One&Only Hayman Island
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TravelPod Member ReviewsOne&Only Hayman Island
Snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef was an unforgettable experience. After swimming with amazing, colourful fish and viewing the incredible life under the sea, I was in total awe.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Hayman is a beautiful place with extensive gardens. If you like watersports it is a good place to go. We went in February which is low season and were not told that at any one time only 2 of the 4 restaurants would be open. There is nothing else on the island so their restaurants are the only place to go so we felt this was unacceptable. Also the lagoon swimming pool was unswimmable as it was full of leaves and there was no attempt to clean it. This is an expensive resort and they could have done better.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews One&Only Hayman Island
You'd be mad not to enjoy this decadent resort...
Having travelled the world extensively... I have to say Hayman Island is up there with the best.
The staff are genuinely friendly and they bent over backwards to make sure our stay was perfect.... they even left a bottle of champagne and card in our room when they found out it was my birthday... priceless!
The white sand beaches are sublime... the gentle water laps close to the Beach Pavillion (fantastic cocktails), the sports staff give out lessons on the catamarans and windsurfers... you can even go for a ski on their boat if you're so inclined!... Most watersports you can think of are offered... and theres no waiting or queues... very civilised.
The choice of restaurants is suberb... and they will bring the meals to you.. if you don't want to go into the actual restaurants... with a butler thrown in!
Oh and the saltwater pool is glorious... you'll never bump into anyone guaranteed.... it's mammoth.
Make sure when you arrive to secure excursions early... they do book out quickly.
If you're a penny pincher, then stay somewhere else.... this resort is for those who enjoy the finer things and life and don't quibble over having to pay for it.
The yacht (which costs a mere$820 aud) and resort is in great need of refurbishment. Though it is considered an American Express Platinum Property it definitely is not up to the standard. While walking to our room one can't help notice the filthy windows along the walkway that look out to a beautiful ocean view. The room is furnished very nicely, but tattered i.e, scuff marks on walls, bathroom sink is cracked, stain on the bedspread, shutters are peeling, windows once again are dirty. Charged for everything incl. $5aud for small bottled water, internet access Spoke with manager about our complaints and while he offered us nothing, he took notes of our complaints and suggestions. In summary I would pass. Go to Bora Bora, or Moorea for better divingand snorkeling.
Avoid The Herd
We stayed at Hayman early Apr04. The luxury boat transfer from Hamilton airport to Hayman Isle was fantastic with champagne, silver service style and with a smile. "Check in" is completed on the boat as you nibble on the complimentary light snacks while gazing at the fantastic scenery going by.
As for the resort itself, while it has been renovated, the rooms are better described as merely above average by island standards rather than opulent.
The facilities are top class (fully equipped gym open 24hrs, fantastic huge pool with quick friendly deck chair service to match as well as a nice beach).
There are 4 restaurants to choose from, which is pretty good for a small island, so dining doesn't get too tedious, depending on how long you stay. (We did have some difficulty in getting the reservations we wanted but at least they warned us when we arrived to book as far ahead as possible).
Of course, there is the usual range of activities to choose from but anything that you need to pay for is at a premium.
Yes the other islands are cheaper. If you want something more family orientated and intend on doing plenty of motorised activities, go to Hamilton, which also has good facilities/ accommodation and is value for money. If you want to dine cafeteria style and like having to accost your waitress to get some service or a bottle of wine, then go to Dunk Island.
But if your someone that is looking for a pampering romantic getaway for 2 and hates being treated like cattle, then Hayman is the place for you.
Hayman is good
I have been to Hayman twice (once in the last year) and do not recognise some of the criticisms. Yes, the place does have some dark woods and finishings. Yes, the Club Bar is rather "formal" in appearance, but that's the style (which incidentally is a newly refurbished style). If there is a criticism then it's the original concrete-style 1960's buildings - but you only really see these at the back - ie not very often!
The thing that sets it apart though is the service; extremely polite, attentive - but not "in your face".
