Bailey Hotel in Cairns, Australia

SDCairns Hotels › Bailey Review
Updated: January 4, 2022

• Location: Abbott Street, in the center of downtown Cairns, close to the esplanade.
• Hotel website:
• Hotel phone: +61 (0)7 4253 4000
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Review of Bailey Hotel in Cairns

The rooftop pool is one of two at the Bailey hotel on Abbott Street in downtown Cairns.

Bailey – One of the city’s newest hotels, it’s swish, arty, spacious, and convenient.

On a prominent corner only one block from the Esplanade, the Bailey is based in two distinctive green towers with cladding (that can obstruct views from the balconies). One tower contains spacious rooms with fashionable décor and all the mod-cons, while the other features apartments with kitchens, ideal for those staying a while. The Bailey is proudly chic, evidenced from the paintings along the walls of the rooms and corridors, as well as art tours and exhibitions within the hotel. Too distant for decent sea views, the Bailey does face a park of trees heaving with bats. These creepy creatures head to the hills each sunset – a remarkable sight best seen from the poolside Pachamama bistro. On the ground level is a world-class steakhouse, and there are plenty of other places to eat, drink, and shop nearby.

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Bailey – The Location

  • Address: 163 Abbot Street. On a corner, but actually facing Aplin Street.
  • Area: Pleasant area 100m from the Esplanade and surrounded by amenities. A few blocks from the more tourist-oriented section of the city center, so it’s quieter.
  • How to Get There: The only option to/from the Cairns Airport (6km) is by Cairns Taxis. See below for information about buses and trains.
  • Handy to: Bus station for northern beaches. Cairns Aquarium.

Bailey – The Basics

  • Guests: Would appeal mostly to couples, especially those on a romantic getaway, while the apartments would be great for families.
  • Pets: Not allowed.
  • Views: Wide-ranging views, especially from the higher floors, of the city streets, including the park over the road with trees full of bats. Too far, however, for proper water views.
  • Kitchen: The new apartments feature fully-equipped and very stylish kitchens.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: None, but not a surprise given the chic design and inner-city location.
  • Parking: Self and valet parking available for a daily fee.
  • How to Book: will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +61 (0)7 4253 4000
  • Email:
  • Website:

Bailey – Amenities

  • Pool: Small and possibly undersized. On an upper floor providing views of the park with bat-filled trees and alongside the Pachamama restaurant. Another pool in the apartment building.
  • Spa & Fitness Center: Not provided, but guests can use the stylish Eléme Day Spa in the sister Riley hotel 400m further along Abbott Street.
  • Other: Free movies in each room/apartment.

Bailey – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants & Bars: CC’s Bar and Grill – new, stylish, and pricey steakhouse with meat from the hotel’s own outback cattle station; some aged for a unique almost-nutty flavor. Extensive wine list, excellent service, and very popular, so book ahead. • Pachamama – relaxing open-air bistro alongside the pool. Specializes in tasty Latina cuisine and popular for sangrias. At ‘bat o’clock’ (sunset), hundreds of the winged creatures veer to the hills from a park easily seen across the road. • Milk Bar – fun-filled 1970’s-style café/shop selling the sort of sweets, ice creams, and drinks not available these days. Also, light meals.
  • Breakfast: Can be included depending on the type of room and how it was booked, but usually an extra cost. Served at CC’s (see above).
  • Room Service: Available 24/7.

Bailey – Rooms

  • Room Types: Urban Room • Urban Master Room • Urban Family Room (2 connecting rooms) • Apartments • List of all rooms
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking allowed anywhere within the hotel.
  • Best Room: The Urban Master Rooms are spacious and more likely to offer finer views from higher floors.
  • For Families: All rooms can fit in an extra single bed, while some have connecting doors and are called Family Rooms. Better are the apartments with kitchens.

