Qualia: Great Barrier Reef
LOCATED ON THE SECLUDED AND BREATHTAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL NORTHERN-MOST POINT OF HAMILTON ISLAND, QUALIA IS A PLACE TO RELAX THE MIND AND COMPLETELY SPOIL THE SENSES. FROM THE MOMENT THAT YOU’RE PICKED UP FROM HAMILTON ISLAND AIRPORT, YOUR EVERY DESIRE IS TAKEN CARE OF WITH THE UTMOST PERSONALIZED CARE AND UNOBTRUSIVE MANNER, IN A RELAXED ENVIRONMENT.
WORDS BY SAMANTHA SAMPLE, BE NATURALLYOU
After a somewhat stressful couple of months towards the end of the year, the one thing that kept me going was that I knew that I would be rewarded with a 5-day holiday in my favorite part of the world – the Whitsundays. It’s one of those places to completely switch off, regroup and get back in touch with nature. It has a particularly captivating beauty. Nowhere else in the world have I been so instantly swept away by the spectrum of color that fills your vision – the pinks, aquas, blues, greens and violets simply take your breath away.
Entering the gates to Qualia I was overcome with a sense of stepping in to a private oasis … somewhere to leave all the worries of the outside world at the gates, and indulge in the natural surrounds that I would call ‘home’ for the next 5 days. After a glass of champagne upon arrival, and a warm greeting from General Manager, Scott Robertson I am left to take in the expansive views of the idyllic blue, green waters of the Whitsundays. Sinking in to the comfort of the couch I can’t help but feel I am at a private lodge, a home away from home. All the annoyances of staying at a hotel – overcompensated service, predictable design and that feeling of being a transient visitor in a venue that has seen thousands of feet walk over the floors – are not here. From every point-of-view Qualia has nailed it. The architecture and design combines a unique sense of space, openness and harmony. The service is impeccable, personalized and intuitive. The cuisine is fresh and innovative with Executive Chef, Jane-Therese Mulry, delivering her exceptional culinary talents consistently. Every meal is positively delicious! The landscaping is lush and mesmerizing. The one-bedroom pavilions are luxuriously comfortable and elegant. And the beds…. my goodness, are heaven! As I said before, every aspect of this world-class retreat is flawless.
We all have a different version of what it means to “take a break” and Qualia certainly understands this. Every option is at your fingertip: an all encompassing sensory spa, state-of-the-art fitness centre, open air yoga classes, climate-controlled infinity edge pools, shopping at the designer boutique, library housing a unique collection of books and handmade chess set, kayaks, catamarans, sailing, stand up paddleboards, snorkeling, 18-hole golf course, drop offs to a choice of six beautiful beaches, scenic helicopter flights, and scuba diving in the outer reef.
I must say that I was particularly looking forward to experiencing Spa Qualia, having never had the pleasure of being pampered with Sodashi. I knew the brand well “on paper” as I have a particular fondness for 100% natural and organic products, but Sodashi is not just another natural brand, the products are formulated to emulate the knowledge and wisdom of natural healing traditions. The facial was divine! The massage heavenly! I am officially a Sodashi lover. If you do happen to honor yourself by booking a stay at Qualia, I can’t encourage you enough to book in a treatment or two at the spa. Everything about it has been meticulously designed to incorporate the meaning of the resort’s name: Qualia – ‘a deeper sensory experience’. You owe it to yourself to heighten the peace and tranquility of your stay.
Of all the beautiful memories, there is one that will remain in my mind forever. Each afternoon I would sit, contemplate and meditate on the balcony of the pavilion whilst staring out through the eucalyptus trees to the Whitsunday waters. One afternoon as the minutes rolled by, animals crept out of their hiding places one by one and gifted me with their presence. A couple of kangaroos hopped their way through the trees, a goana crawled out of the dense gardens and across the walkway, a kookaburra flew to a nearby tree watching over me and little birds fluttered on to the balcony. It was truly a magical moment … the Qualia Effect.