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Daydream Island Resort
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Reviewed 7 March 2014

My husband and I visited DDI in February for the second time. We were there in 2011 but got rained out so went back because our experience in 2011, although washed out, was good. Our main purpose for visiting DDI was as a base to go to Whitehaven Beach. Our room was a garden balcony with pool views. Room was comfortable, clean and quiet even though we were close to the pool.

We had lovely weather this time round so enjoyed relaxing by the water and going out on the Hobie Cat and just enjoying the views of the islands and water. Lots of water activities if you feel the urge and lots kids can use too. Plenty of options for water sports both free and extra charges for some and plenty of other activities such as tennis etc so lots to choose from as well as all the different pools. So do as much or as little as you so choose.

Food options was our bug bear this time around. Not all restaurants/bistos etc were open. At the South End only the Boathouse Bakery was open. In 2011 we enjoyed both the Boathouse Bakery and The Fishbowl Tavern and we were little disappointed the Tavern wasn't open over the four days of our stay. As with 2011, Gilligans Bar & Health Hut wasn't open either.

At the North End our Friday night options for dinner were BBQ ($25pp) at Splashes Pool Bar which consisted of either a mince pattie or piece of chicken, a bread roll and salad buffet with about 6 salads. That's an expensive burger but the only other option was Mermaids Restaurant which is more a la carte.

On Saturday dinner options were the BBQ again or the Seafood Buffet. We chose the Seafood Buffet at $69pp. How disappointing!! On a tropical island and the prawns, bugs and crab were watery, chewy and tasteless. It all tasted as if it had been frozen. Not what was expected at all by way of chilled seafood. We tried the hot dishes too. They were also disappointing. The green beans weren't topped or tailed and had hardly felt heat because they were so crunchy and the broccoli dish was mushy. Either very overcooked broccoli or it had been frozen. The Thai fish cakes had more potato than fish, the paella with Chorizo actually had kabana and it was gluggy, the hot chips were soggy and I'm sorry to say, I can't find a decent thing to say about the buffet.

On our Sunday night are dinner options were Mermaids Restaurant or take away from Mermaids Restaurant. We got takeaway because we'd been to Whitehave and Hamilton Island for the day and just wanted something simple. We were served lovely food, the best on the Island by far but the piece of fish for the fish and chips was no bigger than the palm of a my hand and for the price and was ridiculous. My husband took the meal back and was told that fish shrinks. That may be but I think the Island is obviously on a very tight budget and cost saving measures are in place because it looked as though a decent piece of fish had been halved before cooking.

The breakfast buffet was the usual fare. They only do poached eggs every second day however on our last morning Titus arranged for them to be cooked for us anyway which was very much appreciated. Other options were boiled eggs or fried eggs, bacon, baked beans one day, tinned spag the next, pancakes from a machine, hash browns, breakfast sausages, fresh fruit, yoghurt, cereals, dried fruit etc

Now our main reason for returning was to take the trip to Whitehaven Beach. We had hoped to do the day trip on the Saturday but when booking at the Activities Desk on the Friday we were advised that Saturday was fully booked but there was availability on Sunday. We booked the fully day trip for the Sunday with Cruise Whitsundays.

Whilst waiting for the boat a DDI staff member came down and had wrist bands for the day trippers however she didn't have a wrist band for us. She said to show our paper ticket once we were on the boat. We did and the crew member, Josh, advised that James, our guide for the day, would come and see us.

As it turns out we were not on the manifest for the full day trip to Whitehaven. Something had gone wrong with our booking and we were not able to do the full day trip as it was full and we weren't on the booking.

Josh offered to book us on the Monday trip but we were leaving on the Monday. Josh was extremely helpful and made a few suggestions as alternatives so that we wouldn't miss out.

We ended up doing the half-day trip. That was 2 hours at Whitehaven then they offered to shout us lunch at either DDI or Hamilton Island. We took Hamilton as the food was so bad on DDI. They gave us a voucher for the Mariner Tavern on Hamilton and that was the best meal we had over the four days. We had a big, juicy steak with a divine sauce with chips and salad!!! Yum, yum, yum!!!.

So, in the end we were better off because it was too windy to snorkel as part of the full day trip and we got a better lunch. Once back at DDI we had to sort out the refund between the full day trip we had booked and the half-day trip that we got. The receptionist took our details and said the supervisor was busy with another guest but she would get back to us. Heard nothing so asked again on the Monday morning before breakfast because we were leaving that day and our bill showed we had still been charged for the full day trip.

At breakfast the supervisor found us and advised that Cruise Whitsundays were not going to charge us at all for the trip because of the error in our booking - so that was a great turn of events for us. Thank you Cruise Whitsundays.

So, on the whole, DDI is a pretty good place. Food was disappointing and some of the staff need to be a little more aware of what is going on. We asked at Splash Pool on the Friday was the dinner options were and they didn't know. We knew more about it than them.

