One of the jewels in the crown of Australia’s Whitsunday Islands is set to be bought by a South African hotelier.
Hayman Island – on the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef – is a private island open to the public and is famed as a leisure and honeymoon destination.
Since 2004 it has been owned by Malaysian investment vehicle Mulpha Australia, but, according to reports, they are set to sell the Queensland island to Sol Kerzner, who owns luxury hotel chain One&Only and the Atlantis resort on the Palm in Dubai.
He will meet with top federal and state tourism bureaucrats and senior Queensland government figures over the next couple of weeks to discuss details of the deal.
When the deeds are finalised Kerzner is expected to close the island’s existing luxury resort for three months to complete renovations.
Kerzner took over his parents’ hotel group after qualifying as a chartered accountant and transformed it into an empire.
He now owns his own hotel group, Kerzner International, which includes properties in The Bahamas, Mexico, Mauritius and The Maldives.
Mulpha landed the island in a $400 million (€269 million) deal that also included Sydney Intercontinental, the Melbourne Hilton and Brisbane Sheraton.