In Travel

Inside The Riley, Cairns’ First Sustainable Five-Star Hotel

It’s been awhile since Cairns has welcomed a property that’s both indulgent on its guests and kind to the environment too, but the new five-star Riley set to open on November 6, will do just that. It’s the first new five-star property in Carins on the last 20 years and rumour has it, this one will be worth the wait.

Riley is the first of three sibling hotels opening over the next 14 months by the Crystalbrook Collection, a new Australian based tourism and hospitality group with a portfolio of properties and a 90-foot yacht. Al of the hotels will practice socially responsible luxury.

When Riley opens its doors in November, guests will experience initiatives such as a paper free check in and out (instead iPads are used), an absence of plastic drinking bottles or straws. Even the humble plastic room key has been replaced with a 100 per cent recycled wooden one, and the property will donate $100 from each online room night booked in the first week of operation to the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, a social movement designed to change consumer understanding of how our everyday actions have an impact on the Great barrier Reef.

Full of personality, Riley is the first to open with two others, named Bailey and Flynn set to follow. The concept behind Riley means that guests can participate in these initiatives without compromising on their luxury comforts. With 311 rooms and suites, staying here means you can enjoy three restaurants and bars at the northern end of Cairns’ popular waterfront Esplanade. Guests can spend the day at the hotel’s private beach and 1,037 square metre lagoon pool before or after a spa treatment at Eléme Day Spa.

“While all hotels would share the Crystalbrook Collection DNA, they would each have their own unique character and personality,” says CEO, Mark Davie.

“All of our hotels share an appreciation for modern luxury, they are environmentally conscious, locally immersed, curious and a little bit witty,” he says, likening the hotels to a family, each sharing the same parents, but maintaining their own personality.

“There’s the playful one, the thoughtful arty one and the wild child. As Crystalbrook grows with new hotels, this positioning allows us to develop more unique hotel characters and really embrace different audiences as well as the individual hotel’s architecture, environment and neighbourhood.”

At Riley you can expect a playful resort feel where guests can grab a cocktail and enjoy the 270-degree uninterrupted view of Cairns and the Coral Sea at Rocco, set to be Cairns’ highest rooftop bar at 42 metres above sea level.  Rocco will serve up Mediterranean fare with a matching drinks menu and rock-solid champagne list that’ll suit any celebration, even if it’s just celebrating your holiday.

With a modern Asian influence, Riley’s signature restaurant Paper Crane will be open for all day dining and with both indoor and outdoor seating and take full advantage of the quality produce the Tropical North Queensland region offers. Paper Crane also promises plenty of culinary which extends into the dining room with whole crustaceans and large cuts of meats served and shared tableside. The drinks menu is also said to include a wide selection from all over the globe including a well-rounded beer and signature cocktail menu too.

There’s also Greenfields where things are kept raw and simple with a focus on healthy eating. Think fresh cold pressed juices by day with a cheeky splash of vodka in the pm.

Taking the locally-sourced concept one step further, Riley serves beef directly from their own station, located three hours inland from Cairns, ensuring the highest levels of animal welfare. In addition, over 80 per cent of the fresh fruit and produce served is sourced within a three-hour radius, cutting back on carbon emissions as well.

“As an organisation hugely committed to the environment and as a Founding Citizen of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, this was a natural choice for us to celebrate this exciting opening,” says Davie.

Riley’s rooms are crisp and fresh with luxury amenities. Each room and suite also features an Apple iPad with mood apps, and virtual concierge service that lets you order room service or have that phone charger you accidentally left at home delivered. You can also us it to discover what’s happening around town and plan your holiday accordingly. There’s free WiFi and rooms are equipped with Staycast, a Google service for video streaming and all guests have access to hundreds of free movies and box set shows (if you were so inclined for a night in.) Rooms are also fitted out with in-room Nespresso machines (with recyclable pods) yoga mats and plenty of extra little touches.

So while you’re spending your holiday enjoying one of Australia’s most loved natural attractions, you can feel even better knowing you’re helping preserve it for holidays to come.

Published 19 October, 2018