Some of you may have noticed my lack of posts, but that’s because I was off having a lovely, relaxing holiday at Hamilton Island! Hamilton Island is part of the Whitsundays, located off the coast of Queensland, halfway between Townsville and Mackay. The island has a year round average temperature of 27C degrees and while we were there, it hovered around 23 – 24C during the day and didn’t drop below 20C at night.
Domestic airline sale emails are bombarding my inbox faster than I can hit delete so I took it as a sign hubby and I needed a holiday (that and the declining motivation levels at work). Jetstar flies direct to Hamilton Island from Melbourne Tullamarine, so we booked our flights for our first “relaxing” beach holiday. We have never been to a beach location as I always prefer to sightsee and go on tours.
On the way to Hamilton Island, the kind lady at check in offered us the emergency exit seats with the extra leg room. I have never sat in the emergency exit before and never realised there is extra information you have to read about how to operate the doors. At the end of reading it, you have to tell the air hostess that you agree to help out in the case of emergency.
On the flight back, there was no such luck of getting the extra leg room and we were stuck in a normal seat. Can you see the difference?
The flight to Hamilton Island was approx. 3 hours from Melbourne. No food or entertainment is provided – if you want it, you have to pay. On the way there I was happy reading my book, but on the way back, I paid the $10 for the video on demand unit. You have about 1.5hrs of viewing time on the flight which was enough time to watch the movie “Confessions of a Shopaholic”. The movie was lame by the way!
There are several accommodation options on the island: private holiday apartments, Whitsunday Apartments, Palm Bungalows, Reef View Hotel, Beach Club and the oh-so-exclusive (and oh-so-expensive) Qualia. We stayed the Reef View Hotel but in hindsight it might have been better to stay somewhere with cooking facilities due to how expensive eating out was.
The flight arrives from Melbourne at about 11:30am and there are buses waiting to take you to your accommodation. It is only about 5 minutes from the airport to the Reef View Hotel. Once you get to the hotel, you get luggage tags to attach to your bag and the porters arrange for your bags to be sent up to your room when it is ready. You can register for your room as soon as you get there, but your room might not be ready until the official check in time of 2pm.
The hotel was refurbished in 2008 but frankly, it is hard to see what they have done. Yes, the rooms are quite modern, but the outside of the hotel looks like it is still stuck in the 90’s!
The room was very spacious and the bed was comfortable. My only complaint (besides the usual noise from surrounding rooms) is that they need to do a better job on cleaning it. I’m not sure whether that new bathroom tiles were part of the recent refurbishment, but our bathroom grout was black in a lot of areas. We found quite a few of those clear, plastic clothing tags scattered in the carpet like housekeeping only vacuumed where things were visible, not the whole floor. We also found a thick layer of dust around the bedhead. It didn’t bother me too much, but I like where I am staying to be clean.
We paid extra for a Coral Sea view room over a garden view room and we were glad we did. The view from our 15th floor room was amazing, though I was disappointed to learn that we couldn’t really see the sunset from our balcony. If we got up early enough in the morning, we could see the sunrise.
There are signs everywhere saying not to feed the birds because it looks like they are considered a pest on Hamilton Island. You are also not supposed to leave your balcony door open as the birds have been known to fly in and destroy the room in search of food. The cockatoos scare me – I am afraid they will try and attack me so I happily keep my balcony door closed! We encountered several cockatoos during our stay.
In my next post, I will cover things to see and do.
Over & Out, Rilsta xx