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“Fantastic Hotel after a new and great renovation” 5 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
Bottmingen
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Fantastic Hotel after a new and great renovation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

We enjoyed very much our time at Hayman Island from the first Minute. After arriving at Hamilton Island we were very happy and lucky to go by helicopter to Hayman. The staff is very friendly, helpful and all is very well organised. Our room
was really spacious with a very good bed and the bathroom is full of marble. One and Only Hayman even offer a present for their Hotel guests. A special and beautiful bag. J bought a great and huge beach towel in the hotel shop.
The very new pool area is fantastic. There are a lot of sport possibilities behind the hotel and tours within the Great Barrier Reef. We highly recommend a stay here!

Room Tip: All rooms are great
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  • Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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151 reviews from our community

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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 (51)
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English first
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

If you are looking for a Paradise beach, to just spend the most wonderful time of your life, surrounded by nature in all its splendor and the extraordinary comfort of the civilized world... Hayman Island is your place !

Everything from the moment you arrive is a delight to the senses and if you have ever dreamed of sleeping an entire night in absolute silence... Here you are !

Stayed December 2014
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Sydney
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

To be clear, this is an amazing resort. It feels totally 5 star from the moment you get off the plane which is basically an air capable bogan bus and it stays 5 star from there. The plane ride was Jetstar and that was just plain awful, Enough of that.

Once your there it all gets very pretty and very very fancy. The staff are demure, helpful, though at times a little confused. New resorts staff though can be forgiven for that.

The rooms are magnificent. Really they are perfect, i wouldn't change a thing. From the pool wrapping around the balcony to the bed and amazing bathroom. They are also enormous. The views as noted above are at the extreme end of picturesque.

So why isn't it perfect. In truth it very nearly is, but there are just a few things:

1. Its a little insular. Its a holiday resort for rich middle aged nerds. And you feel it. A little too much bugaboo and trophy wife for my taste.
2. Its a cornered market. Everything is the resort which leaves no options. That can get old. Especially when they decide to randomly close your favourite restaurant in the middle of your stay. Pacific, why!
3. Somehow perfection is a little hard to handle, especially when it gives you the stepford wife creeps.

But these are trifling matters. The resort was basically amazing. They were wonderful to us, and we would definitely recommend it. Great for a dive, eating yourself to death and blowing a bunch of cash. We had a great time. So soak it up, but dont expect a party, a lot of friendly smiles and new firends or that sort of thing. Bring your own fun and it will be a winner.

Have fun.

Room Tip: The pool rooms are worth paying a little extra,
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  • Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

I arrived at the airport to be greeted by the Island rep, who advised me that I had been upgraded, and that I would be flying to the island via helicopter, and my room would be upgraded.... The helicopter ride to the island was excellent, and the room was lovely, overlooking the massive big pool.
I relaxed in no time at all, and felt totally chilled out. The breakfast was wonderful, and what a selection.... you can even have champagne for breakfast... which of course I had to try.The breakfast room overlooked the lagoon which was lovely.
The prices for the trips were very very expensive.. the snorkelling trip to the outer reef was all booked up two days in advance so I could not get on the trip. that was a downer... therefore I did no trips from the Island
I did walk to the snorkeling beach with the organised trip... which was a nice walk.. on the way back, I left them to go on to Captains Cooks lookout, which was a good hours further walk up hill. On the way back I saw a couple wallabys.. but it was lovely being all by yourself with noone around just looking at the scenery..
I turned up for the organised football, but only one other person turned up, so it was cancelled. I also had a go on the squash court...and the kayaks.
The only other downer for me was the food at one of the restaurants... I had a meal at Aquaazure, and the food was so small with a very expensive price, that I made my feelings felt to reception at the end of my stay. The other nights I ate pizzas at the italian restaurant Amicis.
I really enjoyed my stay here... it was very relaxing.... as I did laze around the pool a lot. I did find the staff friendly and approchable....

