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Cairns Harbourside Hotel unveiled: From Holiday Inn to independent gem

Taisei Kanko Australia Pty Limited, announced today that their Cairns hotel has relaunched as a self-managed, independent hotel

Taisei Kanko Australia Pty Limited has proudly announced the exciting transformation of their esteemed Cairns establishment. Formerly known as the Holiday Inn, the iconic hotel is now reintroducing itself to the world as the Cairns Harbourside Hotel, embracing a new era of independence and local management.

This strategic shift reflects the growing trend in the hospitality industry towards authentic, destination-driven experiences. Spearheading this transformation is Glen Macdonald, a seasoned veteran in Far North Queensland’s tourism landscape, who assumes the role of General Manager.

Read the summer print edition of AccomNews HERE

With over 12 years of experience as the General Manager and CEO of Fitzroy Island Resort, Mr. Macdonald brings a wealth of expertise to his new role. During his tenure, he played a pivotal role in elevating the resort’s performance through innovative management strategies and targeted marketing campaigns.

Mr. Macdonald’s deep roots in Far North Queensland, coupled with his extensive leadership experience, position him as the ideal candidate to steer Cairns Harbourside Hotel towards a prosperous future. His involvement with the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators further underscores his commitment to the region’s tourism sector.

Glen Macdonald, General Manager, Cairns Harbourside Hotel

Cairns Harbourside Hotel holds a special place in the region’s hospitality landscape, having been owned by Taisei Kanko since 1991. Over the years, the property has undergone significant expansion, growing from its original 100 rooms to 173 rooms, all boasting private balconies with breathtaking views of the water, mountains, and tropical gardens.

Situated along Cairns’ iconic Esplanade, the hotel enjoys a prime location in the heart of the city. Following a recent $28 million upgrade to the Esplanade, which revitalised the area’s dining scene, Cairns Harbourside Hotel is poised to offer guests an unparalleled experience.

The hotel’s signature dining venue, Harbourside Bar & Kitchen, takes pride in its Farm-to-Table concept, showcasing the finest local produce complemented by an extensive organic wine selection. Guests can also take advantage of the hotel’s amenities, including a swimming pool, spa, conference facilities, and a convenient CBD shuttle service.

With the appointment of local management and a renewed focus on delivering an authentic Tropical Queensland experience, Cairns Harbourside Hotel is embarking on an exciting new chapter. Plans for a comprehensive room refresh, encompassing new furnishings and upgraded bathrooms, are already underway.

Expressing his enthusiasm for the hotel’s transformation, Mr. Macdonald said: “I am thrilled to lead Cairns Harbourside Hotel into this new era. Our goal is to offer guests a truly immersive experience that captures the essence of Tropical Queensland, from our interior design to the cuisine we serve.”

Cairns Harbourside Hotel

As part of the relaunch, the hotel will unveil new signage, reflecting its rebranded identity, and has launched a new website,, to showcase its offerings to the world.

Cairns Harbourside Hotel remains a cornerstone of Cairns’ hospitality scene, embodying the region’s spirit of warmth, relaxation, and natural beauty. With a renewed sense of purpose and vision, the hotel is poised to redefine the standard of luxury accommodation in Far North Queensland.

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