SUNBIZ

The Modern Pearl Resort

A much more modern room with a combination of local and foreign feel is what The Pearl Resort’s new development presents. The Pacific Harbour-based resort is all set for its soft
12 Sep 2015 09:50
The Modern Pearl Resort
The Pearl Resort general manager, Natalie Marletta, in an interview with the Fiji Sun in front of the new Pearl Resort development as final touches before the soft launch tonight continued. Photo: RONALD KUMAR

A much more modern room with a combination of local and foreign feel is what The Pearl Resort’s new development presents.

The Pacific Harbour-based resort is all set for its soft launch by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama this evening.

The Pear Resort is owned by Papua New Guinea-based Mineral Resources Development Corporation (MRDC).

Around 500 guests are expected to attend the event with 200 people flying in from Papua New Guinea.

They include the PNG Minister for Finance, James Marape, Chief Secretary to PNG Government, Manasupe Zurenouc and Mineral Resources Development Corporation managing director, Augustine Mano.

Sun Business caught up with the general manager, Natalie Marletta, on the resort and marina development just before the soft launch.

Ms Marletta said the new 132 rooms which have been constructed have a different feel and look from their existing rooms.

“We have gone for a much modern look – we have got furniture and pieces from all around the world while all the joinery is from Fiji,” she said.

She said the design, setup and of course the view overlooking the river running past the resort into the famous Beqa Lagoon.

The new complex includes 132 new rooms, spa, gym, a marina able to berth 20 yachts, conference centre and a restaurant and bar.

 

Completion, timeframes

The $85 million investment began in December 2013 and is nearing completion in less than two years.

Ms Marletta said they have not gone past the budget and neither have they strayed off the original design.

“We have enhanced it along the way and changed a few aspects of it but nothing major. This was our vision and it stayed that way,” she said.

Ms Marletta said they were impressed with contractor, Pacific Building Solutions, who were spot on with the timeframe if not before time.

The development has neared completion and final touch-ups are being given.

Ms Marletta confirmed the works are expected to finish off by the end of this month and they are planning to have the grand opening next month.

 

Employment

The development phase of the resort created jobs for 304 locals.

Mr Marletta confirmed they will bump us staff member numbers by the end of the year.

“Currently we have 134 staff members and so we will bump that up to 178 by the end of this year and that will keep on increasing early next year as well,” she said.

 

Occupancy and interest

The first guest for the new resort complex arrives on September 30, Ms Marletta confirmed.

“We are pretty much full from the time we open which is fantastic and all the rooms are going to be occupied. We have a big wedding coming up as well,” she said.

Ms Marletta said they have received a lot of interest from all over the world as far as guests are concerned.

“We have been using social media as a marketing tool and we have the wholesalers,” she said.

“Everybody is excited for the new fresh rooms from the Pearl coming online. It has been a couple of years in the making.”

 

The marina

The new marina will provide connectivity to outer islands and more options for tourists generally in the Pacific Harbour area.

“We will have all the tour operators coming here, picking up the guests for the shark dives, island day trips etc,” she said.

But they will not stop here. Ms Marletta confirmed they will be looking at expanding the marina a little bit in future.

“Maybe develop something next to it or extend it out to the river a little bit and have some retail outlets,” she said.

“But further development of the marina will be after the current works finish off.”

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 

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