Pullman Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns

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Updated: February 12, 2021

Essentials
• Location: Wharf Street, in the center of downtown Cairns, close to the esplanade.
• Hotel website: all.accor.com
• Hotel phone: +61 (0)7 4030 8888
Check prices on Booking.com

Review of Pullman Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns

Pullman Reef Hotel Casino in downtown Cairns.

Pullman Reef Hotel Casino – So convenient, quiet, and luxurious – much more than just a casino hotel.

The overall décor and design are likably old-fashioned and chic, and the Pullman is as vibrant and colorful as expected of a hotel with a casino in the tropics. All accommodations are sizable and feature a tropical design and spa baths, while the corner suites with wrap-around balconies offer some of Cairns’ finest views. As well as the large pool and gym, there are also (within the unmistakable dome above the casino) Cairns ZOOM, for zip-lining, and the Wildlife Dome, packed with Australian animals and birds. Within a minute’s walk are the Tourist Information Centre and a shady park with an adventure playground – but, of course, some stay mainly for the casino.

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Pullman Reef Hotel Casino – The Location

    Address: 35-41 Wharf Street, Cairns. (Wharf Street soon becomes the Esplanade as it heads northwest along the sea, away from the cruise-ship terminal.) The hotel is also accessible via an entrance to the casino along Abbott Street.
    Area: Quietly positioned within the more tourist-oriented section of the city center. Close to all the amenities and attractions in downtown and alongside the water.

  • 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 Reef Hotel Casino – The Basics

  • Guests: As well as those who enjoy the casino, the Pullman attracts families and couples on holidays as well as business people.
  • Pets: Not permitted.
  • Views: Most rooms feature balconies overlooking the city streets and/or park across the road, with the mountains or sea in the background.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Each room has a spa bath, which is not a jacuzzi but rather a bathtub with water spouts.
  • Parking: Self and valet parking for a fee indoors and out.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +61 (0)7 4030 8888
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: all.accor.com

Pullman Reef Hotel Casino – Amenities

  • Pool: Outdoor and large, with jacuzzi attached. On the rooftop, so the views are impressive.
  • Spa: Not provided, but not unexpected for a hotel in the city center.
  • Fitness Center: Good size, with all the latest gear. Sauna attached.
  • The Reef Hotel Casino: This self-described ‘boutique casino’ is not as large as some, but offers more than enough to satisfy. Everyone can enjoy the entertainment and well-priced meals and drinks inside.
  • Wildlife Dome: Remarkably, within the curved roof of the casino is a collection of koalas and birds, and even a crocodile, within an indoor rainforest. Perfect chance for guests (and the public) to admire some unique wildlife without leaving the city.
  • Cairns ZOOM: Sharing the same space as all the birds within the Wildlife Dome (see above), these rope-courses and zip-lines (including one over the crocodile enclosure) are very popular.
  • For Families: Baby-sitting. Wildlife Dome and Cairns ZOOM.
  • Other Facilities: Laundry/dry-cleaning. Cash machine. Currency exchange. Beauty/hairdressing salon. Business center. Tours arranged.

Pullman Reef Hotel Casino – Food and Drink

    These places are within the hotel or casino complex.

  • Restaurants: Tamarind Restaurant – award-winning Asian cuisine with the freshest possible ingredients, an extended wine list, and excellent service. Only open for dinner and bookings recommended. Entrance along Abbott Street. • Flinders Bar & Grill – popular bistro inside the casino offering tempting daily specials, including mouth-watering steaks. • Merchant Artisan Food & Coffee – relaxing meeting spot with comfy seating. Open for breakfast and lunch, but closes earlier on weekends. • Café China Seafood Restaurant – spacious, long-established, and award-winning restaurant offering yum cha and super-fresh seafood. Also, an extra-long wine list and impeccable service. • Café China Noodle Bar – inside the beautifully converted former Customs House. More than just noodles, it’s great value and takeaway is available.
  • Bars: Lihou Bar – cocktails, extended wine list, and happy hours from late afternoon to the very early morning. Mainly for those gambling. • Casino Sports Arena – on the second floor, it offers endless international sports and free movies on mega-screens, enhanced by a state-of-the-art sound system and plush seats. • BAR36 – at the casino entrance and open from late afternoon. Chic place to socialize. Meals available and live music most nights.
  • Breakfast: Available for an extra cost, but can be included depending on the type of room and how it was booked.
  • Room Service: Available 24 hours.

Pullman Reef Hotel Casino – Rooms

  • Room Types: Superior Rooms • Deluxe Rooms • Junior Suites • Exclusive Suites • Presidential Suites • List of all rooms
  • Smoking Rooms: Unusually, smoking is allowed, but only on the balconies of rooms on the third floor.
  • Best Room: The top-of-the-range Presidential Suites feature balconies alongside the many floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as spa baths and particularly spacious living areas.
  • For Families: All rooms and suites can fit in extra single beds. Otherwise, book 2 rooms with connecting doors.

Pullman Reef Hotel Casino – 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, opposite the Wharf Street entrance to the casino.
  • 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 (300m).
  • 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 just 300m away. Book online, at any travel agency in downtown, or at the official booking office opposite the terminal.

Pullman Reef Hotel Casino – What’s Nearby?

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

Best Nearby Restaurants

  • Wharf One Cairns – delightfully set along the wharf 150m away, it offers light meals, tapas, and all sorts of drinks from early morning. Fabulous spot to watch the cruise ships come and go.
  • Hemingway’s Brewery Cairns Wharf – magnificent position in a heritage-listed building alongside the cruise-ship terminal (200m). Vast amount of seating inside and out, extensive menu, and a famous micro-brewery.
  • Dundee’s Restaurant on the Waterfront – one of several along a boardwalk barely 200m from the hotel. 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. 200m along Wharf Street.

