Meet my new friend… Riley!
Have you ever stayed in a five star resort?
I don’t know about you, but usually when I am looking for holiday accommodation it’s straight to the sale section of booking.com to find the best I can at the cheapest rate. Sometimes though, you just get to a point where you say, “you know what, it’s time to live a little!” (No one wants to be the richest in the graveyard right?)
Having lived in Far North Queensland now for four years, I can tell you I have stayed in almost every place you can name in Cairns. Cairns is kind of like the final frontier of the Far North, the last stop where you get all the luxuries of ‘city life’. When we need a break from the bush, this is where we (and most cape residents) head for a dose of ‘real life’. Cairns unfortunately though, has a lot of old hotels and resorts that still charge a modern day price. Recently though to the delight of us all a newcomer has emerged, Riley, By the Crystalbrook Collection.
The resort is situated perfectly at the end of the esplanade so you don’t hear a lot of rowdy foot traffic, you are also conveniently right near ‘muddies playground’ if you are taking kids along for the journey. The whole Riley experience is based around what I would call, luxury meets health and wellness. The first thing you notice upon arrival is the scandic interior which is crisp, clean and open. The resort is built around their crowning diamond – the four sectioned beach pool, with an infinity edge that meets the ocean. There are plenty of daybeds and cabanas to relax by and the silky sand is ideal for the kids.
Towering above the pool is the panoramic sea view ‘tower’. The tower rooms are not for those that fear heights, and be aware onlookers can see through the glass! The tower rooms are definitely a wow factor, the standalone bath was a highlight for me as well as their attention to detail when it came to all of the complimentary amenities! All rooms have an iPad ordering system, where you can book your room clean, order special pillows (lavender sleep pillow!!) and of course room service from their signature restaurant, Paper crane.
The Paper Crane food – wow what can I say… A sharing feast! Aromatic Asian flavours are accented throughout the dishes, from the zingy ginger, chilli and shallot mud crab to the sumptuously sweet pandan sugar and coconut pancakes. The chicken and chive dumplings were a crowd pleaser as well as the scorched cauliflower San Choy Bow.
Rocco is where you head at sunset for delicious cocktails and nibbles, note to self though- leave the kids at home for this experience! The bar is found on the top floor of the tower and often hosts live music, cocktail dress is standard. The whiskey sour was on point as well as the Mediterranean meatballs and Spanish churros.
Prices vary as the Riley constantly has online specials going, check their site here. You can join “the crowd” for 10% off all bookings. They also have an outstanding day spa, Ele`me. Treatments include rose quartz crystals and essential oil journeys! I tried a special signature facial and massage as well as a full body sea salt scrub, put your pennies aside now and treat yo self because this is a chic spa that will soothe every wrinkle from your body and mind.
If you stay over a weekend you can join in for a free yoga session by the pool, using the complimentary mats you will find in each room. The session is a great way to start the day and truly unwind – classes are beginner friendly.
So, before you spend your dollars overseas, invest in your own backyard and indulge in this beautiful resort which is perfect for family, couple or friend stays! Cairns is the gateway to the Far North Queensland where you can find endless adventures - or just stay indoors at the Riley - seriously.
I can’t wait to try the new hotels being built in Cairns by Crystalbrook collection, judging by the Riley, they are going to be epic!