My husband and I recently celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary by heading to the stunning, Qualia resort on Hamilton Island. In case you had never heard of Qualia before, it is ‘an oasis of Australian style, combining award winning luxury, with intuitive, friendly service.’
To get to Hamilton Island we flew from Brisbane Airport, which is a short one-hour drive from our house. As Qualia is an adult only resort, so we had the perfect excuse to leave our three children at home and enjoy our holiday not as Mum and Dad, but as husband and wife. As soon as you touch down on Hamilton Island you are greeted by its tropical environment and laidback lifestyle.
The Qualia Pavilions are both stylish and spacious, but best of all they are incredibly private. All are nestled within Australian bushland with Whitsunday Island and ocean views. We chose to upgrade and stay in a Windward Pavilion, which is something I would do time and time again. There are two floor plan types, we stayed in Type B, but both look equally amazing. Our pavilion consisted of a bedroom with his and hers robes, separate lounge, kitchenette, huge bathroom with tub, and a large outdoor area with table setting, day bed, sun lounges and swimming pool. Can you believe, all of that just for us. It is no wonder I believe that the best part about this resort is in fact the pavilions. We stayed in pavilion number five.
We chose to enjoy all our meals at Qualia, and we are so glad that we did. Breakfast was included in our package and could be enjoyed at either the Long Pavilion restaurant, or in our own pavilion. We chose the latter twice, how could we not when our room was so stunning. We were able to order as much food as we liked, but our favourite dish was the French toast.
There were two restaurants at the resort, the Long Pavilion and Pebble Beach. Each has its own set of opening times and hours, so keep an eye out for those. Both restaurants were equally enjoyable and offer meals suitable for all. My favourite dishes were the pasta-based meals.
We also enjoy one of the resorts ‘Talk and Taste’ experiences. There are many to choose from, and we opted for sashimi and sake. It was the most beautiful experience, all guided by Qualia’s expert sommelier.
All non-alcoholic beverages are provided free of charge, and the in-room mini bars come well stocked with them. Hot tip – bring a bottle of spits with you and make your own in room cocktails to save some pennies.
Activities and Experiences
Both our travel agent and the Qualia team put together an itinerary for our stay which was the perfect balance of exciting, yet relaxing. Due to the water and wind on a few of the days, some of our actives were cancelled. We weren’t at all worried though, as the resort was the perfect place to smooch around and enjoy some downtime.
We enjoyed the complimentary yoga which was on offer daily. There is also a gym which is open 24 hours a day.
We were delighted to enjoy the activity that we were most looking forward to, a scenic flight over the Whitsundays. A private helicopter collected us from Qualia’s own helicopter pad and took us away for an adventurous morning. After a scenic flight over heart reef, we landed on Whitehaven beach where we enjoyed a bottle of champagne and a picnic which had been packed by the Qualia kitchen. It was a one-of-a-kind experience which I would highly recommend.
One afternoon we ventured down to the Qualia actives hut where we are playing some rounds of croquet, it was very delightful and not something we had done before.
Private Beach Drop Off
The Qualia resort has a small boat which they take guests out of and drop them at a secluded beach on a separate island. This was a big highlight of our trip! We were literally dropped on this island, by ourselves, with some deck chairs, sun cream and a bottle of bubbles. A truly exciting experience and at no charge.
The Qualia Spa is a must book, when staying at the resort. As with the restaurants, it is available only for Qualia guests. We opted for one of the signature packages called Drift Away, which we were able to enjoy together in one of the couple’s treatment rooms. The experience was so perfect and so seamless. Whilst at the spa we were able to stay and enjoy the viccy shower, sauna and steam rooms.
All in all our experience at Qualia was truly exceptional. Originally, we opted for this more ‘local’ stay, as opposed to somewhere like the Maldives, because it was easier with the current world climate and the fact that we have three children, however I would have now chosen this resort regardless. Nothing was too hard for staff, and everyone so delightful. They do everything for you from the moment you land at Hamilton Island airport, and they get your bags for you, truly you don’t see your bags from the moment you hand them over at your departure airport to when they are in your room for you waiting for you arrival. They are magicians! You get the sense that they want to do everything and anything to make your stay perfect. Yes, it is on the more exsoenive end of the spectrum, but I will say that you really do get what you day for. I can’t fault our vacation or the resort, it was just incredible.
We booked our Qualia stay through Suncity Travel as the offered the best price and availability. They seem to have access to rooms which aren’t even available on the Qualia website itself.