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“Style over substance?” 3 of 5 stars
Review of One&Only Hayman Island

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One&Only Hayman Island
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Hayman Island Great Barrier Reef, 4801, Australia (Formerly Hayman Great Barrier Reef)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hayman Island
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Style over substance?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Whilst I was contemplating making a reservation at this resort I received very helpful responses by both email and on the telephone. Once I booked and I emailed the resort to request that an itinerary of certain activities be put together before my arrival, sadly I did not receive a response. I had only requested a day or two before, but I thought that was long enough. Never mind, on the boat over from Hamilton Island I mentioned my emailed itinerary request and somebody followed it up for me.

Upon my arrival at Hamilton Island, I found things a little over whelming as it was so busy but soon enough I was sat on the boat to Hamilton with I think a glass of champagne in hand. And then I waited and waited, it probably was over an hour before we finally set sail and the boat was packed to the rafters. A couple of young employees were working their way around, giving out information packs and in some cases room keys to clients. Unfortunately one of the employees seemed a bit in awe of an American couple sat beside me and spent most of the trip attending to their very particular needs and asking about their travels, to the detriment of everybody else on the boat who maybe needed some attention as well.

I was one of the guests that did not get a room key on the boat, I don't know why, so I was getting quite anxious about arrival and being in a queue a mile long at Hayman, considering the hundreds of (or so it seemed) people on the boat. Anyway, somehow or other, I was one of the first off the boat and was met and immediately escorted to my room. I mentioned that the room number was not the same as the one I am sure I saw on my baggage tag at Hamilton Island or when I was on the boat. I asked the member of staff escorting me to check up on that, but in view of the length of time and follow up phone call I had to make to be reunited with my luggage, she did not.

But I was in my room. It was an ocean view room in the Hayman wing and simply cannot knock it. First class room, very spacious, good views and well furnished and equipped. When my luggage finally arrived, I went down to the activity centre to sort out my itinerary and following the call from the boat, something suitable for me had been put together and I was perfectly satisfied.

The next morning, I went down for breakfast which was included in my rate. It is served in a lovely dining room overlooking the ocean and as an early bird I was always offered one of the nicest tables available. The breakfast is a buffet, hot and cold and was very well stocked ad certainly a great start to the day. A couple of things on the hot buffet were maybe not as hot as they should be, but I quibble. The only thing I was surprised about was the choice of music which on that first day started with some Asian nightclub music and then moved into reggae. Very loud, especially at 6.30am when I really would have rather listened to the ocean.

Later that morning and in accordance with my Oneandonly prepared itinerary, I headed for my spa treatment. I was pretty surprised that they could not find my booking although they eventually found it on the following day, but I was definitely booked in for that day. Fortunately, they managed to fit me in. The treatment was great, a very skilled therapist. But the ambience was awful, the first 15 minutes I had to put up with a loud conversation apparently outside my door and when that finally subsided, the music being played in my room was clashing with the loud music from outside. A complete assault on my senses. I don't mind background noise when I go for a $40 foot massage in the shopping mall, but when I am paying $200, I expect a lot more. I had another treatment booked in for later in the week, but I cancelled it as this one was so unpleasant.

After my treatment, I headed back to my room, for a quick breather before my snorkelling trip booked about 90 minutes later. I had seen the housekeeping crew before I went for my appointment and had been assured that my room would be done whilst I was out. There were two separate crews on my floor at that time. Sadly when I got back at 12.30pm, my room had not been serviced at all. This was the first time that I strongly expressed my disappointment and in response I was led to one of the poolside restaurants for a spot of lunch whilst the room was done. Not a bad response, but I had just wanted to stay in my room.

I then headed up to the meeting point for my snorkelling trip and I waited and I waited. My trip time passed, somebody did pop out but when I gave my name they showed no recognition and I sat back down and waited some more. After my trip time had passed and considering the earlier events, I became emotional with disappointment and was shown great sympathy by the staff that found me, but I did not ever make a snorkelling trip.

