Up where I belong? Luxury accommodation in Cairns (2007)

 |   |  1 min read

Up where I belong? Luxury accommodation in Cairns (2007)

To the best of my knowledge the words “upgrade” and “Mr Reid” have never appeared in the same sentence. Certainly I have stayed in some luxurious hotels -- Sorrento’s Grand Hotel Cocumella (right) gets passing mention here to make you envious -- but I knew about them in advance.

Yes, a couple of times I have been in that part of the aircraft where the cabin crew knew my name and champagne arrived before take-off.

But these have been exceptions. Mostly I stay in rooms that never appear in brochures, and have my legs crushed in economy where the guy behind kicks off his sweat-soaked trainers.

Such are the familiar discomforts of low-end travel, which is why “upgrade” sings all the more sweetly.

And the PR woman at the newly renovated Cairns Hilton certainly didn’t use the magic word when we met in the lobby-cum-lounge where designer chairs, the pebble garden and classy cocktail bar caught my eye. Maybe because I paid it handsome and genuine compliments something strange -- but welcome -- happened as she checked me in.

A discreet whisper, a swipe card for the room exchanged for another, a knowing smile . . .

“Mr Reid, we have just learned our luxury suite is available . . . “

This, I think, was their way of saying “upgrade”.

And so I found myself standing outside two very large doors which, had they swung open simultaneously, could have allowed entry for a caravan of elephants carrying travelling cases of some 19th century marquess. Or a presidential party.

IMGP1024As I stepped across the threshold I entered a world previously denied me. Flat-screen televisions the size of dining room tables, the view beyond taking in the river with luxury yachts, green distant mountains and endless sky. You could have played tennis in the lounge and there were so many mirrors in the bathroom my multiple reflections made the place seem overcrowded.

I luxuriated in this suite with its floor-to-ceiling windows, drank brandy at dusk on the long patio and spent half an hour trying to decipher the television remote.

I was solitary king of all I surveyed here -- but in truth was scared witless I might scratch, scuff or damage something. I indulged myself and even persuaded myself I deserved this. But I was out of my league.

When I left I stole soap.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Travels articles index

Cameron, Louisiana: The stink of shrimp and petroleum

Cameron, Louisiana: The stink of shrimp and petroleum

In 2005 smalltown Cameron in southwest Louisiana was washed away by Hurricane Rita and I suppose battered to hell again by Hurricane Katrina. It seemed tragic and . . . Well, let me tell you my... > Read more

Ko Samet, Thailand: Lonely days

Ko Samet, Thailand: Lonely days

Greg would have been hard to miss in most places, but on the small beach at the southern end of Ko Samet -- a tiny teardrop-shaped island off to the east of Bangkok -- he was impossible to... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER VIKY GARDEN is confronted by the work of painter Otto Dix

GUEST WRITER VIKY GARDEN is confronted by the work of painter Otto Dix

The paintings of Otto Dix are as unrelentingly abrasive as a mincing machine. It’s the kind of art you get when society is forced through a sieve then put under a microscope. It’s... > Read more

Dyan's Pesto Potatoes

Dyan's Pesto Potatoes

Another easy from healthy-eating and obesity expert Dyan. INGREDIENTS 10 new potatoes 20 cherry tomatoes (slow roasted - see below) 1 cup packed basil leaves 1/2 cup grated parmesan... > Read more