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“The only Paradise in Australia's dreamland” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Qualia Resort

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Qualia Resort
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   20 Whitsunday Boulevard, 4803, Australia   |  
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Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Hamilton Island
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
“The only Paradise in Australia's dreamland”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2011

Hamilton Island is another world buzzing with Buggys, yet once the grandeur gates of Qualia open, you enter ecstasy. This place is like no other.
Reception greets you with a magical sea backdrop, a fabulous glass of French bubbly and you are told to sit, lift nothing and do nothing but be pampered. And that we did for 3 days.
We booked the Leeward Pavillion, which was beautiful, however did request to change rooms to get a pavillion with a pool (Windward Pavillion). Bite the bullet, upgrade and you get so much more bang for your buck in difference. Larger rooms, fabulous pool/ entertaining area. So so luxurious.
Enjoy the facilities, it was hard for us to leave the resort. Breakfast - amazing! Share a cheese platter at the Main poolside dining area, another view not to be missed. And have a go at Sailing, you will be looked after. Quite a thrill.
But do enjoy the ride. We loved the world of buggys. If you forget to charge overnight, fear nothing, its like you have little martians who come around at all times of the day to ensure you are charged.
Only downside - Crazily expensive. If you want a Burger / BLT by poolside, be prepared to depart with $50. I was embarrassed as an Aussie at these rates. Overseas guests were speaking very negatively of this.
I loved the place, but because of the ridiculous prices, it will be hard to get me back. Once in a lifetime experience though.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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835 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (268)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne - Australia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2011

This was my second stay at Qualia and decided to try the Beach House for 3 nights. The room defiantly was amazing with a full sized pool plus guest house! Sadly the weather was pouring rain for our entire stay so we didn’t get to use the pool. The staff are amazing and the dinning experience was brilliant! I am looking forward to my next stay (fingers cross the weather will be better)

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2011

My wife and I stayed at Qualia for four nights on our 30th Anniversary trip in January. The resort is wonderful with beautiful grounds, stunning rooms, attentive and friendly service, and on an island with plenty to do.

The rooms (really private pavilions) were huge and very luxurious and comfortable. Perfect for a romantic getaway--plunge pool, private daybed, chaise lounges in the sun, absolutely top shelf all the way.

The food prices are high, but there are alternatives in town which is a short ride on the provided golf cart. Nowhere is cheap, but we enjoyed the food and the island was very easy to get around on and explore.

We were fortunate to have wonderful weather and used it to go to the barrier reef for snorkeling, to take the speedboat to Whitehaven Beach (gorgeous and virtually empty), to go to the Hamilton Island Golf Club (stunning holes), to hike to the top of Passage Peak (great hiking trails on the island), go to the main pool, use our plunge pool and basically be outside the whole day.

The Whitsundays are beautiful--it reminded me of the Cairibbean if you took 95% of the people and all the buildings away--gorgeous beaches, stunning warm emerald water, the photos on the website don't do it justice.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Traralgon
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2011

We stayed three night in a Windward Pavillion and our expectations were met in every way.

After staying at some of the most amazing resorts around the world it's about time Australia had a resort that competes agains the best.
Our room was 120sqm, had a great a view and was very private. Whilst the service is just ok the staff were always very pleasant and perhaps our expectation was as high as some other travelers.

Now for the best bit, I will return to Qualia again soon but not for the great accommodation, the helicopter flights, the beautiful sunset cruise, great day spa what will bring me back is the SENSATIONAL FOOD prepared by the Qualia team headed up by
Jane.

Our package included all Dinners and I was a little concerned I may be bored with the same food however a different menu was provided each night and the farewell lobster dish created for us was one of the best meals ever.

We have booked to return again soon and are also excited about attending again in November for the Great Barrier Reef Feast with Dan Hunter from Royal Mail.

Thanks Qualia for a truly great resort.

  • Stayed April 2010
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2011

Firstly, credit where I believe credit is due - the location is stunning and the resort is beautiful and we did have a couple of lovely staff members during our stay, sadly however, that is where the good news ends. My husband and I went to Qualia for a 5 day break in May 2010 before our second baby was due in late June. We desperately wanted it to be amazing as it is a great location for a brief 'parents only' trip which we would have loved to do a couple of times a year. We will not be returning to Qualia again. Below is an exert of the email we sent to Qualia management outlining our various 'issues.' ....