The next day I had booked a boat trip. It was the same confusion at the meeting point, I was told two different times by different staff. Turned up at the earliest time and was just left there waiting. Eventually I was driven down to the marina and I waited some more here. After 45 minutes in total of waiting, the staff actually came to me and informed me that the other people had not turned up and I would have to wait even longer to see if they would! The second time I was told this, I asserted that it was not my fault if other people did not turn up, that I had already been waiting for nearly an hour and frankly the whole time keeping needed to be looked at. I finally got a private boat trip and a big smile of course.

My terrible experiences over the organised activities and also lack of availability, led me to spend the rest of my time idling by the pool. Which was nice enough. But I had really wanted to see more of the Whitsundays so it feels like unfinished business to me.

On my departure day, I checked out with no incident and waited pick up at the time and place recommended. What a surprise that nobody else turned up on time and I had to follow up twice before I was finally taken to the boat. Which finally left, late of course. We arrived at Hamilton Airport less than an hour before my departure and then stood around for over ten minutes whilst half a dozen bags were unloaded. The boat being relatively empty on this leg. This was the first time somebody from OneandOnly was actually rude to me on the trip, when I asked why it was taking so long to unload a few bags, I got that teenager "I can't help it", "we are unloading then"" petulant response. In the meantime, five bus loads of other travellers arrived and got in the check in queues!

To sum up. The resort is really beautiful, the setting is idyllic and the rooms cannot be faulted. But organisation seems to be chaotic and I wonder if any of the staff actually own a watch. Not one of my scheduled appointments, be it transfers, trips or appointments occurred on time. The staff (with the exception of the girl on the departure boat) have beautiful manners, they don't argue with clients and certainly seem to care about guests having an enjoyable time. But something is lacking and I think it is down to maturity.

Yes maturity, I didn't see anyone working there over the age of 25, and that is being generous. the resort seems to favour young beautiful staff, but how about some maturity? Some staff that know guests don't want club music at breakfast at 6.30am. Some staff that understand people want their activities to run on time. To feel that there is some organisation going on, that there is a plan and a schedule. To pay more attention to details.

The staff that I met, were lovely, friendly and I can see that they are well versed in some aspects of customer service. But I think some leadership and direction was missing and I wonder how much time they waste fire fighting and dealing with complaints because things are not happening as they should in the first place.

Strangely, I am not put off going here ever again. I would think about it, because the rooms were great and the staff were caring. But there are some improvements that I would like to see made and hopefully some easy ones. Start with getting some experienced staff in, that can teach the very promising younger staff already on board.

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled solo
    • 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.
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145 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We stayed in a beach side villa - very comfortable and the private sun loungers on the beach are a nice touch. Liam our butler was excellent and extremely helpful. We were last here 17 years ago and One & Only have down an excellent job overseeing the complete refurbishment of the resort.
The restaurants are ok( and should be better) and as noted in other reviews are not all open so choice is restricted. The only real area that desperately needed improvement was the service in Bar Fifty - the management and service was nonexistent. I did speak to the management about this and they did acknowledge it urgently needed addressing.
Overall, well worth a visit as such an idyllic spot.

Room Tip: If you go for a beach villa - best option available and have children ( or help) the 'old' b...
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  • Stayed October 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

My gf and i with our 2 kids went for a week expecting a lavish stay except it bummed out! We got to hamilton and we were scratched off the list as not coming then our helicopters had not been booked. We arrived and met our butler who had NO idea about what activities to do nor where you can and cannot smoke, told us one pool is strictly adults only except there were children swimming in it. We get to our room and whoops no toilet paper then after 3 days they forgot to clean our room! Then we had booked the kids into kids club and upon arrival were advised they were to young in which on 10 emails prior to arriving had explained the kids ages n had booked activities for them.
We booked a snorkling tour where the dropped us off and all the gear but forgot to put in stinger suits so it was awesome just sitting there watching every1 else for 2hrs. We had also booked a private seaplane home which happened to break down and had to jump on a tour flight to drop us back at hamilton which then the pilot dump us and our bags on the tarmac and took off. And just to top the whole trip off my gf's 3 yo child ended up with poisoning from the food.
Gorgeous place beautiful views and surroundings but the service is terrible. But i must say the new kids club looks fantastic and the kids really did enjoy it.

