As one of Queensland’s most iconic island resorts, Hayman Island has welcomed its fair share of local and international visitors over the years (you may recall that it last operated under the One & Only banner). But the hotel is set to enter a new era, thanks to a massive renovation and rebranding under the global powerhouse InterContinental Hotels Group. I was lucky enough to visit the island this week, as a guest of InterContinental, to score a taste of the new culinary offering – and it doesn’t disappoint.
Of course, living up to the expectations of what we’ve come to love about this treasured piece of Australia is not lost on Mark Eletr, the new Resort Manager at Hayman Island by InterContinental. “Everyone has a Hayman story,” he says as we dine over lunch in one of the newly acquired luxury private residences that will now be available to rent though the resort. He’s referring to the number of local and international guests, who return to the island for holidays and special occasions, often bringing with them friends and family from around the globe. Naturally, the pressure is on the team to rise to meet the quality that such an iconic resort and idyllic Whitsundays location demands.
Above: a glimpse at the redesign of the resort.
With no perfectly white grain of sand left unturned, the resort will reopen in July this year, after being closed for two years recovering from 2017’s Cyclone Debbie and undergoing a multi-million dollar refurbishment. As the hashtag, #ImmerseIntoHayman suggests, the hotel will be a complete offering of world-class luxury experiences which cater to travellers who are after exceptional dining, spa treatments, water activities and fitness options. There’ll be locally sourced food from five new restaurants and bars, which range from brasserie-style modern Australian to casual Italian and pan-Asian fare. The resort will even be brewing its own kombucha.
Families who know the joys of the InterContinental kids clubs globally will no doubt be booking up the kids sunset walk option, perfectly timed for the parents to enjoy an afternoon cocktail by one of the resort’s pools. The new hotel will no doubt also lure larger groups, that will utilise the resort’s facilities for large bookings and events.
Although we were yet to see the refurbished rooms in the resort (in my experience, the furniture is always the last thing to go into place, so no surprise it wasn’t ready for our visit a month before opening), if the food, staff and detailed preparation gone into this unveiling are anything to go by, come July, Australia’s Hayman Island will once again be featuring on itineraries and Instagram feeds around world.
Hayman Island by InterContinental is set to open July 1, 2019.