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Sydney
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

We spent our 25th wedding anniversary there in November 2013 before the refurbishment. We took advantage of the deals they were offering before closing down for the renovations which had many inclusions and ended up being very affordable. While it was a bit tired looking we still loved it. Absolutely amazing location, arriving by launch was fantastic, and being shown around by your own personal tour guide while your bags were taken to the room was a nice touch. We had a 3rd floor room overlooking the fabulous pool and ocean - we never got tired of the view. We did many of the snorkelling activities and saw masses of turtles. We had our anniversary dinner in Fontaines and were a little disappointed in the service but had an enjoyable night any way. I can see if you were paying full price you would want close to perfection and I am dying to return now I've seen the photos of the renovation.

Room Tip: I like a high floor for privacy and better views
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Brussels, Belgium
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
78 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
610 helpful votes 610 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

Let me introduce myself as a discerning traveler who has stayed in some of the most luxurious hotels of the world (Aman, Four Seasons, Rosewood, to name a few). When traveling, I like to pick my hotels by using websites such as Kiwicollection, Conde Nast magazine, Travel & Leisure (see my other reviews and my blog). So I only like the best of the best. One&Only is one of the best luxury hotel brands on the market, and I was looking forward to stay at their new Hayman property (which was delayed because of their delayed opening). The overall experience was SUPERB, and I do not understand at all that the resort gets so many mediocre reviews here on Tripadvisor. I uploaded a lot of photos on my blog/website & made a youtube clip as well to give you an idea of what to expect: http://theluxurytravelexpert.com/2014/12/17/oneonly-hayman-island/

PROS AND THINGS I LIKED:
- Location, location, location! The hotel is located on its own private island, which is the northernmost of the Whitsunday Islands (off the coast of Queensland). The Whitsundays are internationally famous for their rugged, green-clad islands, blue waters and beautiful beaches, and Hayman Island is no exception to that.
- Transfer to the resort (from Hamilton Island Airport or the mainland) is in fact a sightseeing trip on itself, and done by yacht (50 minutes), helicopter (10 minutes) or waterplane (10 minutes). Most guest will arrive by yacht, and will be offered Champagne and canaps on route. We booked the yacht transfer, but were upgraded to a heli flight.
- Everything is brand-new (at least for now).
- Upon arrival, golf buggies are waiting to meet you and take you to the resort (about 600 meters from the harbour). A member of staff will then guide you on a short welcome tour of the large property and take care of the in-room check-in. We were welcomed by Ben and he did a great job!
- The resort has two large, exquisite pools. The enormous hexagonal, iconic Hayman pool mainly attracts adults, is filled with salt water and feels deliciously cold (although it has a separate, smaller and heated pool, filled with fresh water, in its center). On the eastern side of the resort, you will find a new, somewhat smaller but heated pool, filled with fresh water, that mainly caters to families with young children and offers nice ocean views (because of its beachfront setting). Lovely towels and ice buckets with bottles of cold water are provided to guests at both pools.
- The resort is located along a beautiful, palm fringed beach, with lots of sun loungers and umbrellas. The beach is composed of soft sand that does includes fragments of shell and coral. Like most Whitsunday beaches, it has a pale brown colour (in contrast to the famous and blinding white silica sands of Whitehaven Beach, which you can visit on a heli excursion).
- The refurbished rooms, suites & beach houses are amazing. All rooms & suites feature a private balcony, spacious en suite bathroom with separate shower, bath, double vanity and open-plan dressing room. The bed is one of the best that I have ever slept in! We were upgraded from a Hayman Lagoon Room to a gorgeous Hayman suite.
- Rooms & suites are located in three distinct areas of the resort, each different in style and ambiance, and each designed to take advantage of the breathtaking views of the island and its natural surroundings: (1) the Hayman Wing is located on the tranquil eastern side of the resort, overlooking a serene lily lagoon and close to the family pool; (2) the Pool Wing overlooks Hayman’s iconic hexagonal pool, with some suites offering direct swim-out access into the pool; and (3) the Beach Wing features a collection of uniquely designed villas for those in need of a beachfront setting.
- There is free WiFi throughout the resort.
- Although the staff looked very young, service at the resort is excellent (unlike a lot of Tripadvisor reviews, we did not experience any service issue during our 3 night stay). For my birthday (which I did not mention, but they must have noticed it on my passport at check-in), I received a lemon cake and chocolate strawberries.
- The sport’s club on the beach offers varying watersports, such as complimentary catamaran sailing, windsurfing and paddleskiing.
- The resort has several restaurants with extensive menus, so those staying longer than a few days will never be gastronomically bored. In all restaurants, food is great without being pretentious. Their signature restaurant Fire offers modern Australian cuisine, while Amici offers Italian dishes and Bamboo delicious Asian food (the wagyu beef is to die for!). Other food options include the Pacific restaurant, in-room dining and snacks by both pools.
- The Pacific restaurant, perched right by the sand and sea, is the location of the daily generous Champagne breakfast buffet.
- Both sunrise and sunset can be watched from the beach at Hayman Island (assuring some terrific moments of pure romance). For a full view of the sunset, walk to the beach bordering the eastern side of the resort (close to the Hayman wing).
- The resort has a nice spa.
- The resort has a new, large and state-of-the-art fitness centre with separate areas for cardio, weight training and stretching.
- The hotel is located in the heart of the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef, and takes advantage of this prime location: there are plenty of (expensive) excursions on offer ranging from hikes, helicopter ride to Whitheaven Beach, snorkel trips to the Great Barrier Reef, and sailing adventures around the other island.
- Hayman Island has plenty of wildlife: we saw several interesting bird species, as well as plenty of wallabies at dusk. In addition, the island is home to thousands of flying foxes (large fruit bats or macrobats): as the sun goes down, these bats leave their treetop camps and stream across the sky, creating an impressive and noisy spectacle!