  • Stayed November 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

My daughter and I have just spent the five most idyllic days ever at this wonderful resort.
Really, it felt more like a grand family home due to the wonderful staff - everyone of them always wore the best of smiles and always managed time for a little chat. In particular the VIP Manager is a stand out. He totally made both of us feel so special and at the end of our stay he was there on the jetty waving goodbye - just like an old and valued friend.

Every whim was catered for - even a charming person offering to clean sunglasses!! I am unable to mention any single stand-out occasion. From the moment we awoke everything was stand-out. My husband and I have managed five star resorts and now we know what six star means. 85% is totally due to the fabulous and lovely staff!! Thank you ALL so much and here is a promise WE WILL BE BACK!!!!!!!

Room Tip: Trust the staff - every room is a good room and everyone has a view. The Great Barrier Reef surround...
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  • Stayed December 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

This hotel has some great pluses. The ocean view rooms are excellent (though some are quite a distance from the main hub). Aquazure infinity pool is beautiful with a gorgeous outlook over the ocean and the huge main pool being concentric circles of fresh and salt water with bridges over was a delight.The iced water served to the sunbed was a welcome touch. I can also praise the transfer from at to the airport . From your arrival to departure you feel special in the beautiful cruisers being served bubbles and canapes. I would also highly recommend "under the stars" dining with Fire on main beach.Apart from the wonderful food our waiter Blake was a delight -his enthusiasm and food description together with his friendliness and attention to detail made this night one of our best ever dining experiences.
On the low side apart from the beautiful breakfasts served in a lovely restaurant overlooking the ocean I would have to say some of the the other restaurants were very overpriced and food, especially Amici, very poor. Although there were five restaurants they were not all open every evening so the choice was limited.
On the whole, although our stay was quite expensive the experience was fantastic

Room Tip: I believe there is quite a variation in rooms ,suites and prices. Our ocean view room with balcony...
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  • Stayed December 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We recently stayed for 4 nights. The price was expensive; however the level of service and luxury matched the cost. We had a nice relaxing time; the staff were very friendly and very helpful. Overall it was on the expensive side however my expectations were exceeded and therefore I would recommend Hayman Island One & Only for a couple’s getaway anytime.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Ocean view room, which was about entry level. If I was going back I would probably...
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

So much potential but lacking so much

After the renovations the rooms are amazing however the staff let the place down. It has so much potential to be a five star hotel, the staff make it 3 stars.

So many stuff ups with bookings, we had jet skis booked and due to weather they were cancelled. We found out the following day that it was miscommunication between staff as it was to rough for kids but adults were fine. We had a butler as we had a pool side suite and you would expect better.

The rooms, you can't fault them, other than the crap free wifi

Staff another matter

Room Tip: Pool side suite is worth it
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guenter G, General Manager at One&Only Hayman Island, responded to this review, 4 days ago
Thank you for your feedback. It is disappointing to hear that your experience was less than perfect. Please contact me directly on general.manager@oneandonlyhaymanisland.com so I can further discuss some of your concerns with you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about One&Only Hayman Island

Address: Hayman Island Great Barrier Reef, 4801, Australia (Formerly Hayman Great Barrier Reef)
Location: Australia > Queensland > Whitsunday Islands > Hayman Island
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hayman Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — One&Only Hayman Island 5*
Number of rooms: 160
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
One&Only Hayman Island, in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef presents astonishing natural beauty, restorative peace, indulgence and adventure. Australia's iconic private island resort is located off the coast of Queensland, nestled at the northernmost point of the Whitsunday archipelago, beyond verdant cliffs reaching into endless sky. Within this private island resort, stylish elegance reflects the harmony of nature with beautifully appointed accommodation set against the backdrop of the Coral Sea. Discover endless opportunities to delight the senses in a place where the beauty of nature inspires each day. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hayman Great Barrier Reef Hotel Hayman Island
Hayman Island Hotel

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