The Great Barrier Reef may be one of the Great Natural Wonders in Australia, but we’re pretty convinced that the amazing spas just over the shoreline give the reef’s serenity a run for its money. Organic, natural ingredients allow you to immerse yourself in Queensland’s natural splendour down to the pore. Feel like relaxing and recouping after a long day of diving? These spa retreats in Cairns are here to serve – now bookable with Culture Trip.
It’s not a question of whether you should or shouldn’t leave the kids at home – Peppers Beach Club and Spa has a playground and can arrange child minding services in a nap. The dilemma is which room should you retreat to after body treatments in the day spa – the Ocean Spa rooms have soothing sea views, but the Garden Spa suites have convenient kitchenettes. Perhaps, you’ll just settle for the Resort Spa and debate your decision on the balcony spa bath.
Your search for five-star accommodations in Cairns will likely lead you to the award-winning spa at Alamanda Palm Cove. Prepare your every pore for an ethereal escape, and block off your afternoon. A three-and-a-half-hour pampering is on the agenda, revitalizing you from head to toe with hot-stone massages, coconut body wraps and a berry-refined detox peel. After a radiant rejuvenation on the outside, spoil your stomach at Nu Nu Restaurant with local prawns smothered in the honey from the nearby rainforest.
The Vie Spa at Sea Temple Resort will balance your body and spirit with a two-hour Earth and Ocean Ritual. As relaxing as a back scrub, scalp massage and body souffle may be, we advise booking your treatment before dining at Temple of Tastes. It’ll be hard to receive a hydrating facial when you’re still drooling over braised lamb shoulder and Thai red duck breast curry – you’ll have a hard enough time laying still on the massage table when all you’ll be thinking about is the decadent dessert sampler.
The Reef House hands out so many complimentary drinks that we’re convinced there must be a mistake. Checking in? They’ll hand you a gin. Stepping into your room? Sparkling wine is on your bed. More heavy pours are happening in the Brigadier’s Lounge when twilight arrives, though the Honesty Bar is yours to use anytime. By the time you sit down for a skincare Q&A at the Day Spa, the complimentary mimosa might do you in faster than an ocean breeze lullaby.
Spa retreats in Cairns don’t get much swankier than the Crystalbrook Riley. Mammoth detoxification may have to wait, though, because these five-star accommodations in Cairns also serve up a menu full of sublime temptations. Dry-aged beef, shallot mud crab and coconut pancakes are irresistible to order and way too easy to share. No reason to be greedy at the dinner table, though, as, back in your room, you’ll have unlimited pool or ocean views that you won’t have to share with a soul.
Tragically, there are simply not enough hours in the day to indulge in every treatment at the Vie Spa at Pullman Cairns International. It’s almost criminal that we’re only given a mere 24 hours each day to try to fit in a Daintree Rainforest Ritual, a White Flannel Flower Facial and a Bergamot Soothing Scalp Cocoon. Where in the world will you find the time to schedule an organic polish, buff and scrub? Maybe the concierge will move a pillow into the spa so you can spend every waking moment there.
What makes this spa retreat in Cairns different from its sister spa, Riley? Two words: Smooth Talker. This stimulating treatment tightens and smooths cellulite skin, boosting your circulation and kicking out toxins. If you feel like your body needs all-over invigoration, the Big Brush Off will leave you glowing and gorgeous. No matter what your body needs, the flexible spa staff at Flynn can bend their signature treatments to suit your needs.
Any time is the best time to visit Cairns when you stay at the Hilton – if for no other reason than the fact this spectacular hotel is a mere 400m (1,312ft) from where most tours to the Great Barrier Reef begin. When you’re not below the water or under the sun, split your time between massages, manis and pedis at the spa – or a much-needed soak in the marble spa bath in your premier suite.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.