Best Family Accommodation in Cairns

Are you heading to Tropical North Queensland and looking for the best family accommodation in Cairns?    Looking for the best family accommodation, Cairns offers with easy access to all the main tourist attractions, yet something affordable that won’t completely blow the budget.  Then read on – this Cairns accommodation family guide is for you!

When it comes to the best Cairns accommodation for families, the price can really fluctuate.  While generally, you won’t find too many cheap hotels in Cairns, there is certainly some bargains to be had – you just got to know where to find them.

But then some folks coming north are after the best Cairns resorts for families, with great kid friendly facilities such as lagoon style swimming pools and on site restaurants.  So this guide covers a range of options from Cairns cheap hotels to Cairns family resorts that won’t completely blow your budget.

So there is no need to spend hours and hours searching the internet any longer.  I’ve done all the research for you and included all the information you’ll need to find the best hotel in Cairns for your upcoming family trip.

So, let’s get started and find you one of Cairn’s best hotels. 

Talk to other families about their tips on visiting Cairns and join our Thrifty Family Travel Facebook Group or get inspired by our Instagram.

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Best Family Accommodation Cairns Map

Below is a map showing the location of all the best Cairns hotels covered in this guide.  

Zoom in and out for a closer view. 

Best Family Accommodation in Cairns – Quick Overview

Below is a super quick overview of all the best hotels Cairns has for families reviewed in this guide.  You can use this overview to quickly determine which of these best Cairns accommodation for families options are right for you.  

For a more comprehensive review, keep reading below.

NameDistance to LagoonRoom AmenitiesHotel FacilitiesCheck Price
Hides Hotel

400m / 5 min walkDouble & 2 singles
Tea/coffee
Pool
Laundry
Check Price
Shangri-La The Marina
500m / 7 min walk2 Double beds
Tea/coffee
Pool
Restaurant
Bar
Gym
Check Price
The Benson

650m / 9 min walk2 Double beds
Tea/coffee
Pool
Restaurant
Bar
Check Price
Coral Tree Inn
900m / 12 min walk2 Doubles & sofa bed
Kitchenette
Pool
Parking (free)
BBQ
Cafe
Laundry
Check Price
Citysider Apartments
1.7km / 20 min walk2 Bed apartment
Double & 2 singles
Kitchen
Laundry
Pool
BBQ
Parking (free)
Check Price
Waterfront Terraces
1.9km / 22 min walk2 Bed apartment
Double, 2 singles & sofa bed
Kitchen
Laundry
Pool
Parking (free)
Check Price
Reef Palms
2.3 km / 25 min walk2 Double beds
Kitchen
Pool
BBQ
Laundry
Parking (free)
Check Price
Cairns Colonial Club Resort
4.5km / 10 min driveDouble & 2 sofa beds
Kitchenette
3 x Pools
Man-made beach
Parking (free)
Restaurant
Bar
Laundry
Check Price
Palm Royale Cairns
5.3km / 10 min driveDouble & 2 singles
Tea/coffee
2 Pools
Parking (free)
Laundry
Check Price
Ingenia Cairns Coconut
8.2km / 15 min driveDouble & bunks
Kitchenette
2 Pools
Water Park
Tennis Court
Mini Golf
Parking (free)
Check Price

Where to Stay in Cairns with Family

In terms of where to stay in Cairns with family, one of the first things to consider is whether or not you’ll have a car with you.  While Cairns is not overly big, it is large enough that depending on where you stay, you might not necessarily want to walk everywhere.

The best place to stay in Cairns with family, where you’re central to everything, is along the Esplanade towards the south.  Here you’ve got the lagoon, lots of shops and easy access to the marina where the boats leave each day for the Great Barrier Reef – so definitely the best place to stay in Cairns for Great Barrier Reef day trips.

South along the Esplanade and waterfront is where you’ll find some great family resorts in Cairns, a little on the pricey side, but surprisingly you can also find the odd cheap hotel Cairns has here too.

