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Whether you are on a family vacation or a romantic holiday away, Hamilton Island is an incredibly cool experience that puts you within striking distance of the Great Barrier Reef, and has hotels suited for every style and budget.
Located amidst the Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island is privately owned ( The Oatley family acquired it in 2003) and is almost entirely dedicated to tourism – there are some residences, but otherwise – it’s all holiday resorts.
We spent 3 nights on Hamilton Island in April of 2018 and it was one of the most memorable aspects of our entire trip to Australia, and I would HIGHLY recommend it.
Here’s a unique aspect of the island – Aside from authorized hotel vehicles, nothing is motorized, and instead, you either hike, bike, or whiz around on golf carts.
The Sunsets are insane – bike, hop on a tram, or drive your golf cart to One Tree Hill:
Get there when the view looks like this, snag a table, sip on a drink and watch the sun come down as people from all over the island flock to hilltop. Absolutely incredible.
The Harbour is bouncing mid-day, and then it completely dies off as visitors clammer to the opposite of the island or One Tree Hill for sunset. Then the race is on to get back to wine and dine. And the Dining is unlike anyplace I’ve ever been. You don’t need a credit card because the entire island is inter-linked. You just bill it to your room.
Restaurants are mixed between and above cute boutiques where you can find memorabilia, clothing, etc.
Speaking of hotels – there are 4 main ones to choose from.
A solid 3.5 to 4 star hotel that is suited for families looking for a holiday away. It’s a large tower. We stayed a the smaller bungalows located on property that have access to all the facilities, but are more conducive to couples or families looking to have more privacy.
These small bungalows are a bit more expensive than the entry level rooms at the Reef, but provide a far more private and separate experience. We spent one night here and were very happy to be away from all the hullabaloo of the Reef.
Beach Club is a private, adults only, no kids 4.5 star hotel on the same complex as Reef View and Palm Bungalows. It features a private beach, restaurant, pool, and is geared for those looking to spend a bit more out of pocket for privacy, but not as much as Qualia.
Qualia is the best resort in Australia and after staying there I can see why. I’m in the midst of writing a comprehensive review, but it’s truly a world class, jaw-droppingly beautiful, put it on your bucket list experience. The views are insane, the food is wonderful; however I did have a couple of service interruptions that I’ve yet to experience at hotels whose clientele is seeks, like the Peninsula Group.
The biggest draw for foreigners checking OZ off their bucket list…The Great Barrier Reef.
Hamilton Island is less than a 2 hour flight from coast and has tons of flights in and out of it. Even better, you have multiple ways to get out to the Great Barrier Reef to snorkel: Boat, SeaPlane, and Helicopter.
We decided to go all out and Heli there and back with snacks, private snorkel, and champagne toast. Yes…we had the entire Reef to ourselves for a complete hour. The cost – roughly $500 a piece. Honestly…I thought it was a helluva a deal to experience a wonder of the world from the sky where you truly see all its wonderment.
Have you visited before? Where did you stay? What’d you think?
Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
In Chase branch: 70k Points after $4k spend in 3 months ( make appt with banker –Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy.)
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.