With innovative luxury property developer Chiodo announcing the appointment of Jamie Durie OAM and his team at Durie Design, to create the hotel architectural concept and landscape architecture for its new $300 million luxury resort, Fairmont Port Douglas, many will know of Jamie as a horticulturalist and popular television host.

Jamie has hosted more than 50 design shows around the world, including the 2008 Channel 7 Australian lifestyle program The Outdoor Room, design makeover show HGTV Showdown  the US PBS series The Victory Garden, the PBS network’s longest-running gardening TV series and he has co-presented as a visiting expert in gardening and landscaping, on the Channel 10 Australian lifestyle program, The Living Room, but he is also the author of eleven books on landscape architecture, garden design and lifestyle!  Wow, busy man!

On the other hand, we might not have realised that Jamie is the founder and director of a design company PATIO Landscape Architecture and Durie Design, with he and his team having received over 33 international design awards including a gold medal at the Chelsea flower show in London and gold medals in Singapore, Tokyo, Auckland NZ, Melbourne and Sydney.

He also became an award winning furniture designer with also he and his team designing custom furniture for several upmarket hotels and resorts first in Spain, with several more in Asia, Australia and the Middle East, with his furniture now retailed worldwide.

So, without any doubt Jamie and his team, along with international architecture studio Buchan, were the perfect choice by Chiodo, which is recognised as a rather innovative luxury property developer, to create the hotel architectural concept and landscape architecture for its new $300 million luxury resort, the new Fairmont Port Douglas, with an artist’s impression pictured.

Jamie told me that the Fairmont Port Douglas Resort Nestled in a stunning location on the edge of two UNESCO World Heritage sites – the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, the new Fairmont Port Douglas Resort will be the first of its kind, described as locally focused, yet globally artistic, cultivating a celebration of the planet, sustainability and humanity and the first new hotel to be built in Port Douglas in 20 years.

He added that it will offer its guests a selection of 253 luxury rooms, several restaurants and bars, a decadent day spa, a treetop walk and panoramic conference and wedding facilities, all designed around resort-style pools and built to blend seamlessly with nature, from the organic architecture to copious amounts of green spaces and natural light, the resort creates an intimate connection with nature by offering guests private gardens on every level of the hotel. Some suites include daybeds, exclusive plunge pools and private outdoor bathtubs with panoramic views of Port Douglas.

Jamie is particularly excited about the expansive indoor-outdoor lobby, covered with a giant glass dome, which boasts a stunning rainforest featuring a range of local species; a nod to the world heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest.

Chiodo Principal, Paul Chiodo said that he is thrilled to partner with Jamie and his multi-award-winning architecture, landscape architecture and product design firm, Durie Design, with Chiodo selecting the international multi-disciplinary design practice for their depth of experience in international hotel and resort design, their deep knowledge of Australian horticulture and Durie’s unwavering commitment to protecting the natural environment, adding, “We are very excited to partner with Durie Design to deliver this unique tropical luxury experience to Port Douglas locals, domestic and international guests.”

He added, “The Fairmont Port Douglas pushes the boundaries in the way it captures its natural surroundings and blends seamlessly with the interiors, to deliver a world-class green hotel”, and “Jamie and the team at Durie Design have done an incredible job with both the hotel architectural concepts in partnership with Buchan and its surrounding landscapes with a harmonious, yet sophisticated blend between architecture and landscape,” adding, “We can’t wait to invite guests to experience it for themselves.”

Australia’s first Fairmont, the Fairmont Port Douglas Jamie told me it is set to deliver a new level of luxury and sophistication to the glamorous resort town, with his team of 17 spending the last year and more, creating and developing the concept architecture phase and the surrounding landscape architecture for the hotel, including the lush rooftop garden, resort pools and wedding area, with Jamie saying, “I have spent 25 years working with nature and so of course when we were approached to design a green hotel in one of Australia’s most renowned destinations, we were very excited,” and “Together with Fairmont, there’s an opportunity to deliver something very unique to Australian tourism with this project, and the timing, post-COVID-19 has never been so right”.

He added, “We want to ensure that all of the guests have a unique experience and a deep connection with nature from the moment they enter the hotel lobby, through to the surrounding restaurants and rooftop gardens and into their luxury suites, which boast exclusive private gardens on every level” and “It’s more than luxury, it’s about connecting our guests with nature to deliver a true sense of well-being” and, “This is a concept that no other 5-star hotel has ever offered in Australia before”.

With Jamie saying that the Fairmont Port Douglas Resort could open in very late 2022, potentially even before Christmas 2022, or in early 2023, I took the opportunity to have chat with Jamie about his and his colleagues’ roles in the iconic, landmark Australian hotel development and to hear what he had to tell me CLICK HERE or click on the box below:-

A report and interview by John Alwyn-Jones