The Esplanade somewhat gets quieter the further north you go.  This is also where you’ll find cheaper Cairns family accommodation.  You’ve got Muddy’s Playground up this way, which is an excellent spot for families with young children.

Another option for families wanting great amenities for a great price is to stay a few blocks back from the Esplanade.  Here you’ll find some of the cheapest hotels Cairns offers, with some still within a short walk away from all the action.

At the end of the day, given families are generally here to do day trips away from Cairns, I wouldn’t get too bogged down with where is the best area to stay in Cairns.  Just look for accommodation in Cairns for families that ticks all the boxes and comes at a price you’re willing to spend. 

But do consider the location if you won’t have a car with you.

Top 10 Best Cairns Accommodation for Families

After hours of research and many trips to Cairns, I’ve shortlisted 10 top places to stay in Cairns for families.  

Hides Hotel

The Hides Hotel is a fantastic budget family accommodation Cairns offers in a central location perfect for sightseeing and within walking distance to the Esplanade, Reef Cruise terminal and plenty of places to eat.

We’ve previously stayed here in a family room with a queen bed and two singles and found it perfect for our needs. Often in family rooms, particularly in budget hotels, the space is so cramped, but this was lovely and spacious, as was the bathroom. There is no bath in the bathroom, but there are additional taps down low in the shower for washing small children.

The hotel also has a small pool, while nothing fancy, it’s perfect for families.  Just note that at the time of publication the pool was under maintenance, so if it’s important to have a pool, just check if it’s opened yet.

A cheap light breakfast of toast, cereal, boiled eggs and tea and coffee is served on the hotel’s lovely old veranda.  Also across the road is a supermarket, which was great for us to purchase snacks to take out and about with us during the day. There is also a range of family friendly cafes and food courts nearby.

There is nothing fancy about the Hides Hotel, but I doubt you will find a better option for the price and location. If you are wondering where to stay in Cairns, I can highly recommend the Hides Hotel.

What’s to love?

Location and price. This is the closest hotel in this guide to the Lagoon; it is also one of the Cairns hotels cheap deals.

What’s not to love?

The Hides Hotel is one of the basic family hotels Cairns has available, it doesn’t come with many additional amenities or facilities.

Summary

For a simple hotel in a great location, the Hides Hotel is worth considering. You’ll be able to save some money for your sightseeing, just don’t expect a contemporary hotel – this has been around since 1885!

Click here for more information and to check the current price

The Benson

If you have a little extra budget to spend, consider Cairns’s newly renovated Benson Hotel. This hotel is one of Cairns city hotels and gives off real Great Gatsby vibes. It is sumptuous and plush, yet still suitable for kids… and less than a 10-minute walk to the Lagoon.

Rooms are a classic design and can sleep families of four in two queen beds. Peak out the window for views over the city to the water and mountains. In the room, you’ll have a bath/shower combo which is perfect for those travelling with little kids, a Smart TV with streaming services, complimentary tea/coffee and a bar fridge.

The Benson facilities include a picture perfect pool and a restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a bar attached. Free WiFi ensures you can capture all your family photos and upload/share to make all your friends jealous.

While this accommodation is above the mid-range priced options in this guide, it is a stunning property and the location is central.

What’s to love?

The whole vibe of this place, it’s really cool and not just your regular accommodation in Cairns city centre.

What’s not to love?

While the rooms are gorgeous, they are lacking in any kitchen facilities that most of the other hotels in this guide have available. If you don’t usually prepare meals when travelling, then this won’t be an issue for you.

Summary

If you’re after a convenient location and like to stay in hotels that are a bit funky – not just your standard run of the mill accommodation, then the Benson is worth checking out as one of your Cairns places to stay.

Click here for more information and to check the current price

Shangri-La The Marina

If you are after ultimate luxury and a stunning location, the Shangri-La The Marina is one of the top Cairns hotels – unfortunately, it comes with the price tag too. While this is not one of the Cairns hotels on the Esplanade, it is located at the Marina – just over a 5-minute walk from the Lagoon.

