I am having the toughest time choosing between these two. My other half and I will be touring Australia this September (a tight itinerary, only a little over a week), and have allocated 4 nights to spend in either of these places. I've been looking at qualia on Hamilton Island (expensive, but the reviews seem really positive) and also the Sheraton Mirage at Port Douglas (much more economical, but I'm afraid of the chain-hotel feel - I admit I've gotten spoiled with hotels lately).
So here's the thing - we want to see the Great Barrier Reef (we snorkel, but not scuba), possibly the rain forest (only if we stayed in PD), and also have a couple of days of downtime. I like that PD seems to have more going on and more things to do even in terms of shops/restaurants. And I like that Hamilton Island looks just absolutely beautiful and that qualia seems completely top-end.
We are both 30-something, have traveled all over, and like to take one really great week-long trip every year (last year was S.Africa). We're also both in good shape and can handle a fairly active itinerary - not sports ethusiasts, but also not people that just like to lie on the beach and do nothing else. We're not crazy party-goers either, but enjoy a late dinner and a few drinks in a nice spot.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!