Pullman International Hotel in Cairns, Australia

SDCairns Hotels › Pullman International Review
Updated: January 4, 2022

• Location: Abbott Street, in the center of downtown Cairns, close to the esplanade.
• Hotel website: pullmancairnsinternational.com.au
• Hotel phone: +61 (0)7 4031 1300
Check prices for Pullman International

Review of Pullman International hotel.

The freeform outdoor pool at Pullman International hotel in downtown Cairns.

Pullman International – Spacious, sumptuous, and ideal inner-city position so close to amenities.

The exterior of Cairns’ first five-star looks a little outdated, but the lobby is surprisingly opulent and oozes a tropical-colonial atmosphere rare among competing hotels. All rooms and suites are substantial and beautifully furnished, while views of the sea and streets from each balcony are better than most hotels because of its height and lack of neighboring high-rises. The pool is pleasingly large and surrounded by flourishing gardens, and also offers impressive views. Best of all, it’s so convenient to all the attractions and amenities along the Esplanade and city streets. Also, guests continually rave about the friendly staff.

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Pullman International – The Location

  • Address: 17 Abbott Street.
  • Area: In the more tourist-oriented part of the city center, with so many amenities close by.
  • How to Get There: The only option to/from the Cairns Airport (7km) is by Cairns Taxis. See below for information about buses and trains.
  • Handy to: Casino. Terminal for boat trips around the Great Barrier Reef.

Pullman International – The Basics

  • Guests: Mix of business and holiday travelers, and some families.
  • Pets: Not permitted.
  • Views: Each room features a small balcony providing unobstructed views. Those to the front face the inlet and sea, while rooms at the back overlook the quiet streets.
  • Kitchen: The one-only Presidential Suite has a kitchenette.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: The Presidential Suite features a jacuzzi bath.
  • Parking: Self and valet parking at indoor and outdoor private areas for a daily fee.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +61 (0)7 4031 1300
  • Email: H8772@accor.com
  • Website: pullmancairnsinternational.com.au

Pullman International – Amenities

  • Pool: Outdoors, large, and so likably tropical. Gardens, sundeck, and jacuzzi attached.
  • Spa: Within a vast area, Vie Spa provides saunas, massages, special treatments for men, and great-value packages for all.
  • Fitness Center: Reasonable size that should please most gym-goers.
  • Other Facilities: Babysitting. Laundry/dry-cleaning. Currency exchange. Business services. Tours arranged. Car hire.

Pullman International – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant & Bar: Just around a corner from the reception desk, Coco’s Kitchen + Bar opens for lunch and dinner. Focus on seafood, but the menu also caters nicely for children and vegetarians. The Lobby Bar is popular among locals and tourists for cocktails and High Tea.
  • Breakfast: Not normally included, but this depends on the type of room and how it was booked.
  • Room Service: Available 24/7.

Pullman International – Rooms

  • Room Types: City Mountain View Rooms • Harbour View Rooms • Premium Harbour View Rooms • Executive Suites • Presidential Suite (one only) • List of all rooms
  • Smoking Rooms: Unusually, smoking is allowed on the balconies of rooms on 3 particular levels. Check with management.
  • Best Room: The beautiful furnishings in the one-off Presidential Suite on the top floor include chandeliers. Also, a separate dining/living area, kitchenette, exquisite bathroom with a jacuzzi, and twin balconies offering sea views.
  • For Families: All types of accommodations can easily accommodate 3, and many rooms and suites also have connecting doors.

Pullman International – 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 at Cairns Electric Bikes, 300m around the corner on Wharf Street.
  • Buses: Services operated by Sunbus head to the lovely tropical beaches less than an hour away. The most convenient bus station is along Lake Street (700m). Greyhound Australia offers buses all over Queensland and the rest of Australia from near the Reef Fleet Terminal (400m).
  • 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 (400m). Book online, at any travel agency in downtown, or at the official booking office opposite the terminal.

Pullman International – What’s Nearby?

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

Best Nearby Restaurants

  • Piccolo Cucina – classy Italian cuisine and exquisite tropical-style setting with tables on a street-side veranda. Next to the hotel entrance.
  • Pullman Reef Hotel Casino – within the sister hotel and casino across the road are several options, including the sophisticated Tamarind Restaurant and competitively-priced Flinders Bar & Grill.
  • Dundee’s Restaurant on the Waterfront – along a delightful boardwalk 450m away. Waterside tables and top-class service for seafood, steaks, pastas, and salads. Another outlet attached to the Cairns Aquarium (see below) has a wall alongside a tank of marine life.
  • Boatshed – another gorgeous waterside bistro alongside Dundee’s. Focuses on seafood and especially popular for set-priced lunches.
  • Bushfire Flame Grill – award-winning Brazilian-inspired restaurant where waiters slice off as much meat as wanted from giant skewers. 300m towards the sea.

