First five-star resort coming to Margaret River

The site of the future five-star Margaret River resort.
The site of the future five-star Margaret River resort.

Western Australia’s premier wine region is set to get its first five-star resort in what’s being flagged as a major step forward for the emerging tourism hotspot.

The 120-room Westin Margaret River Resort and Spa is set to open in 2023 on the secluded southern headland of Gnarabup Beach.

The location boasts access to the Cape to Cape walking track and world-renowned surf breaks all within the heart of the famous Margaret River wine region and just 10km from the town centre.

Tipped as a game changer for the area, the venture is a joint development between Saracen Properties and Security Capital Australia – two of Western Australia’s leading property developers and will be operated by Marriott International.

WA Tourism Minister Paul Papalia says the development shows “that the long-term future of WA tourism is bright”.

“Marriott is one of the world’s most prestigious hotel brands and the new luxury resort will add yet another attraction to the already world-class Margaret River region.”

Before the pandemic WA has been clocking record-high tourism numbers in recent years, including growing visitor rates to the budding wine region.

CBRE’s Head of Capital Markets for Western Australia, Aaron Desange says the announcement is particularly welcome following the downturn in WA in recent years.

“Importantly, this announcement will increase the region’s luxury tourism appeal, which will help contribute to injecting much-needed revenue back into our state after particularly challenging economic times,” Desange says.

“The Westin Margaret River Resort and Spa will be a major drawcard for the South West region and will further boost Margaret River’s presence on the international stage. 

“More than 15 regional and international operators bid for this opportunity, which underlines the scarcity of five-star resort development opportunities in thriving regional Australian leisure markets.

King & Wood Mallesons helped negotiate the deal with CBRE Hotels and the Christou Design Group is designing the resort promising a low-impact look to settle into the surrounding environment but still achieving luxury.

The site will have three dining venues, 400sqm of meeting space, extensive leisure facilities, a resort-style outdoor swimming pool and day spa.

The government is estimating the project will create more than 300 construction jobs and long-term employment for up to 100 locals.