It wasnt too long ago I was lucky enough to visit a place so beautiful, if there was a heaven on earth, it would have been it.
Qualia Resort on Hamilton Island. Qualia (pronounced kwah-lee-ah) in Latin means “a collection of deeper sensory experiences”.
And believe me it was.
After arriving onto Hamilton Island, you are greeted at the airport and driven to the exclusive side of Hamilton Island that hosts the resort…we drive up to a large stone all with looming wooden gates, imprinted ‘Qualia’. I also couldn’t help but notice the Relais & Chateaux stamp of certification (a collection, 520, of the finest hotels and resorts worldwide), I couldn’t help but get excited. Of course Id spent numerous hours on the net browsing the images and day dreaming of a long weekend getaway, but now it was real.
‘Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.’ Etty Hillesum
The gates open and reveal a perfectly manicured landscape with the sun glittering on the green grass blades, the sweet sea salt air filling my lungs and filling you with an overall sense of relaxation.
When you arrive at the hotel you are greeted with a smiling host and a glass of Veuve (what could be better) whilst you relax on the balcony with breathtaking views over the gorgeous Whitsundays. Arriving to your own room, (they are individual cabin style), you enter to light jazz music, sunshine streaming through balcony doors and yes, a bottle of Veuve chilling (I was a happy girl, holiday does require celebration 🙂
Whilst staying at the resort you can do as much of everything as you like or as little as nothing. Theres snorkeling in the great barrier reef, boat cruises, kayaking, or for a more relaxed version, a beautiful private pool to get your Vitamin D infusion with a good read (I was reading Deepak Chopras, Perfect Health).
There is a Devine Day Spa that you just have to visit, you will feel like you are walking on clouds when you leave.
‘Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.’ (Pooh’s Little Instruction Book) A.A. Milne
The resort has its own restaurant with an award-winning chef, or you can get in your golf buggy (provided during your stay) and head down to the Marina that hosts many restaurants and a little night club (emphasis on Little, and honestly I probably wouldn’t bother going again).
One night we chose to have a picnic (champagne & nibbles, the restaurant at the resort will organise a picnic for you) at sunset. Advised by the resort staff that the best area was the helicopter pad, off we went. They did however fail to mention…Qualia is a ‘natural’ resort and all sorts of creatures do come out as the sun sets, needless to say it was a very funny ‘romantic’ attempt, one that you just cant help but laugh at, whilst trying to run away from these creatures. (I do beleive there are signs around the resort to be careful of the wildlife, I just failed to notice).
As I’m all about ‘balance’, I’m happy to relax and enjoy treats, champagne and live a little more indulgently than normal, however, in the way of balance and my body craving some physical activity, I couldn’t resist the Passage Peak bushwalk (the highest point on the Island, 6km, 229m above sea level). Getting your body moving outdoors with fresh salt air…honestly, nothing compares (except the view at the top) Breathtaking.
‘Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The resort provides breakfast daily, and as a lover of all things healthy and natural (and food), I found it hard to leave. THE BEST MUESLI EVER (and for those that know me, Muesli is my ‘thing’ as good as it is, its banned from my apartment as I just cannot say no, I can never have to much).
There is a restaurant on the beach that serves amazing fresh seafood platters and the most delicious salad Ive ever tasted, and since then I’ve been trying to recreate…
If you are looking for a weekend getaway, something special with someone special or just some time to be still…Qualia is the place to go.
Take some time for you, you deserve it.
Voted best resort in the world 2012, Conde Naste.
Love & light, Charlie x.
‘The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it’. Sydney J. Harris