While we generally like to write about family friendly holidays, every now and again the thought of getting away for that long weekend without the kids is rather nice. Whether you have a flotilla of kids or are soon to welcome your first baby, I can think of no better destination that Qualia on Hamilton Island in Queensland. We were lucky enough to be invited to experience Qualia earlier this year for a few child-free days.
From the moment you land, you know this is going to be the ultimate relaxing holiday as they even arrange to collect your bags from the airport carousel and deliver them to your room. The resort is exclusive and hidden behind two large timber gates. Going through the gates we knew we would stay within the resort perimeter for the entire stay! On arrival we were handed glasses of champagne and sat in the lobby overlooking the Whitsundays and just took in the spectacular views. Our stay included our own two-seat golf buggy, which was so much fun for zipping around the resort and island.
Qualia is nestled on the northern-most tip of Hamilton Island, surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef. Its distinctive style, secluded location and intuitive service make Qualia a very unique experience.
The accommodation was so gorgeous, there was not a lot of reasons to leave the room apart from meals. All of Qualia’s sixty pavilions face the water, surrounded by tropical bushland with uninterrupted views over the sea. There are Leeward and Windward pavilions and we were lucky enough to stay in a Windward Pavilion with an ocean-facing bedroom and ensuite bathroom, a separate living room, private sundeck and infinity-edge plunge pool.
We did not leave the resort for any meals. We dined in at Pebble Beach for lunch and Long Pavilion for breakfast while ordering room service for dinner to watch the sunset from our room. All options were worthwhile, but I think my favourite meal was the seafood platter down at Pebble Beach. The views and the fresh seafood, combined with champagne, was a meal I will never forget. Pebble Beach is located next to one of the pools at the resort so we went swimming and snorkelling after lunch and enjoyed the afternoon sun.
Breakfast each morning in the Long Pavilion was delicious. Breakfast always started with a beautifully presented fruit platter and small muesli slices, so we could enjoy these while we looked at the menu. We had mini mango puree and yoghurts and strawberry smoothies during our stay. You can also select one freshly made breakfast dish and choices of sides. There was a small buffet selection and it consisted of pastries, cheese, cold meats and cereals. Delicious!
While on the island, there is so much or so little to do. We skewed towards yoga, a visit to the spa, swimming and relaxing. If you are more adventurous there is snorkelling, scuba diving, private beach picnic drops off, golf, a visit to Whitehaven Beach and so much more.
I will mention my trip to Spa Qualia. The massage and surroundings were superb. From the minute you walk in and sip warm herbal tea until you leave you feel like royalty. We also went to the spa in the morning to do yoga, which is not something we normally do in our daily lives. We really enjoyed the class and the pace.
For that babymoon or special anniversary away from the kids, Qualia is one for your bucket list, with rates starting from $975 per pavilion per night and include breakfast, non-alcoholic beverages, two-seater golf buggy, chauffeur service and return airport/marina transfers.