Adventures on Hayman Island

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There’s just something about the mystique and allure of the South Pacific—a veritable siren’s song that’s called out to explorers like Captain Cook and writers such as Robert Louis Stevenson and James A. Michener. It projects an Eden-like persona, beckoning to us like the forbidden fruit, and nowhere in that vast South Pacific paradise, has one resort destination stood out so prominently as Hayman Island.

Set amidst the glorious splendor of the Coral Sea and neighbor to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef—lending it even more panache for those beach resort aficionados eager for yet another global beach experience—the resort has recently undergone a major renovation that’s accommodation options transformed it into an even more luxurious destination resort with the addition of several new beach villas. A member of The Leading Hotels of the World since 1987, when it made its first major $300 million restoration and became known for its idyllic setting, today, with this new transformation, it’s elegance is even more breathtaking.

In January 2010, after almost six years of careful planning, design and environmental consultations, the initial phase of the renovation began, including the revitalization of the iconic pool and the creation of luxurious new beach villas, designed by internationally known architect Kerry Hill and offering gorgeous new interior appointments and uninterrupted beachfront views of the Coral Sea.

According to Shane Green, general manager of Hayman Island, “Our much-anticipated re-opening on Aug. 1 followed five months of extensive restoration on the island, which was severely impacted by Tropical Cyclones Anthony and Yasi early this year. This period of closure enabled us to complete the repairs required to landscapes, guest and accommodation areas, activity facilities and essential infrastructure as well as undertake other planned projects.”

accommodation options The resort boasts 210 beautifully appointed rooms, suites, penthouses, beach villas and a beach house, all designed to take advantage of the magnificent resort surroundings and each one featuring private terraces or balconies. In-room amenities include all the usual, plus iPod dock station (in Lagoon, Pool and Beach wings), DVD player available upon request, personal bar and mini-fridge, in-room tea and coffee-making facilities, 7-day laundry and dry-cleaning service, 4-hour in room dining, nightly turndown service, bathrobe and slippers.

All guests can take advantage of the resort’s 24-hour concierge service, too, while beach villa and penthouse guests will also receive full butler service. In fact, the Hayman butler will contact your clients prior to their arrival to personalize their Hayman experience. The eight adults-only beach villas—measuring more than 1,200 sq. ft. and poised along the beach—are designed to give the feeling of unencumbered space, utilizing a lot of natural light with drop-dead gorgeous views of the Coral Sea and Whitsunday Islands. Features include a private pool in an open-air gallery with a day bed, private terrace, outdoor shower, and bathroom with an island bath and separate shower. Integrated technology includes wireless Internet, Apple TV with cable and movie channels, and a Bose SoundDock digital music system.

The private and secluded beach house has its own private courtyard overlooking the beach with an outdoor deck and infinity plunge pool, personalized butler service, a refreshment bar and media room complete with Apple iPad and Apple TV. The 3-level Pool wing overlooks Hayman’s famous pool venue, with the first right at pool level, and with the second and third offering balconies with pool and Coral Sea views. The Lagoon wing overlooks tranquil Lily Lagoon, with its lagoon pool and tropical gardens, and swans floating by on the pond, and with rooms outfitted with solid oak furniture and white stone. The penthouses are located on the top floor of the Lagoon wing.

The owner’s penthouse features a presidential-size sitting room, dining area, kitchenette, bar and three bedrooms, with private butler service, complimentary in-room bar, intimate candlelit dinner for two or Private Chef’s Bench for two, reserved private beach cabana on Hayman Beach, complimentary Internet access, picnic to Steens Beach, garment pressing service, daily breakfast and watersports.

resort delights Other changes in the resort include a new botanical garden with some 33,000 new plants and 327 new plant species having been introduced throughout the acres of gardens, sharing their varietal with the native birds, butterflies and wildlife who have returned to their island home.

Green adds, “In keeping with our culinary tradition, innovative restaurant concepts are being presented in the Azure beachfront restaurant and the new Nic Graham-designed Fontaine, set to become Australia’s signature resort restaurant, whilst the much-loved Oriental and La Trattoria restaurants feature new-look menus and other surprises.”