An honest review of my honeymoon stay at One and Only on Hayman Island.
Whenever I travel, the thing I look forward to most is coming home to my own bed. Not this time. Having been back from Hayman Island for 2 days, I’m already missing the comforts of the luxury resort. But there is so much more to my honeymoon destination than fancy marble floors, spacious bedrooms and interior design worthy of the likes of Diane Von Furstenberg.
About Hayman Island
Like a more refined version of Hamilton Island, Hayman Island is privately owned and offers exclusive access to the only resort on the island – One & Only. Most recently One & Only released private residences on the island with a hefty price tag of 18million +. The staff were pretty hush hush about the new owners of the residences but let me know that they were just your average ‘rich person’.
The island is well equipped and has its own state school (with 12 students) and hospital. The employees all stay on the island behind the resort and from what I’ve read, their room and board are paid for (not a bad gig if you’re looking to live on paradise and save money at the same time).
Getting to Hayman Island
When I eagerly booked our honeymoon accommodation, I neglected to review our transport costs getting there. Since Hayman Island is privately owned, there are two modes of transport: by yacht or helicopter. We took the yacht which cost about $220 (AUD) one way. When you account for the round trip, the boat transfers cost more than our domestic flights from Sydney. Nonetheless, it was an amazing, once in a lifetime experience. When you arrive at Hamilton Airport, you are greeted by a group of friendly representatives from One & Only.
When we boarded the luxury yacht, we were greeted with bubbly, beverages and snacks.
Our captain Karl was knowledgeable, friendly and passionate about his job. He welcomed everyone to the deck for a chat and great views.
Spectacular. Magical. Enchanting. When you arrive to the island, it almost seems surreal. Lush greenery, calm turquoise blue waters – it’s postcard perfect. We were greeted by the One & Only team who gave us with a personal tour of the property and then led us to our room.
On the first day we stayed in the standard room with the lagoon view but later got upgraded to a room with an ocean view. Having spoken to one of the managers there, we learned that every room at the resort must be bigger than the standard hotel room. And they definitely felt bigger.
Each room has his and hers sinks, a big bathtub and a shower. The decor exudes decadence. The floors and walls are marble as was our coffee table. The second room we stayed in had a king size canopy bed, one I would gladly welcome in our future home.
I was lucky enough to get a tour of the beach villas available on the island. At $2-$3k a night, they are pure luxury.
Note: Housekeeping visits twice a day – once for cleaning and in the evening to prep the room fro bedtime.
If you love lounging by the pool, you’ll love the Acquazure pool here. There are 8 cabanas you can lounge in but you need to get in quick as they get snapped up fast. There’s a bar next to it so you can order lunch and drinks and enjoy them in the pool.
Note: Cocktails and beers come at a premium. My virgin Pina Colada was $25. Watch out for the brazen Cockatoos and seagulls who may swoop over you to get your food. I witnessed two plates of hot food get knocked off by 3 seagulls. Pools are open 24/7.
If you’re looking for more privacy, look to the other pool by On the Rocks where they offer private cabanas for the day ($220). The team at On the Rocks are super friendly. Visit Joel the manager who has a wealth of knowledge on the island.
To my surprise there was a lot to do on the island. When you arrive at the island you are given a timetable of activities called ‘The Edit’. From reef fish feeding to snorkelling and hiking to look out points, you won’t be bored. A few things we did:
- Boat trip to Blue Pearl Bay for a snorkel $80pp (includes all snorkeling gear, beach chairs and umbrellas, water, towels)
- Stand up paddle boarding FREE
- Kayaking FREE (unless it’s a guided tour)
- Reef fish feeding (FREE)
- Inner reef snorkeling $120 pp
- Jet skiing $255 for two of us on one jet ski
- Private yoga lessons by the water with Maryanne O’neill (best way to start the day) $100 pp
- Get a massage $300pp for 1 hour
You can also take day trips to Whitehaven Beach and the Whitsundays. Just be aware that they’ll cost about $450 per person.
Note: All activities need to be booked in advanced.
There are a few restaurants on the island:
The Pacific: Serves a great buffet breakfast and offers modern Australian cuisine in the evening. On Saturdays they have a seafood buffet ($120 pp). The food was fine but nothing memorable if I’m honest.
Bamboo: Asian cuisine. I had the braised beef which was flavoursome but a tad heavy. Cristian had the tempura chicken. Again, the food was fine but not worth the $160 price tag.
Amici: The Italian food was great! No complaints here.
Aquazure: Tapas. Our favourite place to dine on the island.
Note: There are in room dining options which were quite good and reasonably priced. You can either arrange to have it sent to your room or elsewhere on the resort. Ah….luxe living.
If you get hungry in between meals, you can order in-room dining. Lunch for 2 will cost anywhere from $50-$150. Otherwise you can buy a pack of chips from the guest shop for about $8.
Aim to spend $200/day for two people on food.
What to Pack
- Sunscreen (they have sunscreen by the pools but it’s not the best quality)
- Healthy snacks
- Reading material
- If you smoke, cigars (they are triple the price on the island)
The Highs and Lows of Hayman Island
- Incredible service from everyone at One & Only: Tyson, Rafael and Theo from Aquazure, Joel from On the Rocks and Rob at the marina just to name a few
- The spacious rooms and canopy bed
- The little things you get, like a complimentary beach bag, amentities, icy pops by the pool…etc
- The stunning post card perfect views
- The tropical weather. It was forecasted to rain the whole time we were there but the rain comes and goes
- The activities from yoga to snorkelling.
- The lack of options on the island. There aren’t a lot of dining options on the island. Even though there are 3-4 restaurants on the island, they aren’t open every night. We tried all the restaurants and thought Aquazure was the best in service and value.
- If you love to shop, the island isn’t the place to do it. All things come at a premium so it’s best to pack what you need.
- Companies looking to treat their staff for a job well done
Much thanks to:
Joel, Manager at Off the Rocks
Rafael and Theo at Aquazure
Rob who took us out to the inner reef for snorkeling
Aaron (Smith I think) for showing us a beautiful time on the jet skis and pointing out all the beautiful fish and clams
Maryanne O’neill who helped me find extra zen during my yoga session
Tyson at Aquazure who created the perfect date night for Cristian and I