The Best Spa Retreats to Book in Cairns, Queensland

Relax poolside at the Alamanda Palm Cove, with views of palms and the ocean
Relax poolside at the Alamanda Palm Cove, with views of palms and the ocean | © Alamanda Palm Cove / Expedia
Photo of Nick Dauk
15 November 2021

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.

Peppers Beach Club and Spa – Palm Cove, for around-the-clock spa serenity

Outdoor pool at Peppers Beach Club and Spa with a thatched-roof swim-up bar
© Peppers Beach Club and Spa / Expedia
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.

Alamanda Palm Cove by Lancemore to spoil your body and palate

Restaurant at Alamanda Palm Cove with plenty of hanging plant baskets dangling from the ceiling
© Alamanda Palm Cove / Expedia
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.

Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort and Spa, for gastronomic goodness

Romantic dining table at Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort, with pool views
© Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort / Expedia
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 Palm Cove MGallery, for more complimentary cocktails than you can shake a shaker at

Living room area at the Reef House, with wicker furniture and natural decor
© The Reef House / Expedia
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.

Crystalbrook Riley, for oceanfront relaxation

Restaurant at Crystalbrook Riley, with floor-to-ceiling windows for ocean views
© Crystalbrook Riley / Expedia
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.

Pullman Cairns International, for facial treats your skin will thank you for

Lobby and bar at Pullman Cairns International with white columns and high ceilings
© Pullman Cairns International / Expedia
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.

Crystalbrook Flynn, for the ultimate muscle-melting rubdown

View of staircase and bar at Crystalbrook Flynn, all decorated in natural colours and with plenty of plants
© Crystalbrook Flynn / Expedia
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.

Hilton Cairns, for instant Great Barrier Reef access

Restaurant at Hilton Cairns, luxuriously decorated in black, brown and yellow
© Hilton Cairns / Expedia
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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