by Alan Riedel, July 2014

In July I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to spend a few nights on Hamilton Island at the Reef View Hotel and the newly opened One & Only on Hayman Island. After not being in the Whitsundays for 10 years it was great to be back up there and enjoying the sunny Queensland weather. Hamilton Island was looking great. From the newly refurbished Bungalows to the luxury Qualia, and a huge choice of dining options and activities, there is something to suit everyone.

One & Only Hayman is truly spectacular. The experience all starts with the luxury yacht transfer from Hamilton Island which takes around 1 hour, we were lucky enough to see some whales along the way.  You are then greeted by a mixture of staff from all different departments, and to taken straight to your room – check in happens on the yacht, so there is no long waits or hanging around in reception!  These little extras really to make you feel like a VIP. The $80 million refurbishment has gone a long way. The pool suites are one of the nicest rooms I have ever seen. The staff were amazing and nothing was too much trouble for them.  There are a few final touches needed as there is still a pool area and restaurant to be completed. But give it a few more weeks and it should be looking 100%.

The highlight of the trip was a 35minute heli-flight from the reef back to Hamilton Island. Seeing the reef and Whitehaven beach from the air is a must if you haven’t had an experience like this before. I think the photos speak for themselves.

People always way up the value of going here compared to Thailand. It is true that you can get better value for money overseas when it comes to resorts, but if you would like to explore Australia or if you don’t like to idea of a  6 – 8 hour flight to Bali or Thailand, the Whitsundays is definitely a sight to be seen!