Australia launches first airport resort

Australia’s first airport resort launches following the complete re-imagination and integration of two existing airport hotels at Darwin Airport.

The unveiling of the Novotel & Mercure Darwin Airport Resort follows a A$30 million (US$19.75 million) investment by the Airport Development Group, which also owns the adjacent Darwin Airport.

Novotel & Mercure Darwin Airport Resort features a new pool, aquatic playground, and poolside dining

Located on the lands of the Larrakia Nation, the two hotels had separate receptions previously but will now have a combined reception area, along with a new 60m swimming pool, poolside cabanas, children’s aquatic playground, and poolside dining.

Featuring 423 rooms, the resort offers other accommodation choices such as family suites, bungalows (with kitchenette facilities), and new five-star tropical villas with their own plunge pools, which are named after a leading Territorian to show their connection to Larrakia country.

The resort now offers two poolside dining options – the new Splash Café joins the laid-back Cossie’s Poolside Bar & Bistro, which showcases the Territory’s famous barramundi as well as grills, salads, pizzas and burgers, as well as tropical cocktails and mocktails.

Situated a short walk from the resort is Gurambai, which is the Larrakia name for the area known as the Rapid Creek Conservation Reserve featuring Darwin’s only natural freshwater creek. The hotels plan to introduce the Gurambai Cultural Experience to give guests an appreciation of Larrakia culture. Curated by Larrakia guides, it will comprise a one-hour guided walking tour with information about the area’s cultural and historical significance, their connection to the land and freshwater, and information about some of the Reserve’s seasonal bush tucker.

Tourism attractions such as Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks are just 80 minutes and two and a half hours drive, respectively, from the resort.

Darwin Airport Resort general manager, Chris Chaffe, said: “Integrating and recognising Larrakia Indigenous culture and heritage has been an integral component of the project.

“The new resort is enriched with Aboriginal art and themes, inside and out, providing an appropriate reminder that this pioneering world-class resort is on the lands of the world’s longest-surviving culture.”

In addition, Darwin Airport is a feeder airport to a number of international destinations and local Territory destinations such as the Tiwi Islands, Katherine and Arnhem Land, thus the new resort will provide an ideal base for visitors travelling elsewhere in the Top End of Australia’s Northern Territory.

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