The entourage occupied the Mantra Pandanas, Darwin prior to Obama’s arrival, from November 3 through to the day after his departure for Bali on November 19.
The Obama administration booked almost the entire 336-room Mantra Pandanas hotel, with the president’s advance team arriving in early November and increasing to full capacity on the day of Obama’s visit on November 17.
Hotel staff were given strict confidentiality instructions throughout the administration’s stay, and the hotel was able to facilitate the strict security brief set by the US Embassy.
Mantra Pandanas general manager, David Brill said the hotel was selected to be the Australian headquarters as Mantra Pandanas had the unique ability to accommodate the large volume of aides required for Obama’s visit and, most importantly, the ability to facilitate the strict security brief set by the US Embassy.
“Airtight security was ensured with three levels of Mantra Pandanas locked down and only accessible to Whitehouse security cleared staff,” Brill said.
“Level 18 (the middle sealed level) was converted into the nerve centre for the entire Australian visit, facilitated with six semitrailers worth of equipment.
“Satellite dishes were also fitted to the hotel’s roof for secure communication.”
The last of the Obama administration departed the Mantra Pandanas on the morning of 19 November yet the hotel is said to remain abuzz after Obama’s visit to the top end.