Being greeted by David Bowie and Kate Moss – their likeness, anyway – sets the tone for the recently reimagined Benson Hotel in the heart of Cairns City. With a rooftop pool, wonderful views and live music on the sweeping outdoor terrace every weekend, you’ll happily stay and play in this Art-Deco-meets-Miami-inspired boutique hotel.
Where is The Benson Hotel?
Nestled in the inner-city grid overlooking Grafton and Spence streets, The Benson Hotel is a 10-minute drive from the Cairns International Airport and is in close proximity to a wealth of cafés, bars and restaurants, including the exceptional waterfront Hemingway’s Brewery.
What’s near The Benson Hotel?
Make like a local and pop two minutes across the road to the famous Rusty’s fresh produce markets produce markets every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5am. With exotic tropical fruits, decadent pastries and organic coffee, there is bound to be something to soothe your head after a night spent dancing at The Benson. There’s also luxury shopping (hello, Louis Vuitton) and all manner of adventurous Tropical North Queensland island-hopper day trips right on your doorstep.
Having changed hands in 2021, The Benson Hotel has a new lease on life with freshly refurbished modern-Art-Deco style rooms offering views of the cityscape and surrounding mountains. With velvet furnishings, gilded finishes, and tongue-in-cheek art, the Gold Benson double and king are the pick of the hotel’s 101 rooms and are perfect for solo travellers, friends or couples with a little more cash to splash than your average backpackers.
The bathrooms may be small but they pack a mighty punch, with eye-catching green herringbone tiling. In-room seating areas flooded in natural light, coupled with fast and reliable wi-fi, provide a comfortable environment to catch up on emails or plan your next reef experience.
Restaurants and bars
Slide into a spacious booth for ricotta breakfast pancakes with hazelnut, mascarpone and chocolate curd at level 3’s freshly refurbed and redefined namesake restaurant. With a new head chef at the helm, expect modern Australian cuisine for lunch and dinner with a special focus on local seafood and fresh twists on modern classics – the whole roasted cauliflower with hummus and dukkah does not disappoint.
Come late afternoon and evening, the spacious bar and outdoor terrace provides the perfect backdrop for live music over cocktails, a decadent charcuterie board and the setting North Queensland sun.
Travel for work
Two large conference rooms catering to up to 100 attendees are available for functions and work events. Each space is fitted out with built-in speakers, projectors and screens and is situated next to the restaurant for a quick coffee in-between presentations.
Pool and spa
With sweeping views of the harbour, the rooftop pool at The Benson is the place to soak up some sunshine or lounge about with cocktail in hand.
The Benson partners with Natural Palm Day Spa, a brisk 20 metres around the corner from the lobby, to provide Thai/Australian style massage treatments and beauty packages. Have the staff at The Benson book you in for a signature Thai detox massage.
What you need to know
Nightlife comes to you at The Benson, with local and national artists providing live entertainment each weekend. Revel with fellow travellers and locals alike on the picture-perfect terrace, which hopes to become a mainstay of the Cairns bar scene.
Best for: Solo travellers and couples
Design: Modern Art Deco
Number of rooms: 101
Rates: From $190/night for Benson Silver Queen room
Wi-Fi: Free and fast
Parking: Onsite guest parking at $20/night
Address: 50 Grafton St, Cairns
Phone: (07) 4046 0300
Earn 3 Qantas Points per $1 when you book your next stay at qantas.com/hotels