Gurner gets green light for $250m Port Douglas resort with underwater aquarium rooms

Gurner gets green light for $250m Port Douglas resort with underwater aquarium rooms

Render of Gurner's aquarium room concept.

Prolific Melbourne-based developer Gurner has received a planning permit for its second project in Far North Queensland tourist town Port Douglas, where the company intends to build a complex including a 112-room resort and 44 luxury homes and town houses.

Gurner, founded by entrepreneur Tim Gurner and led by former Latitude boss Ahmed Fahour, has been working closely with Douglas Shire over the past 18 months to re-imagine a new level of luxury accommodation for the area, engaging local company Hunt Design as lead architect to create a completely unique offering.

The developer expects to break ground on the project in 2025.

One of the more noteworthy drawcards to the $250 million development will be its six “underwater” aquarium rooms within the three-storey hotel, with a glassed wall creating an underwater visage into the lagoon.

"We see this as a huge opportunity for the future of Port Douglas – the incredible area is crying out for some amazing accommodation that highlights its natural beauty, which is what inspired the design of our luxury wellness experience that locals will be proud of," says Tim Gurner, who is also executive chairman of his eponymous group.

"Port Douglas is one of my favourite parts of the world – I love holidaying there with my family, and I’m looking forward to seeing this family friendly resort experience come to life and bring more visitors to the area."

The residential component will include seven different villa types and the ability to provide both short-term and permanent accommodation.

Purchasers will have the option of incorporating advanced wellness options that have been curated to promote physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

More than 30 per cent of the 26,000sqm site will be covered in tropical landscaping, with 3,000sqm of shared outdoor amenity.

"As with all our lifestyle and property projects, we always try to push the boundaries of what is possible – at Davidson Street in Port Douglas there’ll be lagoon-facing underwater rooms, wellness facilities and our signature brand of high-end residences, culminating in a new experience that you won’t be able to get anywhere else in far north Queensland," says Gurner.

"We believe in creating spaces that inspire and elevate the human experience, with this project, we are setting a new standard for luxury hospitality, where wellness is woven into every aspect of the guest experience."

Hunt Design principal Gary Hunt says the project will set a new benchmark for Port Douglas while bringing new energy to local industries.

"We believe it will put the town back on the map as the pre-eminent destination for tourism," Hunt says.

"We have worked closely with the Gurner and Douglas Shire Council teams to ensure the finished product aligns with council preferences, and we believe this project will set a new benchmark for luxury accommodation in the region.

"By working closely with the council within the planning scheme and incorporating feedback from stakeholders, Gurner has created a well-rounded application that not only meets regulatory requirements but also addresses the specific wellness needs of the community in a thoughtful and meaningful way."

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