Home Away From Home on Hayman
As the Whitsundays wakes from its enforced slumber over the last few years, following the devastation of Cyclone Debbie, the iconic – yes, we said it – Hayman Island Resort has reopened, now under the Intercontinental brand.
When Robb Report Australia & New Zealand had a sneak peek at the resort a few weeks prior to the opening, on approach (on board the brand-new luxury catamaran providing transfers from Hamilton Island), the resort looked familiar. The building’s white tiered profile, surrounding the enormous central pool, remains. Turquoise waters? Check. Sandy beach? Check. Lush vegetation? Returning. But a $135 million renovation of the 166-room property has transformed what’s inside the resort – necessary after the destruction wreaked by “coconuts flying through windows at 400km/h”, according to Mark Eletr, general manager, Hayman Island by Intercontinental.
Back in business as of 1 July, the resort’s revamp aims to lure luxury travellers back from fellow Whitsunday bolthole, qualia on Hamilton Island – and will offer new, more expansive accommodation offerings to win over those who need extra space for family, friends or entourage.
The three-bedroom, 400-square-metre Hayman Beach House enjoys an absolute beachfront position, with an open-plan dining and living room, outdoor entertaining areas and private sun loungers designed to embrace island life. Each of the three suites also has its own plunge pool, ensuite and bathtub.
Just a short golf buggy ride up the hillside is Hayman Estates, a collection of six secluded private residences designed by the late Kerry Hill, an Australian architect renowned for his hotel design work in Asia, with interiors by Sydney designer Blainey North. For the first time, two of the four-bedroom residences will be available for guests to rent through the resort. Soaring ceilings and floor to ceiling glass provide little obstruction to the stunning island and Coral Sea views, and with a private pool, luxe ensuites and a state-of-the-art kitchen, guests may not want to leave the comfort of their own ‘home’ to take advantage of the resort’s facilities – especially given a private chef can be provided to take care of meal preparation.
But Hayman’s five new drinking and dining options may prove just too alluring – from family-style Italian at Amici Trattoria, to the ’50s-inspired Bar Fifty offering classic cocktails with a twist, including a killer Negroni, to flavourful pan-Asian cuisine with a cheeky edge and punchy matching tipples at BamBam.
And for those who just can’t bear to leave this new incarnation of Hayman – good news: two of the residences in Hayman Estates are still for sale, via Malaysian multinational Mulpha Group, which owns the island.
Rooms at Hayman Island by Intercontinental start from $750 a night.