One of the best resorts i've ever stayed in is The Lakes. Pools, restaurant, bar, gym. A little bit out of the city but you can still walk to town in about 20-30 minutes. Great place to come back to if you're doing day trips to the reef or out of town.
http://www.thelakescairns.com.au/index.php about 8 years ago
I stayed at Globetrotters International this weekend and found it quite good. It's not a party hostel (but is close to other party hostels), rooms were good (and included their own fridge) and they had free wi-fi which was awesome. The staff were friendly and helpful, and it's only a short stroll to the beach. almost 8 years ago