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Luxury Adventures are conducting a series of interviews with some of our key suppliers looking at the different aspects of their lives and how these influence the experiences they offer. Hayman Island is the northernmost island in the Whitsunday Passage on the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia.
Tell us about the location of Hayman Resort, and what else is on offer to guests outside of the resort. The Resort is located in the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef, and the northernmost island in the Whitsunday Passage. It is the closest island in the Whitsundays to the Outer Barrier Reef. On the west side of the island is the famous Blue Pearl Bay which offers spectacular snorkelling and is home to around about 1500 species of fishes and 400 kinds of hard and soft corals. Blue Pearl Bay is just 10 minutes from the Marina by boat. Less than two nautical miles off the shore of Hayman, resting in the middle of the Coral Sea is Langford Island. This strip of sand offers spectacular views, swimming and snorkelling and is a great place to enjoy a gourmet picnic for lunch. Langford Island is also popular location for spotting turtles. Whitehaven Beach is considered one of the world’s most famous and beautiful beaches, which stretches over 7 kilometres along the eastern shore of Whitsunday Island. This piece of paradise boasts white silica sand and is accessible by air or water. Hayman boasts a premier location within the Great Barrier Reef and offers direct access to the Outer Reef for guests to experience some of the most spectacular dive and snorkelling activities in the world. Access to the Outer Reef is by both seaplane and helicopter.
Hayman has been consistently recognised as a world leading resort, can you tell us about some of the awards that mean the most to you? Hayman continues to head the charge for Australia with prestigious awards and accolades and is an inductee in the Hall of Fame for the Australian Tourism Awards, Queensland Tourism Awards, Luxury Travel & Style Magazine Gold List and National Travel Industry Awards and has been included in lists adjudged by readers of Travel + Leisure US, Conde Nast Traveler US, Conde Nast Traveller UK and Tatler UK acknowledging outstanding guest, dining, spa and adventure experiences. There is one special award which we have won recently that is very special to us. This is the 2013 Luxury Travel & Style Magazine Gold List award of ‘Best Australian Family Resort’ (which we have won for the second consecutive year in a row). One of the reasons this award is so special because it is voted by an exclusive selection of experienced travel agents who have seen and experienced the best of the best. This accolade also highlights our consistent impeccable standards and emphasises the scope of fantastic experiences and facilities we have to suit guests of all ages and which is not often something you find with 5-star luxury destinations of our calibre.
We understand the journey to Hayman is all part of the experience, explain to our guests about the options available for transfer to and from Hamilton Island. The journey here is certainly a journey to remember. The main transfer option is from the Great Barrier Reef Airport or Shute Harbour is via one of Hayman’s stunning luxury launches. Guests will enjoy refreshments and island views as the launch cruises through the spectacular Whitsunday Passage. All check-in formalities are completed on board to make arrival as smooth and relaxing as possible. Resort activities, dining experiences, and reef adventures may also be booked while on board. Upon arrival at the resort, guests are escorted to their room, and their luggage is delivered shortly after. The other two transfer options are via Helicopter or Seaplane. Guests that chose one of these forms of transport will arrive in ultimate 5-star style by air, and will also be able soak in the spectacular views of the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef along the way.
Hayman has several accommodation options within the resort, can you expand on these? Hayman Resort offers elegant living in beautifully appointed rooms, suites and penthouses nestled in the lush rainforests and sun kissed vistas of the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef. There are 4 main accommodation options throughout the resort – Pool, Lagoon, Beach and Penthouses.
The scene of many iconic Australian travel images, Hayman Pool features fun, classic-style accommodation perched over one of Australia’s largest pools and only minutes from the sea. A perfect base for outdoor, active guests and families who are seeking easy and convenient access to the famous Hayman Pool and Pool Bar. Within this wing there are Pool Rooms, Pool Access Rooms (with direct access to the pool from a private balcony), Pool Deluxe Rooms and Pool Suites.
Offering stylish elegance immersed in the sensory beauty of nature and located on the tranquil eastern side of the resort, all Lagoon Rooms and Suites have been created with a substance and style that is uniquely Hayman. Generously spacious and set within a lush landscape, Hayman Lagoon is simply moments from the Coral Sea, bars and restaurants.
Hayman Beach offers a completely unique hideaway and is the ultimate beachside Great Barrier Reef experience. The Beach accommodation sits away from the main resort, allowing beach guests an even more involved and sensory experience of the breathtaking scenery, its beaches and the Whitsunday Islands. This accommodation collection features 8 Beach Villas, a private Beach House and tranquil Retreat Rooms.
Experience the ultimate accommodation experience in one of the luxurious Penthouses. The Penthouses are located on the top floor of the Lagoon accommodation and enjoy unsurpassed interior appointments. Each of the Penthouses is uniquely designed and furnished featuring large sun-drenched balconies. There are 3 Lagoon Penthouses, a DVF Penthouse designed by world-renowned fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg and the Owner’s Penthouse, which is the premium accommodation offering on the island.
Can you tell us more about the butler service offered to Hayman guests? The team is proud to provide attentive, yet unintrusive service during your stay on the island. Our Concierge team will assist with any request throughout your experience. Guests staying in the Beach Villas and the Beach House will have access to the Beach Butler service, a team of butlers dedicated to assisting with all of your needs. For those guests staying in the DVF Penthouse and the Owners Penthouse, a dedicated and personalised butler service is available.
