Hamilton Island Travel Guide
Last week, we showed you a lush, tropical view, and called upon your internal GPS skills to tell us where you thought it might be. We admit, it may have been a little more difficult than previous rounds of Guess the Hotel, to decipher the mystery paradise island. We gave some clues and now it's time for the big reveal.
Drum roll please...
One of the best things about this place is that the entire island is run by a corporation, and it's one a few resort islands that make up the Whitsundays, located on the Southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. Its location makes it a perfect location for water sports, cocktailing by the pool and just general relaxation.
This could be Oprah.
No, that headline is not a euphemism. Did you catch that episode of Oprah where she told her audience of screaming middle-aged women that they were all going to Australia? (If not, here it is.) Well, the big trip is finally taking place next week but as the Sydney Morning Herald reports, O's visit is cloaked in secrecy. Except for the rumors that she has made a rezzie at Hamilton Island resort Qualia, that is.
This is still unconfirmed, like almost everything else about the three episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show being filmed down under--not even guest Hugh Jackman has been told what's going on!
The idyllic Hamilton Island resort off the Queensland coast Down Under, qualia, is ramping up the Aussie factor. Of course, it's been Aussie all along, but they're now cashing in on it with a bunch of Australian-themed spa packages at the Spa qualia.
Since spa treatments are really a pretty new thing to Australia, none of the offerings are truly Australian in any way, but at least some of them sound authentically Aussie. For example, there's the It's A Man's World spa menu which, they say, is "inspired by the Australian man, particularly the type who is likely to spend time sailing or playing golf" – you can get some "individual guy time" and a steam scrub treatment called the Cup Defender, or the Lifesaver facial for dry, too-long-in-the-sun skin.
It's not just for men, of course. There are a collection of Li'tya treatments which have taken their inspiration from Aboriginal dreamtime stories, along with the Heart Reef Ritual which includes body brushing and just the right colors to make you think of the Great Barrier Reef.
Prices aren't exorbitant (you're already paying enough to get to qualia and stay there) – for example, the 105 minutes that your man spends getting the "Cup Defender" treatment will cost A$200 ($160). We're not sure that making spa treatments sound more Australian is really a marketing winner, but there are plenty of other reasons to check out the qualia luxury anyhow.
The luxury qualia resort on Australia's Hamilton Island is not afraid to bring attention to its birthdays. A while back they reported in on the success of their first six months and recently they started distributing press releases wishing themselves a happy first birthday.
But as far as new kids on the resort block go, qualia--and yes, that's qualia with a small Q, because the lowercasing shows "the relaxed, understated nature of the property"--must have reasonably proud parents. In the second half of qualia's first year of life, a few cracks have been showing on this resort that we used to think was perfect.
More recent TripAdvisor comments point to plenty of lapses in service quality, like unstocked supplies in the rooms, slow service in general, and a toddler at this supposedly over-18s escape. Quelle Horror! Apparently looking under the beds is not advised either because they're a bit on the dusty side.
Everyone still agrees the resort is beautiful and with good service would be perfect, so all is not lost at qualia. Yet before we're prepared to hand over the minimum of A$1,450 ($1,050) a night, we'll be expecting a bit more.
At the top of the list for our must-visits in northern Australia is the Qualia resort on Hamilton Island, off the Queensland coast. Qualia has just celebrated its six month anniversary and the resort has proudly reported back a few statistics from its first half year in business.
Even though the resort isn't entirely complete, what they have there already is running at a 60% occupancy rate, and in such a short time, they're already seeing 10% of their guests returning for a second go.