One and Only Hayman Island
A popular Australian holiday destination for decades in several past incarnations, Hayman Island, the northernmost of Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands, is now a part of the One & Only luxury resort chain. Boasting 1.5 miles (two kilometres) of white-sand beaches, the island has recently undergone an $80-million refurbishment, including new accommodation and pools, and a reduction in the number of rooms from 209 to a more exclusive 160. There are now three distinct types of accommodation, each offering a different ambiance. The refurbished Hayman Wing, for example, features understatedly elegant interiors with a neutral color palette, canopy beds, pale linen furnishings and smart geometric accents. Rooms range in size from a single, spacious room through to plush one, two and three-bedroom penthouse suites – including one created by fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg. Almost half of the accommodation options at the resort are suites, villas or penthouses, suitable for larger groups such as extended families. Beach Villas and the freestanding Beach House are perfect if you want to be right on the ocean. For dining, there is Aquazure restaurant, which serves Spanish cuisine; The Chefs Table, where the executive chef serves up an exclusive dinner for 20; and lunch destination and cocktail bar On the Rocks, where you can enjoy a view of the rocky shore from a private cabana. The island is accessible by seaplane transfer from Great Barrier Reef Airport, adding to the appealingly secluded atmosphere of the resort. This is one of the very best resorts you will find anywhere.
Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland in northeastern Australia, is the largest living thing on Earth, and even visible from outer space. The 1,500 mile (2,300km) long ecosystem comprises thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands made of over 600 types of hard and soft coral. It’s home to countless species of colourful fish, molluscs and starfish, plus turtles, dolphins and sharks.