Best Nearby Bars

  • Barrier Reef Hotel – classic old-style Aussie pub in a heritage-listed building. So likably different to the resort bars. Good-value meals and friendly staff. Only 100m along Abbott Street.
  • P.J. O’Brien’s – huge, popular, and in a shady setting along a pedestrian street. Hearty meals, live music, and other nightly events. One block behind the hotel (500m).


  • About 250m along Abbott Street is the major Woolworths supermarket. About 500m via 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), 500m via Spence Street. Mostly fresh produce, but also souvenirs, live music, and food court. The massive Cairns Central shopping center is 1km from the hotel via Spence Street.

Nearby Attractions

  • Boat trips – from the Reef Fleet Terminal (400m), 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 – in the sister Pullman Reef Hotel, just across the street. 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 (600m). 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 about 1km 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.

Pullman International – The Hotel

The hotel is Cairn's first 5-star hotel.

As the first 5-star hotel in Cairns, Pullman International looks a little dated from the outside, but is modern throughout.

The hotel is located in a nice neighborhood.

The hotel is nicely positioned across a park from the water in a tourist-oriented section of the city center.

The entrance has a nice colonial vibe.

The entrance is sumptuous and exudes a tropical-colonial vibe surprisingly rare elsewhere in Cairns.

The lobby and cafe are opulent.

Despite the fairly outdated exterior, the lobby and café are opulent.

The Lobby Bar is very inviting.

The Lobby Bar is an inviting place for guests (and the public) to enjoy a drink.

Coco’s Kitchen + Bar serves good seafood.

Also at ground level of the hotel, Coco’s Kitchen + Bar is a bright and airy place for a meal, especially seafood.

The large pool has a wooden deck.

The pool is particularly large and surrounded by palms and a wooden deck.

Next to the pool is a jacuzzi.

Attached to the hotel pool is a jacuzzi under some palm trees.

Vie Spa offers a great range of treatments.

Within the hotel, Vie Spa provides an impressive range of treatments.

The gym is well-equipped.

The fitness center is well-equipped and should please most users.

Accommodations are spacious.

All rooms and suites are spacious and pleasantly furnished.

Accommodations have a tropical ambiance.

Every type of accommodation provides a tropical ambience surprisingly rare at similar hotels.

All rooms offer great views.

Because the hotel is so tall and not adjacent to other high-rise buildings, views from all rooms are extensive.

Piccolo Cucina is a nice Italian restaurant next door.

So inviting and with a tropical flair rarely found elsewhere, the Piccolo Cucina Italian restaurant is next to the hotel entrance.

The casino is very popular.

Just across the road, the sister hotel, the Pullman Reef, is home to the city’s only casino.

Tamarind Restaurant has a long wine list.

Inside the Pullman Reef Hotel, the very classy Tamarind Restaurant offers outstanding service and an extensive wine list.

Flinders Bar & Grill is good value.

Particularly good value is the Flinders Bar & Grill inside the casino just across the road from the Pullman Cairns International Hotel.

Dundee’s offers waterside seating.

One of several adorable bistros along a nearby boardwalk, Dundee’s offers a huge number of tables alongside the water.

Boatshed serves good seafood by the water.

Next to Dundee’s, Boatshed is another seafood restaurant that offers a superb position facing the Reef Fleet Terminal.

Bushfire Flame Grill is a meat lovers' heaven.

In the Pacific hotel nearby, the Brazilian-style Bushfire Flame Grill restaurant is ideal for meat lovers.

Barrier Reef Hotel is a great country pub.

Just along the street from the hotel is this classic country-style pub.

P.J. O’Brien’s is located on Shields Street.

Nicely positioned along a vehicle-free street 500m from the hotel, P.J. O’Brien’s is an inviting Irish pub.

Cairns Central shopping center is nearby.

An easy 10-minute from the hotel, the Cairns Central shopping center offers a massive range of places to spend and eat.

Cairns Night Markets has several souvenir stalls.

The Cairns Night Markets are a popular attraction.

Rusty’s Markets is vibrant and Asian-style.

Particularly vibrant are the Asian-style Rusty’s Markets open Friday to Sunday from about 6am.

Cairns is great for walking or cycling.

Walking and cycling is so pleasant around Cairns because the streets are flat and some are free of vehicles.

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

A path for walking and cycling extends about 3km from the hotel.

An agency nearby rents out bicycles.

Several places rent out bicycles including this agency, about 300m around the corner from the hotel.

Lagoon swimming pool is free for all.

Quite remarkable is the free public swimming pool called the Lagoon only a couple of minutes away.

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

Just down the street from the hotel is the Reef Fleet Terminal, where all sorts of boats leave daily for trips around the world’s greatest reef.

Cairns Aquarium is close by.

An easy walk from the hotel, the Cairns Aquarium is home to thousands of creatures, mostly from the Great Barrier Reef region.

Cairns is beautifully located by the water.

The center of Cairns is attractively positioned along a bay.

Palm Cove is about an hour away.

In lieu of any beaches in the city center, jump on a bus (1 hour) to the tropical paradise at Palm Cove. Check rates and availability: Pullman International

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