Among a general lack of enthusiasm and unhelpfulness, we would like to highlight these incidents in particular:

1. Upon arrival to our first room, we were shocked at the lack of cleanliness, to the point where we questioned whether the room had been cleaned at all. There were dirty tissues on the outdoor furniture, jam smeared over the balcony hand rails, decking and outdoor table and the daybed cover was filthy and stained. Inside, the bathroom floor had not been swept or mopped and there were bits of tissue on the floor. When housekeeping arrived to rectify the situation even they commented on the state of the room.

2. We understand these things can happen from time to time in any business however the manner in which it was handled in our case was disappointing. After these understandably disappointing first impressions, we called guest services to request a room change. After having to call a second time, we were informed by Sam (the manager on duty) that there was nothing that could be done and we'd have to wait until tomorrow to move rooms. This was all handled in a rather offhand manner over the phone when face to face contact seemed more appropriate. After no further contact we approached guest services around midday the next morning to enquire on whether we would be getting a new room, at which point we were handed a key and a map and told our luggage would be transferred. Again, we feel it would have been more appropriate for a staff member, in person, to accompany us to the room to ensure it was satisfactory. The new room was everything we expected of qualia, absolutely stunning. However, 3 hours and two phone calls later our luggage had still not been transferred!

3. At dinner that night, we requested to view your prominently displayed cellar in order to clarify some of the french vintages available. We were told by a waitress that your 'sommelier' would show us through. After having interested sommeliers show us through some of France's best caves and Asia's premier cellars, we were amazed by his condescending, unhelpful and obnoxious manner, that unfortunately lingered throughout the rest of our stay. We were intending to purchase a white burgundy however after this treatment we went with a much less expensive alternative.

4. Communication appears to be a major problem at qualia. After receiving no communication regarding departure the evening before our check out (and in fact having been invited for cocktails on the helipad the evening after our scheduled departure), we called and were told the shuttle departure time for the airport. The next morning while checking out, we were asked if we were departing early as apparently we were booked to stay another night! ......

After being contacted by management rather swiftly we were promised that Qualia would rectify the situation (I'm not sure how given that by this stage we were already home in Melbourne) however, that was the last we ever heard of them. I'm also tired of hearing the same 'transient staffing' problem for Queensland island resorts by way of excuse. We stayed at Lizard Island a number of years ago (far more remote) and the staff were wonderful, attentive yet discret and unobtrusive.

Clearly this was a memorable (for all the wrong reasons!) stay as we were at Qualia in May 2010 and it is still irking me enough to write a review some 10 months later! Hopefully this was just our expereience and if you do decide to go to Qualia your '$1600 a night experience' will be well worth it, however.... buyer be warned!!!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2011

