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Review of Hamilton Island

Gold Coast
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103 posts
14 reviews
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Review of Hamilton Island

Hi

Hope this is the right place to provide a review of an entire Island - let's hope so.

I'm going to provide the pro's and con's of this Island which has all of us in our group saying we probably wouldn't return to Hamilton Island.

Pro's.

It is a beautiful island without a doubt. the weather is nice and warm and so too is the water. (we are currently still here and head home tomorrow)

We are staying at Panorama 16 which is a private 2 bed villa whichis quite nice. It has wonderful views but at $350 per night is very expensive. For that you would expect full tv reception in the living room but unfortunately you can't seem to get all channels. Not a biggie though but the kids would have liked to watch their channel to chill out for an hour or so everyday. The golf buggy that came with the villa was great and the kids loved it.

We hired a dingy and went out to Hennon Island and swam in the crystal clear waters - what a beautiful spot. The hiring of the dingy was hassle free and was $169 with a steering wheel and canopy. We tried a spot of fishing with no luck.

Cats Eye beach is a beautiful spot as well. We travelled with our 2 4 year old kids and their grand parents and we loved this spot. The bouganville pool area on cats eye beach was great as well - nice and shaded and has a little kids pool as well.

The Con's.

Whilst Hamilton Island does sell itself as a family destination, apart from swimming it really is probably the unfriendliest place for kids i've been too. Most restaurants have no kids menus, no activities for kids in restaurants like colouring in and generally the staff at most restaurants couldn't care less about kids if they tried.

The food on the island for the most part is very standard. Fish and chips ordinary, the pub meals are OK at best but the bakery was great, however extremely expensive. We asked if they could make a ham and cheese sandwhich for the kids and they said they could but we would have to purchase an entire loaf of bread as they would use the rest of the bread! Unbelievable.

The cost of everything here is way too expensive for what you get. You don't mind paying for things if the quality is good and the service is good as well. Most of the stores and food places are owned by Hamilton Island management and most staff don't care about customer service.

The Island feels like a very expensive version of Dreamworld - it feels fake.

to sum up it's such a beautiful place however none of us will ever return.

Thanks

Jason

Australia
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1,474 posts
96 reviews
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1. Re: Review of Hamilton Island

Thanks Jason, we ( two families) are heading there in April, couldn't decide on Hamilton Island or Airlie Beach so are doing 5 nights at both. We have been warned about Hamilton Island from other people but I think I just need to see and experience it myself.

The dingy sounds great though, will be doing that.

Rene

Gold Coast
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103 posts
14 reviews
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2. Re: Review of Hamilton Island

Good luck Rene. My wife shared the same thought - i have to see it for myself.

At the moment i'm sitting on my computer trying to decide which restaurant to go to for dinner as most of them are bad - i'm not exagerating by the way.

Order food from Coles online and they will deliver it to Hamilton from Airlie Beach. Wish we did that. We could have had BBQ's and salad every night. make no mistake the food is ordinary and way over priced.

Australia
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208 posts
47 reviews
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3. Re: Review of Hamilton Island

Having recently returned from Hamilton Island I totally agree with Jason's summary. We travelled with family including a 3 year old and a 5 month old and stayed in Oasis 19 and 20 - had issues with No. 20 which the agent has assured me will be rectified but we paid $295 a night for each apartment and I expected it to be 'luxury' for that price, not so!

Not much for little children either. We had difficulty finding a toddler pool until we found bougainvilla which was lovely but no details about toddler facilities at the resort centre or anywhere else that we found. We got a Coles delivery but did eat out a couple of times and yes restaurants and drinks and the ice-cream shop were very expensive. We did have a lovely meal at the Steakhouse, all steaks were $39 but came with potato; kids menu was $12 for main, ice cream and drink. I was disappointed there was no playground or grassy area where little ones could play - agree with Jason, not exactly child friendly for young ones.

The animal park was a joke, paid $20 for a 5 minute walk through and animals kept in the smallest enclosures. We did get to pitch n put one day and timed it for happy hour but no advertising of happy hour anywhere on the island that we saw. Mind you our information compendium in the apartment was out of date so that didn't help.

It is however a beautiful island, much hillier than I expected. The Whitsundays are lovely but agree more should be done if they want to promote themselves as family friendly.

Melbourne, Australia
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2,044 posts
87 reviews
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4. Re: Review of Hamilton Island

Daydream Island is the place for family friendly activities and more for kids to do.

We go to HI to get away and relax and recharge as a couple and it suits us perfectly.

I agree that the restaurant quality has dropped but we recently had a fantastic meal at Romanos and I thought that Sails was quite good.

