When good friends from Adelaide suggested we all jet off to Port Douglas over Easter to catch up over some cocktails by the pool, we simply couldn’t refuse. Thankfully, Virgin Australia had return Business Class award seats to Cairns available and the Sheraton Grand Mirage Port Douglas also had rooms available for redemption.

Research & Booking

The Sheraton Grand Port Douglas is ranked #19 out of 42 hotels in Port Douglas on TripAdvisor, and is currently a Marriott Bonvoy Category 5 hotel, I booked a base room for 35,000 points per night for three nights (the recently introduced off-peak rate of 30,000 or 40,000 during peak may also apply).

The day after booking online, I received an email with the subject ‘Points Booking Cancellation Policy’ which was tersely worded and warning me they’ll charge me $358 if I cancel this points booking within 5 days of arrival. There was no, “I can see you haven’t stayed with us before, we’re excited to welcome you”, “thank you for being a loyal member for so many years” or “here are some activities we can organise for your stay”, instead, a harsh email about cancellation penalties. Now, when I book a holiday, the last thing I’m thinking about is when I’m going to cancel it, especially when the timeframe was clearly shown on the website at the time of booking.

I replied straight back saying how inappropriately toned the email was for the very first point of contact from the hotel. The reservation supervisor, and then reservation manager, were quick to phone to say they’ve taken the feedback on board, reviewed and had already amended their award redemption cancellation communication.

Two days before the stay I noticed on the Marriott app that our room had been upgraded to a Premium Lagoon Edge Guest Room w/ Pool Access. Checking online, the room was valued at $649 per night.

Lobby & Check-in

The Sheraton Grand Port Douglas is located approximately an hour from Cairns Airport. We had the hotel arrange a shuttle for us for $44 per person.

Originally developed by the notorious Christopher Skase, the Mirage originally opened in 1987.

We entered the property via a long driveway lined with palm trees and there is no denying you’re entering paradise in Far North Queensland.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas

Porters greeted us at the front door to take our bags whilst we checked in.

Stepping into reception, my eyes were immediately drawn upwards to the huge ceiling, and I started to get a feel of how they have blended the old with the new. There is no hiding the age of the property, but a $43 million major redevelopment that was completed in 2016 has helped modernise the property and eliminate some of the gaudy features that were initially installed by Skase and his developers in the eighties.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas lobby
Sheraton Grand Port Douglas lobby

The gentleman at reception who welcomed us was very laid-back, with the interaction very casual. He didn’t acknowledge my Bonvoy status as is required, nor did he mention the welcome amenity I could choose from.

But then the very friendly Chrissy stepped out from the back office to apologise for the unwelcoming, welcome email and to explain they acted very quickly to improve the communication.

We were then escorted to our room.

Room

A bottle of Champagne was waiting for our arrival which was a lovely gesture.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas champaigne

At 42sqm, our Premium Lagoon Edge room was similar in size as the standard guest room, but does have direct access to the freshwater lagoon straight off the small balcony.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas Premium Lagoon Edge bed
Sheraton Grand Port Douglas Premium Lagoon Edge bed

The room styling was simple and uncluttered, and to be honest, we were only in the room to sleep.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas room
Sheraton Grand Port Douglas Premium Lagoon Edge chairs

Complimentary bottles of water are provided for Marriott Bonvoy members.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas Premium Premium Lagoon Edge bedside phone

Sadly, the Premium Rooms must make do with instant coffee whereas the Studios have capsule machines.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas in-room glasses

With most hotels now leaving mini bars empty, it was refreshing to see that this hotel still stocks them.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas room mini bar

The work desk went unused during our stay.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas Premium Lagoon Edge TV

The only fault we had with our room was the air conditioning, which was too loud at the lowest fan speed. Plus, the sliding door to the balcony was jammed shut. A call to reception had a maintenance team member onsite within minutes whilst we headed out to the pool. On our return, both were fixed.

Bathroom

The bathroom features a shower over a corner bath and a single vanity.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas bathroom

It doesn’t have an external window, instead, the window faces into the room. The lounge chair is just on the other side of the window.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas Premium Lagoon Edge day bed

Le grand bain toiletries are supplied.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas Premium Lagoon Edge toiletries

Restaurants

The Sheraton Grand Mirage is home to two restaurants, a cocktail bar, café and a pool-side lagoon bar.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas bar
Cocktail Bar

Breakfast is held in the all-day dining Feast Restaurant. Free breakfast can be selected as a welcome amenity by Platinum or higher Bonvoy members, however, as this wasn’t covered at check-in, I had to go through the details every morning with the breakfast staff to have the charge waived.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas restaurant
Sheraton Grand Port Douglas The Feast
Sheraton Grand Port Douglas The Feast
Sheraton Grand Port Douglas The Feast deck
Sheraton Grand Port Douglas food
Sheraton Grand Port Douglas The Feast food

Made-to-order eggs are also available.

Marriott Bonvoy members also earn up to 10 points for every US$1 spent at Feast Restaurant and save between 10-20% off depending on the members’ Elite tier status. Plus, kids of Marriott Bonvoy members will enjoy complimentary breakfast and ice-cream.

We also dined at Feast one evening for one of their special seafood buffets.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas food

Light lunch bites and cocktails were available from the lagoon bar.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas food
Sheraton Grand Port Douglas poolside
Sheraton Grand Port Douglas poolside cocktails

The dining highlight was at Harrisons by Spencer Patrick–the most nationally award restaurant in Port Douglas. The restaurant was surprisingly empty, yet the food was just divine!

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas food
Sheraton Grand Port Douglas food

Facilities

The hotel grounds are stunning, with nine swimmable lagoon pools which wrap around the main hotel wings with a combination of both freshwater and saltwater pools. Chrissy and her team continued their amazing service recovery with a round of complimentary espresso martinis for us and our friends at one of the poolside cabanas that she had reserved for us.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas swimming pool
Sheraton Grand Port Douglas swimming pool
Sheraton Grand Port Douglas swimming pool

The resort promotes they have a fitness center, yet it’s actually located out the main driveway, across the multi-lane road, and in the Mirage Country Club, a partner property.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas gym

The distance will probably deter anyone with diminished holiday fitness willpower, but we made the effort to go every day to balance out the cocktails by the pool.

An 18-hole golf course is also onsite, Four Mile Beach close by and just a five-minute Uber/shuttle into town.

Fast and free Wi-Fi covers the entire property.

Sheraton Grand Port Douglas wifi

Around the hotel

The property is not in Port Douglas itself, with the town accessible with a few minutes drive or taxi, or a longer walk – either along the road or the beach.

Other Marriott Bonvoy resorts

Summary

Despite the rough start with the reservation email and check-in team member who didn’t follow process, the service recovery by Chrissy and her team as well as the rest of our stay at the property couldn’t be faulted. Also, kudos to the hotel for being receptive to my feedback. We continued to run into Chrissy throughout our stay who continued to check with us to make sure everything was perfect.

For a relaxing break away, this property ticks all the boxes; luscious landscaping, lap or lagoon pools, great food and cocktails, and facilities available for whatever interests you.

Sheraton Grand Mirage Port Douglas review was last modified: November 5th, 2019 by Greg Stone