We had five nights there in the middle of Australia's winter (late July) so occupancy was low although the weather was also cool particularly at night. We were concerned by the very mixed reviews but, after speaking to a friend who had been, went with eyes open. We got a cheap(er) package (winter only) of Lagoon Deluxe room with breakfast and launch transfer included for AU$750 pn. The room only rack rate was AU$990.
Summary: lovely grounds and location, overpriced everything, tired room, expensive drinks, no night life, friendly staff, large pool. It’s a little worn, not a five star resort, and some may find the cockatoos very noisy and intrusive. But we enjoyed our expensive, overpriced visit, were glad we went, and MIGHT go again but choose a (smaller/cheaper) Pool Deluxe room with a package deal.
We wanted a resort where we could do nothing. My wife sat around the pools for five days reading. I sometimes joined her or wandered around with a new camera. The grounds are truly lovely if you like jungle/rain forest. We didn't do any activity - lots were free, e.g. tennis, the gym - but anything involving leaving the island was expensive e.g. cruise, snorkeling, etc. The beach was nice but but by early afternoon the tide went out leaving mudflats.
We found the staff friendly, helpful and responsive; at worst they were a little inexperienced. We never had to ask for anything twice. Breakfast plates were cleared away quickly and we always got our coffees. The room was always serviced properly. There's absolutely nothing for the staff to do on the island when off duty so they go troppo and the turnover is high.
No free bottled water is provided but you can drink the tap water; I did, but I’m a local. The business centre is very nice but tiny – only two at a time. February is the cyclone season - this year it rained nonstop for 23 days.
The check-in - on the launch - and the check out operated very smoothly: luggage is carried to/from your room without asking. They try to make it as seamless as possible.
There's almost no night life: if you like clubbing/drinking then this is not for you. The pool side bars close at 8:00 pm. The Club Lounge (décor like old gentlemen’s club) is open until late - we played snooker (table cloth so worn couldn’t see the ball positions and only ONE working cue) and draughts (checkers) - but it was usually almost empty. Glass of local sparkling wine AU$20. People seemed to eat then retire. Only two of the four restaurants were open on any one night (but I believe they open more as the occupancy rises) and you always had to book several hours in advance. We are light eaters so usually had a big breakfast (open until 11:00 am) then had a big lunch about 4:00 pm. You couldn't buy bottles of alcohol on the island so, pre-warned, we had taken several bottles and nibbles and so could a have drink in our room/balcony. We only ate one night - at Oriental - as the first night we had to wait so gave it away and on the second we booked too late. Oriental was quite good but charged like a top Sydney restaurant when it didn't have the location, decor, food or service - AU$200 for two entrees, a main and a bottle of wine. Bottles of wine were about three times the retail price. Beware the birds at breakfast if dining outside. The Italian restaurant was like a pizzeria.
Our Lagoon Deluxe room was very large but needed modernising. The cane lounge suite was worn and dated. The TV was archaic. One could not work or even read at the desk after dusk as the lighting there was so poor. The freestanding lamp did not work – but probably only a globe needed. The walls were almost entirely bare and featureless. No broadband access only dialup. The aircon cooled but did not heat so we had to get a small heater and an extra blanket – but that would rarely be a problem. The guest services guide described a different version of the a/c unit, and didn’t mention that it only cooled, so we had to get someone to help us work out how to turn it off – which involved turning the bedside console switch to an unmarked position! Every morning I said to myself “This is a $990 a night room. Unbelievable”. All the rooms (we had a tour) had ancient TVs - DVD players could be hired - except the beach front which had plasma but the rooms were small although with a large-ish area outside. The Retreat rooms were dark with a public pathway just outside the front door – but popular, according to our guide.
I’m surprised that some reviewers have said the other reviewers must be wrong. It’s silly to say that someone’s opinion and description of their time on Hayman Island is wrong. Only facts can be wrong. If someone had a good/bad time then that’s what happened. One person’s “quaint” is another one’s “tacky”.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.