The accomodation is expensive but we stay in a particular apartment that has a saltwater infinity pool and the views over Dent passage are magic. Not cheap but we are more than happy to pay for the apt which has all we need and exclusive use of the pool.

Edited: 4:23 am, December 05, 2011
Whitsundays
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5. Re: Review of Hamilton Island

Sorry you had such a bad time.

When you book through Hamilton Island direct, and stay in one of the properties owned by Hamilton Island Enterprises, they sometimes offer a kids stay & eat free package at specific restaurants that are more family friendly. The private apartments can't participate in this same program unfortunately.

There's a kids playground down by the main pool at the resort centre. It's on the left side of the main pool, behind the old Beach Club restaurant, near the Outrigger Function Centre.

You can also get sandwiches from the Marina Deli, the shop next to the ice cream parlour right by the marina. I would go there before the bakery for sandwiches, wraps and rolls etc.

For more relaxed dining try Sails Restaurant at the main resort centre, Manta Ray cafe by the marina or the Pool Terrace restaurant under the Reef View Hotel. You can also grab everything you need for a BBQ from the General Store on Front Street, at the marina, if you've got BBQ facilities at your apartment. Other Trip Advisor reviewers have commented that the quality of produce was good, but a bit dearer than mainland prices (as you'd expect).

As a side note, there is far greater variety of dining and accommodation choices and prices in Airlie Beach and the surrounding coastal towns. An island holiday is naturally more expensive than a holiday on the mainland.

We hope you will come back to the area one day and give it another chance!

Cheers,

TW

Melbourne, Australia
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2,044 posts
87 reviews
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6. Re: Review of Hamilton Island

Unfortunately we had breakfast at the Reef View Hotel.

The table was dirty, there was dirty cutlery under out table, dirty napkins on the floor, the food was inedible and the service was abysmal. No coffee at the self serve bar and when I asked the guy if he was topping up he just shrugged his shoulders and didn't come back. At the time there was a Nissan gathering, probably a business conference but seeing we paid &70 for two we were sorry we ate there.

I won't be going back there if they gave it to me for free. I could have used the bacon for shoe leather!!!! Terrible.

Romanos and Sails are the two eateries I recommend, forget the Reef View Hotel.

Hamilton Island...
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11 posts
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7. Re: Review of Hamilton Island

Hi Everyone, and thanks for the comments. We regularly read the feedback we receive through Tripadvisor and appreciate the candid comments above. Sometimes we don't quite hit the mark on service and I assure you that we distribute all such comments to the managers who can make changes to ensure we can operate and improve the resort and hotel facilities to a 'best-in-class' standard.

As a representative of Hamilton Island Enterprises, I cannot comment on the properties Oasis 19 & 20, nor Panorama 16 (as these properties are not managed by us), however I believe that irresspective of where you are staying, Hamilton Island is a great family holiday location and we have a host of activities for a broad range of family age groups.

For those who have read the above comments and feel uncertain that Hamilton island is the right choice for you, I implore you to check the following web pages that go into detail all the holiday options that we offer to families,

Activities for families: hamiltonisland.com.au/family-holiday-activit…

Family Friendly Restaurants: hamiltonisland.com.au/family-friendly-restau…

Takeaway restaurants- hamiltonisland.com.au/Food-Wine/Casual-Dinin…

Kids Stay and Eat Free (Selected accommodation only): www.hamiltonisland.com.au/kids-travel-deals/

Complimentary activities for Hotel Guests- hamiltonisland.com.au/complimentary-hamilton…

Whilst I am clearly posting these comments as a representative of Hamilton Island, I believe that the above pages illustrate that we do cater to families, and in comparison to many other destinations we have much more to offer than many of the other destinations you may be considering.

Please also note that these comments are not meant to distract from the service issues that were identified above - we will be sending this feedback through to management for action.

Northampton, United...
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9 posts
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8. Re: Review of Hamilton Island

As a couple looking to book an apartment in Feb I would be interested to know which accommodation you stay in as it sounds ideal.

Hamilton Island...
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11 posts
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9. Re: Review of Hamilton Island

Hi Mick062

There are different accommodation options for you, depending on your requirements.

I can suggest looking at the http://www.hihh.com.au website to look at Private apartments that you could rent for the week. All of these apartments have swimming pool facilities and come with a 4 seater golf buggy to get around the island and explore, which gives you more flexibility to choose the areas you want to explore.

Note that I work for the company that owns the above website, so feel free to look at other other operators that offer apartment rental on the island as well to help you decide, you will see that there are many options for you.

Australia
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1,474 posts
96 reviews
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10. Re: Review of Hamilton Island

This is the company that I've booked through,they have been good to deal with so far : http://www.hamiltonisland.biz/

Rene

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