The lovelies in The Whitsundays
It’s official – we’re the luckiest girls alive! Arriving at Hamilton Island airport after a leisurely 2.5 hour flight from Sydney, we disembark, shed about 15 layers of clothing, and head for the Hayman Island desk.”Sorry madams”, they say, “but instead of the luxury boat transfer, you’re going to arrive on Hayman via sea plane. Apologies for the inconvenience.
Apologies? Inconvenience? Sea plane – woo hoo!
Minutes later we’re up, up and away again and experiencing some of the world’s most incredible bird’s eye views. The beauty of The Whitsundays has to be seen to be believed – lush green mountains disappearing into the clearest, bluest water you’ve ever seen – and there’s no better way to experience it than from the sky. What a way to arrive.
We’re wowed by the journey but we’re FLABBERGASTED by the destination. Hayman Resort is absolutely, mind blowingly, you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-is-this-for-real incredible. The ultimate in luxury accommodation, it’s the only Australian resort to be dubbed as one of the iconic Leading Hotels Of The World and by golly it deserves it.
Our royal treatment continues as we hop off the sea plane and are met by immaculate Hayman staff, who usher us onto buggies and deliver us to our rooms. The lastminute Lovelies stay in Pool Deluxe rooms on level three of the Pool Wing – almost 40 square metres of delectable space overlooking the pool, tropical gardens, beach and Coral Sea. Our fave part, though, is that you can see it all from the bath. Magic.
Next time (and yes, there will be a next time) we plan to stay in one of the Pool Access rooms, which, funnily enough, allow you to access the pool directly from your room’s balcony.
And what a pool it is. One of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, the famous Hayman pool is huuuuuuge, incorporating both salt and heated fresh water. Surrounded by palm trees and overlooking the beach, it’s truly idyllic, and makes the perfect backdrop for gloating Facebook pics. Cheese!
After enjoying a leisurely afternoon soaking up the rays and sipping cocktails poolside, we spruce up and head over to Oriental restaurant for dinner. Offering a range of Asian cuisines (Thai, Japanese, Chinese and Indian) and overlooking a serene lagoon, Oriental is the perfect setting for a romantic dinner – for the ultimate seduction, book one of the outdoor dining platforms scattered throughout the gardens. For the lastminute Lovelies, however, it’s a lovely evening of great wine, great food and great conversation. Next morning we’re up early and ready to do it all again – eat and relax in paradise, that is! First, breakfast at Azure, overlooking the beach and beyond to the neighbouring Whitsunday islands. View aside, this is hands down one of the best hotel buffets we’ve ever seen, with everything from sparkling wine and tropical fruit to good old fashioned bacon and eggs.
We eventually pry ourselves away and head back to the pool for – you guessed it – more relaxing! There are plenty of other things to do at Hayman, from shopping to windsurfing, but we’re perfectly happy to do, well, not much at all.
A few hours later, though, we’re off our towels and back on a sea plane (love those things!), this time for a Panorama Sea Plane Tour with Air Whitsunday. Flying over yet more of those insanely beautiful Whitsunday views, we head for iconic Whitehaven Beach, 7km of 99% silica (read: white!) sand. Landing just metres away, we hop out and spend an hour swimming and lolling around, interspersed by a sip of sparkling wine and chomp of cheese and crackers. Yes, this is officially the life.
Next stop, the Great Barrier Reef. Passing over the world famous Heart Reef along the way – yep, you guessed it, a reef the shape of a love heart! – the whole plane is gasping at the sheer beauty of the coral formations below. We’re left gasping again when we swap the plane for a glass bottom boat, and then again when we ditch the boat, grab a snorkel, and get face to face with the fishes.
There can be no doubt: the Great Barrier Reef is a great wonder of the world, and a sure bet for the bucket list. Our Panorama Sea Plane Tour has been, hands down, one of the most incredible experiences of our lives – but we’re in for another one.
La Fontaine is one of Hayman’s premium restaurants – elegant, grand and oh-so-special. More special, however, is the Chef’s Bench, where you ditch the plebs and dine not in the restaurant, but the kitchen. This is serious wow factor – 16 courses, all with matching wines (Moet!) hand chosen by Hayman’s spunky French sommelier. You not only get to taste the magnificence of each dish, but also watch it being prepared, just metres away from you. Got a question? Ask it. Like the look of something? Taste it. Don’t like the wine? Swap it! People often promise personalised service, but this is like nothing we’ve ever experienced. Absolutely sensational, and truly unforgettable.
Just when we think things can’t get any better, the next morning we wake up in anticipation of our final treat – a massage at Hayman’s acclaimed spa. With the state of our heads after all that wine, we need it…
Walking into Spa Hayman, our shoulders instantly drop about six inches. The music is soft, the decor is soft, even the staff are soft, walking around making soft little sounds with soft little feet. My massage, however, is anything but soft – at my request, of course – and I leave feeling kneaded, pummeled, and knot free.
After three heavenly days at Hayman, it’s time to bid a very fond and very sad farewell. No sea plane transfer this time, so it’s onto the island’s gleaming white luxury yacht. Poor us. We choose to sit outside and soak up the last of Queensland’s gorgeous tropical sunshine (25 degrees in June!), and it’s more sparkling wine, more canapes and more gloating photos before we dock and surrender to the fact that our little slice of heavenly luxury is over… For now.
The lastminute lovelies xox