Rooms are spacious and appointed with modern decor, sleeping families of four in two double beds. There are tea/coffee facilities, a mini fridge and room service is available.

The hotel’s facilities are as luxe as you would expect them to be, with a sparkling outdoor pool serviced by a poolside bar for casual bites and drinks. For dining by the marina, the ‘Backyard’ restaurant offers a menu featuring loads of seafood and Aussie BBQ favourites and great breakfast options.

To burn off all the food, there is a well-equipped gym onsite for guests to use.

What’s to love?

If you’re after 5-star service and 5-star facilities in a fantastic location, you can’t go past the Shangri-La.

What’s not to love?

The price. This is definitely not one of the cheap Cairns hotels; it is the most expensive in this guide, so you would need to be after something luxurious and happy to splurge for it.

Summary:

While the Shangri-La is not your typical Cairns family hotel, it’s certainly one of the family friendly resorts Cairns has on offer and is in a fantastic central location.  It is a bit exxy, although if you’re after luxury accommodation, the price is well worth it. 

Click here for more information and to check the current price

Coral Tree Inn

While not on the Esplanade, the Coral Tree Inn is only a few blocks from the other Cairns hotels on Esplanade and around a 10-minute walk to the Lagoon.

The Coral Tree Inn has great family rooms, which are super spacious and come with a kitchenette. The kitchenette is fitted with a fridge, microwave, kettle, toaster, dining table, and all your kitchenware. This is perfect for preparing simple meals and snacks, especially if you have young kids.

Bedding is plentiful for a family of four with two double beds and a sofa bed, ensuring the family can spread out. 

The hotel facilities make this one of the great Cairns family friendly resorts, as it comes with a resort-style pool, self-service laundry, a cafe serving daily buffet breakfast, or cook up your own bacon and egg rolls for free on the communal BBQs. And if you just want to chill, check out the library in the lobby, stocked with books and board games for the whole family.

Free parking and free WiFi round out the list of inclusions at this kid friendly accommodation Cairns offers.

What’s to love?

Family friendly accommodation Cairns has doesn’t get much better than this. With a great location and great facilities, the Coral Tree Inn is worth checking out when looking around Cairns where to stay.

What’s not to love?

Most family rooms are upstairs and there are no lifts in the hotel. This makes it a little difficult if carrying suitcases, prams etc up to the room.

Summary

If you’re after good family hotels in Cairns, the Coral Tree Inn ticks many boxes. While not one of the cheap discount hotels in Cairns – it is more in the higher price range, however you’ll be saving money by utilising the in-room and onsite facilities.

Click here for more information and to check the current price

Citysider Cairns Holiday Apartments

If you’re after accommodation Cairns apartments style, check out the Citysider Cairns Holiday Apartments. Located around a 10 minute stroll from the Central Shopping Centre and 20-minutes from the Lagoon – however, if you don’t want to walk, free parking is available onsite so you can easily drive.

Accommodation is fantastic for families with huge two-bedroom apartments accommodating a family of four in a double bed and two single beds.

The fully equipped kitchen ensures you can prepare meals with everything you need, including an oven, stovetop, microwave, fridge, kettle and a dishwasher to help you clean up.   There are a couple of options for family meals, with dining tables both inside the apartment and outside on the private balcony.

Rooms also include a laundry with a washing machine and dryer. 

Outside is a large saltwater pool and the BBQ area is nearby, so the kids can have a swim while Mum and Dad are preparing lunch or dinner.

What’s to love?

The full kitchen and laundry allow you to be self-sufficient in preparing meals and cleaning clothes – so you’ll save on eating eat out and more money to enjoy on your holidays!

What’s not to love?

Not a lot, this is a pretty great accommodation option. However, keep in mind the upper levels are accessible by stairs only, so ensure you’ve got your muscles ready to cart all your luggage up the stairs – especially when travelling with kids.

