We have visited Hayman island every year for the past three years and recently stayed at the newly refurbished one & only hayman resort (25 July-1 Aug). I will firstly detail the changes so that returning guests know what to expect. I will start with the launch transfers. We were on the Sun Goddess both on our way there and back which is the second largest of the launches. Same process as always, in that your luggage is collected for you and you are then escorted to the launch and served champagne which is now French and quite a lovely introductory touch to the luxury you are about to experience. We were pleased to see that some staff was retained, we were warmly welcomed by Joseph who is a real character and definitely looked after us and made us feel very welcome. He truly is a gentleman with a genuine interest in guests having an unforgettable holiday experience . He is a credit to the crew. The launch also now has a chef on board who creates lovely canapés for the 50 minute ride over . All the staff on the launch were very professional special mention to Chloe and Jade (not just on the launch but throughout our entire stay she was warm and friendly, a wonderful addition to the Hayman team). We were checked in on board and given a jazzed up welcome pack with all the information you require for your stay. When we arrived at the resort we were greeted at the pontoon by a number of staff who gave us a general tour of all the changes and then escorted us to our suite. The most apparent change are the rooms. They are all larger now as the resort has halved the number of rooms it previously had. We stayed in a one bedroom pool suite and it was utterly amazing. It comprised of a large dining/sitting room area with a flat screen TV which then led into an expansive bedroom with a four post bed that was extremely comfortable and yet another flat screen TV in the bedroom. Next, his and hers bathroom vanities as well as a large bathtub, toilet and shower. There is also a double balcony with a small outdoor table on one side and a cabana on the other. The finishes are modern and you can definitely see that the decor has been carefully selected down to the finer details of matching the rugs to the patterns on the privacy screen that separates the bedroom from the bathroom as well as matching these to the light fixture in the living room. With the short time the resort was closed in order to renovate, it is astounding that the quality of the new rooms is so high- no cheap finishes here. Next the iconic hayman pool has been spruced up and the bar now called on the rocks has been renovated also. The number of pool lounges and cabanas has massively increased. There are also many new umbrellas installed for a shadier option by the pool. Also there are now four pool shacks with which are a really good option for families and offer protection from the sun and views over the coral sea and the pool. There are also brand new one and only hayman beach towels which are of high quality. It is evident that a lot of work goes into the upkeep of the resort on the whole, the resort is well staffed and all staff are always working hard. Other changes include a new gym with state of the art equipment, a new hair salon and a new resort store which stocks vitamin A swimwear and Seafolly swimwear as well as limited one and only merchandise and basic need items. Next, dinning. Most restaurants are basically the same aesthetically only renamed . Breakfast restaurant Azure is now called Pacific the breakfast buffet hasn't changed it meets the usual high standard. Italian restaurant La Trattoria is now Amici, the decor has changed and the introduction of a woodfire pizza oven means a menu more focused around pizza. We dined here three nights and there was enough variety and food was of a good standard, we found it very reasonably priced. Fontaine is now Fire, the menu is pretentious and doesn't deliver in my opinion, in saying that I accept everyone's taste buds differ and perhaps in the future I'll be convinced otherwise but when comparing Fire to its predecessor it was underwhelming. Food was nice but not as nice as it should have been for the price. I have dined at many restaurants with similar price tags but didn't feel satisfied on this occasion. Service at Fire much like all the other restaurants was excellent. Finally, restaurant Oriental which is now Bamboo. What a standout, restaurant manager Leila is a true professional and she is magnificent at her role. We dined at Bamboo three times also and the food was Michelin star worthy, especially the wagyu beef. Do yourself a favour if you like big flavours and honest tasty refined food choose Bamboo over Fire. We loved every meal here and ordered more than we should have on all three occasions in an attempt to sample the majority of the menu. Yum! There is one restaurant still under construction situated where the beach pavilion once was which is to be called Aquazure and will have a tapas style focus with more family friendly meals as it will be surrounded by the new family pool it will supposedly be open within the month, I believe it will add great variety, apparently it will also encompass a gelato bar which I'm really sorry I missed out on. All in all the one and only changes to Hayman are positive. During our stay we saw management from a series of one and only resorts there to help with the transition period and re-opening, one man who deserves a special mention is James Wyndham. He is really good at his job, he is normally part of management at one and only Dubai resort. He works incredibly hard engaging with all the guests and making each and every visitor feel like a VIP. We saw James at breakfast lunch and dinner, he knew all guests by name and really lifted the profile of one and only through his customer service. All of the Staff at Hayman cannot be faulted and it is evident as a return guest that the customer service standard has lifted to that of a five star resort. If this is what the resort is like whilst still ironing out the creases I am excited to see what it will become. We will be back to one and only Hayman, the location is paradise and the new infrastructure and staff make paradise heaven.
NB: My husband wants me to give a special mention to Jasper from Bar 50 (previously Club Lounge) and his whiskey knowledge. If you are a lover of whiskey Jasper is you man!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One&Only Hayman Island, in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef presents astonishing natural beauty, restorative peace, indulgence and adventure. Australia's iconic private island resort is located off the coast of Queensland, nestled at the northernmost point of the Whitsunday archipelago, beyond verdant cliffs reaching into endless sky. Within this private island resort, stylish elegance reflects the harmony of nature with beautifully appointed accommodation set against the backdrop of the Coral Sea. Discover endless opportunities to delight the senses in a place where the beauty of nature inspires each day. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hayman Great Barrier Reef Hotel Hayman Island
- Hayman Island Hotel