The most northerly of the escapist Whitsunday Islands off the coast of Central Queensland, Australia, Hayman Island sets the scene for luxury in its purest, most potent form. Its waters were first charted in 1770 by worldly British explorer, though it wasn't until nearly 200 years later that millionaire Reginald Ansett fell in love with Hayman enough to buy it and open the Royal Hayman Hotel amidst silky white sand beaches and water bluer than even the most prolific French Impressionist's oil creation.
Following an illustrious 35-year run as Australia's top leisure and honeymoon destination, construction of the $300 million Hayman Island Resort that stands today began. Multiple renovations, additions, and upgrades have earned its current incarnation a spot on the list of the Leading Hotels in the World.
Depending on need, desire, and depth of pockets, the resort's accommodations range from Lavishly Pampered to More Spoiled Than Suri Cruise. Over 200 rooms, suites, villas, and penthouses give travelers respite from rat-race chaos. At minimum, all rooms have appointments such as private terraces or balconies and 24-hour concierge service. Retreat Rooms (16 total) live amongst the grounds' lush tropical gardens and native vegetation, enveloping couples on romantic getaways in their natural tones, rich grained woods, and sunken baths overlooking private rockery gardens. Eight Beachfront Villas--the newest additions to the Hayman Resort estate--sit just back from the Coral Sea, with sweeping views of its waters, as well as the other Whitsunday Islands. Coveted features include a Beach Butler service, a private pool in an open air gallery, a private terrace with an outdoor shower, and no children under the age of 13.
Pool Rooms, available in four different flavors, overlook the resort's grand meandering swimming pool, and boast nautical themes and colors, and marble bathrooms. Those looking for a little more space can also request a Pool Suite. A third segment of resting quarters overlooks Hayman's ethereal lagoon on the east side of the resort, just a few dozen paces from the sea. Rooms, Suites, and Penthouses are available in this area.
Hayman Resort accommodation rates generally range from $483 to $1,483 per night when staying 4 or more nights, and $611 to $1,855 when staying 1 to 3. A daily buffet-style breakfast at the resort's Azure restaurant is included in room fees.
Post-Hayman Island arrival--via luxury launch, seaplane, or helicopter--traditional getaway activities in the sun and water await. Swimming, sailing, lying around and dermally inhaling the big orb of fire in the sky. Snorkeling and SCUBA diving around the Great Barrier Reef, in whose Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Hayman enjoys an uber-cush location. The resort can provide access by air or water to a panoply of Reef adventures. Hayman also peddles exclusive "Learn to..." experiences, including: SCUBA certification for those anxious, but as-yet-unqualified, to explore the ocean; photography and videography training; tennis lessons, or classes at the Hayman Culinary Academy.
Those parched and peckish from a day's activities can then stroll through the grounds to one of Hayman's 7 restaurants, bars, and lounges, while foodies and aspiring chefs might elevate their eating and drinking endeavors at The Chef's Table, a weekly event hosted by Executive Chef Glenn Bacon, or a Hayman Master Chef and Hayman Sommelier. A backstage affair, guests dine on a six-course meal and wine pairings in the Main Kitchen, enjoying commentary and chef's notes along with their gourmet haute couture.
Stay up to date on the latest goings down, and read up on trip-planning tips with The Hayman Social, the island's frequently updated blog.
- Leading Hotels in the World: http://www.lhw.com/
- Hayman Island Resort Room Rates: http://www.hayman.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Hayman-Escape-Rates-2012-20131.pdf
- Azure Restaurant in Hayman Island Resort: http://www.hayman.com.au/dining/azure-2/
- Hayman Island Resort "Learn To" Experiences: http://www.hayman.com.au/experiences/learn-to-experiences/
- Hayman Island Restaurants, Bars & Lounges: http://www.hayman.com.au/dining/
- Hayman Island Resort Chef's Table Experience: http://www.hayman.com.au/dining/the-chefs-table/
- The Hayman Social Blog: http://www.hayman.com.au/blog/