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Posted 16/06/2022 in Luxury Travel by Fiona Boileau

The Whitsundays - qualia, an EXPERIENCE. Not just a destination.

The Whitsundays - qualia, an EXPERIENCE. Not just a destination.

The journey to qualia on Hamilton Island in The Whitsundays begins as you drive through the grand gates, into a private world of sensory perfection! The tropical landscaping and the lush plantings make for a truly luxurious feel. 

On arrival, the refreshing sparkling wine is a nice surprise as you sit and waited for the personalised concierge service. The panoramic view of Great Barrier Reef Islands is a stunning vista from the comfortable lounge area. The water is an amazing blue, and if you're lucky enough you can view whales frolicking in the morning from the luxury of wherever you choose.

Australian Travel Expert, welcome lounge at qualia resort, Hamilton Island AustraliaThe lounge area at qualia, Hamilton Island

Lucky enough to visit qualia for myself, I gained insight into what real luxury feels like.

During my stay, I was provided with the key to my own golf cart. It was mine! For my personal use the entire stay. I was so excited. Normally my husband is the one that takes control of these types of luxuries!

On entering my villa, my eyes were drawn to the private deck behind the bi-fold glass doors. Beyond that, the magnificent water views - my backdrop for the next three days. The king-sized bed faced the window that looked out over what I now considered my own personal expanse of water. Even the (very private) bath had views. You could bathe, sip sparkling wine and watch the boats sail by. A complimentary bottle of sparkling wine in the lounge caught my eye as I discovered my own private plunge pool. I could see how my afternoon would unfold. The water was the perfect temperature and being so private, bathers would be optional.

Australian Travel Agent experience, qualia, Hamilton Island AustraliaImagine yourself here with a view of the Coral Sea as you wash off the day!

Food and Communal Areas

Lunch was served down in the Pebble Beach dining area. Pebble Beach is the premier restaurant on the whole of Hamilton Island. Naturally, I drove my buggy! This restaurant is magnificent. Not only is the infinity pool close by, but it is at sea level and only metres from lapping waves. As I sipped wine and marvelled at my cuttlefish salad, I could hear the water on the pebbled beach, the only sound except for the quiet chatter of other dining couples.

Hamilton Island Travel Expert, views from the restaurantPebble Beach Restaurant at qualia, Hamilton IslandThe Sunset Experience on the Whitsunday Islands

The evening started with drinks on the helipad. An exotic moment as we watched the sun slowly slip down into the water far away. The following night there was another function held on this spot, what an amazing and different option for a get-together! We had a magnificent view back towards the hamlet of Hamilton Island and Dent Island. If I heard it once, I heard it a dozen times. You really must have lunch at the Club House on Dent Island, it is fabulous. Perhaps next time I should bring my clubs, have a game and then settle in for this famous lunch.

Dinner was held in the Long Pavilion, and with the backdrop of the Whitsunday Islands, it was a really special experience. We had sampled so many of the dishes offered. It would be hard to choose a favourite as they were all beautiful. We felt very fortunate in this divine setting. No singlets and thongs in here, but no tiara either, just well dressed, same-minded friends, having a nice dinner.

Sunrise or Sunset? Which is your favourite?

I raised the blind in my bedroom after the staff had done the turndown service. I wanted to wake up to a magical sunrise beaming through my massive window wall. I slipped into bed and just stared into the darkness. I felt at home under the stars.

Sunrise did not disappoint. I woke slowly as the light streamed into my bedroom. So many colours. I lay perhaps for an hour just gazing, and searching for whales. After freshening up in my rain shower (you have a choice of indoor AND outdoor) I started my buggy and headed down for breakfast. I am not a big breakfast person, but when Eggs Benedict is on the menu with fresh fruit and pastries, it's different! My table was on the very edge of the room with nothing between me and the water but a little breeze. My big excitement though came with my tea! A pot of tea with real tea, not a teabag insight. I was in heaven!

Heart Reef and Whitehaven Beach

Our activity today was a floatplane over Heart Reef and then a landing at the famous Whitehaven beach. There, we were marooned for a few hours with only sparkling wine and hors d'oeuvre to see us through. We set up our umbrellas on the finest, crystal white sand, and watched the boats come and go. I was pleased I'd bought a sarong as the weather was warm and my shorts and T-shirt were a bit hot. The water was a balmy 22 degrees but a bit fresh for me so I watched as others braved the water and splashed. I'm not a great flyer, but I loved the experience. I felt I had the best seat, the right-hand side, but everyone said the same. The view was spectacular from both sides and the reef just stretched out as far as the eye could see. Little coral islands dotted the ocean as we flew over, and the contrast between deep and shallow ocean blues was beautiful.

Scenic flight over heart reef, Whitsundays, Whitsundays Travel ExpertHeart Reef in the Whitsunday Islands

Hamilton Island beyond qualia

After arriving back to Hamiton Island, we of course had to eat again. So much food, so little time. We ate at Manta Ray Café which is in the centre of the Hamlet of Hamilton Island. We could see the golf buggies cruise by as we watched the yachts dock in front of us. Although renowned for their Pizzas, we all decided to try different things as we sat on the waterfront watching the world go by.

I was pleased for a bit of a break after this very busy and intense day. Back at the villa I lay back with my personal water view and thought about how lucky I was. Such a magnificent part of the world. As I sat contemplating, a cockatoo came and joined me on my deck. We sat together in silence. I wonder what he was thinking?

The Best Sunset Cruise on Earth

qualia of course, is the king of the luxury sunset cruise. The cruiser was just for us, and so we spread out with a drink in hand ready for our adventure. We were barely out of the harbour when we saw our first whale! We sat, stunned, as we watched it rise and dive in the waters around us. Such beautiful creatures. But time was of the essence, we had to find a perfect spot for our sunset. As we feasted on prawns and dip, we were not disappointed with our spot. The sky was orange and red and yellows as the sun passed over the islands in the distance. Disappearing with the sun was the warmth. It became a little chilly so I was pleased I had bought my jacket. Another fabulous experience. Our hosts kept us fascinated with tales of the islands and waterways and the people that made the Whitsundays their home. It was a very personalised journey and one I was pleased to have experienced.

Dinner was at the Beach Club. What a fresh feel. The staff were so attentive and obliging. We were to have the degustation menu, which came with options for every diet. As we were a party of 5, we were perhaps the noisiest as most of the diners were couples, as the beach club is an adults-only resort. Perfect for couples and romance. People all dressed well for dinner, but that would be expected if staying at the Club and romance was the order of the day

Back in my Villa,  once again left my blind up so as I could greet the morning once again with awe.

qualia...I salute you! You are one special place.

Dining at qualia with your Australian luxury holiday travel agentThe essenece of qualia

If I can help you create a getaway to qualia, please send me a message and I'll get in touch! 

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Fiona Boileau

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