Heaven on earth – Hayman Island
In November 2012, I was fortunate enough to receive an accommodation voucher to stay at Hayman Island in the Whitsundays, My then- fiancé and I headed to this magnetic little island for 48 hours of sun, relaxation and R&R.
Hayman Island it self is a rather small island (just 400 hectares in area) and is situated at the north most point of the Whitsunday Islands off the coast of Queensland. The island itself is privately owned but open to the public and renowned for its uber luxurious resort Hayman. The resort was built in the 1950s by millionaire Reg Ansett, who was also founder of the airline formely known as Ansett Australia.
The resort is slowly undergoing renovations to help keep it refreshed and modern, given some of the rooms and areas are slightly dated. All in all the facilities are wonderful and the scenery is postcard perfect. At every angle you are just in awe of the breathtaking views, serenity and tranquillity of the island.
While we didn’t stay during peak holiday periods, the resort was at about 50% capacity, and surprisingly quite a few families with young children around. The average nightly room rate at Hayman is A$590 between April – March and jumps to A$649 during the festive season, so if you are planning on an adults-only weekend you may be a tad disappointed. Of course there is the beautiful white stretch of sand where you can set yourself up for the day in a quieter corner of the resort.
While at the resort we enjoyed our time by the pool (with all the seagulls in tow) and at the beach to avoid all the family fun going on in the pool. Take note of the time of year you go as Queensland is well known for its stinger season so check with staff to ensure you stay out of harms way, There are also some lovely walks around the island and you can trek up to some beautiful view points by the Hayman Helipad to watch the sunset or enjoy a champagne picnic which the hotel staff will arrange for you.
We ate at two of the restaurants during our stay; Azure and La Trattoria. The Azure provides a gorgeous beachfront view and serves up buffet style service of seafood , barbecued meats amongst a salad bar and various other bits and pieces. Being situated in Queensland one would expect the freshest seafood that Australia has to offer but I must say I was both surprised and a bit disappointed. Prawns were still frozen and the crab was tasteless and smelly and at around A$90 per head you would expect 5 star quality at a 5 star resort. The next night I really wanted to try Oriental but it was closed for that evening (not all restaurants are open every night) so had to settle for La Trattoria, and Italian restaurant serving pizzas and pastas. Being of Italian background I know good Italian food, this was not great at all. I had a pasta with seafood which was pretty tasteless, lacked simple salt and pepper seasong and had no flavour whatsover.
Overall the food rating wasn’t high on my rating scale but the resort itself is breathtaking and truly relaxing. While I wouldn’t necessarily fork out the extra cash to go back it is definitely part of the world worth visiting to access The Great Barrier Reef and some of Australia’s best beaches and views.
Next on my hit list is Hamilton Island