Private investor David Kingston is again looking to sell his 172-room island resort in the Whitsundays, part of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.
The 8-hectare Long Island, owned by Kingston’s Ocean Hotels, hit the market in 2016 with a price tag of about $20 million, but failed to sell.
At the time it was offered for sale alongside another Ocean Hotels-owned resort, the 161-room Club Crocodile Airlie Beach, which was bought by Singapore’s Well Smart Investment Holdings for $9 million.
Price expectations this time round are understood to be in excess of $15 million, with an improved tourism climate – following cyclone Debbie in 2017 – lending to renewed investor interest.
Shanghai-based China Capital Investment Group are also spending upwards of $100 million to refurbish the neighbouring 296-room Daydream Island resort.
Long Island, a nine-kilometre, narrow island west of Hamilton Island sits just seven kilometres east of Airlie Beach on the Great Barrier Reef.
Long Island Resort was originally developed by Contiki, but Kingston, a former managing director of investment bank Rothschilds, has owned it for the past 20 years under Ocean Hotels.
Kingston has appointed CBRE Hotels’ Wayne Bunz and Hayley Manvell to sell the island property, the same agents appointed to sell the resort in 2016.
The resort is situated on the closest Whitsunday Island from the mainland, being only 7 kilometres off the Queensland coastline, situated between Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach accessible via the Cruise Whitsundays ferry circuit or privately chartered water-taxi or helicopter.
CBRE's Wayne Bunz said the most successful Australian leisure assets were ultra-luxury, smaller developments such as Qualia, Bedarra Island and the Baillies Lodges, including Southern Ocean Lodge, Longitude 131 and Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island.
The island property has opportunities for expansion which could involve repositioning it into a premium resort such as Hamilton Island or One&Only Hayman Island.
Ocean Hotels has engaged PlusArchitecture to prepare plans for Long Island which include 44 luxury villas, a spa, a restaurant, lounge bar and an infinity pool overlooking Happy Bay.
“Long Island Resort features mainland power and presents strong foundations for an incoming purchaser to redevelop and re-establish this once thriving island getaway and realise its true potential,” Manvell said.
Manvell said Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef islands were experiencing a period of resurgence, underpinned by $55 million in investment from the Queensland government.
“This investment will facilitate the delivery of critical infrastructure with innovative environmental outcomes and has led to four new or refurbished Great Barrier Reef island resorts opening in 2019.”
CBRE Hotels is also marketing the Byron at Byron Resort and Spa on behalf of Gerry Harvey and Harvey Norman Holdings with an expected sale price of between $40 million and $50 million. The resort has hit the market for the first time since its 2005 opening.