Gurner reveals $60m luxury retreat for Port Douglas

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Howard Salkow

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The Melbourne-based Gurner has submitted plans for a boutique ultra-luxury wellness, hotel and private residences retreat in Port Douglas on prime beachfront land. Image: Supplied.
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Douglas Shire Council today confirmed that multi-billion-dollar property developer, Tim Gurner, has submitted an application for a $60 Million ‘mixed use’ development on the 69-73 Murphy Street site in Port Douglas.

Initial town planning designs have been submitted to council and subject to approval, construction is earmarked to commence in mid-2021.

Mayor Michael Kerr said he is very excited that a developer with the extensive experience and ability in high-end properties has taken an interest in our region.

“Properties of this class would certainly put Port Douglas back on the list for many tourists who wish for an extra special property for their holiday.

“I look forward to seeing the project work through our staff in the planning department and eventually coming before Councillors,” said Kerr.

The Melbourne-based Gurner is continuing its diversification into the ultra-high-end wellness, tourism and hotel space for a boutique ultra-luxury wellness, hotel and private residences retreat in Port Douglas situated on 2833sqm of beachfront land.

Once complete the site is set to feature 16 ultra-luxury private residences and a further 18 boutique hotel rooms, a statement by Gurner said. 

Gurner said the retreat will encompass a holistic wellness experience complete with his own Samsara Wellness brand – the first of which will launch at the developer’s sold-out St Moritz address in St Kilda - containing a spa, sauna, ice baths and cryotherapy, pool and treatment rooms.

The hotel will also be home to a new iconic restaurant and cocktail bar, where the team are understood to be in final discussions with a world class chef to ensure the hospitality offering can be at a new level for Far North Queensland.

Gurner has engaged the renowned Powell and Glenn architects to lead the design in collaboration with Wolveridge Architects, given their exceptional local knowledge and experience.

And inspired landscape architect, Myles Baldwin, has been appointed to create a lavish tropical oasis filled with greenery, pools and a vast variety of private landscaped retreats and palms.

The residences and boutique hotel have been designed to draw inspiration from the Port Douglas vernacular – in part grounded to the earth, part floating in the treetops, with an abundance of verdant greenery cascading over the buildings, creating the appearance of the retreat having been grown from the earth itself.

It has been reported that the luxury boutique homes will range from $900,000 to $6 million. 


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“We will not be doing any of this by halves; people can expect it to be something truly special when it is complete – private, luxurious, homely and welcoming at every point.

“We have been incredibly fortunate over the past seven years to have built a defining portfolio of luxury residential projects along the eastern seaboard of Australia and now we want to take this philosophy and evolve it into something that extends the lifestyle offering through boutique hotels,” said founder and director Gurner.

“This project marks the beginning of a new chapter for the brand as we significantly expand our portfolio across a number of complementary sectors.

“We are exploring a number of new asset classes across tourism, wellness, accommodation and food and beverage – these next few years will be all about pushing the boundaries of our portfolio and recreating the luxury experience we provide to our apartment residents, at a much larger scale.

“We are very keen to work collaboratively with the Douglas Shire Council and deliver something that will become a high-end showpiece for the area,” he said.

The project will be sustainably-led and will feature a pared back materials palette that is characteristic of the local environment, with dual sided terraces, pitched roofs and plantation shutters shaping the residences, along with reflection pools and private relaxation retreats dotted around the property.

Gurner said the intention to sell the ultra-luxury private residences but retain ownership of the boutique retreat, spa and public food and beverage offering, is part of its multi-billion-dollar diversification strategy. 

Meanwhile, a Douglas Shire Council spokesman said their planning team will assess the application in line with the 2018 Planning Scheme in coming months.

“Under the Planning Scheme, the development proposal is code assessable development.

“As a consequence, the development proposal will not require public notification under the Planning Act 2016.

“Despite not requiring public notification, opportunity is still provided to the public to make comment on the proposal.

“However, any submissions received will not have third party appeal rights with respect to any decision made on the proposal.”

The development application documents are available for viewing at Council’s website.



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