Summary

If you’re looking for accommodation in Cairns, apartments are a great option. The Citysider has all the amenities to make your stay convenient, especially when travelling with kids.

Click here for more information and to check the current price

Waterfront Terraces

For anyone wanting Cairns hotels, Esplanade location options – consider the Waterfront Terraces, one of the Cairns apartment hotels perfect for families.

This large family accommodation Cairns offers will sleep families of four in two-bedroom apartments, with a double bed in one room, two singles in the other and a sofa bed in the lounge room.  So plenty of sleeping options for families with children of different ages that need their own space.

The apartments have a fully equipped kitchen with a fridge, oven, stovetop, microwave, kettle, toaster and dishwasher. And to make the apartments fully self-contained there is a laundry with a washer and dryer – very convenient when travelling with kids.

The Waterfront Terraces have an outdoor saltwater pool with a BBQ area, including outdoor dining next to the pool. So you can enjoy some meals al fresco.

What’s to love?

The two-bedroom apartments are on the second level with views over the water, so not only will you be self-sufficient with all the apartment amenities, but you will also have a beautiful outlook.

What’s not to love?

Being located on the second level – while the view is amazing; unfortunately this property does not have any lifts. It is also one of the pricier options in this guide.

Summary

If you’re looking for the hotels, Cairns esplanade has the Waterfront Terraces are a great option. The Lagoon is still within walking distance and you’ll have all the facilities at your fingertips to make your stay super convenient.

Click here for more information and to check the current price

Reef Palms

If you’re after cheap Cairns Esplanade hotels, then the Reef Palms is worth a look. This is the most affordable hotel in this guide and only a 3-minute walk to the Esplanade, where you’ll find plenty of shops, restaurants and cafes. While it is further afield to the Lagoon – almost a 30 minute walk… but if you’re walking along the Esplanade, this is sightseeing within itself.

Rooms can accommodate up to four people in two double beds. The main selling point of the rooms is that they contain a kitchenette with fridge, microwave, stovetop, toaster, kettle and a sink – all great things to have on hand when travelling with small children, so you prepare and store meals.

Onsite the hotel has a pool and spa along with a children’s wading pool.  There is also an outdoor area with BBQ facilities, a laundry, free WiFi and free parking onsite.

All in all, this is one of the cheap hotels Cairns offers with additional cost-savings built in as you can prepare meals.

What’s to love?

This is one of the cheapest hotels in Cairns in this guide. You’ll be saving money with the in-room kitchen to prepare meals and loads of other complimentary onsite facilities.

What’s not to love?

Not a lot; this is a pretty good all-round hotel and one of the best family resorts Cairns offers. It is a tad far to walk to the Lagoon for little legs and sharing two double beds with a family of four might be a little cosy.

Summary

A well-priced hotel with fantastic in-room amenities and onsite facilities to help stretch your budget and ensure your family has a wonderful holiday!

Click here for more information and to check the current price

Cairns Colonial Club Resort

Located a 10-minute drive from the Lagoon, the Cairns Colonial Club Resort feels like a million miles from anywhere. Surrounded by 11 acres of tropical gardens and set up as its own little village, you’ll feel like you’ve gone on an island holiday.

As the Colonial Club is slightly out of the centre of town, there are fewer shops around, so families should consider a studio room with a kitchenette so they can prepare a few meals in the room.  The kitchenette provides a sink, bar fridge, microwave, kettle and toaster. A dining table and kitchenware are provided in the room to make dining a breeze.

The price difference between a garden room and a studio is minimal – as this is one of the cheap family accommodation Cairns has.  You’ll more than make up the price difference if you prepare a few meals in the room.

The studios sleep a family of four in a separate room with a king bed (or two singles) and the lounge room has two single sofa beds.

