Hamilton Island - Just Fabulous
We stayed 6 nights at the Reef View Hotel in September 2011 & it was excellent. After booking & paying for our trip, I read all the reviews on this website & as a discerning traveller, was alarmed by some of the negtive feedback about the hotel & the island in general.
Our room at the hotel was really spacious & comfortable, even with 2 queen-sized beds in it - bathroom was massive (love the twin basins) & the balcony a really good size too. Perhaps our room had been refurbished, as it was clean & in good condition - Housekeeping consistently maintained it in spotless condition & all supplies renewed daily.
No, resort holidays are not cheap, but there are few ways to keep costs down whilst still enjoying all the island has to offer: If you book 4+ nights at the Reef View, breakfast is included, with a choice of 3 locations; we quickly got into the routine of eating a huge buffet breakfast (great selection), then we wouldn't really feel like eating again until the evening meal -> 2 meals per day is much cheaper than 3.
Another cost-cutter: we didn't hire a golf buggy at all - we either walked or took the free shuttle bus - of course it depends on what you do on the island - all our activity was either at the resort centre or the Marina - only 8 mins walk between the two. Perfect weather helped I guess.
We had meals at fine dining restaurants, casual eateries & in-hotel meals: no complaints with any of them - Denison Star a-la-carte dinner cruise & a meal at the Beach Club Restaurant were highlights, plus more casual meals at Sails, Manta Ray Cafe & the Pool Terrace were reasonable value. Loved that Manta Ray deliver their brilliant pizzas to your hotel room after 6pm.
It was excellent that hotel guests got free use of all the water sports equipment from Catseye Beach: goggles & snorkels, paddle skis (like a shallow canoe), catamarans, paddle boards, windsurfers etc... By having our holiday outside the wet season, it meant there were no jellyfish in the water, so could safely swim at Catseye Beach as well as at any of the 4 pools we had to choose from.
I read up really well on the Hamilton Island acommodation, activities & various eateries on the internet before our holiday, & this made the multitude of choices available much easier to negotiate. Is the perfect place to have an active, busy holiday, or to be busy doing absolutely nothing other than just soaking it all up.
We found the Reef View to be well-run & the friendly staff couldn't do enough for us - when running late to go on the Denison Star dinner cruise, one of the concierges happily took us to the marina by golf buggy - now THAT'S service. My preferred beverage wasn't available in the Pool Terrace where we were eating, so our waitress ducked out to the lounge bar to fetch some for me, even bringing back more than one bottle - what a mind-reader!
We would definitely stay there again & recommend it highly to others.
Unique Quality: Lovely big rooms, generously-sized balconies & spacious bathrooms - awesome staff - clean & well-organised facility - supply of beach towels continually replenished - perfect location to access everything