Destinations / Travel

Itching for a tropical vacay? Here are the best hotels to stay at in the Whitsundays

If you're itching for a tropical vacay – here are the best hotels to stay at in the Whitsundays

As the weather takes a turn for the warmer, it's only natural to begin to feel that familiar itch – you know the one. It's a palpable yearning for palm trees and sandy beaches, for laying pool-side with a cold drink under a hot sun. Luckily, Australia has these kinds of holiday destinations in bounds, but one in particular that is as pristine and tropical as you can get is the Whitsundays.

Located off the coast of Queensland's Airlie Beach, a little further north than Brisbane, the Whitsundays are an archipelago of 74 islands characterised by dense rainforest, hiking trails and white sand beaches. November to December is a perfect time to beat the school holiday visitors, but it's a gorgeous site to visit pretty much year-round.


1. Qualia Resort


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Highlights: adults-only, locally sourced produce, exceptional wine lists.

The 6-star Qualia Resort on Hamilton Island is the epitome of tropical luxury, with 60 luxury private pavilions that each look out across the Coral Sea with views of the Whitsunday Islands. Situated on the northern tip of Hamilton Island, the resort is fully equipped for your stay – dining options at their two on-site restaurants, snorkelling and diving experiences, private charter boats, a restorative spa and wellness centre and more.


2. Hayman Island Resort

Highlights: privacy, lots of food options, complimentary refillable water bottles.

Hayman Island Resort's 182 guest rooms, suites and villas are artfully interspersed with spectacular swimming pools, panoramic ocean views, and tropical rainforest gardens. Atop a hill, there are also four private Hayman residences, and a holiday home available to be booked. Choose where to eat from the resort's signature restaurant and bar, Pacific, their Mediterranean influenced tapas and pizzas spot, Amici, their pool-side bar, Aqua, or their zesty Pan-Asian restaurant Bam Bam.

You'll need to book a transfer by luxury vessel, helicopter, or private charter to reach Hayman Island from Hamilton Island,


3. Hotel Beach Club

Highlights: adults-only, complimentary sports equipment, complimentary À la carte breakfast daily

Another spot not fit for the family vacation, but a fab spot for a couples or friends trip. Beach Club sits right on Catseye Beach, overlooking the Coral Sea. Indulge in some secluded beach-side dining, or take a dip in their heated infinity pool. Pamper yourself at their on-site spas – Spa wumurdaylin or Island Hair and Beauty – and make the most of complimentary access to all (non-motorised) sports equipment, including catamarans, paddle boards, kayak hire, windsurfers and snorkelling equipment, and use of the island’s gym, spa, sauna and tennis court hire.


4. Elysian Resort

Highlights: eco-friendly, adults-only, private, all-inclusive meals, magnesium pool, water activities.

Elysian Luxury Eco Island Retreat is the Whitsunday Islands' first 100% solar powered resort. Nestled into one of the island's secluded private coves, guests are surrounded by national park rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef in 10 free-standing villas. With only 20 guests at a time, you'll experience premium and personalised service for your stay – your needs catered to hand and foot as soon as you step off your helicopter or boat transfer.

Elysian is all-inclusive, which means guests enjoy three gourmet meals daily, with an ulimited selection of drinks, and pre-dinner canapes served by a firepit. You'll also get to experience the health benefits of their magnesium pool, or take to the high seas with their range of non-powered water activities.


5. Reefsleep

Highlights: unique stay, snorkel and scuba diving, sleep under the stars, complimentary drinks.

For the more adventurous among us, the new Reefsleep boat is a spectacular and unique overnight tour that allows guests to sleep under the stars while out on the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Experience the sunrise and sunset, and enjoy complimentary drinks. Guided snorkelling and scuba diving activities are aplenty – and certified divers are welcome. For those less water-sports inclined, there's also an underwater observatory you can enjoy the sea-life from.


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