Outrigger Hotels & Resorts has reaffirmed its intention to expand throughout Australia following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with property developer Meridien to manage two new waterfront resorts at the US$754M Port of Airlie at Airlie Beach in North Queensland.
Located in Queensland’s famed Whitsundays region, Airlie Beach attracts around one million visitors annually. It is widely regarded as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and 74 islands that feature heavily in Australia’s international tourism campaigns.
Airlie Beach is 25 minute drive from the Whitsunday Coast airport, which currently has direct connections with Brisbane and Sydney. Offshore there are day trips to the many islands and coral reefs. These include the beautiful Heart Reef and brilliant white sands of Whitehaven Beach which regularly features in the top ten of the world’s best beaches. Inland is a treasure of national parks filled with ancient rainforests.
Outrigger will initially manage Meridien’s Boathouse Apartments which are expected to welcome their first guests in early 2011.
To be branded The Boathouse by Outrigger, there will be 56 two- and three-bedroom apartments spread across two three-level buildings, which are modelled on a classic colonial design synonymous with the Queensland tropics.
The luxury apartments have been designed to capitalise on their premium waterfront position and will be set in a rich tropical landscape, surrounded by a suite of exclusive boutiques and restaurants.
The second stage of the development, the Port of Airlie Resort will feature spacious resort style apartments, conferencing facilities, restaurant, bar, pool, full resort facilities and specialty outlets.
On completion, Meridien’s Port of Airlie will become a world class destination that will include a 289-berth marina catering to all boat sizes including super yachts, as well as 365 residential apartments, 15 absolute oceanfront homes, a public harbourside boardwalk, 240m all tide beach and public parkland, a retail precinct and an integrated Fantasea ferry, cruise and bus terminal.
Outrigger’s Senior Vice President for Asia, Darren Edmonstone, who is responsible for overseeing Outrigger’s growth throughout the Asia Pacific, said: "Our new partnership with Meridien is testament to our long-term commitment to expand throughout Australia’s premier tourist and corporate travel destinations. The quality of apartments and location of Port of Airlie is an ideal fit for our brand throughout the Asia Pacific region," Mr Edmonstone said.
Meridien’s Managing Director, Russell McCart said Outrigger Hotels & Resorts will bring a high quality brand to Port of Airlie that is unmatched around the country.
"We are very excited to have an operator with Outrigger’s international standards and experience onboard to manage Port of Airlie’s Boathouse and Resort Apartments. We believe that under Outrigger’s management our owners and guests will have the best possible experience of luxury resort living in Airlie Beach.
"With more than 60 years of hospitality experience, Outrigger Hotels & Resorts was selected to manage the Boathouse Apartments and the future Port of Airlie Resort, due to their wealth of industry experience and reliable, highly reputable brands across Hawaii, Fiji, Guam, Indonesia, Thailand and Australia," Mr McCart said.
Grant James, Outrigger Hotels & Resorts’ Australia Regional General Manager, said: "We are delighted to add The Boathouse Apartments and Port of Airlie Resort to our expanding hotel portfolio and look forward to working with Meridien and being part of Port of Airlie’s exciting future."