TWICE AS NICE

There’s an exotic island that’s a close to paradise as one could get. It’s called Hayman Island and is located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. It’s full of astonishing natural beauty, restorative peace, chilled indulgence and adventure. Hayman Island (for those geographers/topographers among you) is the northernmost of the Whitsunday Islands off the coast of Queensland. The Whitsunday Islands are the real stuff of fantasy; dreamlike, swirls of turquoise and palest blue-green with ultra-white sands.

One might be forgiven for thinking how long it will be before tourism exploitation will ruin these islands, but the Australian Government fiercely protects them. Nothing, absolutely nothing can be pocketed as a keepsake/souvenir from your visit there. But holidaymakers and appreciators of the unspoilt parts of the Great Barrier Reef are quite happy to abide by these rules. Hayman Island is one of the biggest Whitsunday Islands;726 acres and arguably the best of the bunch. No cobbled together rustic raw-wood shacks with palm roofs here- think marble, rococo swirls and other sumptuous luxuries, and it boasts a staff population to pamper you that number more than an outback town!

But there has been a change this month. A new-look revamped Hayman Island reopens as a One&Only resort. The well-respected hotel group has been spending millions redeveloping it. Less is more seems to be the order of the day because there will be less rooms (it had 244) but the rooms it does have will be larger, more separated from one another and be more private. Among the usual reception, cleaning and serving staff will be a large number of wildlife experts and marine biologists to take guests out into the surrounding forest and to coral reefs. No noisy waters ports and dune buggy racing here please!

While the remodelled resort will still be a family-friendly place, but there will be a chill-out lounge, pool and terrace just for adults and they are hoping to entice lovers and newly-weds. Not only will there be state-of-the-art spas, with signature treatments using renewable natural ingredients from the islands, there will be open-to-the-elements treatment rooms where the beds look out to views of the sea and the forests.

The opening was marked by Alan Leibman, Chief Executive Officer of Kerzner International, and Mark DeCocinis, President and Chief Operating Officer of One&Only Resorts, who joined Seng Huang Lee, Executive Chairman of Mulpha, the owner of the resort, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony as the first guests arrived earlier this month. The level of luxury has been upped from top quality to simply sensational and will be the last word in luxury.

Let’s hear the words of Seng Huang Lee, the Executive Chairman of Mulpha:

“A new era has begun at this iconic Australian resort as we introduce One&Only Hayman Island to the world. The transformational refurbishment combined with One&Only’s innovation and commitment to delivering an extraordinary level of service will redefine luxury travel in Australia.”

If you are planning to have a holiday in the South Pacific/Australasia region, you should give serious consideration to the holiday of a lifetime on Hayman Island- it’ll be twice as nice as you could ever imagine!