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Qualia Resort
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Reviewed 3 February 2011

We spent three nights at Qualia in late January 2011. Our Windward Pavilion was exquisite - large living room, bedroom and bathroom and a private plunge pool. Beautiful views of tropical foliage and the bay and nearby islands. The living room furniture was just ok and the multitude of light switches and dimmers baffled us, but otherwise we were very pleased. The staff couldn't have been more friendly and helpful. Arrival was very efficient. Two persons met us at the airport with one leading us to a van for the quick ride to the resort while the other took our luggage tags and collected our bags and transported them separately so we didn't have to wait for them to be unloaded from the plane. Greeted at the resort with icy glasses of champaign while we were checked in and then escorted to our pavilion. Luggage arrived within five minutes. Our package included breakfast and dinner and the food was very good but a little fussy. The dinner menu changed each day. We had lunch on the day of our arrival down at the beach restaurant and found it be be good, but very expensive. Our package also included a helicopter tour of the Great Barrier Reef which left from the resort's own helipad. The tour was fantastic and included a couple of hours out at Reef World where we had a tour of the reef by submarine and then I donned a bite suit (the jelly fish were in season) and swam along the reef with the fishes. A wonderful experience. Overall, we highly recommend Qualia. American Express agrees as I just saw that the list of Amex Platinum Fine Hotels and Resorts for 2011 now includes Qualia for the first time as one of only three resorts on the Reef (the others being Lizard Island and Hayman Island).

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Tallandtired
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2011

My fiancee and I opted to have our pre-wedding honeymoon escape in Hamilton Island. We spent a total of 4 nights on the island, first 3 @ Reef View Hotel and the last @ qualia.

First of all, qualia is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination so forking out that kind of money was a lil' bit of a gamble. We are both seasoned travellers so I would say that we have fairly high standards.

While not perfect, we would certainly recommend qualia. We loved it!

Pre-trip, I informed the resort that it was our pre-wedding honeymoon. Whilst we were not upgraded =( , there were some nice touches. Champagne, fresh fruits and a handwritten congratulatory card from management. Staff seemed informed about the occasion and were very friendly, Lisa in particular always had a smile on her.

Generally, the experience was fantastic. Other guests were not particularly friendly (must come with the deep pockets). Resort was nicely set up. While we were there, the restaurant @ the pool was under renovation and was a bit noisy. Compensation for the inconvenience came in the form of a free drink. Lunch menu was expensive, dinner course like prices. Whilst we were happy to pay for good food, light meals next to the pool for $40+ was overly steep.

Stay came with complimentary use of a buggy and non-motorised water equipment. We had a go at the sea kayak which was in good condition.

Unfortunately, the buggy that we got had issues climbing hills (FYI, Hamilton Island is HILLY) so it stalled while we were on our way back from the marina. This was probably our only bad experience. We had to wait to be picked up under the hot sun which was not particularly pleasant.

Pluses:
- Movies and non-alcoholic drinks (both in-room and restaurant) were complimentary
- Fantastic brekkie (I had eggs benedict with jamon which was yum)
- Lovely staff
- Scenic pools
- Good spa

Minuses
- Massage @ spa could be better
- Expensive menu in particular the lunch poolside one

Bottom line, some will say that if you pay the kind of money we are talking about, you expect perfection. I am a realist. I left qualia feeling that I had a wonderful stay. That is good enough for me =) Will we be back? Yes. If you are planning a visit, don't expect the sun and moon and you will have a wonderful experience.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank kerwei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2011

There are a few positive points:
-best location on the island,fantastic views especially when accessing to the lobby (long house on the upper part)
-good service and friendly welcome by the hotel manage
-large villas,particularly cleans, some of them with very nice views on the sea

Unfortunately, our overall opinion is quite negative and i would not recommend this hotel to people really seeking a classy boutique hotel (we are definetely fond of amanresorts and this one does not fulfill anysingle criteria of what make a good resort). As for examples, I would point out the followings drawbacks:
- airport pickup: we were packed in a van with 6 other guests
- furnitures in the rooms are ugly, not any single element of decoration, very agressive lights on the ceilings with quite a few dimmers
- as for food considerations, this is probably the worst point. Food is untasty, pretentious and absolutaly OVER PRICED. Do not expect a simple meal on the beach for less than 70 $/person.
- activities : people at the reception are here to sell as many expensive activities as they can. Most of them are not what you expect in a 5*resort: public transportation to whithaven beach or this ugly deck on the great barrier reef which look like a dysneyland park on one of the worlds most stunning spot. Some of them are too sophisticated : private helicopter (1400$) or floatplane (1000$) overflight of the great barrier with a landing on a beach, with some sparckling wine being served under 40C at 12:00 pm!!!
- about the island : squalia is on the most secluded part and the rest is the austalian miami beach, very crowded during the peak season. Everything is privately owned by the same owner as qualia, there is no competition. Consequently,everything is totally overpriced. I only tasted 1 restaurants (montarrey cafe) the food was really disgusting. But this was probably not the best.
As a conclusion, as a real luxurious boutique hotel explorer all over the world, i will forget my stay at qualia.

  • Stayed: January 2011
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3  Thank Faberger07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2011

We had a fantastic week at Qualia. We initially had a few service issues but after discussing these minor problems with management they were addressed promptly.
The villas & food are amazing 12 out of 10.
Don't miss out on the sunset cruise with Mick & Josh. Go early in your stay as this great
boat is available for other activities.
Thanks Andrea for a fabulous holiday & we still don't know where the ceiling fans are from.
Hope to holiday at Qualia again soon.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank MrCurrawong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2011

Second visit.
Room was amazing, view from every spot. Including shower.
Room also surrounded by bush and were unable to see another room. Large lizards and wild life around room but no issues. Very tranquil.
Plunge pool was a welcome relief after exercising.
Ate lunch on the water at the resort and watched the dolphins playing only metres away.
Free activities like sea kayaking which was nice to paddle to neighboring islands but beware of the traffic in the main passage.
Free buggy during stay which you will need on the island.
Resort is gated so no walk in traffic.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled on business
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Thank Australiaoscar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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