Fun is the order of the day at the hip hotel of Crystalbrook Flynn in the heart of Cairns, where unwinding is just the pause you take before diving back into the action. Two glass-walled swimming pools provide a cheeky opportunity to see and be seen, the hotel’s cocktail game is second to none and everything this tropical paradise offers is right on your doorstep. It also has your downtime covered, with three on-site eateries (including a whiskey and wine bar with next-level snacks), a yoga mat in every room and the Scandi-chic Eléme Spa. Read on for the full review. 

Where is Crystalbrook Flynn?

Right on the Esplanade, just 10 minutes by taxi from Cairns airport. Flynn – the “Wild Child” of the Crystalbrook group – is in the centre of the action, with stunning harbour views and great proximity to restaurants, nightlife and adventure.

Crystalbrook Flynn lobby

What’s near Crystalbrook Flynn?

Join the locals for a morning stroll along the promenade, with its shady parklands, outdoor gyms, beach volleyball courts and public lagoon pool. Use one of the big screens in the reception area to book an experience, such as a two-hour Mandingalbay Sunset Cruise on Country with Djunbunji rangers. It leaves from Cairns Marlin Marina, 10 minutes away on foot, where you can also take a trip out to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.

Room types

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Each of the 311 coastal-style rooms features comfortable, understated décor and matte timber flooring, with pops of red courtesy signature linen robes and cushions. Choose from Cairns city or water views, with Nespresso machines and rainforest showers as standard. The huge, high-end, two-bedroom Flynn’s Suites occupy the top of the 12-storey tower and sleep up to six, with large living areas, a deep spa tub in the master bathroom and private decks with ample space to lounge or simply gaze out to the mountains and the Coral Sea.

Crystalbrook Flynn room interiors

Restaurants and bars

Crystalbrook Flynn restaurant

By day, nab a private cabana by the main pool and order sliders and a classic Aperol Spritz served in a fishbowl-sized glass. Later, start your evening with oysters and a cocktail on the terrace of the open-air Whiskey and Wine bar before moving downstairs to Flynn’s Italian. Here, you’ll enjoy a sophisticated menu of local produce sourced from the Cairns area with the option of matching wines. Outside the hotel, no visit is complete without a taste of fresh-caught seafood from the Prawn Star trawler docked at the marina.


From your recycled timber room room key to refillable bathroom pump bottles, cardboard coat hangers and Huskee cups made from upcycled coffee husks, Crystalbrook has made a comprehensive effort to lighten its impact on the planet. Hallway flooring is made from a fire-retardant recycled plastic product called Bolon and guests can opt for “Footprint-free stay” by refusing daily towel changes in return for a $10 dining credit. The hotel is also paper-free, with in-room iPads for information and bookings.

Travel for work

Two small soiree rooms can accommodate up to 30 people each; a third can seat 80. For larger conferences, all three can be opened to seat 140. All have screens and projectors. Some guest rooms have desks and dedicated work spaces.

Spa and pools 

Swap a visit to the on-site Eléme Spa on level two (temporarily closed at the time of publishing) for a trip to nearby Crystalbrook Riley, where Pin-Up Body Polish scrubs and slathers you into a glow of tropical proportions. Two glass-walled pools provide the perfect backdrop for your Instagram feed, while every room has a yoga mat for daily salutes to the sun.

What you need to know 

For a fun way to see the sights, grab one of the hotel’s free electric scooters and hit the Esplanade (child-sized scooters are also available if you are travelling with kids).

Best for: Fun seekers
Design: Tropical chic
Ambience: Ready to party
Number of rooms: 311, including 18 spacious suites
Rates: From $265 per night
Wi-fi: Free and fast
Parking: Self parking for $12 per night
Address: 85 Esplanade (access via 68-72 Abbott Street, Cairns)
(07) 4253 5000

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SEE ALSO: The Best Resorts to Book in Cairns

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