InterContinental Hotels has set a date of 01 July 2019 on which it plans to reopen Hayman Island Resort under its own flag – a little more than two years since the island was annihilated by Cyclone Debbie.
Speaking to HM sister title Spice News, InterContinental Hayman Island General Manager Mark Eletr said the fruits of the company’s $100 million investment into rebuilding the island paradise will be worth the wait by the middle of next year.
“The owners have thought long and hard about what they want this island to be and how they want it to be positioned in the Australian and the international luxury landscape. There’s been a lot of soul searching over the past years as to what we do with Hayman Island resort and I think we want to anchor it back into the legacy that it was for generations that used to cruise around like my family did,” Eletr said.
The new InterContinental Hayman Island will feature 166 rooms a short walk from the beach, multiple dining offerings both indoor and outdoor, landscaped gardens and an entertainment centre for functions including weddings.
Restoration work has gone far beyond the cosmetic exercise of putting up new buildings, Eletr said, with work going deep into the heart of Hayman Island to deliver a completely new operational skeleton around which the resort will function.
“It’s not just the damage from the cyclone. It’s going far deeper than that and addressing some of the issues some of you may have encountered in the past as problematic – infrastructure, water supply, fuel stores, transport, boats, hot water heaters, air-conditioning, roofing, leaks, gardens, grounds – it’s everywhere.”
All rooms are undergoing a complete refresh with furnishings being modernised and brought up to the InterContinental standard. New room types will be available including a palatial three-bedroom beach residence which Eletr believes will be booked out “years in advance”.
Swimming pools are being entirely replaced, complete with a new daytime menu of light and fresh seafood. A number of new dining venues will make their debuts, including a pan-Asian pool club with a menu of casual bites. Some things won’t change though, with InterContinental set to keep the island’s Pacific Restaurant legacy going strong, however the menu is expected to change slightly to a more modern Australian angle.
“We’ve taken some time to understand what the industry is looking for in an island resort, we’ve kept a lot of these venues and kept them open and clean so we can take a curated approach to events,” Eletr added.