New name, operator for Hayman Island

Hayman Island’s One&Only resort in the Whitsundays.
Hayman Island’s One&Only resort in the Whitsundays.

Posh Whitsundays Island Hayman is set to be rebranded an InterContinental Resort after its previous manager and operator, the Kerzner Group’s high-profile One&Only Group, cut ties with the island’s owner.

Hayman Island’s owner, ­Malaysian conglomerate Mulpha Australia, offered up the management rights to its entire local accommodation portfolio last year, including Hayman, its prestigious InterContinental hotel in Sydney and InterContinental Sanctuary Cove resort property in Queensland and the company’s Rydges hotel in Cairns.

Three parties were short-listed for the prized management rights to the four eastern seaboard hotels and resorts including the incumbent, the London-based IHG, which controls InterContinental Hotels and French giant Accor which is understood to have wanted to rebrand the InterContinental hotel in Sydney’s Bridge Street as a luxury Fairmont if it were successful.

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The American hotel giant Marriott, which controls more than 30 hotel brands around the world including the luxury St Regis, Bulgari and W Hotels was also short-listed. But incumbent operator IHG successfully won the rights to the Mulpha properties and will continue to operate the Sydney and Sanctuary Cove resort hotels under the InterContinental brand.

However, senior hotel sources said Mulpha’s Rydges Hotel in Cairns would remain under a Rydges hotel.

Hayman Island will be rebranded an InterContinental Resort when it reopens on December 1 after a massive renovation due to the damage sustained from Cyclone Debbie in March last year. The high-profile resort was rebranded a One&Only resort in 2014 amid much fanfare following an $80 million refurbishment.

Although the Hayman Island InterContinental Resort will be one of the first such resort properties in Australia, IHG operates similar luxury resorts in Bora Bora, Tahiti and Koh Samui and Pattaya in Thailand.

Sources said the new InterContinental on Hayman Island which will sport 160 penthouses, villas that will represent a whole new level of luxury for the group.

Mulpha is also keen to sell off some of Hayman Island’s ultra luxury villas and is expected to have four to offer to buyers from December 1. Mulpha’s Australian based chief executive Greg Shaw declined to comment on the plans yesterday.

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