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Hotel The Sebel Reef House Spa Hotel 5 star
99 Williams Esplanade Palm Cove, Australia -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

This little boutique hotel is appealing in every way. Built in 1972 and originally a private residence, it has since been transformed into a comfortable hotel and a great place to stay. The limited number of guest rooms at the hotel makes it a great destination for a quiet and intimate break in peaceful surroundings. You won't find any music or organised entertainment here either, so the only thing likely to disturb your rest and relaxation is the birdsong! Sebel Reef House is a great place for couples looking for a short break and many guests come back year after year.

  • Well located
  • Gastronomy
  • Charm
  • Flight
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    Location 8.68 /10

    The establishment is located at the heart of the small seaside resort of Palm Cove, with a variety of shops and restaurants on either side and a public beach just across the road. Cairns airport is just under a 20 minute drive away.

    Accommodation 7.70 /10

    The hotel's 69 guest rooms are found in a single white building surrounding the swimming pool. Since the hotel isn't very big, the views from the rooms aren't particularly good, unless you go for a room on the top floor.If you are on the ground floor though, you will be right by the water's edge. All of the rooms have a small furnished balcony with a hot tub. Inside, the decor is basic but everything is perfectly comfortable, with Paul Smith-style stripes bringing a touch of vibrancy to the room. As for the amenities, you'll have no cause for complaint, with a television, a safe, and a minibar provided for your convenience, and room service available during the day.

    Overview 6.70 /10

    The Sebel Reef House is well-established along the seafront promenade and has a small, basic lobby featuring pleasant, modern decor and a very friendly staff. Beyond the reception lies the small bar where guests are entrusted with making a note themselves of what they have had, rather like being at home! Just opposite you'll notice a safety barrier surrounding the first pool, which itself is designed in the style of a lagoon with various nooks and crannies tucked away amid the vegetation. A rather limited number of deckchairs are dotted around the place. The second pool is far less charming but is great for swimming lengths.Of course, no stay at the Sebel Reef House would be complete without a visit to its spa. It may not look like anything special in terms of its decor, but Debbie, the manager, is certainly an expert masseuse and talent like hers is hard to come by! We would recommend you try the Aboriginal massage, which is a great way of relieving all your stress.

    Food and drink 8.70 /10

    The Reef House Restaurant is one of the best places for fine dining in Palm Cove. Breakfast is served here as a continental buffet but you can also choose from a selection of hot dishes à la carte. Various light meals are available at lunchtime, whereas the evening menu is more elaborate and hides a few pleasant surprises! The delightful cuisine served here incorporates a combination of international flavours. The risotto is of the same quality you would expect to find in Italy. Located on a terrace along the promenade facing the sea, the restaurant offers a lovely intimate setting with a soothing gentle sea breeze.If it's just some light refreshments you're after, head to the Brigadier Bar & Lounge or the Poolside Cafe.


    The Sebel Reef is located opposite the superb Palm Cove beach, just across the seafront promenade. Given the length and width of the beach, you will have no problem finding some space! There are no particular facilities provided for hotel guests but there are plenty of trees providing shelter from the sun. The fine sand and clear water are perfect for swimming. Do bear in mind, though, that during the wet season, and along the entire coast of Queensland, the Coral Sea is infested with tiny jellyfish that it is best to stay away from. Having said that, a section of the coastline has been netted off to create an area where it is safe to swim.

    To know

    Diving enthusiasts will be delighted to know the Great Barrier Reef is only an hour and a half away by boat.


    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, beauty salon, keep fit, spa, Turkish bath, wellness

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      beach volley, water-polo, fitness

    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Meeting room


    • The friendly ambience
    • The therapists at the spa
    • The cuisine


    • The lack of sports facilities
    • The proximity of the balconies to one another
    • The limited number of deckchairs

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10