Chiodo Lodges $300m Port Douglas Hotel Plans


Melbourne-based developer Chiodo Corporation has lodged plans to build a $300 million luxury resort to bring the “bling factor” back to tropical north Queensland.

The Accor Fairmont Port Douglas will be the newest hotel in the region in 20 years and includes 253 rooms, several restaurants, bars, a day spa, treetop walk as well as conference and wedding facilities designed around large pools.

Construction on the 2.1-hectare site at 71-85 Port Douglas Road is expected to start early next year.

Plans were previously in place to build on the site—with work slated to start in 2008—however the project was “stalled due to change of ownership and unfavourable economic conditions” according to the development application.

The site near Four Mile Beach was listed for sale in September 2018 and picked up a couple of months later for $7.8 million by Oakstand Fund No.7 Pty Ltd.

It is located next to Minor Hotel’s Oaks Resort Port Douglas which was also acquired in late 2018.

The previous approved plans include a resort style complex with 206 units, and a development permit for this project has already been extended.

The latest plans for Accor Fairmont Port Douglas were designed by Buchan Group and have a room mix across five floors, consisting of 150 standard rooms, 76 gold rooms, 11 one-bed, 11 two-bed, five presidential and one royal room.

Related: Cairns $1bn Global Tourism Hub on Back-Burner

▲ The Fairmont Port Douglas Hotel design by Buchan Group features a five-storey plus rooftop resort surrounded by pools.
▲ The Fairmont Port Douglas Hotel design by Buchan Group adds 47 rooms to previously-approved plans for the site.

Chiodo principal Paul Chiodo said the hotel was the first in the region to achieve “Eco Destination” certification from Ecotourism Australia, and has strong environmental credentials.

“Our vision is to deliver an environmental hotel that still encapsulates the hallmarks of a luxury hotel and Accor clearly shares the same passion that we have at Chiodo Corporation for Port Douglas itself.

“We both share a love for Port Douglas and its community, and we will jointly push hard to bring Port Douglas the bling factor that it had 15 years ago, where world leaders go to play golf and Hollywood celebrities go for vacations,” Chiodo said.

Simon McGrath, chief operating officer of Accor Pacific, which operates 344 hotels in Australia, said the company continues to expand its luxury offerings.

“As our first ‘Fairmont’ [branded offering], this is going to be a truly special resort, whose architecture mimics the rich biosphere of the Daintree Rainforest, which is centred on well-being, nature and cultural immersion,” McGrath said.

There has been a big push from the Douglas Shire Council to bring tourism to the tropical north, with the $250,000 renovation of Sugar Wharf for weddings and special events as well as plans to build a road or ferry service across the Daintree River.

Construction of tourism projects in the region’s southern neighbour Cairns have also moved ahead, including the $176 million convention centre and the $60 million Cairns Central shopping centre redevelopment.

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