HM checks-in to the newest property on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort and Spa Noosa.
BY JAMES WILKINSON IN NOOSA
Since it opened last July, Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort and Spa has been a standout property in Noosa, thanks to its location, well-appointed rooms, good local fare and overall facilities.
Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort and Spa General Manager, Alex Chapman, said expectations were exceeded in the first half of 2010 and he’s looking at the leisure market to be strong in 2011.
To find out more about the property and what other markets will be strong this year, HM sat down with Chapman at the resort.
How has the property performed since it opened and what are you expecting in 2011 across all market segments?
We exceeded expectations in our first six months of operations since opening on July 8, 2010. Interestingly enough, the treetop villas and deluxe villas have grown very popular with families and groups of couples wanting a superior escape utilising Stephanie’s Ocean Spa.
How is the MICE market looking this year?
We have over AUD$2 million worth of conference business booked. Since opening, we have had a number of large national conferences with very positive comments about the conference rooms, the setting and experience. The general view is that it is refreshing to have a brand new venue on the sunshine coast. This market also has a positive contribution to the local economy.
What other market segments are you expecting to be the strongest in 2011?
The leisure market from the regional drive market on weekends and from interstate, in particular Victoria, during school holidays. The importance of the mice market is that it fills the resort mid-week and the leisure market fills the weekends.
What market segments could be better across the region in 2011?
The international market, however having said that, this is growing from New Zealand and Europe as the resort is featured in more travel programs.
The Sunshine Coast is about to be a big winner with increased seat capacity and new airlines flying to the region – what level of impact are you expecting the arrival of Tiger having on the property?
Seat capacity is important for the region and we expect this new service to boost occupancies within the region.
Flights from China are increasing to destinations across Australia, particularly Brisbane. Are you expecting strong growth from the Chinese market or do you believe SE Queensland needs to do more to win a share of it?
I don’t believe that the sunshine coast is a strong desired destination for the Chinese market whereby the gold coast is more suited.
What makes the resort so unique in your opinion?
The biggest single comment we receive from guests is that the resort is surrounded by the natural rainforest and national park and yet so close to Hastings Street shopping and the beach. The other aspect is the eco design of the property.
Last but not least, what are some of the unique offerings Outrigger has brought to Noosa, such as Hawaiian service and hospitality?
One of the aspects i am extremely proud of is that we have retained a great deal of our initial staff and that they have all embraced the Ohana (family) mentality. It is with this, that we have brought the warmth in our hospitality and ultimate delivery of our service standards which has been continuously praised by guests.
A STAR IN THE KITCHEN
At Outrigger Noosa’s View on Little Hastings, there’s a star in the kitchen by the name of Olivier Maokhamphieu, a 30-year hospitality veteran who specialises in French-Vietnamese cuisine.
It’s no wonder he’s a master at that exotic mix, given he was born to a French mother and Vietnamese father, who was a respected chef during Vietnam’s French colonial rule.
Olivier (Ollie) combines the Asian flavours of mint, lemongrass, ginger, coriander and the crunch and texture of Vietnamese foods, with the smooth silky sauces and robust reductions of classical French fare.
He has stitched up supply agreements at View on Little Hastings with local seafood suppliers for Mooloolaba prawns, Hervey Bay scallops and other tasty morsels straight from the trawlers.
“One exception will be our oysters that are sourced from Coffin Bay,” Ollie said.
Non-seafood lovers are also in for a treat with a sumptuous range of pork, beef, chicken and vegetarian dishes along with some exquisite desserts, handmade pastries and cheeses.
Local produce is a key priority for Ollie, with seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, meats and dairy products sourced direct from Sunshine Coast producers, growers and purveyors.
A staunch believer in not taking short cuts, Ollie and his team make everything from scratch daily, including all stocks, reductions and marinades.
“Prepping is as important as presentation,” he said. “Particular dishes are marinated for a minimum of three hours and up to 24-hours.
Before moving Noosa to take on the executive chef role at View on Little Hastings, Ollie spent most of his time cooking in Canberra at a range of fine dining restaurants including the swanky Hill Station Restaurant during the 80s that was a frequent haunt for Federal pollies and former Prime Minister, Bob Hawke.
For the past seven years he headed up Zipp Restaurant and Wine Bar at Canberra’s Saville Park Suites.