The InterContinental Hayman Island Resort is an absolutely stunning luxury hotel in Australia. In this extensive review, I’ll explain why there are many reasons to come back, but also a couple things to be critical of.
Interestingly, Australis isn’t exactly a country with a high number of ultra-luxury hotels. The Hayman Island Resort though, has always been one of the most famous places in the country.
It re-opened after extensive renovations this July and we took the chance to have a look right after its opening.
While the property had some management changes over the year, there’s another main reason for the renovations: The resort was heavily hit by a thunderstorm and nearly vanished. The location keeps somewhat challenging, but it’s also what makes this hotel such a special experience.
The Hayman Island Resort experience definitely starts way before you enter the room. As the hotel is located on a private island, you have to either take a yacht, a helicopter or a sea plane to get here. On the way there, we opted for the helicopter.
I can just highly recommend it as the ten minutes ride is not only very short, but also incredibly scenic – the view of the Whitsunday Islands from above is just incredibly beautiful.
On the way back, on a really rainy and stormy day, we took the yacht.
This one is really beautiful as well and maybe the most amazing yacht I’ve evern seen in my life.
However, the ride was really uncomfortable due to the stormy weather and took about 90 minutes – I’ll definitely opt for nicer weather in the future 😉
Other than that, the arrival experience is generally quite nice, from a private lounge at the airport to a buggy pick-up after arrival at the resort grounds.
I was highly surprised to find out that my InterContinental Spire Ambassador Status scored me a great upgrade at the Hayman Island Resort. In fact, I got an amazing Pool View Suite.
This one comes with an incredibly spacious living room with direct views of the pool and the sea in the distance.
The design immediately striked me as it’s really stylish and beautiful. Everything looks brand new (as you’d expect) and I’d say that the interior is very fitting for a resort location like this.
The living room as such comes with a dining table with four chairs and a long side board.
The latter has some interesting art, which is adding a homely touch to the suite.
Furtehrmore, there’s a coffee machine with complimentary capsules as well as a nice minibar with lots of options.
Closer to the window, there’s a large couch corner with views of the sea as well as a television.
The bedroom is much smaller, but has was it needs: A really beautiful and comfortable bed.
Additionally, there are two nightstands and some space to put something on in front of bed, plus the typical flat-screen television. Much nicer than the views of that are the views of the sea you have from bed – incredible. Speaking of incredible views, the suites (and also all rooms) at the Hayman Island Resort come with beautiful balconies.
Ours was a tad small, but still very enjoyable with a comfortable lounger and a further table with chairs.
And then there are the views, which are just wow in every possible regard.
You may still see some of the building and the pool area, but it’s just really nice with good weather.
The bathroom is diretely connected to the bedroom and generally quite open.
The design is once again very nice though with one sink with lots of storage space on each side.
The highlight, in my opinion, is the free standing tub between the bedroom and the bathroom.
Deeper into the bathroom, there’s a storage room, where you can put your luggage.
Then there is a toilet in a separate room.
As you’d expect, there’s also a walk-in shower with two shower heads.
All in all, I really loved the suite at the Hayman Island Resort. The views, the design and the size are just amazing. Nevertheless, not everything was as good as it sounds. For example, one of the curtains was missing (you’re reading this correctly!) and there was a major issue with the room controls over the iPad and the panels in the room, which just didn’t work for quite a while.
Yet, I think it’s acceptable that something like that happens at a newly opened hotel, though may not at this price point.
I wouldn’t necessarily say that breakfast at the Hayman Island Resort was anything like a letdown, but I also didn’t love it. The buffet as such was alright with lots of options.
There’s the typical cold stuff including fruits, veggies, bread, bread rolls, pastries, cheeses and cold cuts, but nothing seemed particularly fancy.
The hot options were plentiful as well, but I once more felt like a good hotel rather than an extraordinary one. For example, the Four Seasons Shanghai offers a much more elaborated breakfast spread.
You can also order a couple of freshly prepared hot options, including omelettes and eggs benedict, but things didn’t work out perfectly there either and waiting about ten minutes in line to order has nothing to do with a luxury resort, in my opinion.
