We were told that money was no object when it came to building this place, and it did not disappoint. Mr Oatley bought the island in 2003, and owns everything except the post office. The development of Qualia was, it seemed the pinnacle of the project of establishing the island as a number one tourist destination.
You are met at the airport with a cold towel and our luggage receipts taken from us - to be collected by hotel staff. We were then whisked from the airport in Merceded minibus, where we were met at reception and offered champagne on arrival, check-in was a relaxed affair sitting in the lobby overlooking the whiitsundays. We were then taken to our room in our own golf buggy, which was ours for the stay. to get around the resort and into town. Everyone uses them on the island. Incidentally, someone comes at night to plug in your buggy to recharge it - nice touch!
Built in a lush hillside, these luxurious villas were beyond amazing. A huge expanse of glass at the rear, views of the ocean and islands beyond. Plunge pool and own deck on the balcony. Huge bathroom and free standing bath. Beautiful sitting room. The lobby and beach infinity pools are stunning with views over the Whitsundays. We saw possums and wallabies in the grounds.
The lobby and restaurant is all open plan, views abound, We found the food wonderful but not exceptional, breakfast was, however, delightful. The restaurant staff were very good, and the sommelier, I think he was only 20, had an amazing knowledge and was great at recommending the wine, which as we are english, was difficult for us, not having experienced much Aussie wine.
There is a beach restaurant, which is only open for lunch - which is a shame as it would give you another choice for dinner in the evening, as there is only the main restaurant.
We played golf on the next-door Dents Island, just developed by Mr Oatley. The course is amazing, very difficult (although I am not a talented golfer). The views are breathtaking. And the clubhouse is stunning for lunch, although food was not great.
However, we were appalled when we were told later that evening at dinner that there were deadly Taipan snakes on the island - as we had not been warned and were looking for balls in the rough!
Downside, the resort is staffed by young people, (we did not encounter anyone over the age of 30 working at the resort). which is not necessarily a bad thing, but on occasion we had a couple of problems - room not made up by lunchtime, ants in the room and electrics fusing, there was no-one really in authority who seemed to take charge, We were told that the manager was away at the time of our visit.
We ate in town one night, in the steak restaurant. We waited ages for a table at a very hot bar, no air conditioning in the restaurant, although open-air, we were told that one woman had passed out in there the week before. You had to order from a checkout and the food was later brought to your table, very average and a bit too casual for us, so we ate in the hotel restaurant most nights, as the other restaurants all seemed to be a similar theme.
We did eat in the brand new yacht club which was a stunning building, the most experienced wait staff on the island and food was amazing ( see picture of my friend's snapper)..
The hotel has it's own helicopter pad from which the hotel arranged a wonderful trip to the outer reef - this was truly amazing. It's well worth the extra money to do a private tour, flying there and back, and the reef to yourself - we were back sitting by the pool by 11.15am!
The spa is beautiful and the treatments were lovely and the yoga room divine. Well worth a visit.
The only disappointment is the beach - there isn't one! The hotel has imported some sand, and has tried to create a beach, but it is very stoney beyond the made-up area.
Would recommend Qualia without hesitation - not cheap but it really is 6 star in every category but some aspects of service.. It was by far the best establishment we stayed at on our month long trip,
I think if you honeymoon here, how can you fail to go on to a lifetime of happiness, it truly is paradise.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated in the Whitsundays, qualia puts the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef right on your doorstep. Its sun-drenched northern aspect provides the ideal location to appreciate the passing beauty of each day, surrounding guests with some of the most stunning and spectacular waters to be found anywhere in the world. What’s more, with a direct flight taking only 2-3 hours from international gateway cities on Australia’s east coast, qualia truly is a world-class destination without the journey.qualia offers a choice of 60 individual pavilions, each with breathtaking views. There are spacious one-bedroom freestanding pavilions (Windward and Leeward) that provide an indulgentspace to relax in and unwind, with either a sundeck or private infinity edge plunge pool. Or, there’s the uncompromising luxury and privacy of the Beach House with its own guest pavilion. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Qualia Hamilton Island
- Qualia Hotel Hamilton Island
- Qualia Resort Hamilton Island, Whitsunday Islands