Hamilton Island and Reef Sleep
Getting off the plane at Hamilton Island was like being in a movie (despite the fact I was there to ‘work’).
The airport is small but just enough to welcome you to this amazing paradise that people dream of travelling to.
The atmosphere was relaxed but there was excitement in the air. Everyone got off the plane and walked on to the tarmac in their holiday outfits, ready to relax and have a cocktail.
For guests staying at the Palm Bungalows, Reef View Hotel or Beach Club, transfers are provided to the hotel, once the luggage has come out.
I visited Hamilton Island with a group of travel agents, to get to know this stunning destination a little better. First up we got all the site inspections done and dusted so we could move on to the fun stuff.
We saw a 3 Bedroom Luxury Holiday Home called the Edge. This is great for families or group of friends sharing together. Next up were the Yacht Club Villas, once again great for families, with a high end taste. The Beach Club is really good for honeymooners and couples (18 plus hotel) wanting a bit of privacy. We checked out a Palm Bungalow which is great for couples or smaller families, with a little kitchenette in the rooms, and a bit of privacy away from the bigger hotels. We also saw the facilities at Qualia but unfortunately they did not have a room available to show for inspection.
We had a cocktail at One Tree Hill – there is a bar there which over looks the ocean and really nice at sunset. Cocktails are approx $10 a pop and they have a selection of 4 drinks to choose from – the passionfruit one is amazing!
Dinner was at Coca Chu, which is an Asian fusion restaurant with share plates and tapas, really amazing for groups and families. Everyone in our group LOVED all the food we had, enjoyed great conversation and just a great atmosphere in general.
We stayed at the Reef View Hotel in the Coral Sea View rooms and the group loved the size of the rooms and the amazing views from the balcony.
Next morning we had breakfast at the hotel and headed down to the marina for our Reef Sleep departure. On the cruise on the way out to the pontoon anchored on the reef, we were told all about the additional activities available once at the pontoon, like diving, massages, guided snorkel and heli trips.
The group was very enthusiastic about all the activities and we prebooked helicopter trips, massages and scuba diving.
When we got there we all did the scuba diving which was absolutely amazing! The guide took us down for about half an hour and we got to see the coral, and Nemo, up close and personal.
We had a buffet style lunch onboard as part of the tour, and relaxed until the rest of the day trippers left at 3pm. This is where the unique part of the Reef Sleep experience starts, and we felt very special to be on the pontoon without all the other guests. We got spoilt that evening with a BBQ dinner (which everyone who does the reef sleep experiences) and the food was delicious and exceeded everyone’s expectations. We played board games and had a couple of beverages during the evening then we all headed to bed into our swanky swags! Very comfy, but I highly recommend guests to bring ear plugs and eye masks (to avoid loud noises and the sun waking you up!).
The next morning we woke to a beautiful sunrise over the ocean! Once again we all felt very special to be on the Great Barrier Reef. After a relaxing morning and an amazing BBQ breakfast we waited for the day trippers to arrive.
We spent the day getting massages, going snorkeling and having an amazing 2nd day on the reef.
We departed at 3pm with the rest of the day trippers, leaving behind another 9 guests to have their own amazing Reef Sleep experience, sad to leave the reef and deal with our sea legs.
We got back to the island and headed out for dinner at Manta Ray. There were a few too many pizzas ordered, but they were delicious and very gourmet! We enjoyed a couple of bottles of wine then headed back to the hotel which is only a short walk away.
Our last morning was spent relaxing at the bar with a couple of morning cocktails then we hopped on the shuttle bus back to the airport and on to our flights back home.
Overall, the agents really loved all of the activities we did and really appreciated the unique experience of the Reef Sleep, definitely something all visitors to the Whitsundays should include in their itinerary.
Review by Kate Graham, Assistant Team Leader, Australian Sales Expert, Infinity Holidays, Kate visited Hamilton Island with some fellow agents, in May 2016.
For more information on the Reef Sleep or staying at Hamilton Island check out Infinity Holidays Hamilton Island Reef Sleep package.