miss the Mala Mayi (90-minute mud wrap and full-body massage) – when it’s over you’ll feel as though you’re walking on air.

In the Area

With relaxation taken care of at The Reef House, Palm Cove Village and the surrounding area is abuzz with activities. From snorkelling to scuba diving to golf to horse trekking to white-water rafting to the latest water craze, jet-ski flyboarding, you can get as big or small an adrenalin rush as you desire. Once you’ve worn yourself out, the village has a generous serve of bars, cafes and restaurants, plus the typical tourist boutiques and souvenirs shops.

How to Get There

The Reef House Palm Cove MGallery by Sofitel
99 Williams Esplanade
Palm Cove, 4879 Australia

Reviews

4.5 Very Good 954 Reviews
Absolutely stunning & relaxing
Reviewed 2 days ago

Well what can I say but what a stunning place to stay. Boutique style hotel with an amazing history. 2 of my friends said it was their favourite place to stay in Palm Cove and now it's mine. I purchased a Luxury Escape deal which was fantastic value for money. It's the little things that makes this hotel so loveable..... welcome drink on arrival, plus a botttle of champagne in the fridge. Evening punch and canapés, the help yourself Brigader Bar, sunscreen and chilled water available by the pool to help yourself to, little touches go along way in my book. I decided to do the free water yoga class with Geraldine one morning and to my delight no one else turned up so I had a private lesson, which included relaxation out of the pool with a head and foot rub..... it was sensational. I happened to mention that my husband just got a promotion and we were both enjoying a well deserved break.... then a fruit platter and a bottle of bubbles was delivered with a hand written card congratulationing my husband on his promotion and a Reef House cap and a card thanking me for joining in the yoga session. You don't get that kind of service at the large hotels. Loved my king bed and the decor, oil burner was a lovely touch and the bathroom products are beautiful!! If its relaxation you want this is the place to stay...... hope to be back again soon!!

We loved The Reef House
Reviewed 3 days ago

By far the most outstanding feature of The Reef House was the segregated swimming pools - one for children and one for adults. Not only that but the adult pool is the original amazingly deep pool with a waterfall. We finally got to spend time horizontal and truly relaxing. We stayed in the Brigadier Spa Room which was at the front of the complex, overlooking the ocean. Rotating between the ocean, pool, hot spa and the spa in our room made our holiday super relaxing. The resort offers a lot - welcome drinks, canopies and drinks at 5pm each day, honesty pool bar, towels and cool fruit water by the pool. The continential breakfast was ample as a large selection of the usual cereal, fruit, salmon, ham, cheese, pastries, toast, etc. The only issue we had was the toasters were old and only 2 slice and people were lining up to use them. A more efficient toaster is needed! All in all we loved the place and will be back!

Excellent in every way
Reviewed 1 week ago

We had never been to Palm Cove and to the Reef House and decided to do so to celebrate our Anniversary. Without a doubt this Hotel rates No 1 for us for rest and relaxation. The Hotel rooms are excellent and my wife has never slept so well. Everything about it was wonderful Kerry, Julie, Nicole, Elia in the restaurant were so friendly cannot wait to go back.

Pleasant hotel for two night stay
Reviewed 1 week ago

We stayed in a downstairs double room looking out towards the cold water pool. It was comfortable and clean and the staff were really nice and helpful. Also nice to have a cold bottle of sparking wine and mineral water in the fridge. I was a little worried that the shower room had a louvre type window with no way to stop bugs getting in however (possibly feeling nervous on first visit to Australia).

Reef House Sofitel Palm Cove
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Stilll the benchmark in the Far Nth. We stayed in the 1 bedroom spa apartment and it was fantastic. We always choose the Reef House to get a break even though we are locals. We have booked again for New Year.