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cairns beachfront accommodation

Cairns Beachfront Accommodation

Melaleuca Resort Profile

Written by Marie-Clare De Vere for Resort Publishing April 2012

Old Fashioned Hospitality

Imagine your breakfast tray being competently delivered by a bubbly and smiling young boy. Well, that was a normal occurrence when Stephen Coop’s parents operated a successful guest house/motel at Apollo Bay, Victoria, in the late 1950s.

Today, Stephen and Margaret Coop—management rights owners since October 2007—deliver that exuberance at the Melaleuca Resort, situated on the beachfront of beautiful Palm Cove, the Spa Capital of Australia, in Cairns Northern Beaches, Tropical North Queensland’s premier vacation destination.

Palm Cove is only a 20 minute drive north of Cairns International Airport, and is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.

Stephen trained at William Angliss Institute then started at the Old Melbourne Motor Inn as a trainee manager and later at the Hilton in Melbourne.

Margaret worked for several solicitors in Melbourne and has a secretarial and a sports marketing background.

“Before we bought the management rights here we managed several properties around Cairns,” explained Stephen.

“We love looking after our guests and Melaleuca is a perfect place to do this plus we feel right at home here.”

“However it is always nerve wracking when you first start management rights,” continued Margaret. “We believe if you survive the first three months then you are up for anything, because the unexpected will all happen no matter what people try and tell you.”

Many guests call Melaleuca Resort their second home and often bring other guests and family with them so they can introduce them to the Coop’s old fashioned hospitality and the beauty of Palm Cove.

“We try and make sure that guests have everything they want and if they don’t then we try very hard to get, or do, whatever it is to delight them. Most are wonderful and easy to please,” said Stephen.

With the help and encouragement of the owners the extensive refurbishment of the resort has been ongoing, mainly inside the apartments.

“We have just completed a lovely outdoor room in the garden with a barbeque. It is proving very popular with small groups and families,” continued Stephen.

After 24 years in Far North Queensland, the Coops are very familiar with the surrounding area and have experienced many of the tours on offer and know most of the tour companies and their reputations.

23 one bedroom apartments, all of which are in the letting pool and most are ocean facing with views over the lush tropical gardens, resort style pool and the ocean.

Stephen’s humour was evident when he continued, “Once a booking enquiry asked—just how close to the ocean is it?—so we measured the distance and responded it is 47 paces to the high water and wet feet!”

All apartments have new pull out sofa beds and can accommodate families with children. There are upper and lower levels and both have wonderful views.

“We do have an older clientele who appreciate the gardens and the quiet and comfortable lifestyle we have here at Melaleuca,” continued Margaret.

“Many come up from the south for longer stays during the winter and the larger balconies attract them for breakfast, lunch and the odd happy hour drink. We don’t have disabled units, but we have had blind guests; guests with walking sticks and lots of other ailments and we work around their disabilities to help make their holiday a pleasant experience.”

The pool is styled on the famous Mossman George and is deceivingly deep in the middle. There are three in-pool spas at the rear of the pool, which adds to the experience. It has a sloping entrance and is wonderful for older people and the young ones as well.

“The extensive tropical garden is a big part of Melaleuca – everyone loves the garden and the private sections and is why many guests return to us,” said Stephen

“We feel blessed with our guests and because of their reviews we are a Trip Advisor 2012 Traveller’s Choice Award winner; No 23 in Hotels for Best Service and number one on Trip Advisor,” Margaret and Stephen said proudly. “We must be doing something right.”

“Guests want clean and friendly accommodation, so comments like—‘can’t help enough’, ‘will do anything for us’—is what we love hearing! Palm Cove is such a great place to visit why would you go elsewhere?”

The surrounding environs offer a diverse range of activities for all ages and it is difficult to fit it all in on one visit – all the more reason to return!


Enjoyed a very relaxing 8 day holiday at the Melaleuca Resort. Location – yes perrrrfect. Set among palm trees with a lagoon pool, the resort is centrally located among some great bars, restaurants and just metres away from the sandy beach. We did day trips and found that Palm Cove as a base offered much better beach access than Port Douglas or Cairns. Owners Margaret and Stephen are very helpful and provide a personal touch. When we go again, we will definetely say at Palm Cove and the Melaleuca Resort, they are a gem. Restraurant tip – El Greko, a 2 minute walk along the beach, try it all and go with the Greek wine as well. Also Ellis Beach Bar, the sqid is wonderful, and a lovely stop off for a beach walk on your way to Port Douglas.

After our long 26 hour flight from Seattle to Cairns, we arrived in Palm Cove at Melaleuca during the worse storm of the wet season! We were greeted by Margaret, who was very friendly and helpful as she showed us to our room for a four day stay. Our apartment was spacious and clean, and enjoyed sitting on the front balcony and relaxing while listening to the ocean. The resort is just across the street from the beach and about in the center of Palm Cove on William Esplanade. There were plenty of delicious restaurants to eat at and Margaret made some great recommendations during our stay. We definitely recommend the Chill Café for some wonderful coffee and afternoon snacks.

