Our family’s stay at the Bailey hotel in Cairns was highly anticipated as we were meant to be there earlier in the year but had to cancel due to COVID travel restrictions. With a central CBD location just around the corner from the Esplanade and swimming lagoon, we were perfectly placed to enjoy everything Cairns had to offer and couldn’t wait to check in. Crystalbrook Collection’s Bailey offers the best of both worlds with a choice of hotel rooms and apartments in the one complex. For our family of two adults and a teen, a two bedroom apartment was the perfect choice for our three-night stay.
Bailey is easy to find when you’re driving into Cairns. Just look for the large green building in the heart of the city, head towards it and you’ll be there in no time. The soft green colour of Bailey reflects the eco-focus of the hotel and Cairns’ tropical landscape. Bailey features Australian artwork, with many pieces created by Indigenous artists, and has 255 guest rooms and residences, three restaurants and bars, meeting spaces, a rooftop mezzanine plunge pool and a 24-hour fitness centre.
It was easy to pull into the hotel’s dedicated drive through for check in and there was parking under the building which made things easy with our hire car. We had stayed in a hotel room at Riley, one of the other Crystalbrook Collection’s hotels, on our first night and were looking forward to seeing what their Cairns apartments were like. It’s worth knowing you can get a one bedroom apartment at Bailey for the same price or less as the most affordable room at Riley. Our family loved Riley but the lure of the extra space, a kitchen and washing facilities at Bailey would be hard to resist for longer stays.
There are two towers at Bailey – one is a hotel and the other is the apartment complex we stayed in. The self-contained accommodation goes up to Level 4 with the apartments above being either owner occupied or long term rentals. With more residents than tourists, Bailey is serene and almost makes it feel as if you’re living in Cairns instead of simply visiting. We really enjoyed this relaxed, laid back vibe and the tropical feel of Bailey which has lots of greenery in the lobby and a design with plenty of wide open spaces.
The apartments don’t have water views like Riley or Flynn (Crystalbrook’s other hotel across the road), but there is a breezy balcony with comfy seats for enjoying the city views of Cairns. Our two bedroom apartment had fresh, modern décor and everything we needed for a great stay. There was a main bedroom and two singles in the second bedroom. The two bathrooms had rainshowers, delicious-smelling toiletries and great water pressure. They were also identical which made our son happy as he also got a fancy bathroom instead of a small ensuite. If you’re sharing with another couple who don’t want two single beds, the two-bedroom apartments also come in a king and queen configuration.
Along with the kitchen which had an oven, microwave and dishwasher there was a laundry with a washer and dryer (very handy as you can’t ‘recycle’ clothes in Cairns because it’s too hot), an Apple iPad Control Centre, a large HD Smart TV with StayCast video streaming, complimentary movies, a Nespresso machine with recyclable pods and lightning fast free Wi-Fi. The only thing we weren’t that keen on was the pool which was quite small. However, as most people at Bailey are residents rather than tourists, the pool doesn’t get as busy as a typical hotel pool during the day as most of the residents are at work.
CC’s Bar and Grill wasn’t open for breakfast during our stay but should be by the time you read this review. We went there for dinner one night and the restaurant was pumping. CC’s is a fresh take on a traditional steakhouse and serves beef from Crystalbrook’s own farm and seafood from the surrounding waters. There are more than 150 wines on the list, including a good selection available by the glass. During our stay there was a two course dinner special for $69 per person or $89 for three courses. We opted for the two course dinner which is a steal for the price. Wine matching is also available as an add on for $30 and $40 respectively.
When you’re staying at one of Crystalbrook’s hotels in Cairns, you can visit any of the restaurants at the other hotels and charge back to your room. As CC’s Bar & Grill wasn’t open for breakfast, we strolled up the Esplanade to Riley for breakfast each morning. Flynn’s hotel opening date was pushed back due to COVID but the street level restaurant, Boardwalk Social, opened as planned back in January 2020. It’s in full swing now and has turned into a buzzing local hot spot with live music, great cocktails, big screen TVs and a party vibe.
There’s a bar with well-priced drinks and food is available from market-style food venues serving burgers (our family’s top pick), salads, pizza, tacos, and bar snacks like chips and potato wedges. When you order, you’re given a number and the meals are delivered to your table. Milk Bar, one of the dining venues at Bailey, has also moved here temporarily. Here you’ll find design-your-own ice cream sundaes and vanilla milkshakes that will ‘rock your world’ according to our teenage son.
Bailey has a great location with all the comforts of home and friendly staff on hand 24/7 to help with anything you need. With the option to self-cater and dine in or check out the nine drinking and dining venues at Crystalbrook Collection’s three hotels, it’s the perfect spot for a well-priced self-contained family getaway in Cairns.
Disclosure: The writer stayed at Bailey as a guest of Crystalbrook Collection. She previously stayed at Riley as a guest of the hotel and chose to return at her own expense.
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