Now, if your family loves the water, you’re in for a treat, as the Colonial Club has three, yes, three pools! These lagoon-style swimming pools are perfect for the whole family – one even has a man-made beach with shallow water, which is ideal for the littlies. And next to one of the pools, you’ll find the ‘Thirsty Flamingo’, which has relaxed, family-friendly all day dining.

What’s to love?

This is one of the Cairns budget hotels, one of the cheapest in this guide – yet it doesn’t feel like a cheap hotel with all the amenities on offer. 

What’s not to love?

You will need to drive into the centre of town and down to the Esplanade.  So if you’re looking for one of the Cairns family hotels, where you can walk everywhere – choose one of the above options. 

Summary

If you’re looking for where to stay near Cairns and aren’t necessarily after one of the Cairns hotels city centre locations, then the Colonial Club is well worth considering… for the pools alone!

Click here for more information and to check the current price

Palm Royale Cairns

If you’re after something a little different, then consider the Palm Royale Cairns. This Mediterranean-inspired property is located just over a 10-minute drive from the Lagoon, yet it feels like you could be in Europe. 

Family rooms accommodate four guests in a double bed and two singles. There are tea and coffee making facilities in the room, along with a mini fridge. The rooms overlook one of the sparkling pools fringed with palm trees – bringing that tropical feel indoors.

The Palm Royale offers guests the choice of two swimming pools, a beach-style resort pool and a 25-metre lap pool. There is also a cold water spa. The pools are surrounded by 2.5 acres of lush tropical gardens to explore. 

As the Palm Royale is a little further afield from the city centre, you can take advantage of the free parking so you can come and go as you please. Another freebie onsite is the WiFi. And there is also a self-service guest laundry.

What’s to love?

The Palm Royale offers cheap accommodation in Cairns for a family – one of the most affordable in this guide.

What’s not to love?

The in-room amenities are a little sparse. If you prefer to prepare some meals in your room, you will be limited to very basic snacks. 

Summary

If you’re looking for Cairns family holiday resorts that won’t blow the budget, the Palm Royale is a well-priced boutique resort.

Click here for more information and to check the current price

Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut

If you were to ask kids what the best hotel in Cairns for families is, they would probably say; Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut! Why? Because it is a kid’s paradise. It has been created with kids in mind, with top notch amenities to keep them entertained for hours. 

Whilst it’s the furthest from the Lagoon out of all the properties in this guide (around a 16-minute drive) – the kids may not let you leave the resort anyway!

The studio is a standalone cabin and will fit a family of four in a double bed and bunk bed. There are other larger cabins with separate bedrooms if you need the space and privacy.

The studio cabin has a kitchenette with a fridge, stovetop, microwave, kettle and toaster. There is an indoor dining table and one on your private deck to enjoy meals al fresco.

Now, this is where it takes kids’ interests to the next level – there are two pools, a water park, mini golf, pedal cars, adventure playgrounds with jumping cushions, a games room, tennis court and ball courts. If that’s not enough to keep the kids entertained, there are planned activities in the park during the school holidays.

And parents will love the onsite BBQ and laundry facilities, as well as the ‘Coconut Milk Bar’ which is open all day with loads of takeaway options, including coffee. Even better, of an evening, the ‘Coconut Bar’ is open for sunset drinks.

What’s to love?

You just can’t go past the onsite facilities… it really is a kid’s paradise!

What’s not to love?

This is the furthest hotel from the city centre in this guide, whilst you can take advantage of the free parking, if you prefer to be in amongst the city centre this might not be for you.

Summary

For Cairns family resort accommodation, the Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut is a fantastic choice. If you have kids that will take advantage of all the onsite amenities, it’s well worth the mid-range price as parents will get some downtime while the kids entertain themselves.

Click here for more information and to check the current price

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Hopefully you’ve found this guide on the Best Cairns Accommodation for families helpful.  Other guides we have on Cairns and the surrounding areas include Best Things to do in Cairns with Kids, Best Things to do in Kuranda with Kids and Best Things to do in the Daintree with Kids.

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