Bailey – Local Transport

  • Walking & Cycling: Cairns is so compact and wonderful for walking. Cycling is also popular along a path that extends about 3km alongside the water. Bikes can be rented from the sister Riley hotel about 400m down Abbott Street.
  • Buses: Services operated by Sunbus head to the lovely tropical beaches less than an hour away. A bus station is only 300m, around the corner on Lake Street. Greyhound Australia offers buses all over Queensland and the rest of Australia from near the Reef Fleet Terminal (850m).
  • Trains: Running between Cairns and Brisbane 5 times a week, the Spirit of Queensland is one of Australia’s most spectacular train services. Just as amazing – and far shorter – are the daily trips on the Kuranda Scenic Railway. All trains use the terminal (1km) attached to the Cairns Central shopping center (see below).
  • Taxis & Ride-shares: Best to book ahead for Cairns Taxis. Uber also operates as far as Port Douglas.
  • Car Rental: Most internationally-known agencies (and several locally-run ones) offer rentals, including Avis and Hertz.
  • Boats: All sorts of boats for sightseeing, diving, fishing, and sailing depart from the Reef Fleet Terminal, 850m away. Book online, at any travel agency in downtown, or at the official booking office opposite the terminal.

Bailey – What’s Nearby?

Almost every restaurant and café in Cairns is licensed to serve alcohol.

Best Nearby Restaurants

  • Fishpoint – on a corner opposite the hotel, this is new and great value. Locally-caught seafood including oysters, prawns, and crabs cooked with exotic tropical flavors.
  • Outback Jacks Bar & Grill – on another corner across from the Bailey, it’s always busy with lovers of grilled meats and cold beers. Stuffed crocodile on the wall above the Aussie-style bar.
  • Villa Romana Trattoria – delightful corner position on the Esplanade 200m away. Large portions of contemporary Italian fare at pleasing prices.
  • Cairns RSL Club Esplanade – along the Esplanade (350m), this war vets club is open to all. Well-priced drinks and meals in a quiet setting overlooking the waterside park and war memorial.
  • Riley and Flynn – guests at the Bailey can eat/drink at the two sister hotels, Riley and the brand-new Flynn, and charge costs to the bill at the Bailey. (Riley is 400m down Abbott Street; Flynn about 300m along the Esplanade.)

Best Nearby Bar

  • Rattle ‘N Hum – as popular with locals as tourists for its esplanade setting, garden seating, and daily specials (especially pizzas). About 400m.

Nearby Shops

    About 200m along Abbott Street are the Cairns Night Markets. Open every day, with souvenir stalls (from 5pm) and cafés (from 10am), they are a bit of a tourist trap. More vibrant is the Asian-style Rusty’s Markets (open from early, Friday to Sunday), 750m behind the hotel. Mostly fresh produce, but also souvenirs, live music, and food court. The massive Cairns Central shopping center is 750m down Aplin Street.

Nearby Attractions

  • Boat trips – from the Reef Fleet Terminal (850m), all sorts of organized trips are available – whether diving/snorkeling, fishing, sailing, water-sports, or whale-watching among the most extraordinary coral reefs on the planet. Others just swim, snorkel, hike, or dine at Fitzroy Island or Green Island – both only 45 minutes one-way by boat.
  • Casino – smaller than some, but no less popular and vibrant. All sorts of gambling available, as well as live music and inexpensive bars and bistros for all. Easy to spot, 800m away.
  • Lagoon – in lieu of any beaches in the city, this massive open-air swimming pool is along the Esplanade (400m). Surrounded by shady lawns with free barbecue facilities. Open from about 6am to 9pm daily. Free entry.
  • Cairns Aquarium – the city’s newest attraction is just 200m along Abbott Street. Among the 15,000 marine creatures are giant sawfish, hammerhead sharks, and turtles, as well as crocs, frogs, and snakes unique to the region. Open daily.
  • Beaches – some will be disappointed that the coastline within Cairns is swampy and muddy. Thankfully, perfect tropical beaches – Trinity Beach, Kewarra Beach, and Palm Cove – all with plenty of places to eat, drink, shop, and stay can be found within an hour north by local bus. Note the warning signs about stingers (jellyfish) and even crocodiles.

Bailey – The Hotel

The hotel has a striking green color.

With its distinctive colors and chic design, the Bailey dominates a corner one block from the Esplanade.

The hotel has 2 towers.

The tower to the left is full of hotel rooms; the other one contains apartments.

The hotel is very fashionable.

The design throughout the Bailey is fashionable.

The guest lounge is very chic.

The guest lounge in front of the lobby is indicative of the tropical and arty style all over the hotel.

Guests can use the Eléme Day Spa at Riley hotel.

