Cairns & Great Barrier Reef’s accommodation on centre stage

Rocco Bar at Crystalbrook Riley.

The ‘big three’ items of any business event that will be fondly recalled afterwards by delegates are the speakers, the food and their room. The accommodation for delegates is what links all of the other elements of a business event together.

It’s not just a room to rest and refresh when the agenda allows, it’s a temporary office, a team break-out space, the reward for kicking goals, or even a rehearsal room for sales pitches, contract negotiations and after-party dance moves.

Who knew the humble accommodation room is under so much pressure to perform for your business event? Let the accommodation providers in Cairns & Great Barrier Reef be your event’s understudy and success on the main stage is naturally guaranteed.

Pullman Cairns International invested $11m in a refresh of its rooms and event spaces.

New Accommodation Cast Members

Crystalbrook Collection joined the Cairns skyline with three new 5-star properties. The first, Crystalbrook Riley was followed by Crystalbrook Bailey, and Crystalbrook Flynn. The development added 877 accommodation rooms to the city’s inventory. The three Cairns-based properties lead by example with their mantra “travel with a lighter footprint”, epitomising the need to rethink what exactly a delegate needs when travelling for a business event.

Each hotel and resort has a different personality, providing a uniquely enriching delegate experience – versatile event spaces, and a swathe of chic restaurants and bars. Two of which, boast rooftop locales overlooking the Coral Sea, flush with tropical sophistication; Whisky & Wine by Crystalbrook Flynn and Rocco by Crystalbrook Riley.

QT Port Douglas rebranded to Oaks Resort Port Douglas, leading the way for sister property Oaks Cairns Hotel to arrive as well. Oaks Cairns Hotel is the result of a $12 million conversion of a three-storey backpacker hostel into a five-storey designer hotel. Modern room designs allow for a spacious feel, without being wasteful with resources. Whilst some room types are not positioned against the external walls of the building, clever light wells mean you never notice as the rooms are flooded with natural light.

Silky Oaks Billabong Suite following the property’s $20m refurb.

New Performers Inspire Old Hands

With the Sheraton Grand Mirage Port Douglas Resort’s chic-coastal transformation a few years ago, and the arrival of new hotels, all the region’s top tier properties were inspired to upgrade.

Newly reopened Silky Oaks Lodge underwent a $20 million refurbishment. Owned by Baillie Lodges, this iconic property now competes with the world’s leading luxury lodges whilst reflecting the essence of the region. After a year-and-a-half under construction, the new-look Lodge boasts architectural delights like soaring ceilings and open-air spaces making the most of the rainforest-enclaved property.

Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort has a new lobby, guest rooms, alfresco restaurant and bar, and five revamped meeting spaces. The four-star property meets all the contemporary needs of business travellers whilst putting a smile on your face with its air of light revelry, and tropical fun.

Shangri-La The Marina, Cairns’ $13 million renovation of 184 guest rooms, delivered modern simplicity with nautical accents. Artwork is painted directly onto the walls of each room, representing the waves of the Coral Sea as it laps at the marina outside the waterfront property. The hotel welcomed new eatery The Backyard, where delegates can enjoy Australia’s barbecued favourites overlooking the marina, ideal for alfresco welcome functions.

Pullman Cairns International invested $11 million in its immersive art and design rejuvenation across guest rooms, event spaces and poolside area. A sleek black and white palate with light wood and accent colours, creating relaxed modern luxury for delegates. The hotel’s 11 event spaces now feature seamless technology, and The Grand Ballroom is home to a 42m2 LED screen so that your delegates can enjoy the highest quality sound and visual experience. Its historic charm merges with a new level of contemporary luxe for Cairns.

The Pullman Reef Hotel Casino’s $6.5 million refurbishment included a new lobby, expanded fine dining restaurant, new café, ultra-cool street food outlet, and get ready to break out those dance moves at the afterparty in Bar36.

Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort’s new look accommodation rooms.

Soon to be Up in Lights

The region’s accommodation refresh is not slowing anytime soon, with plenty of action still on the call sheet. A lot has changed in Cairns & Great Barrier Reef in the last five years, investment in the region continues to be at an all-time high.

Fitzroy Island Resort will undergo a $2.5 million refurbishment to bring in a lighter, contemporary styling to reflect the spectacular azure surrounds. The island is home to Nudey Beach, a frequent headliner on Australia’s Best Beach list. As well as new bathrooms, walkways, extended balconies, refreshed pool and pool bar area, the events space will triple with newly constructed conference rooms on the way.

Another two five-star properties are slated for Port Douglas; Crystalbrook on the Marina, and a Fairmont in the works. The world’s first to achieve the eco destination certification by Ecotourism Australia, Port Douglas Daintree should be on your call backs.

Accor plans to open Fairmont Port Douglas in 2023, adding 253 rooms, several restaurants, a day spa, a treetop walk, and panoramic conference facilities, planned around resort-style pools and built to seamlessly blend with nature.

Crystalbrook Collection have announced plans to build a 100-room, five-star hotel alongside a 30-room ‘ultra-luxe’ hotel at the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina in Port Douglas – Australia’s northern-most developed yachting launch pad.

After two years of COVID-affected travel, we think you’ll agree it’s high time you travelled north again to explore the improved ‘natural place to meet’. A fresh new vibe, old school hospitality, and world-class world heritage awaits. Surrounding your team with great, makes your business greater.