Hayman Resort is a perfect place to relax and do nothing at all, however there are also many adventures and activities available. Can you tell me which of these you recommend, is there a “must do” activity? A must do activity whilst staying is the Island Escapade. Take a speedboat to one of the beautiful beaches surrounding Hayman including Langford Island or Blue Pearl Bay and enjoy relaxing in the sun and spectacular snorkelling. In Room Dining can organise a Gourmet Picnic Hamper for you to enjoy whilst on your escapade.
Hayman is a great place for honeymooners and families alike. Is there a typical Hayman guest? The island provides the perfect setting for weddings, honeymooners, romantic escapes and family holidays. The typical guest is anyone looking for a luxurious experience in an iconic Australian destination where they can experience the Great Barrier Reef with authentic Australian service. Lovers of fine dining, fun activities and exploring nature always gravitate towards this iconic resort.
Do you have any events at Hayman Island or the surrounding area that are worth timing your visit for? One particular upcoming event that we are very excited about is our Wine + Dine Weekend hosted by acclaimed wine expert, Peter Bourne. Hayman is partnering with Gourmet Traveller WINE for a second year in a row to present this special three-night weekend which will take place from the 19-22 July 2013. Featuring gourmet dining experiences, a Shiraz Syrah MasterClass hosted by Peter Bourne and luxurious accommodation, this weekend will provide the ultimate escape for any foodie or wine lover!
Tell us about the dining options available at Hayman, in particular The Chefs Table? The restaurants are as diverse as its accommodations, with four unique concepts centrally located within the resort, as well as additional dining options throughout the property.
Azure is the resort’s beachfront restaurant, serving Australian cuisine with a focus on fresh seafood. The stunning location, overlooking Hayman Beach offers captivating views of the Whitsunday waters and is a natural complement to the spectacular food. The restaurant serves a bountiful buffet breakfast, made with local ingredients. Azure is also open selected evenings for dinner indoors or on the outdoor deck.
For an authentic Italian dining experience in a charming al fresco, indoor and outdoor setting, La Trattoria is a superb choice. Serving al fresco Italian specialties, La Trattoria is finished with rustic local timber, magnificent chandeliers, hanging vines, and terracotta tiles, and offers guests a taste of Italy in the midst of the Coral Sea. Among the many offerings on the menu are the famous antipasti, a selection of gourmet pizzas, as well as sumptuous regionally sourced meat, seafood, and pasta entrées.
The aptly named Oriental restaurant showcases an adventurous mix of Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian dishes—all prepared with innovative flair. The outdoor dining experience here includes views of the lush gardens, a beautiful ceremonial tea house, and a tranquil rock pool.
Fontaine restaurant offers guests a taste of contemporary Australian cuisine inspired by locally sourced produce. At Fontaine, guests are able to pair any number of the à la carte menu items, or enjoy a tailored seasonal tasting menu.
Chef’s Table and Chef’s Bench
For guests looking for a more personalised food experience, the weekly Chef’s Table welcomes guests into the Main Kitchen for a six-course dinner with matching wines. Fontaine Bench offers a 12-course tasting menu for two guests. Both experiences include a tour of the Wine Cellar and a visit to the famous Hayman Chocolate Room.
What makes Hayman the perfect place for a wedding? Hayman is the perfect choice to celebrate your wedding or renewal of vows. We offer a genuine island experience of tranquility and natural beauty as well as romance, adventure and relaxation all in the beautiful setting of the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef. The island presents stunning locations with breathtaking views for ceremonies and receptions across the resort.
Is there a special “signature” spa treatment which is a favourite for Hayman guests? The ultimate sensorial Hayman Spa signature experience in the most beautiful of settings is the Ocean massage; let yourself drift away to a world of total relaxation and comfort in tranquil waters surrounded by gentle tides and tropical fish in the warm Whitsunday sun.
We understand Hayman has an interesting history, tell us more about that? Hayman was named in 1866 by Vice-Admiral, Sir George Strong Nares of the Salamander in honour of his navigator, Thomas Hayman, Master RN. The Salamander provisioned and protected early settlements along Australia’s North Queensland coast. A biological research laboratory was established on the island in 1933 by amateur scientist, Edwin Embury. Local fishermen, Bob and Bert Hallam established the Great Barrier Reef Game Fish Angling Club on the island in 1935, attracting local and international game fishing enthusiasts. Among those big game fishermen was American novelist and filmmaker Zane Grey, who chose Hayman as the idyllic tropical setting for his 1936 comedy drama, White Death. In 1947, Australian aviation pioneer Reginald Ansett acquired the island and built the Royal Hayman Hotel, which opened in 1950. Hayman soon earned the reputation as Australia’s foremost leisure and honeymoon destination and attracted widespread international recognition. Hayman contributed to Australian popular culture in 1969 with the classic television series, Barrier Reef, introducing a generation of Australians to the excitement of exploration and underwater adventure. Sylvia Cook and John Fairfax became part of the islands adventuring history in 1972, as the first to row unaided across the Pacific, landed here after an astonishing 361 days at sea. In 1985, an A$300 million project commenced to transform the island into a true luxury lifestyle destination. In 1987 the resort was invited to join The Leading Hotels of the World. In 2004, Mulpha Australia Limited acquired the resort and, after careful planning, design and environmental consultations, has commenced a strategically planned revitalisation and refreshment of the iconic destination. The next stage in Hayman’s evolution as one of the world’s premier destinations is well underway as the story continues.
Gina Levy is the Digital Marketing Executive at Hayman Island Resort.
Tony Townley is a luxury lifestyle specialist and owner of Luxury Adventures. Talk to us about planning your next visit to New Zealand, Australia or the South Pacific Islands.