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW:
One&Only Hayman is easily amongst the best beach and/or island resorts that I have visited so far. Simply put, it’s a brilliant resort and a no brainer when you travel to the Whitsunday Islands. While I would recommend it to everyone, there are some things you need to know and some areas where there is room for improvement:
- Pre-visit email communication with the resort was slow. Response to our few, detailed questions often took many days. The resort should try to answer queries by email within 24 hours, as it may put off future guests.
- Inside our suite, internet connection was slow, from time to time non-existing.
- The beachfront scenery is pure paradise during high tide. But the beach is far from attractive at low tide (the sea almost completely disappears). But this is nature, of course, and it is fun though to watch the stingrays and other marine life in the shallow areas.
- While stuning on the inside after the refurbishment, the two main hotel wings are far from attractive from the outside. They date from the previous century and are an eyesore IMHO.
- The wildlife – especially birds – may annoy guests. Screeching cockatoos constantly do food raids at breakfast (and even inside rooms!). Staff does a good job of shooing them without showing their frustration.
- Marine stingers may be present in the waters of tropical Queensland year round, with the higher risk season during November to May. During this period, jellyfish are prevalent in the waters around the mainland, islands and have occasionally been found out on the reef (a protective suite must be worn when you enter the water).
- Excursions to the Reef and Whitsunday Island are all done by plane or heli (no boat), which may be problematic for those suffering from a fear of flying.
- Excursion are very expensive, and cost a couple of hundred dollars more as compared to the same type of excursions that depart from Airlie Beach on the mainland (sometimes with the same company). For example, a 2 hour trip to Whitheaven Beach will cost around 700 AUD per person.
- Bar 50 (the resort's main lounge) is soulless, as it is located in a very large and totally uninviting lounge area. Definitely lacks atmosphere (the resort needs to reassess this one).

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !!!

Room Tip: Families with younger children may prefer to stay in the Hayman wing (which is closer to the family...
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
Amenities:
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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