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New Hotel Running On Schedule

By Mark Beale

The opening date of Airlie’s newest addition is in sight, with Heart Hotel and Gallery Whitsundays set to open on September 1.

A luxurious full service hotel, the landmark is expected to become one of the region’s finest and most iconic accommodation offerings.

CEO of Tourism Whitsundays Craig Turner said a hotel of such high quality would assist in attracting visitors to the region.

“A resort like this hasn’t been built in a while,” he said.

“It shows confidence in the region and confidence in the region’s development.”

Managing director of atHotel Group Jeff Aquilina, who will operate the hotel, said he was thrilled construction was on track.

“We’re excited we’re on schedule and looking forward to our opening day because it’s been a long time coming,” he said.

“The old site was due for an upgrade and its good to have new products in Airlie Beach.”

The unique design of the hotel captures the essence of a tropical Queensland home with a design that is “elegant and timeless”.

Mr Aquilina said having a brand new full service hotel in Airlie was an exciting move for the region.

“I think it offers an accomodation standard that’s not currently available in Airlie Beach,” he said.

“I think it lifts the destinations appeal to a broader market and it’s an exciting time for the Airlie Beach main street and overall as a destination.”

Described by Mr Aquilina as a “traditional hotel”, its services will provide 24-hour reception, daily house keeping and an on-site restaurant run by locals, Brett and Jane Lange, which will offer full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.

“That’s always a positive,” Mr Aquilina said.

The building will also feature an art gallery on the top floor displaying the work of local artists.

Mayor of the Whitsundays, Andrew Willcox, said he was very happy to see the development progressing.

“It’ll be great to have a full service hotel in a great location,” he said.

“It’s designed so that it’s looking over the ocean and that’s exactly what we’re famous for – our oceans… (and) it will really compliment the main street as well.”

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