Island’s stunning $135m makeover after cyclone
TWO years after it was ravaged by Cyclone Debbie, one of the Great Barrier Reef's most stunning island resorts has revealed its amazing $135m luxury transformation before it swings open its doors on Monday.
Stunning new photographs give the first look at the Hayman Island by Intercontinental resort, which tourism leaders say will be the jewel in the crown of a billion-dollar revival of the tourist trade in the region.
"Hayman rightfully enjoys its reputation as one of the most beautiful parts of the most beautiful place in the world," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
"It's got everything we love about Queensland, including the toughness to pick itself up after Cyclone Debbie and go on even better than before."
Five-star luxury suites feature private plunge pools, outdoor decks and gazebos with breathtaking views over the turquoise waters of the Coral Sea.
The 166-room private resort, starting at $750-a-night, has three wings of rooms, villas, and suites in the Lagoon Wing, Pool Wing and Beach Wing on the northernmost island in the Whitsundays.
Five distinct restaurants and bars offer the flavours of the sea at Aqua, Italian at Amici Trattoria and pan-Asian at Bam Bam.
Tourism Events Queensland chief Leanne Coddington said the relaunch was a huge economic boon for the state's $6 billion Reef tourism industry.
"Already this year we have seen the successful reopening of Daydream Island, with tourists flocking back since its redevelopment," she said.
"And of course, Hamilton Island has continued operating throughout offering a world-class experience to all its visitors.
"To have all three islands operating simultaneously again is certainly a boost to the economy and reflects the hard work, the passion, the resilience and the collaboration of everyone in the Whitsundays who were determined to rebuild the tourism industry in the wake of Cyclone Debbie."
InterContinental Hotels Group is the world's largest luxury hotel brand with 204 hotels worldwide and 60 new hotels in the pipeline and takeover operation of the resort for Malaysian owner's Mulpha Group.
Mark Eletr, General Manager of Hayman Island by InterContinental, told of the long haul to rebuild the resort devastated by category-four cyclone Debbie, packing 260km/h winds, in March 2017.
"Today marks a special day for our team who have worked tirelessly on the transformation of this sensational island resort,'' he said.