Crystalbrook Collection has opened two of three new resorts in the North Queensland city in recent months.

Newly formed management company Crystalbrook Collection has announced a AUD$370 million investment into the development of three landmark Cairns hotels.

The timeline for the projects will see a 5-star hotel become operational each year for the next three years.

Crystalbrook Collection CEO, Mark Davie, said key factors in the company’s decision to invest in Cairns included the need for appropriate hotels to respond to key tourism markets along with the forecast for inbound tourism within the region.

“These hotels are set to be premium properties, delivering guests unique lifestyle experiences and leading accommodation options,” he said.

“We believe that Cairns is in need of high quality hotels. Our developments are set to respond to anticipated growth in tourism as highlighted by recent Smith Travel Research reports”

Statistics compiled by Smith Travel Research for the 12 months to January 2016 showed a 74.7% occupancy rates in Cairns, up by 8.6% and double digit growth in revenue per room available, with growth figures coming in at 15.1%.

Cairns developer Prime Group have been engaged to undertake the projects from concept to conception, with the hotels set to reflect the natural environment and key tourism drivers unique to the region – reef, rainforest, outback and tropical lifestyle.

The project pipeline includes:

137 Esplanade, Cairns, QLD: A 264-room hotel, previously operating as Rydges Tradewinds, will be redeveloped to create a 311-room hotel tower with a 12-storey tower built alongside. The Great Barrier Reef inspired development will play host to a rooftop bar and lounge, as well as ample function and conference spaces, with the main function space accommodating up to 300 seated guests. Beginning construction in 2017, the property is set to be operational by July 2018.

163 Abbott Street, Cairns, QLD: A 4000sq/m greenfield block located in the city center will hold two towers, the first being a 222-room hotel with function rooms, restaurants and bars. The second, a 110-room apartment complex, will be expertly constructed and released for sale. The development will be a landmark complex reflecting the lush rainforests surrounding Cairns. Development will begin mid 2017 with completion expected February 2019.

85 Esplanade (Bellview), Cairns, QLD: A waterfront esplanade location will hold a new hotel (constructed on the site of a previously existing hotel and office suite). This property will reflect an inner-city urban experience, with development planned for a 300-room premier hotel and a street food dining experience that will attract locals and visitors alike. Construction will begin late 2018 with operations expected to begin very October 2019.

The company says each development will have a minimum AUD$100 million invested with the overall project expected to inject AUD$900 million into the economy.

Davie also confirmed the collection will be self-managed, turning down interest from major luxury hotel chains offers to manage the assets.

“We held significant discussions regarding management with several brands, both leading luxury operators and white-label groups, however for a growing brand focused on authenticity, self-management was determined the best option,” he said.

“We plan to respond authentically to the new customers we hope to bring to the area and feel the best way to do this is by self-managing our operations right here from Cairns.”

Davie said the search for Crystalbrook Collection’s senior management had begun, with operations to be based within Cairns.

Once operational, the hotels will join Crystalbrook Collection’s recently acquired portfolio of tourism entities, including Crystalbrook Lodge, a premier lodge stay experience in Northern Queensland, and M.V Bahama, a 28m luxury charter yacht based in Port Douglas.

The company also has investments within the Queensland pastoral industry, owing an 85,000acre working cattle station, with a recent announcement indicating a further $20 million-dollar pastoral industry investment in the immediate future.

Crystalbrook Collection plans to use the Brangus beef bred on their properties as a signature ‘paddock to plate’ experience within their hotels and tourism enterprises, delivering guests a unique Australian experience.

The company is also open about their focus on future growth and are currently pursuing opportunities within Australia for future expansions and additional products that will complement the portfolio and corporate vision.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management