Summed up, the breakfast experience at the Hayman Island Resort is good, but far away from what I’d expect in a property with this price tag. The Legian Bali is a great example on how breakfast in a property like this should be like.
Obviously, breakfast wasn’t the only encounter I had with the food & beverage team of the Hayman Island Resort. And truth to be told, it only got slightly better. What was quite nice were the drinks at the pool.
I also enjoyed the pool snacks served here, including tasty hamburgers, wraps, sandwiches and good fries with a fair enough value for the money.
What’s not so amazing is room service, which not only took very long, but also comes with a really high surchage, which I really don’t like at a resort.
Sadly, it even got worse from here on. One evening, we went to the Italian restaurant, which was quite full and thus incredibly loud – but that’s not really the main problem.
The service during dinner was hillariously bad, like worse than basically at every semi-decent restaurant. Things were forgotten or came out cold. Yet, that’s not all. The quality of the food was okay (pasta) to really disappointing (tuna). It was highly overcooked and even after once again repeating how I’d like to have it cooked, it came out only slightly better – oh well.
I don’t want to sound overly critical, but my whole experience with the food & beverage compartment at the Hayman Island Resort was mediocre at best. That’s quite a shame for a property on this level, particularly after I very much enjoyed what the InterContinental Sydney had to offer in this regard.
Obviously, the most important thing when staying at a property like the Hayman Island Resort is the relaxation by the pool or the beach and this is where the property really shines.
There are different pools, but the most famous one definitely is the Hayman Pool, which has a very remarkable shape.
While it is not heated in winter, you can still go in for a dip and a basically endless swim as the pool is really massive.
Yet, not only swimming here is quite enjoyable, also lounging in one of the many loungers is a really nice experience.
There are also a couple cabanas you can rent, but they come with a really steep price tag.
The other pool area is located on the other side of the resort and comes with different pools, which are partly heated.
The infinity pool right by the beach is maybe the most beautiful for one in the whole resort.
Yet, the other pools are also quite nice and there were once again plenty of options to lounge, including some smaller cabanas, which are free to use.
You’re most likely coming to Hayman Island for the beaches and in this regard, the resort is absolutely amazing.
There’s one smaller beach, which is adults only and one massive beach, which is absolutely picturesquare.
Sure, hotels like the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort offer even more beautiful beaches, but it’s still a real highlight here.
There’s a lack of loungers though, which I find a little bit sad as lounging by the ocean is always something particularly nice.
In this section, it also makes sense to quickly mention the watersport offerings, which are offered depending on the tide. What’s really cool here is that basically all non-motorised sports are free, including kayaking, stand-up-paddling and more – really cool!
While you sure find more amazing beaches in other places of the world, I really thought that Hayman was absolutely beautiful in that regard as well.
Yet, the offerings don’t end here as the Hayman Island Resort has much more to offer. First, there’s a large gym with plenty of modern equipment.
It’s well equipped, spacious and comes with all you need for any kind of workout – it just lacks sea views, which is a little sad (I somewhat miss the great views I enjoyed at the Renaissance Bali while working out).
In the main area of the resort, there’s a library of sorts and also an area with some board games. More importantly though, in the back of the resort is a real sports hub.
Here, you can not only find several other games, including ping pong, but also three tennis courts and a multifunctional court.
Best of all, you can use all of this for free, including the equipment, which is amazing. Another free activitiy is going for a hike on the island, which is really beautiful as well.
Be aware that this isn’t the most easy hike as it’s really hilly and the walks aren’t the easiest, but the views are great.
I’m quite sure that you won’t get bored when staying at the Hayman Island Resort, particularly as there are plenty of more (paid) activities you can choose from.
It’s just honest to say that not everything went smoothly during my stay at the Hayman Island Resort, but I still loved the resort. Somewhat like at the Conrad Koh Samui, there are a couple of things to work on, but the “bones” of the hotel and the location are just incredible. I personally can’t wait to return here and I’m sure that the little hick-ups will be sorted by then. In the future, I can see this resort as one of the best options in the whole region and would highly recommend it!