Hayman island in the Whitsundays, is everything you've read and more.
I am generally the sort of person who is "seen that, what's next"...but...I have been to Hayman Island twice and can't wait to go again.
I have a coaster of the island on my desk, to remind me to work hard so I can go back.
So, if you have not figured it out "I Love Hayman".
Let me point out that Hayman is an exclusive island - you just can't 'pop' in for the day, it is exclusively for guests - all 960 acres of it.
The Hayman Island Resort the only place on the island. And is built right on the beach. And may I point out the beach is pure, soft, white sand - no mud, no sharp bits just soft and luxurious.
Right when you first arrive, you just know you are going to love it.
The one thing we really noticed were how friendly and genuinely happy the staff were. Every morning on our way to Breakfast (wait till I tell you about that too) cleaners, gardeners, receptionist would smile and say "Good Morning" - it did not matter who they were or what they were doing - they were all delightful.
Breakfast - food and more food. I think of myself as a bit of a foodie - well I was in heaven. Start with an all you can eat breakfast. And I mean gourmet. Not just toast, cereal, bacon and eggs (they had that too) but danishies, cakes, eggs done however you liked, whatever you could possibly imagine for breakfast it was there.
We were normally to full from breakfast to bother much with lunch but Dinner, hmmm that was another matter.
My husband (Neil) is a big eater, we always joke he has hollow legs. Well in 12 years of marriage this was the first time I saw him too full to fit anything else in. It all happened when we went to the Seafood All You Can Eat Smorgasboard.
What a site. Food, food and more food. We decided that we would try everything. So we started with the cold food first. Well, there was every cold seafood you can think of plus multiple seafood salads, rices, rolls and more.
Next onto the hot dishes. We shared these and were amazed and impressed to watch the chefs cook these for us. Not hot food in those horrible baine maries, no this hot food was cooked to order.
Well after several plates of hot food, we were starting to tire. But I'm a dessert person and the french chef had prepared some pretty wicked looking desserts.
I was determined to try a bit of everything. So we decided that the only way to do it was to share. So I put 5 different pieces on my plate and Neil put 5 on his plate (plates would not hold any more). We got through them with much oooing and ahhing - especially from me, oh so much chocolate. But when it came to go and sample the last 5, not even I could muster the stamina.
So, I left the restaurant and staggered (rolled) back to our room defeated, unable to try them all. Next time!
Speaking of next time. Next time we go to Hayman Island, I intend on attending the "chef's table". A multi-course meal (black tie) shared with the head chef.
It's not all seafood though, there are several guest restaurants all with different themes and different menus but all the same quality.
It's not all eating though. There are heaps of things to do to wear off those calories :-)
There is water skiing; sailing; snorkelling; windsurfing; scuba diving; helicopter or seaplane flights; game fishing; paddle skis; a 9-hole putting green; tennis courts; walking trails; windsurfing; billiards; outdoor jacuzzi/spa; a library and games room.
But best is - no second best is a tour of the kitchens, this was really interesting and well worth the time (go to do some tasting :-).
But best of all is the pool - not just any pool, it's huge - just lie about, order cocktails from the poolside bar and do absolutely NOTHING.
They do have fantastic facilities and activities for kids - but we did not really see many children there at all.
Other Great Barrier Reef Islands include:-