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“Beautiful resort”
Review of Qualia Resort

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Qualia Resort
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Hamilton Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 February 2011

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.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank lovelongboatkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
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Additional Information about Qualia Resort

Address: 20 Whitsunday Boulevard, 4803, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > Queensland > Whitsunday Islands > Hamilton Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Hamilton Island
Price Range: $1,175 - $2,042 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Qualia Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 60
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

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