The Sovereign Resort, which was built in 1874 and became a hotel in 1986, is considered by the locals to be the best hotel in town. Admittedly, it does provide a good level of comfort, but you do have to bear in mind that hotel standards in this area are not the highest. Having said that, this is nevertheless a pleasant place to stop off during your trip, though spending a week here is likely to get boring very quickly, as there is very little in the way of facilities.
The hotel stands at the very heart of Cooktown, with the town's small selection of shops and restaurants in close proximity. The small local airport is 10 minutes away, but Cairns is some 4 hours away by road.
If you're just passing through Cooktown, don't forget to visit the historic museum of the famous James Cook.
There's no denying that the Sovereign Resort is merely a stopover hotel and not really the sort of place you would want to spend several days. It's not that the facilities are poor quality (though they are limited to a restaurant and a swimming pool!) but you'll certainly feel every minute passing by here. On arrival at the hotel, you'll notice the tiny little lobby that resembles a guesthouse. The reception isn't very big and bear in mind that it closes for the night at 6:00pm! Beyond this room lies a pleasant garden for guests to enjoy at their leisure. Surrounded by small, white, colonial-style buildings, it boasts a pretty swimming pool designed in the style of a lagoon nestled amid the various plant species found here. Deckchairs are dotted about the garden so you can enjoy some privacy, but there are far too few to accommodate all of the hotel's guests at the same time.
The Sovereign Resort offers 3 categories of room: Standard, Deluxe, and Studio (2 bedrooms). The first category has the advantage of being very spacious and can be easily transformed into a family room. The place is well maintained but there's nothing striking about the decor in the rooms and the ambience is somewhat depressing. The bedding is rather basic but you will have some standard amenities, including a television, air conditioning, and a minibar (though you're likely to find the latter extremely noisy). All of the rooms have a large balcony with wooden furniture. The bathrooms, on the other hand, are far less pleasant. It's clear that they are not cleaned as regularly as they should be, given the spider webs we found under the wash basin. Also, the walls are starting to show the effects of the humidity and the room is starting to smell as a result.
The Balcony Restaurant is open to both guests and non-residents, and provides pleasant surroundings and a relaxed atmosphere. Be aware though, opening hours change from one day to the next. For example, breakfast is served from 7:00am to 9:30am during the week, whilst on Sundays it doesn't start until 8:00am and continues until 10:30am. Breakfast here consists quite simply of a continental buffet offering a rather limited choice of toast, cereals, and yogurts. Dinner is served à la carte and consists of a selection of international dishes. Although the quality of the cuisine is very good, there's certainly nothing special about it.
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