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Luxury Far North rainforest lodge opens its doors

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The exclusive getaway on the banks of the Mossman River has been closed since April 2019 for extensive refurbishment following its purchase by Baillie Lodges, which has seven high end luxury properties around the nation.Baillie chief operating officer Craig Bradbery said the company opted for a soft launch on December 15 and had not marketed the new-look Silky Oaks yet.“It looks amazing, it has surpassed all expectations and we are getting really great feedback from interstate guests, and locals there for lunch,” Mr Bradbery said.Chef Mark Godbeer has stayed on and the lodge takes external lunch bookings.It has opened 14 of 40 guest suites for accommodation, with all suites expected to be open by mid-February.“We did that to give us time to settle in and get into a rhythm,” Mr Bradbery said.“We have a healthy stream of Queensland guests and more and more southern state guests, which is really encouraging to see.“We are just really excited for the future of Far North Queensland’s tourism industry, it has been two hard years for everyone, and hopefully, as we move into 2022, there will be brighter times on the horizon for all.“We are really proud of what we have achieved.“We believe Silky Oaks Lodge will offer another reason to visit Tropical North Queensland.”The Baillie Lodges ethos is to offer an escape that feels intimate and exclusive, but also value for money.The Healing Waters Spa at the Lodge welcomes both guests and non-resident guests and uses locally-made products for rejuvenating treatments.The $15m refurbishment was delayed time and time again due to the Covid pandemic.Cairns-based construction company Prime Australia led the project with Port Douglas architect Gary Hunt working on design and Bondi-based design firm Pike Withers did interiors.Indigenous artworks from the region’s Kuku Yalanji people were commissioned.Further artworks were purchased from the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, and ceramics from the Yalanji Arts Centre for the main lodge areas.Hayley Baillie worked with fine art photographer Catherine Nelson, who has worked on visual effects for major films, commissioning a series of five large-scale images of the Daintree and its people to feature at the property.Baillie Lodges was founded in 2003 and its national portfolio includes Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island, Southern Ocean Lodge on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island, Longitude 131 at Uluru-Kata Tjuta in Central Australia, and The Louise, a 15-suite retreat in the Barossa Valley.Cairns Post where to get newsbronwyn.farr@news.com.au



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