Port Douglas Travel Guide
Hotel videos are all the rage this week, but we still haven't found too many that we actually like. And while we thought that the promo videos from the Hilton Caribbean hotels were pretty average, we've unfortunately found a variety of hotel YouTube efforts that are worse.
Our problem with the Hilton Caribbean promo vids was that they were so, well, promotional. But in retrospect, we liked the fact that the Hilton Caribbean videos actually featured video. The waves rolled, the palm trees blew in the wind and there were real live people walking around.
If you turn your attention to a hotel video like the one just featured on the Rydges Blog for the Rydges Sabaya Resort Port Douglas in Queensland, Australia--although in fact, we don't really recommend giving it too much attention--you'll see a lot of similarities to other videos, except that there's nothing actually moving. It's just a bunch of still photography that's zoomed in and out a bit to give the feeling that it was worth making it into a video, but in fact it's even duller than the hotel videos we already labeled dull.
Which is a pity, because we think the Rydges Sabaya Resort is actually a nice place. We recommend trying it in person (room rates start at US$230 a night) rather than living the torture of the video. And we put out the call once more for hotels to make interesting promo videos. Please.
If you want to go to Bali but are nervous about bird flu, go to Australia instead: the Rydges Sabaya Resort Port Douglas is like a piece of Bali in Queensland. It's just had a multi-million dollar redevelopment and labels itself a Balinese-style resort, and looks like a pretty relaxing place to stay.
The redevelopment has resort rooms and one and two bedroom apartments, all with a private balcony, flat screen TV, internet access, toaster and microwave, and the apartments also have refrigerators, hotplates and a dining area.
If you're really looking to explore Port Douglas, then the Rydges Sabaya might not be for you, as it's a good half-hour walk into the town, or a struggle with the shuttle bus (which apparently sometimes fills up!). But if you want a resort where you've got everything you need in the one place and are happy to sit by the pool, then it's your kind of place.
The Rydges Sabaya has quite a lot of package specials on, much like going to Bali: for example, you can choose from 5 nights for the price of 4, or 7 nights for the price of 6. There are also packages including excursions to the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef for a complete Queensland experience.
· Don't Play With Chickens in Bali [Jaunted]
· Hotels in Port Douglas [HotelChatter]
The lodge won the 2006 TripAdvisor's Traveler's Choice for Best Luxury in the South Pacific and it's not hard to understand why. From our tipster:
Each room is a private bungalow on stilts, with meandering paths to the main building housing a restaurant and a lounge. There no doors, no windows (on the main house) Great pool area.
The reviews on TripAdvisor are also stellar with several saying the pool are is one of the best they have ever seen. And there's actually two pools here. The main pool has waterfalls, spas and grottos which overlook the ocean. A smaller more intimate pool is located among the hotel's gardens for a quieter experience.
Everything about Thala looks good to us--the private beach experience, the friendly staff, the anti-mega-resort feel, the proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and the nature that envelopes it--yet some of the decor throws us off. We are seeing some seat cushions on their website that have fluorescent colors from 1988. It reminds us too much of our Jams heyday.
· Thala Beach Lodge reviews [TripAdvisor]