30 March 2010
Pullman Reef Hotel and Casino Cairns
Do you ever get that feeling that you’ve just screwed something up? Big time. And it’s too late to fix it?
As I walked the long hallway of the Pullman Reef Hotel in Cairns, enroute to my room – I was having a minor (and hopefully inconspicuous) panic attack.
Being on a strict budget for my work trips, Cairns is always a bit of a lottery on where I can afford to stay - that is still nice.
So when I saw that the Pullman was advertising room rates for just $169 I jumped on it! But now, my shoes sinking into the plush carpet, my car happily parked by the Valet and a personalised welcome card clutched in my sweaty palm – I started to second guess myself.
Maybe I had a dyslexic moment? Maybe it wasn’t $169. Maybe it was $269 or even $369??? Being mortgaged to the eyeballs – the last thing our monthly finances needed was a blonde moment.
Opening the door to my room was no better. It was gorgeous. All 17 shades of cream, beige and white – it was a picture of elegance. Shutters separating the bathroom from the bedroom, a separate toilet (now that’s a romantic touch… anyone who has had to share a Hotel Room with their husband for an extended period of time will surely agree) and a small balcony overlooking the pool.
Never before have I ever been so distressed to be in a beautiful Hotel room.
Throwing my gear on the super comfy bed (my panic escalating by now, taking in the 6 pillows), I swear I have never got my computer booted up so fast. I needed to find the receipt for my booking, and fast, before my boss called me in a rage demanding why I thought I deserved such lofty accommodation.
The excitement and relief that came from confirming the $169 price tag almost warranted a happy dance – but I restrained myself – barely. Okay I lie. I danced like I had fireants in my knickers. But no-one was there to see, so that's ok.
The Pullman Suites are lovely – especially if you can get them for a good price. The highlight for me was the ridiculously soft bed, fluffy towels – and weirdly – the bench seat in the shower. There is nothing quite like sitting down in the shower and having hot water blast your sore muscles after a long day of driving. And although I didn't pillage it (on this occasion!), I really do appreciate a well stocked mini bar! This one encompassed a large pull out drawer, a shelf AND the actual mini bar fridge. Awesome!.
I had every intention of going out for dinner, but decided on Room Service instead – from Tamarind Restaurant – which I ate at last time I was in town. I’m happy to report – as it isn’t always the case – that the meal I had in my room was equally as delicious as the one I had in their Restaurant.
My only gripe with Dinner was that I was charged $8 for rice. Now I know all about food costs, service provision and all of those things that impact on the cost of meals in Hotels and Restaurants – but I do genuinely feel that if a dish needs an element to complete it – than it should be included with the meal, in both the presentation and price. My ordered Panang Curry of Duck was delicious, but its richness and wetness meant that it absolutely needed the rice and I felt disappointed that I was made to pay for it. At the end of the day though – it’s only $8 and my meal was superb. So I'll let it go.
The Verdict: Lovely Hotel and gorgeous rooms. I LOVE the beds – so soft and pillowy, the bath products hadn’t been skimped on and Room Service was fantastic. My only complaint was that there was little choice for breakfast on the run - my coffee was average and I was dying for a Muffin or Croissant to eat in the car - but alas - it was the full Buffet or nothing.
Contact: Pullman Reef Hotel