We were told that money was no object when it came to building this place, and it did not disappoint. Mr Oatley bought the island in 2003, and owns everything except the post office. The development of Qualia was, it seemed the pinnacle of the project of establishing the island as a number one tourist destination.
You are met at the airport with a cold towel and our luggage receipts taken from us - to be collected by hotel staff. We were then whisked from the airport in Merceded minibus, where we were met at reception and offered champagne on arrival, check-in was a relaxed affair sitting in the lobby overlooking the whiitsundays. We were then taken to our room in our own golf buggy, which was ours for the stay. to get around the resort and into town. Everyone uses them on the island. Incidentally, someone comes at night to plug in your buggy to recharge it - nice touch!
Built in a lush hillside, these luxurious villas were beyond amazing. A huge expanse of glass at the rear, views of the ocean and islands beyond. Plunge pool and own deck on the balcony. Huge bathroom and free standing bath. Beautiful sitting room. The lobby and beach infinity pools are stunning with views over the Whitsundays. We saw possums and wallabies in the grounds.
The lobby and restaurant is all open plan, views abound, We found the food wonderful but not exceptional, breakfast was, however, delightful. The restaurant staff were very good, and the sommelier, I think he was only 20, had an amazing knowledge and was great at recommending the wine, which as we are english, was difficult for us, not having experienced much Aussie wine.
There is a beach restaurant, which is only open for lunch - which is a shame as it would give you another choice for dinner in the evening, as there is only the main restaurant.
We played golf on the next-door Dents Island, just developed by Mr Oatley. The course is amazing, very difficult (although I am not a talented golfer). The views are breathtaking. And the clubhouse is stunning for lunch, although food was not great.
However, we were appalled when we were told later that evening at dinner that there were deadly Taipan snakes on the island - as we had not been warned and were looking for balls in the rough!
Downside, the resort is staffed by young people, (we did not encounter anyone over the age of 30 working at the resort). which is not necessarily a bad thing, but on occasion we had a couple of problems - room not made up by lunchtime, ants in the room and electrics fusing, there was no-one really in authority who seemed to take charge, We were told that the manager was away at the time of our visit.
We ate in town one night, in the steak restaurant. We waited ages for a table at a very hot bar, no air conditioning in the restaurant, although open-air, we were told that one woman had passed out in there the week before. You had to order from a checkout and the food was later brought to your table, very average and a bit too casual for us, so we ate in the hotel restaurant most nights, as the other restaurants all seemed to be a similar theme.
We did eat in the brand new yacht club which was a stunning building, the most experienced wait staff on the island and food was amazing ( see picture of my friend's snapper)..
The hotel has it's own helicopter pad from which the hotel arranged a wonderful trip to the outer reef - this was truly amazing. It's well worth the extra money to do a private tour, flying there and back, and the reef to yourself - we were back sitting by the pool by 11.15am!
The spa is beautiful and the treatments were lovely and the yoga room divine. Well worth a visit.
The only disappointment is the beach - there isn't one! The hotel has imported some sand, and has tried to create a beach, but it is very stoney beyond the made-up area.
Would recommend Qualia without hesitation - not cheap but it really is 6 star in every category but some aspects of service.. It was by far the best establishment we stayed at on our month long trip,
I think if you honeymoon here, how can you fail to go on to a lifetime of happiness, it truly is paradise.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2011

We spent three nights at Qualia in late January 2011. Our Windward Pavilion was exquisite - large living room, bedroom and bathroom and a private plunge pool. Beautiful views of tropical foliage and the bay and nearby islands. The living room furniture was just ok and the multitude of light switches and dimmers baffled us, but otherwise we were very pleased. The staff couldn't have been more friendly and helpful. Arrival was very efficient. Two persons met us at the airport with one leading us to a van for the quick ride to the resort while the other took our luggage tags and collected our bags and transported them separately so we didn't have to wait for them to be unloaded from the plane. Greeted at the resort with icy glasses of champaign while we were checked in and then escorted to our pavilion. Luggage arrived within five minutes. Our package included breakfast and dinner and the food was very good but a little fussy. The dinner menu changed each day. We had lunch on the day of our arrival down at the beach restaurant and found it be be good, but very expensive. Our package also included a helicopter tour of the Great Barrier Reef which left from the resort's own helipad. The tour was fantastic and included a couple of hours out at Reef World where we had a tour of the reef by submarine and then I donned a bite suit (the jelly fish were in season) and swam along the reef with the fishes. A wonderful experience. Overall, we highly recommend Qualia. American Express agrees as I just saw that the list of Amex Platinum Fine Hotels and Resorts for 2011 now includes Qualia for the first time as one of only three resorts on the Reef (the others being Lizard Island and Hayman Island).

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Qualia Resort

Address: 20 Whitsunday Boulevard, 4803, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Queensland > Whitsunday Islands > Hamilton Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Hamilton Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Qualia Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the Whitsundays, qualia puts the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef right on your doorstep. Its sun-drenched northern aspect provides the ideal location to appreciate the passing beauty of each day, surrounding guests with some of the most stunning and spectacular waters to be found anywhere in the world. What’s more, with a direct flight taking only 2-3 hours from international gateway cities on Australia’s east coast, qualia truly is a world-class destination without the journey.qualia offers a choice of 60 individual pavilions, each with breathtaking views. There are spacious one-bedroom freestanding pavilions (Windward and Leeward) that provide an indulgentspace to relax in and unwind, with either a sundeck or private infinity edge plunge pool. Or, there’s the uncompromising luxury and privacy of the Beach House with its own guest pavilion. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Qualia Hamilton Island
Qualia Hotel Hamilton Island

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