The $80 million One&Only Hayman Island opened in July 2014 on the northernmost island of the Whitsunday archipelago. The Whitsundays are some of the most pristine and picturesque isles in the world, protected from the Pacific Ocean by the Great Barrier Reef. One&Only guests have exclusive access to 726-acre Hayman Island and unparalleled opportunities to experience the turquoise lagoons, sandy cays, and 33,000 species of the world’s largest reef system.
The resort itself is a tropical paradise that unfolds along a sandy beach on the island’s south shore, where a fringe reef reveals itself at low tide. More than 550 types of native plants surround the property’s villas and penthouses, from Poplar gums to Moreton Bay figs, attracting the rare Proserpine rock wallaby as well as island birds like sea eagles, kingfishers, white cockatoos, and rainbow lorikeets. The last two might greet guests in their private plunge pools. Despite the romance and indulgences offered here, One&Only Hayman Island couldn’t get more family-friendly. Custom room configurations, diverse dining options, a kids club, and excursions tailored to guests of all ages make the Great Barrier Reef accessible and magical for everyone.
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Defined by swirling white-and-turquoise shores, the Whitsunday archipelago off Queensland is one of Australia’s most iconic island destinations. Most guests arrive to Hayman Island, in the far north of the archipelago, via boat or seaplane from Hamilton, the most developed island in the chain with a number of luxury accommodations, restaurants, and an airport that receives direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Others choose to sail or fly from Airlie Beach, a funky town on the mainland that serves as the gateway to the Whitsundays. Once on Hayman, guests are immersed in a land of secluded coves, lush rain forest, rugged peaks, and beckoning cays. Popular Whitsunday experiences include visiting the silica-soft Whitehaven Beach, flying over the much-photographed Heart Reef (a popular proposal site), and snorkeling or diving at Hardy Reef, where visitors can also spend the night.
Need to Know
Rooms: 88 rooms, 58 suites, 8 villas, 5 penthouses, and a beach house. From $607, including breakfast and select activities. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options:One&Only Hayman Island features seven restaurants and bars, from Fire—the property’s signature Australian restaurant specializing in seafood, grilled steaks, and rare vintages of Penfolds wines—to Bar Fifty, an indoor-outdoor hangout with sea life–inspired shisha pipes. The morning starts at the oceanfront Pacific restaurant, where a gourmet breakfast buffet and fruit juices seasoned with herbs grown on the island make getting up easy. Aquazure, a Spanish-influenced beach club near the family pool, is popular during the day; adults enjoy paella, house-cured chorizo, and cocktails in their cabanas, and kids have a hard time leaving the gelato bar. On the Rocks is another poolside favorite, especially once the live bands and tiki torches fire up in the evening. In addition to Fire, dinner options include handmade pasta and wood-fired pizzas at Amici as well as Asian dishes at the idyllic Bamboo restaurant, where guests can dine under the stars in the bamboo garden or at a teppanyaki table to experience a Japanese barbecue. Spa and gym details:The stone-and-wood spa features 13 treatment rooms along with relaxation lounges, sauna and steam rooms, and Vichy showers. Most spa experiences are influenced by the sea. For the Ocean Dreaming treatment, guests lie on a massage table that’s literally submerged in the Coral Sea. There are therapies tailored to men, teens, brides, and grooms, too, and a hair salon, as well as a mani-pedi studio run by nail guru Bastien Gonzalez. Active travelers can take Pilates, yoga, and boot camp, and the truly driven can take Bodyism courses designed by James Duigan, who also offers a “Clean and Lean” dining menu throughout the resort. Athletes can play tennis, basketball, and squash at the shaded activities center or golf at the putting and driving range.
Who's it best for: Anyone who appreciates coral reefs, exotic rain forests, turquoise lagoons, and island indulgences. Our favorite rooms: The Beach Villas are palm-fringed oases hewn from gold and cherry woods. Each has a private pool that laps beneath a plush daybed. From here, guests are steps from the aquamarine shoals of Hayman Beach. Beach Villas can be combined with Retreat Rooms directly behind the villas to create the ultimate Australian beach house. Island highlights:Personalized experiences are a One&Only specialty. From thrilling helicopter and seaplane tours to Great Barrier Reef fishing and diving excursions, to romantic sailing adventures and champagne dinners under the stars, there’s no island dream that can’t come true here.