The Riley, The Tropi-Chic Hotel at the Doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef

All Images credit the Crystalbrook Collection

When we think of a chic beachfront resort overlooking a sparkling azure ocean with and those enviable toned and tanned bodies lazing about a sexy pool scene, the first location that would come to mind would be Miami, Santorini, or perhaps Ibiza. Well, this scene could not be further away from South Beach and is in fact in the northeastern most region of Australia and at the Riley, Crystalbrook Collection Resort Cairns. 

Cairns is located in Australia’s tropical north and is the doorway to the country’s most prized possession, the Great Barrier Reef. Here is the jumping point for exploring the reef for an underwater safari to see the kaleidoscope of colorful corals, and brilliantly colored fish. 

The town of Cairns itself is a great place to spend a few days with plenty of day trips to snorkel or scuba dive the reefs. Beyond the reef, the town offers luxury boutiques  and leafy parks with boardwalks for a walk along the shore. The Riley's location is centrally located along the bustling Esplanade which, a la Miami’s Ocean Drive, offers alfresco cafes and restaurants, bars, and tourist shops.  

The poshest hotel in Cairns is The Riley. The five star hotel is the place to see and be seen and is also known for its most recognizable feature, a 12-floor glass cylindrical tower that permeates the skyline. Once inside guests will be taken aback by its open air lobby with a soaring atrium replete with dangling artwork and comfy sitting areas. The pièce de résistance is the uber-sexy pool scene around the lake sized lagoon-style pool with palm trees, cabanas, and chaise lounges under canvas umbrellas. The pool is actually made of three areas with a lap pool, infinity-edge pool, and large jacuzzi for couples and areas for families with a beach-like sand fringed wading area. 

The 311 rooms of the tropical retreat range from cozy rooms to palatial suites. Their most coveted accommodations are the Panoramic Sea rooms in the tower with floor to ceiling windows offering an uninterrupted view of the sea and shore. Throughout the day, you will see the reef boats coming back to the marina with guests returning from their underwater adventures.

The interiors are chic, well-appointed with clean contemporary designs and furnishings.  Accommodations feature the latest technology including the Apple iPad Control Centre, 55” HD Smart TV,  complimentary movies, and a Nespresso coffee machine.   

When it's time to come down from the glass tower, there are plenty of places to nosh or bend the elbow around the hotel. The Paper Crane is their all-day dining venue that faces the esplanade; an ideal place for people watching and taking in the views while having your breakfast or lunch alfresco. In the evening, the mood and menu transform to a tony Asian restaurant offering an eclectic mix menu with Thai to Japanese.  

For their most spectacular venue, guests need not leave the tower and instead ascend to the rooftop for the city’s tallest restaurant and lounge. Rocco’s is an uber-stylish bar providing Moroccan and Mediterranean-style tapas and sharing plates with an extensive wine list and sophisticated signature cocktails. Several nights a week live music plays with a talented local band that creates a sultry place to enjoy a hip and happening evening. 

There is plenty to do around the hotel from whiling away the day at the pool or for some deeper relaxation at their Eleme Day Spa. Guests will want to take advantage of their complimentary bikes to explore the area for a ride through town or along with the coastline parks.

The Riley is part of the Crystalbrook Collection of hotels which are quickly growing in the number of properties and loyal followers. This forward-thinking brand of hotels appeals to today's savvy and discerning traveler seeking hotels that are high in style, amenities, and lifestyle privileges. The brand recently opened its second Cairns hotel, The Bailey, a two-tower hotel with world-class dining and inspiring artwork throughout. For the discerning traveler seeking a five-star chic retreat at the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef, look no further than The Riley, Crystalbrook Collection Resort Cairns.

Glenn Harris

Glenn Harris is an accomplished journalist focusing on international travel, fine dining, and luxury lifestyle events. His wanderlust has taken him to over 105 countries where he is constantly straying off the beaten path uncovering new and exotic finds. He particularly enjoys seeking out lesser known travel gems and places to stay, dine, or experiences to capture. ...(Read More)

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