Hotelier Glenn Piper has acquired the leasehold for the Whitsundays’ spectacular Hook Island. It joins his recent acquisitions including Newcastle’s iconic Merewether Beach Hotel and Q Station in Manly, alongside the Harbord Hotel in Freshwater.
The sale will see Piper give the holiday destination, devastated by cyclones in 2011 and 2017, a new lease of life, as he transforms the property into a new world-class eco-lodge, with food and beverage at the heart of the experience.
Hook Island, nestled between Hayman Island and Whitsunday Island, is a stunning idyll of lush national park, picturesque bays, secluded beaches, abundant wildlife and pristine fringe reefs. Since the closure of the popular holiday resort Hook Island Lodge in 2013, visitors have been restricted to the reefs around the island enjoying the beauty of the waters.
Now a blank canvas, the expansive 9.3-hectare area with an enviable water frontage and two private beaches property, will become a world class eco resort. This will be the only private operation on the island and will welcome the first visitors to the island in a decade.
Piper said: “There’s nothing quite like it. Very few locations in the world can offer this level of natural wonder. I want to create an experience that befits the beauty of the Island, and the Whitsundays – respectfully and sustainably. I’m energised at the thought of creating a world class hospitality experience for this slice of paradise and cannot wait for the first guest to step onto the sand”.
Having recently taken on the leasehold of Q Station, which sits on 30 hectares on the headland on Sydney’s Northern beaches, Piper said he is committed to delivering and respecting iconic venues that hero Australian beach culture.
“It is a great privilege to act as the custodian of these sites and to preserve the rich history that each embodies,” Piper said. “With it comes a huge responsibility and there are important environmental, historic and local factors to consider. We are currently in the process of extensive research and consultation as part of the work on Q Station, and will soon begin a similar process for Hook Island; it is incredibly rewarding and inspiring to uncover the stories and facets that will shape its future”.
Piper said all four properties he now owns have a close affinity to Australia’s coastline which he holds close to his heart.
“While each property has its own unique soul and character, they all have a deep connection to water, rich history and community significance,” he said. “I’m guided by an unwavering commitment to create experiences that live up to and celebrate their spectacular settings and have a meaningful place within their respective communities”.
Whitsunday Regional Council’s Acting Mayor Mike Brunker said: “Council always welcomes investment in new tourism products and experiences to enhance the already unique portfolio of what the Whitsundays has to offer.”
Tourism Whitsundays Chief Executive Officer, Rick Hamilton added: “The new eco resort will further enhance the reputation of The Whitsundays and Queensland both domestically and internationally as the must do destination in Australia”.
Piper has partnered with a small syndicate of investors on the purchase. He will receive the keys in August and will immediately commence his research and consultancy process to inform the future vision and concept for Hook Island. He said further details would be announced in due course.