THE first guests at Cairns’ newest hotel are probably, at this very minute, lounging by the 1000 sqm of pool overlooking the Esplanade.  Or perhaps, they’re having a drink in one of three eateries off Abbott St which specialise in beef raised in the region.  Then again, they may be ordering a snack via the iPad control centre in their room, waiting for pink tinges of sunset over the Coral Sea to indicate it was time for dinner.

Crystalbrook Collection’s Riley Hotel. Picture: Marc McCormack

Either way, the opening of Crystalbrook Collection‘s first five-star resort, Riley, was a chance to get a glimpse of the sustainable luxury the 311-room hotel brings to the city.  The group’s hotel director Geoff York said by next week Riley would be half full and it will be completed booked out come New Year’s Eve.

“We’ve been progressively building,” he said. “We’ve just got our first group booking from Japan and we’ve got six local conferences booked in for the next year. “As word gets out we’ve had more and more people calling. We estimate by June and July next year we will be full in time for the high season.”

Crystalbrook Collection’s first new Cairns hotel opened on November 6, 2018.  Mr York said 60 per cent of guests were expected to be Australians. “The overwhelming sentiment from our key bookers so far is thank goodness Cairns has a new hotel,” he said. “They’ve been hanging out for 22 years for a new hotel in Cairns.”

Riley is the first of three five-star properties Crystalbrook Collection will bring to the city over the next 14 months and the newest five-star hotel in Cairns for over 20 years, providing a significant boost for the thriving tourist region.

Crystalbrook Collection’s Riley Hotel. Picture: Marc McCormack

Crystalbrook Collection chief executive Mark Davie said the business had “a lot of confidence in Tropical North Queensland”. “It’s fantastic to finally welcome our first guests and to see everybody enjoying the resort,” he said. “I’m thrilled to see a lot of local faces as well; we will always be grateful for the unrelenting support the Cairns community has given us.” Tourism Tropical North Queensland chief executive Pip Close said Riley’s opening was “very exciting for Tropical North Queensland as it will be a long-awaited drawcard for visitors looking for a new accommodation experience.” Riley opened its doors today at 10am today with 170 staff on-site to welcome their first guests.

Staff near the sundecks at Crystalbrook Collection’s Riley Hotel. Picture: Marc McCormack

• 311 rooms and suites with in-room iPad control centres, hundreds of complimentary recent release movies and box sets, Staycast by Google Chromecast for all your favourite streaming services, 24-hour in-room dining
• 1000sq m swimming lagoon which is five pools in one: a lap pool, kids pool, family pool, deep pool and spa
• Be greeted by roving staff who will check you in via an iPad — no need to queue at reception

Crystalbrook Collection Riley hotel linen bathrobe

• The penthouse will set guests back a minimum of $2000 per night
• LED screens show weather, information and events in the lifts
• Solar panels on the roof help generate some electricity
• Key cards to access rooms are circular and made of 100 per cent recycled wood embedded with a microchip. Scan the keycard to enter
• Recycled cardboard coat hangers and refillable pump packs (instead of individual soap, shampoo containers) help reduce waste and plastic usage

Riley hotel keycard. Made with 100 per cent recycled wood with an embedded microchip. Picture: Marc McCormack

• Three themed restaurants and bars, all overlooking the Coral Sea including Paper Crane, a modern Asian fusion restaurant and bar seating 320 people (Rocco, Cairns’ first rooftop bar; Mediterranean inspired and standing 12 floors above and Greenfields, a restaurant with a focus on all things raw and simple will both open on December 20)
• Luxury Eléme Day Spa (opening 20 December 2018)
• 24-hour fitness centre (opening 20 December 2018)
• Conference and events space for up to 400 across the east and west wings
• Interactive communal self-booking tour centre
• Linen bathrobes