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. Less than 200m along Abbott Street.
  • Rattle ‘N Hum Cairns – as popular with locals as tourists for its esplanade setting, garden seating, and daily specials (especially pizzas). About 400m along Wharf Street (which becomes the Esplanade).

Nearby Shops

  • About 200m 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), 600m from the hotel. Mostly fresh produce, but also souvenirs, live music, and food court. The massive Cairns Central shopping center is 1km via Spence Street.

Nearby Attractions

  • Boat trips – from the Reef Fleet Terminal (300m), 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.
  • Lagoon – in lieu of any beaches in the city, this massive open-air swimming pool is 400m away, along the Esplanade. 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 via 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 Reef Hotel Casino – The Hotel

The hotel is in the city center.

The hotel and attached casino are in a quiet part of the city center, opposite a park with a free adventure playground.

The boat terminal is opposite the hotel.

The hotel is just across the street from the terminal used for cruise ships. (The terminal will move about 200m north up the inlet.)

The hotel has a likable decor.

The overall design of the hotel, including the lobby area, is a likable combination of fashionable and old-fashioned.

The casino entrance is very colorful.

The entrance to the casino from the hotel lobby is very colorful. (Scenes of the ‘marine life’ move and change to other themes.)

Merchant Artisan café sells cakes and coffees.

Between the hotel lobby and casino entrance, the cute Merchant Artisan café sells a range of coffees, cakes, and homemade produce.

Café China Seafood Restaurant is also in the lobby.

Also between the hotel lobby and casino entrance is the spacious and popular Café China Seafood Restaurant.

Tamarind Restaurant is particularly classy.

Within the hotel building but only accessible along Abbott Street, the Tamarind Restaurant is particularly classy.

BAR36 offers live music nights.

Open daily from late afternoon, BAR36 is popular for its live music on most nights.

Flinders Bar & Grill offers good value meals and drinks.

Within the casino, but available to anyone, the Flinders Bar & Grill offers well-priced meals and drinks.

Café China Noodle Bar has 2 entrances.

Inside this colonial-era building, the Café China Noodle Bar has an entrance from the street and within the hotel/casino complex.

The rooftop pool is inviting.

The pool on the rooftop is well-sized and inviting.

The gym is well-equipped.

The fitness center provides enough equipment to satisfy most.

Accommodations have a tropical design.

All rooms and suites feature an agreeable tropical-style design.

Corner suites offer great views.

Some suites are on a corner and provide some of the finest views in the city from the wrap-around balconies.

Suites have jacuzzis.

Even the jacuzzis in the suites offer superb views.

The suite layout and furniture are fabulous.

The spacious layout and tropical-style furnishings within the suites are fantastic.

Corner suites have maximum windows.

The suites, especially those on a corner, feature optimum floor-to-ceiling windows.

Wharf One Cairns is a laidback cafe.

Close to the hotel, the laidback Wharf One Cairns café is the perfect place to watch the cruise ships come and go.

Hemingway’s Brewery Cairns Wharf has a great micro-brewery.

Just past the Wharf One café is Hemingway’s, a famous restaurant, bar, and micro-brewery.

Boatshed serves great seafood.

One of the finest of several seafood cafes along a boardwalk just 200m from the hotel is Boatshed.

Dundee’s is known for its seafood and steaks.

Near the Boatshed restaurant, Dundee’s is famous for its seafood, steaks, and pastas.

Bushfire Flame Grill is a meat lovers' heaven.

Just 200m along Wharf Street from the hotel, Bushfire Flame Grill is an experience not to be missed.

The Barrier Reef Hotel pub is old-style.

Only a 2-minute stroll from the Pullman, this pub is typical of those found in outback towns across Queensland.

Rattle ‘N Hum bar & grill is very popular.

Worth a short walk along the Esplanade from the hotel is the Rattle ‘N Hum bar and grill.

Cairns Central shopping center is nearby.

Only 1km along Spence Street from the Pullman is the massive Cairns Central shopping center.

Cairns Night Markets has several souvenir stalls.

Popular among visitors are the night markets 400m down Abbott Street from the hotel.

Rusty’s Markets is vibrant and Asian-style.

Particularly vibrant is the Asian-style Rusty’s Markets, open early on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Cairns ZOOM is located in the dome of the casino.

Remarkably, within the dome on top of the casino, Cairns ZOOM offers a range of rope-courses and zip-lines.

It is within an indoor rainforest.

It is within an indoor rainforest on the roof of the casino.

It shares space with the Wildlife Dome.

Cairns ZOOM shares space with the Wildlife Dome, home to Goliath, a sleepy locally-caught crocodile.

Cairns is beautifully located by the water.

The city center is beautifully positioned along a bay.

Lagoon swimming pool is free for all.

There is no beach in Cairns. Instead, a free public swimming pool called the Lagoon is along the esplanade about 400m from the hotel.

An agency nearby rents out bicycles.

The best way to explore the city is by bicycle. This agency is directly across the road from the main entrance to the casino.

Shields Street is an attractive vehicle-free street.

The city center is flat and the layout easy to navigate, so walking and cycling is very pleasant, especially along vehicle-free Shields Street.

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

From the Reef Fleet Terminal 300m from the hotel, boats leave daily for trips around the Great Barrier Reef.

Cairns Aquarium is close by.

An easy walk along Abbott Street from the hotel, the Cairns Aquarium is home to thousands of creatures from the magnificent reef nearby.

Palm Cove is about an hour away.

About an hour from the hotel by public bus is the perfect tropical beach at Palm Cove.

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