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After a brief 6 month hiatus (sorry!), the Martinis Down Under trip report picks back up at the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas.
- Introduction and Trip Planning
- LAX Oneworld First Class Lounge
- Qantas A380 LAX to SYD Economy
- Park Hyatt Sydney Part I
- Sydney Qantas Business Lounge
- Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas
- Exploring the Great Barrier Reef
- Cairns Qantas Club Lounge
- Park Hyatt Sydney Part II
- Exploring Sydney
- Sydney Qantas International First Class Lounge
- Qantas 747 SYD to LAX Economy
Port Douglas is beautiful beach town conveniently located off the Great Barrier Reef. I didn’t find many properties I was wildly excited about trying so we ended up settling on the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas. We had several dives planned so we were looking for a place to stay put for at least five days accounting for a day on each end to decompress. The SPG 5th Night Free option seemed like a good deal especially since I had the option to confirm into a 1600 square foot room using 5 Suite Nights Awards. As a category 5 SPG property, the total came to 48,000 points.
Upon arrival into Cairns Airport, we grabbed a rental car and drove the one hour (on the wrong side of the road for me) up to Port Douglas. A long windy road leads into the resort where it becomes clear the property is very large with lots of greenery, a golf course, and a several condos sharing the grounds. It didn’t take long to understand the ‘feel’ of this property..….spacious, well-kept, but oh so outdated. We were spoiled having spent the previous night at the ultra-modern Park Hyatt Sydney but I am confident most would have the same first impression.
Upon pulling up to the resort, the bellman grabbed our bags for delivery to our room and lead us over to the front desk. Check-in was prompt and I requested the Platinum breakfast as our amenity.
As part of the process, we were handed a folder with no less than 15 items including our room keys, breakfast coupons, small drink discounts at the bar, dinner specials by day, facility maps, resort activity listings and other miscellaneous items. The agent informed us we had been upgraded to the Captain Owen Suite and after a brief explanation of the benefits we were shown to our room.
Room 2312, the Captain Owen Suite was the most retro room I have ever seen and had a whopping 26 framed paintings, 3 massive jug sculptures and two marble Washington Monuments at the entrance. The furniture and electronics were very outdated.
It took us a while to explore all the nooks and crannies of this bizarre room which overwhelmingly felt like a grandparent’s condo. As the pictures show, the entire suite felt outdated except for the bedroom where they have added the new Sheraton Sleeper Bed. On the other hand, this room was MASSIVE so it was a nice change of pace from a normal hotel experience.
Washington Monument welcome marble statues
The massive suite had 30+ light switches, none of which were labeled. Locating and turning off a single light was a 5 minute trail-and-error experiment. I also loved the world clock that was built-in to the bedside stand. I was relieved that all these cities currently exist today.
The resort is right on the beach though with thick foliage between the beach and properties in Port Douglas, you don’t see the ocean unobstructed from the resort, a great preservation tactic by the city in my opinion. The facility is massive and has several saline pools covering the grounds. The resort is probably the largest in Port Douglas so there are a lot of rooms and a lot of guests. While that was mostly a negative for us, the one upside was that the hotel is extremely well integrated with all the outdoor activity companies (diving, rainforest tours, etc.) so it was very easy to book our daily adventures from the concierge at competitive prices.
Port Douglas has so much to offer so we only spent a couple hours using the resort facilities. I enjoyed the space but it wasn’t too memorable.
As the Platinum amenity, I selected breakfast which is served as a buffet in the main restaurant. The spread was very large but quality was average throughout.
The bottom line
After the initial shock of feeling like we were in a grandparents condo, the suite grew on us over the course of our stay. The hotel itself proved a great home base to explore the Great Barrier Reef so we really can’t complain. If I were to return to Port Douglas, I would probably take a Maui approach and look for a vacation rental instead of the high SPG redemption price tag of this Sheraton.
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