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Monday, November 15, 2010

One of its kind Hayman

It is a bit of a coup for Mulpha Australia Ltd to have come to own Hayman Island, located off the east coast of Queensland in the Whitsunday Island group in Australia.

Of these group of islands, Hayman is closest to the Great Barrier Reef and is made up of a lush green sub-tropical forest. The island has an award-winning resort, simply called Hayman and is also owned and operated by Mulpha Australia.

Hayman is marketed as a private island destination, considering that it is the only resort on the island and will remain so, and seems to cater to the well-heeled.

Shane Green

For example, Hayman’s soon-to-be-launched private beach villas, which will boast dedicated butlers and a private pool, are being offered at whopping A$1,350 per night. Bookings for the first month are close to be fully taken up, says Shane Green, the resort’s general manager.

Mulpha Australia (a wholly-owned unit of Mulpha International Bhd) bought Hayman in 2004 as part of a portfolio of hotels offered by the Principal Hotel Group.

Green, who came on board in July, says plans are under way at “taking Hayman to the next level” by reinvesting money to upgrade current facilities at the resort.

“We’re looking at giving the visitor a new level of experience, with a focus on the spa and relaxation, a sort of re-imagination of Hayman if you like,” he says. Green is quick to add the changes would make use of the existing infrastructure of Hayman and that the refurbishment work would be completed in 24 months.

According to Lloyd Donaldson, the head of hotel investment for Mulpha Australia, the company is investing between A$20mil (RM62mil) and A$30mil into Hayman, of which A$5mil has already been mostly spent on the eight new beach villas which are coming onstream on Dec 10 this year.

Hayman has 212 rooms, consisting of suites, penthouses and beach villas.

More importantly, Mulpha Australia has secured the necessary approvals for building 42 private homes on Hayman. To be noted is that about 75% of the island is made up of a national park and so cannot be developed.

Hence, the 42 homes carry a sort of exclusivity premium. Adding that to the fact that these homes will have wide oceanic views, it’s no wonder these houses are being priced between A$15mil and A$20mil.

So far, three such houses have been sold and few more are close to being sold. The first house is about to be delivered to its new owner.

Green, an experienced hotelier, whose last postings were in the United States where he oversaw the development of major resorts and upscale residential projects in Los Angeles, Miami and Las Vegas, said that to ensure consistency of design and aesthetics, all the homes to be built on the island will have to be designed by the Kerry Hill architectural firm.

Kerry Hill is also the designer of Hayman’s new beach villas and also of Mulpha International’s planned luxurious bungalows in Bukit Tunku, Kuala Lumpur.

By The Star

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