The good: this hotel in the beautiful and warm Whitsundays. Yay for that. We chose Hamilton Island as a jumping off point to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef and visit beautiful Whitehaven Beach. The pool area at the hotel is very picturesque--you definitely feel like you're on a tropical vacation. Breakfast is included with your stay, and I found it pretty tasty. The bathroom is large, with double sinks, which was appreciated. Some of the staff is quite helpful and friendly (specifically, we remember Mark and Gemma being especially gracious).
The bad: this place is waaaay overpriced.
First, the housekeeping staff was pretty lackluster. The floor was not cleaned the entire time we were there, and believe me, you notice when that errant sand is left on the floor day after day when you're staying at a beach resort. They also never replenished our soap after two days. We requested the soap from the front desk, and were told someone would bring it up. They never did, and my boyfriend had to go search for a housekeeping employee with a cart down the hall to get the soap ourselves. I found it pretty disappointing that they did not provide new soap, again, because we were staying at a beach resort and were showering sunscreen off of ourselves twice a day. These may seem like little things, however, when you are paying upwards of US$400/night for a hotel, you start to think about what you are really getting. (By comparison, we stayed at the Four Seasons in Sydney for less than US$200/night, so don't think that Australian hotels are necessarily more expensive than anywhere else.)
Furthermore, in terms of service, when we first arrived, we mentioned to one of the staff that the screen on our bathroom window was missing, and we were told that it would be replaced right away, however, it was not replaced at any point during our entire stay--pretty shoddy service, if you ask me. And I did end up getting a pretty nasty bug bite one night, so I feel justified in making a complaint about that.
We mentioned to the hotel manager on our first day that we were considering extending our stay (this is before we had developed any doubts about the place). Later, when we inquired about whether we could pay a lower rate for the subsequent nights, we were refused, which is fine. However, when we did see the manager at later points during our stay, she ignored us and I definitely got a vibe that we were less welcome because we had tried to negotiate for a lesser price. Frankly, I'm glad we didn't spend the extra money, because I'd prefer not to support a place that would make guests feel that way.
Other things to consider: Catseye Beach is right outside the hotel, and at high tide, it is quite pretty. However, it is extremely rocky (and frankly unattractive) at low tide. I bruised my foot walking over some rocks to get into the water one day, so be careful! If you want to see a beautiful beach, head to Whitehaven.
The hotel is extremely loud. The windows are double-paned (I think), however, we were awaken by birds squawking every morning at about 6am. Good thing we were jet lagged and almost ready to wake up at that time, but that was extremely irritating nonetheless. Also, because you are so close to the beach, you can also hear the noises of activities (like live music) from your room late at night coming from restaurants (bars?) down the beach. I like live music as much as the next person, but not when I'm trying to sleep.
As others have mentioned, the entire island is basically owned by one company, so there is not much in terms of restaurants and it is all quite expensive. I would not recommend the steakhouse, as they seriously overcooked a steak (and at a steakhouse, that's kind of unforgivable). The fish and chip shop is okay, but took forever (and its a take out shop!). We did like the Manta Ray Cafe, however, and there was a nice view of the harbor from our table. There is universal room charge on the island, which is quite convenient, however, consider that there will be a 1.25% surcharge added to every purchase you make using a Visa or Mastercard.
The bottom line: My boyfriend and I had done extensive research before coming here. We wanted to see the reef and Whitehaven, and we sincerely enjoyed doing both of those things. I would recommend this hotel only because I honestly don't know where else we could have stayed that would have been just as convenient. However, I will not be returning.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With its absolute beachfront location, the Beach Club offers the ultimate romantic island holiday experience. Set in landscaped gardens, all 57 rooms face directly onto Catseye Beach, each with its own private courtyard or balcony. Exclusive room inclusions / a la carte breakfast daily at the Beach Club restaurant / VIP return Hamilton Island airport / marina to Beach Club transfers / VIP chauffeur service / use of catamarans, paddle skis, windsurfers and snorkeling equipment / use of the gym, spa and sauna / tennis and squash court hire / use of the beach, The Club lounge, pool and restaurant. Note: Beach Club does not cater for persons under the age of 18 years. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Beach Club Hotel Hamilton Island
- Beach Resort Hamilton Island
- Beach Hotel Hamilton Island
- Beach Hamilton Island