Nothing says adventure like James Bond. And nothing says Bond like a casino. Thus if you’re looking for adventure the perfect place to stay in Cairns is the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino.
Your journey starts with a chauffeur holding a board with your name on it as you step from tarmac surrounds back into the world. Your car is a glossy Audi complete with cool water and a friendly chat.
You arrive at the Pullman Reef Hotel and Casino suitably refreshed. Here you find a laid back warmth typical of Queensland hospitality, more refreshments and then a lift ride to a room that opens out to a wrap-around verandah. Your view is one overlooking bobbing yachts on the Trinity inlet framed by Tahitian style mountains and lush mangroves.
Yet it’s not just the vast bedroom that has this tropical view. As you wander into the spa bath room and open up the plantation shutters you find you can luxuriate in a bath filled with bubbles and gaze across nature, martini glass in hand. The bathroom is the mark of a great five star hotel and what more could you ask for here? Perhaps a knock at the door from Pierce Brosnan would complete the picture and the staff is so willing to help, they may just try and organise if he was in town. Sadly he’s not.
If he were you could share your fruit bowl bursting with colours so bright they should be in Mensa. Mango, passionfruit, dragonfruit, strawberries, lychees and jackfruit have mint leaves strategically placed to maximise the hue. There’s an inviting bowl of Badoit mineral waters – a divine touch for this French owned hotel. The martini is just a dial away.
Tonight you’re dining on the balcony set up with a table dressed and waiting with its virginal white cloth. The evening is balmy with a cleansing touch of rain which you expect in the tropics. It comes with a cooler breeze and inspiration to sit outside and sup on the view.
The waiters arrive like a ballet troupe delicately placing the cutlery and crockery on the table. They’re polite. They’re friendly. You can tell from their smile that they love living here, working here even.
They present your food delicately, explaining the dish, topping up your wine glass, your water. You feel like a film star as you’re waited upon in your private suite. You want to extend this feeling but finally your tea arrives and your chocolates. You know you couldn’t fit in another bite. Not even a Sauternes. You have plans for the casino. A spot of Black Jack but you’ve never played. Roulette perhaps? But no. You stay in your room content and full knowing that there are no Russian spies needing to be questioned. You don your fluffy robe, sink into your comfortable bed and turn on the television still feeling the elegance of having had an incredible evening. You finish it off with a spot of magic as Voldemort is yet again defeated.
In the morning you awake. Your bathing suit is tucked in your suitcase awaiting a chance to be pulled out after a long Sydney winter. You head up to the swimming pool set on the roof top. The views are just as impressive from the summit. You could be in Bora Bora, Vanuatu or Hawaii with the balmy air, the mountains and the smell of salt in the air.
You pop your toe into the pool. You smile. The water is warm enough to dive in all at once. A few laps and you’re ready for breakfast at the Tamarind. The air-conditioning is cold. You can sit outside in the Cairns heat but you relish the cool. An almond chai latte is brought to your table. Hot and frothy. The way you like it. There’s an extensive buffet or an a la carte menu. The waitress is chatty and pleasant like all the staff here. You stay until it’s almost time for breakfast to close having just one more almond chai latte. Then it’s time to pack for the airport where your Jetstar business class seat to Osaka awaits.
You wish you had more time to stay here. To go to the casino. To do the day tours of the reef. The Daintree. The Tablelands. But you know you’ll be back. One night at the Pullman is not enough.
Nicole Lenoir-Jourdan stayed as a guest of the Pullman and Jetstar.
Pullman Reef Hotel Casino, 35 – 41 Wharf Street, PO Box 7320, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia.