Despite boasting one of the best locations in the heart of Cairns and having character oozing from its floorboards, the one element that some may say Hides Hotel was previously missing, was the more high-tech features that today’s travellers have come to expect.
Fortunately, thanks to a 70-room refurbishment completed in May this year, Hides now offers customers the comfort and convenience of a more modern accommodation option. The opportunity was also taken at this time to spruce up the hotel’s iconic signature wrap-around balcony, which is now proving to be popular for both alfresco breakfasts, as well as private vents and corporate functions.
While the history of Hides Hotel dates back as far 1885, the recent room upgrade took place in a section of the building that was completed in 1967. The decision to refurbish these particular rooms was two-fold. Firstly, they had already proven to be the most popular rooms in the hotel, and due to the volume of rooms available, they could be utilised for group bookings. And secondly, since they weren’t positioned in the heritage listed section of the hotel, there were far less restrictions in terms of modification.
With over $1m spent with local trades and suppliers, the refit is not only an investment in the hotel itself, but also in the local economy. In total, 70 out of the hotel’s 100 rooms have been renovated, and are now available in the following configurations:
- Premium King (featuring a king sized bed (or 2 single beds on request)
- Premium King Plus (featuring one single bed and one double bed, accommodating up to 3 people
- Premium Triple (featuring 3 single beds, ideal for a group of friends or small family)
- Premium Quad. (featuring 4 single beds, ideal for a group of friends or small family)
Apart from the obvious aesthetic improvements, the refurbishment has also seen the inclusion of a number of new features to benefit customers. These include:
- An extra large desk area
- USB fitted GPO for desk
- Larger fridges
- Brighter rooms due to additional lighting
- Bed side lamps with built-in 2 x USB Ports (per lamp)
- New beds
- New wall-mounted televisions
According to Hotel Manager Nik Commons, the upgrade has attracted a new and varied clientele. “The rooms have been well received by the free independent travellers, including “grey nomads” and international visitors who enjoy the location in the midst of tourist hotspots and corporate guests who can walk the short distance to the Cairns Convention Centre” he says. “They’ve also proven to be a hit with Cairns locals looking for a modern room, amongst the restaurants, bars and entertainment precinct to retire to after a night out in town. A large number of guests also come from outlying regions. Our proximity to important services such as the Cairns Hospital provides a comfortable, welcoming environment for guests to base themselves.”
Although the refurbishment is only still quite new, the response from customers has been very positive, with some of the most popular improvements being the modern decor, abundance of USB ports, large desk and of course the comfortable beds.
In keeping with the hotel’s love of history, staff members took the interesting step during the renovation process of placing a time capsule beneath the balcony floor boards – containing photos of the build and the people who contributed.
…No doubt creating a new story for generations to come to discover.