Hayman Island by InterContinental

The crowning glory of the Whitsundays is back and better than ever!

Long considered the jewel in the crown of the Whitsundays, Hayman was Australia’s first internationally recognized luxury resort, hosting the rich and glamorous over its 70-year history, gaining a reputation of high service standards, fabulous food and magnificent views.

The brutal force of mother nature battered the island a few years ago and in 2019 after much wondering a new sparkling diamond started taking guests. One hundred and sixth eight refurbished rooms, most with views over the iconic Hayman pool. Five distinct dining experiences to suit all tastes and ages.

On island experiences include Kids Club, Hayman Spa, Gym, golf simulator, island trekking, yoga and water sports. The resort’s commitment to offering sustainable luxury has seen it ban the use of single-use plastics. Instead of doling out single-use water bottles, ample water stations throughout the resort allow re-usable bottles (provided at check-in) to be filled with filtered still or sparkling water by guests during their stay.

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Destination

Time here moves with the tides and few guests feel the need to check the time or their phones. The only resort on the private 294 hectare island has had a recent and extensive $135 million renovation. Hayman Island is the most northerly of the Whitsunday Islands, part of the Cumberland Islands. Located approximately 35kms from Hamilton Island and easily accessible by water or air from Hamilton Island and Shute Harbour.

Rooms and Amenities

Of the resort’s 168 rooms, most wrap around the sprawling 1950s-style pool (the size of seven Olympic pools). The Lagoon Wing offers lush views of tropical greenery while rooms in the Pool Wing look out over the colossal pool, some with swim-up access, facing out to the Whitsundays. Those lucky enough to score a villa in the Beach Wing will find a spacious private retreat with direct access to the beach as well as a private plunge pool and open-plan living area. Still, perhaps the most coveted villa is the Hayman Beach House with its three bedrooms – each with its own ensuite and private pool. Modern and chic bathrooms feature amenities from Australian brand Sodashi in large refillable bottles rather than single-use bottles – just one example of how the resort is leading the way for sustainable luxury offerings.

Meals and Drinks

There are plenty of dining options at Hayman. The resort’s signature bar and restaurant Pacific, offers a buffet breakfast in the morning and à la carte dining in the evening. AQUA is a pool-side menu of seafood dishes, tropical fruit juices, fresh salad bowls and classic cocktails.

The casual Italian eatery Amici Trattoria features wood-fired pizzas, pasta and an extensive Italian-influenced wine list. For a touch of pool-side glamour, try Bam Bam, pan-Asian cuisine with an Australian slant, with zesty cocktails by the infinity pool. Set in the resort’s lobby, Bar Fifty is a 1950s-inspired cocktail bar. All restaurants offer a dedicated kids menu and bookings can be made direct with the venues.

Activities and inclusions

Rise early for a yoga or pilates class or to kayak on the tranquil bay. Snorkeling and diving are the most popular of the many activities on offer, with learn-to-dive classes and boat trips to spectacular dive and snorkeling sites including Blue Pearl Bay, Bali Hai and Hook Island. Seaplane and heli-tours to Heart Reef or Whitehaven Beach are also possible. Guided bird-watching walks are available, or just take to the bushwalking tracks.

A large recreation centre offers tennis, table tennis, a golf simulator, squash courts and a resident tennis pro.

Planet Trekkers kids’ club is for children aged four to 12 and operates morning, afternoon and evening sessions. In room babysitting can also be arranged through concierge. **additional charges apply

When to travel

The tropical climate follows two distinct seasons. The dry season, from April to October, features mild to warm daytime temperatures and cooler nights, making it a popular time to visit. The green season is from November to March when it’s hotter with higher humidity.

Whale season runs from July through to October each year. The whales migrate north from July onwards and then start migrating south again from September onwards.

Getting here

Fly in to either Hamilton Island Airport or Whitsunday Coast Airport at Proserpine, a 40-minute drive from Airlie Beach, where the boat for Hayman Island leaves from.

A glass (or two) of bubbles and a plate of nibbles is served aboard the resort’s private launch to sustain you for the 30-minute transfer from the Port of Airlie to Hayman Island or 60-minute transfer from Hamilton Island. Private helicopter transfers can also be arranged from Hamilton Island airport, this spectacular journey takes a quick 15 minutes. **all transfer costs are additional

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