The resort also has a lovely, small pool. It wasn’t heated, but in the midst of the hot and humid days, it was perfect for us. This was great for us too since the whole time we were in Palm Cove the beach lifeguards weren’t allowing swimming off the shore.

Our main reason for traveling to Cairns for part of our vacation was to dive the Great Barrier Reef, but unfortunately due to the storms we were informed that dive boats weren’t taking any divers out to the reef. No worries though, Margaret was helpful in making recommendations and securing a rental car for us so we could explore other parts of the area such as the Cairns Tropical Zoo, Kuranda and Barron Falls! We ended up having a fantastic time even though we couldn’t dive and now we have an excuse to come back.

Overall, I would recommend Melaleuca Resort. It’s right in the middle of Palm Cove and easy walking distance to everything along the Esplande. Anything you need, from tours to car rentals, Margaret can assist you with. We plan on returning again to dive the Great Barrier Reef and when we do we would choose to stay at Melaleuca again in a heartbeat!

Great resort. Amazing service, personalized, careing and warm! staff were great!

Very clean and well served.

Will be defiantly returning!

Recomend it no doubt!

Reviewed 7 April 2012

Margaret and Stephen are wonderful. We stayed 6 nights and would do it again. We looked at several locations along the Esplanade and would choose Melaleuca again. We are 2 adults and 2 kids aged 10 and 13. The kids loved the pool, and it is bigger than it looks. The hotel is centrally located so it was easy to walk to either end of the beach and restaurants. Margaret was helpful in recommending and booking any excursions. We visited from the USA so depended a lot on her suggestions of how to maximize our stay. She had many suggestions on things to do for a fee as well as for free. They had sheltered parking underneath the apartments. Air conditioners, refrigerator, stove, oven, showers, laundry all worked well. We rented a 1 bedroom with a pull out sleeper and felt that we had plenty of space for us and our stuff. We rented a car and drove from Cairns to Port Douglas to Cape Tribulation. We would definitely choose to stay at Palm Cove over Cairns. Palm Cove is quieter with great restaurants. We loved having coffee at Chill Cafe. We also learned Lawn Bowling at Trinity Beach, Marlin Cove Bowling Club, was very welcoming to us newbies. We enjoyed Port Douglas but Palm Cove was definitely more convienient if you are going to go site seeing.

Great location,great service with bookings and advice. Relaxing pool facilities BBQ etc. The well maintained tropical gardens are tended to almost daily The rooms are neat ,clean and very comfortable with aircon and great water pressure in the shower! Margaret and Stephen are great hosts.There local knowledge is invaluable for visiters to Palm Cove .We love the location with all of The Coves restaurants and Bars just a stones throw away all within walking distance.Which was great to enjoy and few balmy drinks and not worry about driving.This Holiday resort has everything going for it at a great affordable price ,extremely good value for money!!!!

We will be back!

Reviewed 31 March 2012

Only passed through Palm Cove once before and decided on Melaleuca Resort, (purely from google info.), for our weeks’ holiday – and what a good choice! Margaret couldn’t do enough to make our stay a very enjoyable one, The location was within walking distance to all amenities and the tropical gardens that encompassed the resort were a delight. The accommodation itself was clean, spacious and very well laid out and there was enough equipment to cook meals within, but in any case there were numerous restaurants and bistros very nearby, which catered for all tastes.

We’ll be back – but not in the wet season!

Fred & Sue

Melaleuca Resort was just what we were looking for. It is only a few steps from beautiful Palm Cove beach where we swam inside the stinger net and sat under the palm trees – very tropical. The gardens are a credit to the managers Margaret & Stephen with a large variety of tropical plants. The pool is in a beautiful setting and very private and relaxing. The apartment which has been recently refurbished was modern and the kitchen well equiped. We had a great view out over the beach and ocean.There was no need for a car as there is a regular bus to Cairns and nearby beaches and all tours pick up at the resort. We think Melaleuca was an excellent choice for our relaxing holiday.

My husband and I stayed for four nights in the middle of our 2-week Australia adventure and felt right at home. The owners are wonderful – we got picked up personally at the airport and even stopped at the grocery store on the way to the hotel so we could pick up any food and drinks we wanted. The kitchen and washer/dryer were very convenient – we made a few meals in our apartment and did our laundry as well.

We didn’t have to worry about a thing as far as planning activities – the front office is well-stocked with brochures for all kinds of outings, and the owners booked everything for us which really made our whole stay a no-stress experience.

The pool and garden are unique and pretty, the rooms are great, the location is perfect, the value can’t be beat… HIGHLY recommend this place!