If you want to explore the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Forest,Port Douglas accommodation options provide plenty of variety to suit most budgets. That’s good news, as Port Douglas is a great place to base yourself to enjoy tropical adventure. Most of the accommodations we visited, were centrally located. That means just a short walk to the Marina. Very convenient if you’re booked on a dive and snorkeling cruise.
Handy Hint: If you’re basing yourself in central Port Douglas, choose the quieter eastern side of town. We stayed for a couple of weeks in Port Douglas and enjoyed numerous local tours, but we also chose a variety of Port Douglas accommodation options.
As a Travel Designer, my recommendations are based on places I’ve actually seen for myself and can recommend at the time of my visit. Skill is needed in matching travelers budgets and accommodation needs. Couples may not want to stay in a family resort and families require child-friendly accommodation with kitchen and playground facilities. So folks, here’s my list for Port Douglas Accommodation Options:
1. Port Douglas Apartment Accommodation for Families
Cayman Villas Port Douglas
If you’re are staying in Port Douglas you may wish to be fairly central within walking distance to shops, restaurants and supermarkets. A lot of us want peace and too and the Cayman Villas are perfectly located for both.
Their 2- and 3-bedroom apartments are well designed, spacious and stylish. This resort has three main buildings, each with three levels. There is no elevator, but there is a heated swimming pool in the middle of the complex. Heated Pools are a great facility for children especially in the more moderate winter months between May and September. (Price Indication: A$300-450 per night per room per apartment.)
Peppers Beach Club Port Douglas
First impressions are very important, right? This one consistently ticksd all the boxes when it comes to presentation and general maintenance. Actually, we noted that most of the Port Douglas accommodations put a great deal of effort in maintaining the greenery and buildings to a high standard.
Peppers gave a very good first impression with it’s beautiful large pools which are surrounded by sand. Couples are also likely to stay here as well, as there is a bar, a grill restaurant and a gym. The ground floor rooms have direct access to the pools and it’s a very short walk into town. There is complementary guest parking and a 24 hour reception service. Elevators serve the majority of rooms.
Mandalay & Shalimar Beachfront Apartments
These sister properties are managed by one Company and are only 100 metres from the Port Douglas beach. The resort has two pools, one of which is heated.
There is a well maintained tennis court, BBQ facilities and childrens playing area. There is no complimentary wi fi, gym or spa facilities. The 1-, 2-, 3- bedrooms apartments are spacious and modern. (Price indication: A$300-450 per night per apartment.)
Mowbray by the Sea Port Douglas
Mowbray is located with close access to the Port Douglas beach (sorry, no photo). It’s also very close to the central village (5-10 minutes walk). Mowbray caters for a family or two couples together. It has 3 levels, a heated lap pool, Formerly managed by a corporate company, it is now owner-operated. The personalised attention by the owner is already paying off with facilities being updated and guest services (such as complimentary wifi) enhanced. The apartments are roomy with a balcony attached. As with most apartment options in Port Douglas, full kitchen facilities are included. (Price indication: A$200-350 per night per apartment.)
Garrick House Port Douglas
Garrick House is on the preferred side of town and is now an owner-operated business. The apartments are a different level down from the previous properties I’ve mentioned and this is reflected in the lower price range. Perfect for those folks on a strict budget.
Options include Studio, 1- and 2-Bedroom apartments. The 2-bedroom apartments are on the third level and accessed by stairs. Garrick House has a small (currently) unheated pool and offers complimentary wifi. The owner is very approachable and helpful. Price level: (Price indication: A$120-200 per night per apartment.)
2. Port Douglas Couples Retreats
Shantara Resort Port Douglas
Shantara is a privately owned dedicated couples-only apartment resort within a short walking distance from the village. This three-level property has 2 pools but no restaurant or bar. There is a separately owned award-winning Health and Spa that we can also personally recommend.
We stayed in one of Shantara’s spacious apartments for five nights and enjoyed it’s lovely interiors. This property has a strong Italian influence and is maintained to a very high standard.The kitchen is also well equipped. There is a complementary wifi with a generous daily limit of 1GB. What a pleasant surprise this was! (Price Indication: A$300-400 per night per room (2 person).)
Mai Tai Resort Mossman
For travellers seeking a totally different experience with a rural and peaceful setting in native bush, Mai Tai is the perfect retreat. Anthony Roxburgh and Andre de Walsche are the owners/managers and their personal touches are everywhere.
The property has a strong Asian influence and offers four individual rooms, each with their own spacious courtyard. Breakfast is served on the veranda overlooking the bush. At the top level of the Resort is a self-contained apartment with full kitchen, wifi and two bedroom facilities. This is definitely an adult-only retreat with a truly peaceful and tranquil setting.(Price Indication: A$250-350 per night per room (2 person).
3. Port Douglas Boutique hotels
Peninsula Boutique Hotel Port Douglas
While talking to local tour operators, we were made aware of the Port Douglas Boutique Hotel, which is located next the the local beach.
Interesting enough there are not many hotels with breakfast or restaurant facilities in the area (most of them are further out of town). Most studio rooms are beautifully appointed facing the beach (except 4 pool view units). They are spacious and very comfortable. The hotel has a breakfast buffet included in the daily rate, which is a unusual, as most other hotels in this area, charge heavily for breakfast. (Price Indication: A$250-400 per night per room (2 person).
4. Port Douglas Eco Retreat
Thala Beach Nature Reserve Lodge
If you’re looking for ‘knock-out’ views on a private headland between Cairns and Port Douglas, you might want to consider the tree chalets at Thala Beach Resort…
Do try to book a bungalow overlooking the shimmering Coral Sea:
The buffet breakfast at Thala Beach is top notch with every conceivable hot and cold option, however at the time of our stay, the same the night dining was extremely disappointing. I would strongly suggest you travel the 15-min drive to Port Douglas where there are some excellent dining choices to be had. (I voiced my concern to Management about the dinner and hopefully this ‘glitch’ can be resolved.) Although wi-fi is not provided in the chalets, there is complimentary access throughout the main lodge.
5. Luxury Port Douglas Accommodation Options
Silky Oaks Lodge Mossman
Silky Oaks is a luxury retreat set in the middle of the Daintree Rainforest, adjoining the Mossman River. Mossman is a 20- minute drive from Port Douglas or around 1.5 hours from Cairns. Silky Oaks has the perfect blend of native bush and the luxurious, private setting of individual chalets.
Silky Oaks definitely have the ‘wow’ factor. The chalets are just gorgeous with polished wooden floors, stylish interiors and all the mod-cons. The hammocks on for verandah of each chalet, are a very nice touch.The restaurant dinner facilities are available for in-house guests only. The lodge provides a top-notch spa and health retreat and offers guided rainforest and cultural tours, bird watching and complementary cycle hire. (Price Indication: A$400-700 per night per room (2 person)
We enjoyed our stay in Port Douglas during the month of July when the temperatures were between 25-27 degrees. It was also a little less busy. BTW, our fav place for excellent coffee was the Bookshop Cafe!