What does it take to be Condé Nast traveller’s best hotel in the world? Turns out, you need a perfect score of 100 like the Qualia hotel on Hamilton Island, overlooking the Great Barrier Reef.This year’s best hotel was determined by a reader’s choice survey and received perfect ratings across the board for its rooms, service, food, location, design, and activities.
The adults-only retreat has 60 pavilions with floor-to-ceiling windows, infinity-edge plunge pools, an expert chef, and access to staggeringly beautiful beaches. Qualia retails from AUD $975 ($1,103 US) per night for a standard pavilion to AUD $4,200 ($4,365 US) for the beach house during the tourist season.
This is not the first award for the luxury resort, which has also previously won World Travel Awards’ Australia’s Leading Resort title in 2012, and made it onto the UK Condé Nast traveller Gold List last year.
Qualia is located in an exclusive precinct on Hamilton Island's northern-most tip, and has 60 private pavilions that look out onto the Coral Sea and Whitsunday Islands.
The architecture is a combination of local timber and stone, handcrafted for each pavilion and common area. The buildings are surrounded by native Eucalyptus trees.
The Windward Pavilions all come with a private infinity edge plunge pool and furnished sundeck that can't be beat.
The Beach House at Qualia has panoramic views of the Coral Sea and Whitsunday Islands, as well as dining seating for 10 and an entertainment area.
Chef Alastair Waddel has worked for some of the best restaurants in Australia and Scotland, and is influenced by the multicultural cuisine in Australia.
Qualia also its own helipad, where you can go for scenic flights, leave for a round of golf at Hamilton Island Golf Club, or visit the adjacent Dent Island.
Or take advantage of the drop off beach day option, and schedule a gourmet picnic for two with beach mats and towels, an umbrella, and a two-way radio to let the hotel know when you'd like to venture back.
For the more adventurous traveller, you can go on a guided kayaking tour or commandeer a 16 foot Hobie catamaran yourself and explore the surrounding waters.
Or for a lazy day around the resort, visit one of the two infinity-edge pools and partake in some poolside cocktails.
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