There is no spa at the Bailey, but guests (and the public) can visit the excellent Eléme Day Spa at the sister Riley hotel.

Both towers have pools.

The pool in the tower with hotel rooms is small but serviceable. Another pool is in the second tower.

Pachamama offers Latina cuisine.

Alongside the hotel pool, the Pachamama is popular for its Latina cuisine and sangrias.

Pachamama offers great views.

Tables at the Pachamama bistro at the hotel provide extensive views across the city streets.

Milk Bar is a great hangout.

At street-level under the hotel, Milk Bar offers light meals as well as great old-fashioned drinks, ice-creams, and sweets.

Milk Bar is old-style.

Milk Bar evokes memories of the old-style milk bars (or delis) which have almost disappeared these days.

CC’s Bar and Grill is world class.

On the ground floor of the hotel is the world-class steakhouse, CC’s Bar and Grill.

CC’s Bar and Grill serves matured meat.

Some meats offered at CC’s Bar and Grill are left to mature, creating a significantly different taste.

Breakfast is served at CC’s Bar and Grill.

Breakfast is available, usually for an extra cost, at CC’s Bar and Grill on the ground floor of the hotel.

Rooms are colorful.

All rooms feature a colorful and fashionable décor.

Each room has a balcony.

Each room has a small balcony, some facing the park across the street.

The new apartments are ideal for families.

Opened in mid-2020, the apartments in a tower separate to the hotel are ideal for families and those staying a while.

The apartments have modern kitchens.

The brand new apartments feature state-of-the-art kitchens.

Higher floors offer expansive views.

Views from the higher floors extend across the city to as far as the mountains.

Villa Romana serves great Italian fare.

Very popular for its Italian food at reasonable prices is Villa Romana, only 200m from the hotel.

Laguna Tapas and Wine Bar is very popular.

Particularly appealing among several eateries along the Esplanade is Laguna Tapas and Wine Bar.

Fishpoint serves great seafood.

Just across the road from the hotel, Fishpoint is the place to try local seafood.

Outback Jacks is known for its grilled meats.

Also on a corner opposite the hotel, Outback Jacks is popular for its grilled meats.

Paper Crane restaurant is stylish.

Worth a 3-minute walk is the stylish Paper Crane restaurant at the sister Riley hotel.

The rooftop bar at Riley is the highest in Cairns.

The highest rooftop bar in Cairns is at the Riley hotel, part of the same company that runs the Bailey.

Rattle ‘N Hum bar & grill is very popular.

Another fabulous place for a drink and to meet some locals is the Rattle ‘N Hum bar and grill along the Esplanade.

Rusty’s Markets is vibrant and Asian-style.

Vibrant and good-value, Rusty’s Markets is a few blocks back from the hotel.

Cairns Night Markets has several souvenir stalls.

Close to the Bailey is an entrance to the night markets, packed with souvenir stalls and cheap eateries.

Cairns Central shopping center is nearby.

The massive Cairns Central shopping center is about 750m from the hotel.

The casino is very popular.

An attraction for some is the casino, easy to find at the end of the Esplanade.

Boat trips to the Great Barrier Reef depart from the Reef Fleet Terminal.

From the Reef Fleet Terminal, less than 1km from the Bailey, all sorts of boats leave daily for trips around the Great Barrier Reef.

A 3km-long walking and cycling path stretches by the water.

Ideal for walking and cycling, this 3km-long path stretches alongside the water.

Bicycles can be rented from Riley hotel.

Bicycles are a terrific way to get around and can be rented from the Riley, the sister hotel 400m from the Bailey.

Lagoon swimming pool is free for all.

Along the esplanade (400m) is the remarkable Lagoon swimming pool, open and free for the public to use.

Bats flying to the mountains in the evening are fascinating to watch.

Several trees in a park across from the hotel are filled with bats. They glide to the hills at sunset, creating an amazing spectacle from some hotel windows.

Cairns Aquarium is close by.

Conveniently within walking distance of the Bailey is the marvellous Cairns Aquarium.

The sister Riley hotel is close by.

About 400m down the Esplanade from the Bailey, the sister Riley hotel is based in several whitewashed buildings and a distinctive glass tower.

Palm Cove is about an hour away.

Cairns has no beaches, so take a public bus to the divine Palm Cove. Check rates and availability: Bailey

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