The Best Hotels to Book in Cairns, Australia

Whether its sea views or a private pool youre after, Cairns has hotels for all
Whether it's sea views or a private pool you're after, Cairns has hotels for all | Courtesy of Alamanda Palm Cove / Expedia

Cairns is the biggest city in Far North Queensland, and acts as a gateway to both the Daintree rainforest and Great Barrier Reef. This means the city is home to plenty of hotels, ranging from cheap chains to luxurious resorts and spas. Here’s our guide to the hotels in Cairns you’ll be clamouring to stay at.

1. Shangri-La Hotel

Suite Hotel, Business Hotel, Chain Hotel, Hotel

Sun loungers and umbrellas adorn a deck surrounding the outdoor pool at the Shangri-La the Marina, Cairns
Courtesy of Shangri-La the Marina, Cairns / Expedia

Sitting directly on the marina in Cairns, it’s no surprise Shangri-La Hotel offers outstanding sea views. It’s a great Cairns hotel for people travelling for either work or pleasure. The business centre is equipped with everything you might need if you’re here for work, including courier, binding, and translation services. There’s a restaurant and two bars on site, as well as a health club, an outdoor pool, a shopping centre, and a travel desk to help y0u get the best of your stay.

2. Peppers Beach Club and Spa

Resort, Spa Hotel

The beach-like pool area with sun loungers and a straw-roofed bar area is fringed by the hotel buildings and towering palm trees.
Courtesy of Peppers Beach Club and Spa / Expedia

Peppers Beach Club and Spa is a five-star property on the beach in Palm Cove, one of Cairns’s northernmost suburbs. Palm Cove is known as North Queensland’s day spa capital, and Peppers – one of the best hotels in Cairns – offers one of the best day spa options. It has three swimming pools – one has a swim-up pool bar – a tennis clubhouse with gym facilities, and an onsite restaurant. There are several different room options at Peppers as well, such as one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments; and even rooms with private spas.

3. Fitzroy Island Resort

Resort, Suite Hotel

A long wooden jetty leads to the exterior of the hotel hidden behind shoreline bushes and palm trees.
Courtesy of Fitzroy Island Resort / Expedia
Fitzroy Island is an unspoilt paradise 45 minutes by ferry from Cairns. Fortunately, you can spend more than just a day soaking up the national park within the Great Barrier Reef by staying at Fitzroy Island Resort. The 4.5-star Cairns resort is family-friendly, yet also ideal for couples. Room options include suites, studios, and beach cabins, with amenities ranging from an outdoor pool with its own swim-up bar, a bar and restaurant and games room to a movie theatre. Spend the day walking through the rainforest, or swimming at one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches.

4. Pullman Reef Hotel Casino

Casino Hotel

A long, angular pool with sun loungers under white parasols with conservatory like roof in the background.
Courtesy of Pullman Reef Hotel Casino / Expedia

Pullman Reef Hotel Casino is a five-star hotel in Cairns that will cater to your every whim. There are several bars and restaurants, including Flinders Bar & Grill, Tamarind, Merchant Artisan Food & Coffee and Lihou Bar. You can also try your luck at the casino, dance the night away in the nightclub, soak up the tropical sun beside the outdoor pool, or watch a movie in the Arena. Every luxury hotel room in this Cairns city centre hotel also features a spa bath, with either city or sea views.

5. Alamanda Palm Cove

Bed and Breakfast, Serviced Apartment, Spa Hotel

A large bed in a hotel room looks out of floor-to-ceiling windows towards the palm tree-fringed shoreline and ocean beyond.
Courtesy of Alamanda Palm Cove / Expedia

When it comes to luxury accommodation in Cairns, Alamanda Palm Cove arguably ranks as one of Australia’s top hotels. It boasts 55 apartments, three outdoor pools (one exclusively for adults), the award-winning Nu Nu Restaurant, a full-service spa, and a beach bar. With room options to suit solo travellers, couples and large families or groups, everyone is welcome to enjoy the top-notch facilities here.

6. Pacific Hotel Cairns

Bed and Breakfast, Business Hotel, Hotel

Tropical foliage print wallpaper lines a wall behind a large bed dressed in crisp whit sheets in a hotel room.
Courtesy of Pacific Hotel Cairns / Expedia

Pacific Hotel Cairns is a sister hotel to the Abbott just up the road, but it is a lot bigger, with 176 guest rooms, an outdoor pool and an award-winning restaurant. Each room at this Cairns hotel has either an ocean, city or mountain view, a private balcony and modern furnishings. Bushfire Flame Grill is the hotel’s award-winning Brazilian-inspired barbecue restaurant. Guests can choose between indulging in a churrasco experience, or from the à la carte menu.

7. The Hotel Cairns

Boutique Hotel, Suite Hotel, Business Hotel

The Hotel Cairns, a family-owned and operated business a block away from Cairns Esplanade, is known for its Queenslander heritage-style architecture, while the inside has been recently renovated. Amenities include a tour desk where you can plan your next outing, an outdoor pool and spa for unwinding, a gym to work out in, and the Plantation Bar & Grill for your reward. Both rooms and self-catering suites are available at the Hotel Cairns.

8. Kewarra Beach Resort & Spa

Resort, Suite Hotel, Spa Hotel

A wood cabing with private deck is nestled into lush tropical gardens at this resort.
© Kewarra Beach Resort & Spa

Kewarra Beach Resort & Spa is another of Cairns’s top-ranking hotels, with a range of beautiful bungalows and suites bordering either lush tropical gardens or the quiet beachfront. You have two swimming pools at your disposal – plus a full-service spa and two eateries: Paperbark Restaurant for evening meals and the Beach Shack for daytime snacks. Room service and childminding services are also available at this Cairns resort for families.

If you’re looking for something a little more special, discover our guide to the best resorts in Australia, now bookable via Culture Trip.

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