Port Douglas, Australia
4 nights points redemption
It was about an hour drive in our Hyundai i30 from Cairns airport to the Mirage Resort. We arrived at around 4PM. When we got there the hotel seemed pretty busy. This suspicion was confirmed at check-in. The Front-Desk Manager greeted us at the check-in desk and checked-us in. He said that there were multiple conventions going on at the hotel as well as the peak of Australian Spring Holidays so the hotel was full. Consequently, he apologetically informed us no upgrades were available from a standard room. He offered us the breakfast as our Platinum Check-in amenity and free Wi-Fi.
We thanked him and headed to our room. Overall this is a very family oriented resort. The beach itself is pretty, it is right on 4 mile beach in Port Douglas, however it was empty. It turns out that there is a high jellyfish risk here this time of year and so they turned the pool area into a “beach” with sand and the chairs and umbrellas you would expect to see right on the ocean.
The room itself was of pretty big size and plenty comfortable. It did feel a bit on the old side but was fine for our purposes over the next 4 days. There was a decent sized fridge which we later stocked with beer and wine from the local package store. The internet was fast. There was a back terrace with a garden fee which was pleasant for sitting out and listening to the birds.
We used our rental car to explore the surrounding area so we didn’t spend much time at the Sheraton.
I have just requalified with Starwood for Platinum status in 2014. As a Platinum qualification gift, Starwood sent me an e-mail and offered me 35% off a points award. So we applied to to this stay. So what is normally 10,000 SPG per night we got at 6500 SPG per night. What a great savings of 14,000 Starpoints! Also if you turned down housekeeping service the hotel offered you a $15 food and beverage credit per day. We took them up on this across our entire stay and enjoyed $45 off our $48 mojito and chocolate dessert nightcap on our last night.
The breakfast buffet was over above average quality but not outstanding. There was a great amount of selection and for a full family oriented dining room the staff kept up with replishment and cleaning pretty well. It was also about 60USD per person normally so across 4 nights we saved almost $250 for having this as our Platinum check-in amenity.
On the morning of our check-out day I awoke at 5:30AM to watch the University of Georgia vs. Tennessee football game by hooking up my laptop to the room’s big-screen TV with a HDMI cable I brought. It was a thriller of a game and lasted up until the minute we had to leave at about 9:45AM when Georgia won the game in overtime (I hustled down some breakfast buffet during haltime). We zipped out of the hotel and headed back to Cairns airport for our 12:10PM flight to Sydney. It was an uneventful, beautiful hour’s drive and we were back at the Hertz returns lot in Cairns and on our way to check-in.
Lobby of the Sheraton Mirage
More view of the Sheraton Mirage
The hallways heading towards our room.
Room 1112, a standard garden-view king sized room
The room felt like 1992 but was clean and comfortable
The TV seemed bigger in person but was great for watching the football game
The back garden which had plenty of exotic birds to oggle in the trees
The bathroom was comfortable
Here is the physical plant of the hotel – there were pools lined with sand everywhere
We used the self-service washing and drying at 4AUD per load. This was great for us and was our final laundry service required on our big trip.
More views of the pool and physical plant
Four mile beach as taken from the hotel grounds
The breakfast buffet spread
There were two hot sections like this and an omelet chef
The iron chef of omlets
The juice zone
Of course I had to get after the cheese platter. Cheddar, Brie, and sliced Provolone were on offer.
This hotel is family oriented but I could certainly recommend it to couples. It is good value for money. Is it 5 star? No. But it is a great launchpad for exploring Port Douglas, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Daintree rainforest.