It is still a beautiful and relaxing spot and for the price I guess you get what you pay for.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TravellingGumby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2014

Both I and my husband enjoyed our stay at Daydream Island in February.

The weather was good: sunshine 4 days out of five.
We liked our buffet breakfast included in rates. Special thanks to the management for having separate area for adults only.
We stayed in Garden room overlooking the pool (cheaper rate). Still it was very nice – bright, clean. Mattress was rubbish though and bathroom needs some anti mould spray.
Very lovely and helpful cleaning ladies (my only wish they didn’t come to clean as early as 8:30 in the morning).

Mermaids’ restaurant food was quite good. Slashes bar grill – not so much.
I really enjoyed warm swimming pools.

There are some snorkelling opportunities around DDI. But I would recommend a full day tour to White Haven beach and Hills inlet. This tour was the highlight of the whole trip.

All and all a good stay as long as you match your expectations with the rate you are paying.

The only let down for DDI was the service. Staff make loet of mistakes. So make sure you double check everything: that your luggage has been transferred to the boat on the day of your departure, that your access card is programmed for late check-out if you paid for it, that refunds for cancelled activities are credited back to your account, that you’re not charged for minibar that was understocked at the check-in. All these are small things but they stop you from relaxing and enjoying the holidays.

I would like to thank DDI for sending our luggage (that was shipped with the wrong boat originally) with the courier to Sydney in a very speedy manner. My only regret is that the mug with daydream island photo we bought at your souvenir arrived broken.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jestress
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2014

My mother and I had a day to spare in airlie beach so we decided to spend it on daydream island. It is a very kid friendly spot, but we had no children with us. That didn't stop us from utilizing the great free water activities- sailing, paddleboarding, kayaking. There were wallabies walking around the island which were very entertaining. There was a live reef through the resort with stingrays and clown fish. We had a delicious buffet breakfast and an amazing dinner with good service in front of their mermaid sculptures.
Enjoyed everything about the resort!

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
Thank Francesca S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2014

My partner took me to the Whitsundays as a thank you holiday for planning our wedding and honeymoon 6 months ago. We booked through My QLD Holiday and I have to tell you, I've never felt so spoiled! I excel at shoestring holidays, but this one was pure heaven...we ate like royalty, stayed in a lovely apartment in a luxurious resort, slept, had pooltime and visited the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach. An absolute must for newlyweds, our package included direct flights to Hamilton Island Airport, ferry services, a voucher pack for meals and activities...all sorts. Very very spoiled!

Our only feedback is that there should be a small convenience store that provides little meals. Eating like royalty was fantastic for 2-3 days, but after that, we were very full. A series of light meal options available from reception or the gift shop would have made this trip 100%.

Room Tip: We had a rainforest or 'garden' room. Very quiet and tropical. You can choose to upgrade to a beach room, but we were happy where we were.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank DebTurnbull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2014

We visited Daydream in November 2013 just for a daytrip. The biggest impression we got was the faintly comical theme park feel. You could not go anywhere without a brightly colored fibreglass fish or dolphin staring you in the face. The massive hanging fish in the foyer matched the colorful big fish carpet, but all seemed very tired and dated. As a kid in the 70s who only saw anything like that on Disneyland I would have loved it but that time has passed!

The Living Reef is spectacular and very interesting to watch all the sea life. We did a tour of the Reef and enjoyed it. The whole resort is well-maintained and clean, and all staff we encountered were pleasant. The big connecting pools are great too. It was too cold to swim in the afternoon though (for us anyway, there were plenty of kids in) so we crammed into the one heated spa (there were 2 others supposed to be heated but weren't). We wanted to go kayaking but due to the tidal restrictions the window for that had closed about 10.00 am so the pool was it.

Our daughter loved the free pool games and volleyball on offer, and the young Dutch boy running the games was lovely.

We had lunch at the Boathouse Bakery and found the food very nice, better than you get in some bakeries (jam and cream donut - yum!) and reasonably priced for an island resort. However I talked to a lady who was staying there in the spa and she was finding the prices for restaurant meals outrageous, and also said her room and toilet were filthy. I didn't see any rooms myself it's just what she said.

The mini golf was way the best one I have ever seen. We didn't actually play (and it's not free) but we had as much fun walking around it and looking at all the Australiana bits and pieces and discussing them with our daughter.

I had wanted to visit the Whitsundays since my childhood as the pictures looked so wonderful. However having seen the Fijian islands just the year before I was surprised to find that the Whitsundays in general are definitely not as 'tropical-looking' or idylllic as Fiji. The sand on Daydream was coarse to the point of hurting my feet, there are few if any natural palm trees in the Whitsundays, and of course the water comes with deathly warnings of various kinds. As my father was stung by a box jellyfish, though he lived to tell the tale, I know this is not something to take lightly.

Overall even a day on Daydream was a little long, where even 9 days on a Fijian island felt too short. I'm going to have to leave the brightly colored fish statues to others. My husband felt the same way. I wish the resort well but we will not be returning.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
3  Thank sparklymum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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