Image: An artist’s impression of Loloata Island resort. Credit: Thomson Adsett
Residents and visitors to Port Moresby will soon have a stylish new option for short-term business and recreational trips. Loloata Island Resort in Bootless Bay is getting a stylish makeover with the help of the Papua New Guinean super fund, Nasfund.
The old dive resort was sold in 2016, and a new resort is being constructed by local firm Lamana Development, which has considerable experience in building hotels and executive apartments in PNG and other Pacific nations, such as the Heritage Park in Honiara, Solomon Islands and the Grand Pacific in Suva, Fiji.
Superannuation fund Nasfund is a partner in the venture.
Australian company Thomson Adsett, which has long experience in resort and leisure architecture, is behind the design. (It’s currently also developing an entertainment precinct in Suva in Fiji, and a Samoan resort.)
The new resort is due to open in early 2019.
‘Loloata’s greatest asset, its accessibility, will be preserved.’
‘We worked extremely hard with Lamana Development to create a resort that engages with the rugged natural landscape and carries its own distinct identity, yet still embodies the history of the original Loloata Island Resort,’ says Ben Kearney, Thomson Adsett’s Director of Special Projects for the Asia-Pacific region.
Loloata’s greatest asset, its accessibility, will be preserved, with day-trippers still welcomed.
New moorings will accommodate visiting watercraft as well as the resort-operated ferry, while a new water pavilion will rent kayaks, windsurfers and scuba-diving equipment.
‘Its resort has been popular for day trips and weekend getaways.’
The island is a sinuous, narrow ridge of vivid green, fringed with palm trees and scalloped with coral beaches as white as washing powder.
Loloata Island is a name already familiar to many Port Moresby residents. It is 20 kilometres east of town, two kilometres offshore.
Its resort has been popular for day trips and weekend getaways: just the place to kick back in a beachfront bungalow, paddle a kayak, or fish.
It’s also a notable scuba-diving destination, sitting in a ring of nearly 30 dive sites that includes Horseshoe Reef Marine Park, which claims one of PNG’s best wrecks.
‘The redeveloped resort will have 12 hotel rooms, 37 hillside hotel rooms and 16 waterfront executive suites.’
Duck below the bay’s waters and you’re dazzled by striped-faced batfish, lionfish, sharks streamlined as racing cars, and rays flapping by like dark angels.
Now the island is getting accommodation to match the setting’s beauty.
The redeveloped resort will have 12 hotel rooms, 37 hillside hotel rooms and 16 waterfront executive suites – as well as three villas. The resort has a compact footprint, leaving large parts of the island preserved.
The compact development will have another advantage: easy connectivity between guest rooms and central resort facilities such as reception, cafe and conference rooms.
Some suites will have one foot in the sand and another in the ocean. In fact, guests will be able to slip right into the water – or a kayak – straight from their deck.
The restaurant and bars – one by the pool, another on the rooftop – will have an elevated position that takes advantage of breezes and sunset views.
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