Woods Bagot Reimagines Tropical Resort by the Great Barrier Reef

The Ville Resort-Casino in Townsville, Australia, is open for business after a two-year, $31M renovation.

Woods Bagot was tasked with upgrading a 1980s building in Townsville, a small North Queensland township on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. The existing hotel was simply built, but had little connection to the spectacular landscape. Woods Bagot’s redesign takes advantage of the stunning scenery, tropical climate, abundant water and views across the Coral Sea.

Wade Little, the lead designer said,

“Our design was inspired by the natural and historic qualities of Townsville. The intention was to create a lush pleasure garden using unpretentious forms and materials – white timber, white brick, and plaster – to respect the laid-back atmosphere of Townsville. Echoing the vernacular architectural, the resort encourages natural cooling through broad verandas, abundant fanlights, brise-soleil walls and aligned doors and windows.”

The Ville CEO Michael Jones said,

“Townsville is the gateway to Queensland’s far north and the two-year renovation project is a sign of our confidence in the area as a sought-after coastal holiday hotspot as well as a popular destination for corporate retreats.”

Designed in collaboration with landscape architect Daniel Baffsky of 360 Degrees, the garden features an elevated infinity pool with a swim-up bar. The pool, which draws the eye out to Magnetic Island and the Great Barrier Reef beyond, is surrounded by a raised veranda and landscaped lawns. Water can be seen from every aspect of the project. Arriving from the porte-cochere, through the lobby, the eye is drawn to the outdoors. The infinity pool draws the

The light and airy nine-storey hotel offers 194 guest rooms including deluxe rooms and executive suites.

The painted timber-paneled walls of the Resort Rooms and Suites take their design cues from the traditional Queensland architecture, while striking leaf-print carpets echo the spirit of the tropics.

Mid-century California is referenced in the retro-cool furnishings, which have been modernised in a clean palette of crisp white, calming grey and luxurious emerald green.

Little reimagined the unifying circular motif of the original hotel, repeating it throughout the resort: in the landscape, the terrazzo floors, and even the graphics.

Additional attractions include a state-of-the-art events space, pool precinct, five restaurants, and the nightspot, the Quarterdeck.