Hyatt Regency Coolum: A refurb to make the great greater

AN-34-2 - Hyatt AerialOpened in 1988 as one of Australia's first fully integrated resorts, Hyatt Regency Coolum is one of Australia's most celebrated luxury resorts.

AN-34-2 - Hyatt Pool
AN-34-2 - Hyatt Golf

Among the resort's many milestones is the recent acquisition by Clive Palmer. The golf-loving mining billionaire bought the complex from Lend Lease Development P/L and Sekisui House Australia in June this year.

The resort's 324 guest rooms are hidden among 150ha of prime Sunshine Coast bushland between a white sand beach and the dramatic outcrop of Mt Coolum. These include spacious suites and self-contained villas designed to make the most of their bushland, golf course or lake-side setting. A separate enclave offers exclusive Ambassador Villas and Residences.

Hyatt Regency Coolum has created a contemporary new look for its popular King Rooms, the latest in a series of stylish refurbishments at the resort. An initial 40 rooms have been completed, part of an ongoing program that has already seen the upgrade of Golf Villas and Lakefront Villas.

The newly refurbished rooms are now named Golf Kings and Garden Kings and will be joined by a further 116 renovated King Rooms due for completion in coming months.

At 46m² each, the new King rooms offer expansive bedroom and living areas, en suites and outdoor patio areas with views of the golf course, lakes or native gardens. Each has been refitted in contemporary style, with crisp modern tones to complement the sub-tropical Queensland environment that surrounds the property.

Probably Hyatt Regency Coolum's greatest claim to fame is its superb golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr, home to the annual Australian PGA Championship. As the best-ranked resort course in Australia, it is backed by Australia's leading golf education centre, offering under-cover tuition and the very latest technology in biomechanic analysis to help refine swing and technique. The centre offers one-on-one coaching sessions with its team of PGA professionals as well as complimentary group clinics each weekday covering everything from putting to psychology.

It offers 6137m of challenging fairways that have welcomed champions like John Daly, Fred Couples, Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy, Stuart Appleby and Robert Allenby. The par-72 course is a major drawcard for corporate groups, social clubs and event organisers, taking advantage of the luxury accommodation and meeting facilities of one of Australia's leading integrated resorts. Throughout all 18 holes, the course makes the most of the local sub-tropical environment, weaving around coastal bushland, native forest and landscaped grounds and lakes.

Hyatt Regency Coolum recently enhanced its course with six new holes around the Vine Forrest designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr, replacing existing holes to create a new front nine.

Other golf facilities at Hyatt Regency Coolum include a 260m flood-lit driving range, practice putting and chipping greens and a well-equipped pro-shop that offers a five-star club service, allowing players to order custom clubs perfectly balanced in length, weight and grip.

But the resort is superbly equipped with other sports and leisure facilities, including nine swimming pools, a tennis centre, a gym and fitness centre and a beach club. It also offers activities like cycling, archery, canoeing and fishing.

Hyatt Regency Coolum offers the largest day spa in the Southern Hemisphere, providing the perfect setting for the ultimate wellness and relaxation experience. Known simply as The Spa, the complex, that recently underwent a $4 million refurbishment, uses a clever indoor-outdoor design to draw the surrounding native bushland into the total wellness experience.

Treatment rooms offer their own courtyard retreats and the overall design features elegant copper, timber and stone flourishes.

Only the finest and most proven treatments are used, including the multi-award winning beauty brand Natura Bisse, which counts Sarah Jessica Parker, the Spanish Royals and Beyonce as devotees. Its signature Diamond Collection range promises to energise the skin, leaving it smooth, hydrated and radiant.

Also available are a fully-equipped gymnasium, 25-metre lap pool, aqua-aerobics pool, outdoor unisex spa, retail boutique, hair salon and lavish men's and ladies' lounges with spa, steam, sauna and relaxation rooms.

The gymnasium offers personal training sessions across a range of state-of-the-art exercise equipment as well as daily aqua and fitness classes.

Dining is a speciality at Hyatt Regency Coolum, with the Village Square providing a lively collection of indoor/outdoor eateries including The Pizzeria, the Asian-inspired Noodles, and the contemporary Italian restaurant Bruschetta.

Nearby, the signature restaurant Eliza's offers sophisticated dining celebrating the finest produce from the region, while The McKenzie Grill remains ever popular for its premium grilled meats and seafood. There is also a brand new Dune Beach Club offering pool-side leisure activities and a stunning new outdoor venue for events.

In pursuit of the flourishing Chinese market, the Hyatt has unveiled a raft of new measures for present and future Chinese visitors to the Coast. It has introduced Chinese-language materials, including brochures, menus, maps and videos along with a Chinese-speaking guest liaison officer to the resort. At the same time, it has launched a new Mandarin website, as the latest in a series of Chinese-language marketing tools that will be used by recently-appointed Guangzhou-based sales representatives, Parker Travel Collection.

Hyatt Regency Coolum is located 10 minutes from Sunshine Coast Airport, a 90-minute flight from Sydney or two hours from Melbourne. It is just 90 minutes by road from Brisbane and 20 minutes from Noosa.

Insight to food perfection

Since arriving on the Sunshine Coast in 2010, executive chef Jan Van Dyk has thrown himself into the enviable task of discovering the region's magnificent local produce.

Hervey Bay scallops, world famous Kingaroy pork belly, renowned Noosa spanner crab and delectable Mooloolaba prawns are all part of his expansive and growing repertoire at Hyatt Regency Coolum.

"It's fantastic to get out and discover the local region's best secrets, to meet the farmers and fishmongers and really get to know what's on offer," Mr Van Dyk said. "That's the key to producing truly good food – to focus on your local region and find the best and freshest ingredients possible."

As a veteran of five other prestigious Hyatt hotels around the world, South African-born Mr Van Dyk is continuing a tradition of discovery that has taken him from Johannesburg to Turkey, Germany, the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

"When I first joined the Park Hyatt Hamburg I drove for three days around the local area, finding the farmers and producers within 80km of the city," he said. "In Australia I've been doing the same - it's amazing the wonderful things you discover and I think it's so important to support the local producers."

In his role at Hyatt Regency Coolum, Mr Van Dyk oversees the resort's talented chefs at each of its fine restaurants, including the signature restaurant Eliza's headed by Gareth Collins, the popular clubhouse restaurant The McKenzie Grill headed by Cemil Dalyan and the contemporary Italian restaurant Bruschetta headed by Wayne Mackie.