I also know Hamilton Island quite well (my wife's family owned a house there) and I cannot comprehend how Hamilton is better than Hayman. They are two very different places. Hayman for up-market peace, quiet and chill-out, Hamilton more mid-market and more "action.
Would I go back? - yes, to both but I prefer Hayman.
Not worth it
We sailed around the Whitsundays for two weeks and stopped into several resorts. We stayed briefly at Hayman in a mid-tier suite. I think Hamilton Island was a lot more fun. Actually, I think a lot of places were more interesting. I can't understand the hype around Hayman. Kind of stuffy. Way overpriced. There are many other resorts (beach club at hamilton) that are nicer and cheaper. Wouldn't waste my time there. If you are looking for an exclusive, high-end resort with great food and want to pay the money, go to Lizard Island further north (check this site for those reviews).
Hayman is no longer first class
We wanted a first class experience and were we in for a surprise. The yacht to Hayman was wonderful the uniformed servents at the dock was what we expected. But then when we arrived in to the resort. OH DARN.
OLD and deeply in need of paint. Dark woods and not at all glamourous.
The air conditioning was on high and we needed jackets everywhere. The food. This is funny. They give my kids a blue cheese pizza and forgot our food. We had a $13.00 salad and the service was 2 hour slow. The room was fine and the white cockatails on the patio were fun. The beach was dirty. This is funny also. I took a water exercise class and the guy was so mean if you did not do the work out just perfect. The huge pool you see in the photos is salt and the little tiny pool in the center is chlorine. The salt water pool was freezing. I would go to another island and wait until they remodel
Open up your wallet
When you first arrive at Hayman Island, it is hard not to be impressed.
You are picked up from the airport via luxury yacht and champagne, you arrive on a secluded island with acres of landscaped tropical gardens, the staff greets you at the pier as if you are in Fantasy Island.
Thanks to our travel agent we were upgraded from a lagoon room to a retreat room. This is a private bungalow - very large in size - all wood, with an outdoor shower (!) and very romantic glassed in shower/bath area. A bowl of fresh fruit greeted us. The beach is gorgeous and quiet, the pool is large and few people are in it, the water is every color of turquoise. Wild cockatoos fly and squawk above you, kookaburras and possums greet you... The oriental garden is dimly lit at night providing a romantic backdrop for lovely meal... A seaplane whisks you to a the most beautiful part of the reef where you snorkel in seclusion and drink champagne... ahh... you are in paradise you think. But ... your room isn't ready for check-in, there are no chairs by the pool or on the beach and you have nothing to do for 4 hours... you can't get reservations for the restaurant you wanted so you go to the average seafood buffet for dinner and the bill informs you it costs $85 per person... your margarita on the beach cost you $15 and you had to walk to the bar to order it because the servers never came to you at the beach... a souvenir towel costs $75... the beach bar closes early and the cigar lounge is stuffy... there is nothing to do on the island unless you want to drop a few hundred dollars on a sea plane ride or boat trip... Some people like staying at an upscale, secluded hideaway with little to do and paying a lot of money for the name, but not me. No matter how gorgeous the resort is, it does not make up for the mediocre service and lack of value for the money you spend.
We spent 4 nights on Hayman Island on our honeymoon during November 2003 and we found the resort to be nothing special. In fact, we felt that the resort was a bit of a rip off and that it had been hyped up to be something greater than it really is. The prices for everything on the island were so inflated it was ridiculous.
We had spent the previous 4 nights on Hamilton Island at the Beach Club Resort and on arrival in Hayman we wished we were back at the Beach Club. We even called the Beach Club to see if they had a room that we could go back to for two nights. Unfortunately, they were full.
We decided to try and make the most of our stay at Hayman. After the initial disappointment on the first day, we hiked around the island on the second day (as it was probably the only free activity available!) which was quite nice. The watersports are free also but with the tide going out everyday, they were only available from 8am-11am each day (bad timing for us with the tides).
