Traditionally I am not someone who takes vacations in their own country, preferring a complete change of culture and lifestyle, but Qualia is definitely an exception to the rule. This private ultra luxury resort situated on the secluded northern-most tip of Hamilton Island makes you rethink the concept of holidaying at home.
Spread over 12 hectares, the natural beauty of the landscape here is Australia at its glittering, tropical best.
At Qualia there are no cars, no kids and no cares. Private cars are not allowed on the island, and children are not allowed in Qualia, thus the sense of relaxation is immediate. It’s this serenity mixed with the simplicity of Qualia and Hamilton Island, which provides the level of luxury that won it the award of Best Resort in The World by Conde Nast Traveller in 2012.
For nesting, there are 30 private palatial pavilions. Some with sundecks and their own plunge pool and mostly all with drop dead gorgeous panoramic views over the Coral Sea. Or for the rich and famous there is the ultra exclusive Qualia Beach House, elevating luxury to a whole new level!
The overall design concept is contemporary yet intimate. Nothing is overdone or forced. The rooms are not filled with superfluous knick-knacks or mix-matched linens. The feel is earthy minimalist, classy and totally gorgeous. The resort has decided to simply be, and let nature take centre stage.
There are two main pools and both exude elegance. My favourite is the pool by Pebble Beach. It’s large enough to not notice your neighbors’ novel and it spills down to a stunning private sugar white sandy beach with crystal-clear aquamarine waters.
Daily activity options include secluded beach drop-offs, gourmet lunch picnics, or scenic helicopter flights over the Great Barrier Reef. A visit to one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Whitehaven, is only minutes away and in my opinion is an absolute must.
Should you prefer a more holistic approach to mental quietude, physical wellbeing and spiritual balance, join the morning yoga class at Spa Qualia. With an open-air feel, ponds and pebbled pathways, this is a hedonistic haven to help you heal and heighten all of your senses.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner fares are all excellent. With an emphasis on fresh and superb local produce, the daily changing menus draw on the flavours of modern Australian cuisine, combining a multicultural mix of Australian, Mediterranean and Asian flavours. Lunch at Pebble Beach is serious bucket-list worthy!
Of an evening, sip cocktails at the Long Pavillion whilst listening to the soundtrack of the lapping of ocean waves, the rustle of the leaves of the fragrant gum trees in the breeze, and the melody of neighboring birds and tree frogs.
So it appears that sometimes the journey really is about the destination. With a relaxed aspect and mesmerizing calmness, time at Qualia seems to stretch forever. Could this be Australia’s utopia?