Designtel - Floating Hotel, Consafe Engineering

John Brewer Floating Hotel [1988]

Consafe Engineering

Originally moored east of Townsville at the John Brewer Reef, the Floating Hotel was devised by developer Doug Tarca who was so enamoured by these waters that he devised a structure to allow guests to sleep directly atop them. Although infused with as much 1980s new-age novelty/convenience as possible – 174 suites accompanied by restaurants, bars, conference spaces, a gym and a shopping arcade – the Hotel nevertheless quickly faced issues. Although technologically forward with an on-board desalination plant and a cyclone-resistant structure, rough weather within the first year of operation caused damage and threatened trips to/from the mainland. To cover debts the Hotel was sold and transported to Vietnam before making its way to North Korea where it is believed it presently resides. Nonetheless Townsville residents remember it with fondness, recalling ‘amazing days living on the hotel, fishing trips, crew parties, diving under the hotel, having pizzas flown out by chopper’ (Belinda O’Connor, ex-employee)

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