The nightlife in Hayman is non-existent. We were not really looking for anything wild but the bar there is stodgy and old fashioned and does not appeal much to a young couple. It reminded us of an old gentlemen's club/cigar bar (and stank of cigars too!). We had one drink there the first night and that was the last time we visited the Club Lounge. Good thing we had smuggled in our few bottles of red wine and a couple of sixpacks of beer from Hamilton as at least we could have a few drinks on our balcony at night and enjoy the view. It's hard to enjoy a beer when you realize you are paying $12 for it from the mini-bar!
The room we had was a lagoon superior and was quite a distant from the pool. We tried to move to the pool wing but there were no rooms available even though they were only 50% full (go figure?). The room itself was not bad and was quite spacious. The decor and furniture was nice but did seem a little old. There was a separate changing room area off the large bathroom and the whole area was tiled with some expensive looking marble which had quite a few cracks all over the place. Our shower head was hanging off the wall and the toilet paper holder too.
Overall, the rooms and resort was like stepping back into the 1970's as far as decor goes. It probably was "The Place" in it's hayday.
The highlight of our trip to Hayman was a seaplane tour to the Great Barrier Reef with Capt. Paddy. We would definitely recommend that trip even though it's expensive. We also enjoyed the boxing class at the "free" gym and the squash courts. Ok, and the salt water pool they feature in all their marketing brochures is very nice too but not enough to make me want to go back.
We would definitely go back to Beach Club on Hamilton though in a heartbeat. The resort, staff and island were magnificent and we did not feel like we were paying through the nose for it.
Luxurious but nothing more.
Read that Hayman was one of top ten resorts in world, etc and i suppose it was moderately luxurious but it really lacked anything special. at this end of the market i think a resort should give you more. There is little to do here (fine for honeymoons i suppose). Hamilton Island Resort was far better - private yet plenty of things on hand to do and a nice village.
Hayman Island March 2002
We attended a wedding on Hayman Island last March. It was a beautiful experience, the staff was attentive, the food excellent, and the weather exceptional. We ate at the Chef's Table, a wonderful 6 course meal. The diving and hiking was great. The pool was a soothing experience. Even my 4 year old son had a great time.The only negative was the cost. But for a once in a lifetime trip, you can't go wrong. The wedding was perfect, they even had a Rolls-Royce on this tiny island to whisk the bride & groom to the chapel.I put a few pictures of out trip on a web page, see http://stiefelmaier.com/hayman/hayman.html-jim
TripAdvisor Reviews One&Only Hayman Island
Travel Blogs from Hayman Island
Day 10 - Hayman Island
Our first and final night on Hayman Island was wonderful, we were served a magnificent 3 course dinner and then given free time. The morning was equally as great. We awoke early and had a relaxing yet quick breakfast, in order to be prepared for our personal guided island walk that had been organized for us to take …
Day 9 - Hayman Island
It was time to leave the centre of Australia, and move to the coast line. For the next week, we would be hugging the coasts of the mainland and Tasmania, but to begin with we would be spending the next couple of days in the Whitsundays.
We ate our breakfast quickly, while the resort staff took our bags out to …
... the suits were very thin and just made us all panic more about jelly fish instead of making us feel protected against them. Once back on the boat we watched the sun set and enjoyed a plate of nachos whilst we headed to our mooring spot for the evening. After dinner we all sat round and played a few drinking games before crashing in the cabin. We were suddenly alarmed by Hayley, a lively Glaswegian, that sharks were circling the boat. Luckily she was misinformed and it was ...
... but most of us stayed. We immediately left to Whitehaven beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, at least when it's sunny. When we arrived there, the sky was cloudy, but it wasn't rainy. We went to the lookout to take nice pictures of the beach. Unfortunately, with the sucky weather, it didn't look that nice. We then headed to the pure silicate sand beach. I could only imagine how amazing it would look with beautiful weather. We still had fun, ...
... large catamaran that would eventually take us back to Hamilton Island. It was attached to a large platform called Reef World where people were fitted with gear and wet suits for snorkeling on the reef. I suggested that we start with lunch--many salads which was just what we needed-- before it became crowded which turned out to be a good idea. Next we took the glass-bottomed reef boat which took us over the reef and showed us just what we would see when we snorkeled. We took ...