Resort operator Banyan Tree takes over Lindeman Island

Lindeman Island is to be operated by Banyan Tree.

Singapore-based luxury resorts operator Banyan Tree has won the management rights to operate Lindeman Island while builder Watpac is said to have snared the construction contract for a $600 million redevelopment of the island in Queensland’s Whitsundays. 

The AccorHotels-run Banyan Tree is expected to manage the five-star and six-star resort hotels for the island northwest of ­Brisbane that was bought by Chinese company White Horse in 2012 for $12 million after the exit of Club Med.

As well as those hotels — one a beach resort, the other an ­exclusive spa resort — White Horse is also aiming to develop 89 villas that are expected to be pitched at Chinese tourists.

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Demolition of the existing Club Med Lindeman Island resort is expected to start in the middle of next year, with White Horse, which owns 55,000 billboards across 21 Chinese cities, still ­attempting to achieve late-stage planning approvals.

None of the parties involved would comment yesterday, but it is understood the ASX-listed Watpac edged out Queensland builder Hutchinson to snare the construction job, which is ­expected to take several years given the logistical and staffing difficulties involved in building on an island more than 800km northwest of Brisbane.

White Horse could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Lindeman Island resort Queensland

An artist’s impression of the proposed Lindeman Island resort.

Lindeman Island’s reconstruction follows Mulpha’s $120 million-plus redevelopment of the cyclone-damaged Hayman Island, which will be completed in the middle of next year.

Daydream Island’s two-year renovation by its Chinese owners, after they bought it from Queensland vitamin king Vaughan Bullivant, is further advanced.

Daydream Island announced this week that a soft opening is expected by April 10 following the redevelopment. The island was badly damaged during Cyclone Debbie in March last year. Daydream Island has a revamped pool area as well as relaxed dining concepts, bars and modern rooms and suites.

The completed Lindeman ­Island resort will occupy about one-fifth of the island, with the remainder occupied by the Lindeman Island National Park. All energy and water for the resort will be self-generated. More than 200 people are expected to arrive by ferry daily to Lindeman Island, which will also operate two flights a day from Shute Harbour.

A marina, costing as much as $60m to ­develop, has been scrapped because of concerns about harm it might cause to the Great Barrier Reef.

Banyan Tree Holdings ­entered into a heads of agreement with AccorHotels in 2016. Under a long-term partnership, both parties intend to collaborate to develop and manage Banyan Tree-branded hotels around the world.

Banyan Tree also has access to AccorHotels’ global reservations and sales network, as well as its loyalty program, Le Club AccorHotels.

AccorHotels invested an ­initial $S24m in Banyan Tree and both parties are co-­developing the brands owned by Banyan Tree around the world.

A Banyan Tree resort recently opened in the up-market ­Brisbane suburb of Kangaroo Point.

– with Michelle Singer

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