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Qualia Resort
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Reviewed January 3, 2011

Simply the best resort in Australia!
Perfect honeymoon heaven.
My French sister got engaged at the resort and the weather was splendid. Do not be scared of the summer season!

Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
1  Thank ValerieR1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2010

The entrance, a large door with much foliage behind, reminded us of the film Jurassic Park. Location is great and accommodation cannot be faulted. Staff appear to need training for an establishment that classes itself as 5 star. For example, at dinner, I was asked "how would you like your lamb done" I requested "well done" but it arrived, after a considerable wait, on the rare side. Having sent it back, I was advised that rare was the way the chef cooked the meat. My wife restrained me from making the obvious answer. Meals were grossly overpriced for minute portions. Two mistakes were made on our bill. On the journey to the airport, I heard one staff member talking on the radio to a colleague complaining that there was something wrong with the vehicle. The response was that he would be lucky to get it fixed since the matter had been reported 9 months ago with out any resolution. Young staff are common in the Australian hospitality industry and we all had to learn our trade somewhere but any mistakes are usually more than made up by enthusiasm, something we found lacking at Qualia.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Greynomad_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2010

Qualia is like no other place I have been before! My husband I came to stay in October for the middle part of our honeymoon. We were lucky enough to stay in a Leeward pavilion for 3 nights and everything from the food to the view was sensational.

When we arrived on Hamilton island we were met by the Qualia staff and driven over to Qualia which is right over the other side of the island away from everything and everyone else. The driver gave us a tour of the island as we travelled along which was very handy! As we pulled up outside the lobby all you can see is the STUNNING view and are met by a glass of champagne or as we requested some juice.

We were able to sit in the lobby and enjoy the view and our drink while the staff got our room and buggy ready and we were certainly not rushed by the staff at all. In fact the most amazing thing you will notice is that it feels like you are the only ones in the whole resort. In fact when we stayed the hotel we were told it was 90% full which makes that fact even more incredible.

We were taken to our room in our very own buggy for our stay and were very surprised by the view, the bottle of champagne awaiting us and just about everything! Check out our pictures, they tell the whole story.

It pretty well rained the whole time we were at Qualia but it didn’t ruin our holiday in the slightest! We had stunning breakfasts that tasted amazing, paddled a kayak out to one of the surrounding island… our very own private island for a little while and swam in the pool even though it was kind of cold! We had dinner at the Long Pavilion one night and the food was excellent. It costs quite a lot but makes for one very special evening out.
The library was another favourite place where we could surf the web for free, read the different books and it’s where my husband taught me to play chess! We travelled and explored the whole island in our buggy, day and night and seeing as we don’t drink, tried every mocktail to offer on the island and might I add YUM!

Just some of the finer details we loved were the selection of teas in our room, chocolates and bottles of water every night when we got back to our room, loads of free movies to watchin our room, every bathroom in the hotel being constantly cleaned and having Aesop products to use, transfers to the airport, use of the Great Barrier Reef lounge for free and friendly staff who always went out of their way to help you no matter what!

Qualia is expensive (very expensive) but if it’s a completely relaxing holiday you are looking for than BOOK IT! Hamilton Island is beautiful but it is busy and touristy but as soon as we drove through those gates at Qualia, we were in a peaceful haven all to ourselves… or so it felt!

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Carmy1413
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2010

I bought my parents and my brother to Qualia previously for a holiday, and we enjoyed ourselves because the property is really very beautiful. The service was average, but we were very forgiving of it them because of the property and the Island feeling. Its now Christmas day, 2010 and Qualia seems to be even less efficient.. My advice: look around for other choices. Its still a great resort hotel - but not if you are paying these rates. The staff really need a good course in luxury and speed.

After my past visit (more than a year ago) I had told all of my colleagues and friends in New York how sophisticated and fun Qualia was. In the year that passed I had heard from friends that they were disappointed with Qualia. They also told me the service was very slow. I heard from a friend that the previous general manager had left because he was disappointed that the food and beverage service was folded into the main island (but I don't know that for sure).

HERE IS WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE, at Christmas 2010: I will never recommend Qualia to anyone ever again. Its much better than anything else on Hamilton Island. Yet I would be much more curious about Hayman or other Islands in the future. For the amount of money we are paying, you would expect much better. Its good, but its not worth that much. If you have travelled well, and you know good from great - you will agree with me. Qualia charges you as A+ rate, but delivers B service.

Most importantly, the service is painfully slow. Polite but PAINFULLY SLOW. We waited 30 minutes for toast at breakfast and there were only 4 other people there. Dinner takes hours each night because the delay between courses is extravagantly long. And at every meal we have joked about how long it will take for us to get anything. For someone who has not been to Qualia that may not seem like a big problem - but since its the only place to eat on the resort there's no escaping the slow long service. Its a buzz kill. Also, this may not be a problem if you are paying standard hotel rates. But remember we would have spent $7000 - $9,000 for the 3 nights we were all here, all said and done. Does that seem like the sort of price to wait hours for a dinner to be finished? We had also ordered room service to escape the painfully slow service in the main building. But on both occasions they forgot most of the silverware and the food was almost cold when it arrived.

Again - its fine if you are not expecting A+. But because Qualia charges the most premium rates, you expect it to be flawless.

On a side note: Oprah had been here a couple of weeks before. I feel like this gives Qualia more Kudos than it deserves. Although the staff apparently signed a non-disculose agreement, we have heard ALL the details for many of them. The most relevant of which is that Oprah had her private chef with her. Thank god she did not have to deal with the delays and the sloppy service for all food and beverage related maters.

Our next criticism is about the front desk. As chipper as they are, the desk seems totally inexperienced for premium travelers. We asked before we arrived about a fishing charter. And then we asked 6 times the first day. Because of the bad weather, we were told at all times that it was not possible. And the following day. Again and again it was not possible. Yet after a short drive to the tour desk at Hamilton Island's family hotel, we had the opportunity to book a half day fishing tour after they made one call. I had also then called American Express Centurion travel and they also had a fishing charter ready for us, if we wanted.

So my criticism with the front desk was that they seemed short staffed and inexperienced. If I could find a fishing charter on my own (and I live on the other side of the world) why on earth are they there? Also, I had requested they book dinner at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club for my family (to escape the painfully slow service at the restaurant at Qualia). Hours later I drove the the Yacht club to see the building. When I walked in, I asked them to confirm that Qualia had booked the reservation. They had not called to make the reservation yet, and there was only one table remaining. So I booked it myself. It was Christmas eve and tables were going fast. Had I not booked myself, I wonder if I would have got a table at all?

Again - this was not a big deal if you are staying at a good hotel. But for a resort which claims to be true luxury? Why wait 2 hours to call a restaurant for a reservation on Christmas eve? Is that luxury service?

All said, I would recommend looking at Hayman, or other 5 star Islands unless Qualia clean up its act. The rooms and the property are beautiful. But not true luxury if the staff remain this slow and inexperienced.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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4  Thank rich2156
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2010

Amazing resort in a beautiful location. The hotel is truly magnificent, private, tastefully designed and decorated. Staff where very helpful and professional. Certainly a paradise!

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Guarri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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