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Baillie Lodges Takes Reins, Appoints Senior Management Team at Silky Oaks Lodge

April 10, 2019 Appointments / Movers & Shakers No Comments Email Email


Following a joint-venture agreement with KSL Capital Partners (KSL) signed late last year, Baillie Lodges has taken the reins at Tropical North Queensland bolt-hole Silky Oaks Lodge this week and appointed a senior management team for the property to lead its integration into the existing portfolio of luxury lodges.

Silky Oaks Lodge is the first addition to the Baillie Lodges portfolio under the new partnership, which is set to further expand. The new company plans to invest in property enhancements and product developments at Silky Oaks Lodge in the coming months, aligning it with the trademark Baillie Lodges’ guest experience.

To lead the property’s transformation, Baillie Lodges has selected a new senior management team with Sonya Boaden appointed as Silky Oaks Lodge Manager. Sonya comes to the team with a wealth of experience working across the tourism and hospitality space, including extended tenures with Quest Serviced Apartments, P&O Australian Resorts and Accor Hotels, as well as operating her own small tourism business consultancy.

Sonya brings a range of essential skills to Silky Oaks including experience in reservations and distribution, training and development, project management and hotel pre-opening skills, which will be invaluable in rolling out enhancements to the lodge facilities and guest experience. In the leadup to her commencement as Lodge Manager, Sonya has spent time at Baillie Lodges’ flagship Southern Ocean Lodge, followed by an induction at the company’s headquarters in Sydney.

Southern Ocean Lodge Assistant Manager Angelique Helmchen has been appointed Assistant Lodge Manager at Silky Oaks Lodge and will head to the tropics from her current Kangaroo Island home in early June. Originally from South Africa, Ange was working at the prestigious Singita Private Game Reserve when she met James Baillie as a guest in 2014, who quickly decided Southern Ocean Lodge was the perfect place for her. Four years on, the call of the rainforest and a warmer climate has tempted Ange’s move to Queensland’s tropical north.

Longitude 131° Executive Chef Mark Godbeer has chosen to trade Uluru-Kata Tjuta’s red desert dunes for the lush Daintree Rainforest to take on the role as Executive Chef at Silky Oaks Lodge. From cooking for high-end guests on private charter yachts to opening and operating a rooftop restaurant in New York City, Mark has discovered a wide range of cuisines and cooking styles. Mark plans to embrace the local flavours and incredible tropical produce available in north Queensland. Mark’s wife Staci, who currently works as Lodge Duty Manager at Longitude 131° will join Silky Oaks’ Treehouse Restaurant team.

Baillie Lodges General Manager Craig Bradbery said the inter-lodge staff movements reflected the fantastic new opportunities becoming available for Baillie Lodges’ employees as the collection evolves in its new partnership with KSL Capital.

Set adjacent to the World Heritage-listed wilderness of the Daintree National Park and along the banks of the gently flowing Mossman River, Silky Oaks Lodge offers guests a stylish rainforest escape, with experiences including river-snorkelling, driving safaris, Indigenous guided walks, the lodge’s own Healing Waters Spa and access to Port Douglas and the Great Barrier Reef.



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