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Thursday 25 February 2016

Iconic Australian resort aims to recapture its glory days

When it opened back in 1987, the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas Resort was the greatest thing since toast - a truly luxurious Australian beach resort hotel on Four Mile Beach in Far North Queensland.

Developed by later disgraced businessman Christopher Skase at a reported cost of $100 million, it attracted beautiful people from around the globe, grabbing headlines in the days before Twitter and Instagram.

Guests have included former US President Bill Clinton and his wife, and his wife, former US Secretary of State and current presidential candidate Hilary Clinton, Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and John Travolta, even rock legend Mick Jagger.

A small town boy like me was blown away by the glamour back then.

But times change and the Sheraton Mirage went through a number of ownership changes and became just a little, how shall we say, shabby around the edges when I popped by a few years ago.

New Lagoon Studio Suites
Good news, then, that a major redevelopment started in May last year and the Mirage has just celebrated the first phase of its fresh new look with 146 of the resort’s 294 rooms fully refurbished, restyled, and back in inventory.

A key element of the refurbishment project is the creation and launch of 41 Lagoon Edge Rooms and 12 Lagoon Edge Studio Suites. These offer guests exquisite views and direct access to the resort’s saltwater lagoon swimming pools.

“We’re very excited to be unveiling the newly refurbished guest rooms” said GM Steve Molnar. “Taking inspiration from the original hotel designs, we have been careful to retain the rooms’ unique and distinctive features to create a modern beach side villa look that our guests will love, and identify with as a home away from home.”

When it first opened its doors, the resort was the most high-profile five-star resort in Australia. It now hopes, to quote Bruce Springsteen, to recapture "those glory days".

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