Hamilton Island: Qualia
Photo: Condé Nast Traveler
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Tucked away on 30 acres of Hamilton Island's northernmost point, this adults-only retreat has rocked the Great Barrier Reef when it comes to island comfort. The 60 pavilions--elegantly constructed in native timber, limestone, and slate--have floor-to-ceiling windows, plus (in the Windward Pavilions) infinity-edge plunge pools overlooking glorious tropical surroundings. While this resort is all about nature's beauty--exemplified by abundant tropical foliage and the warm ocean waters--there's fun to be had, too. Pavilions come with an electric golf cart for tooling around the island, and room rates include non-motorized water sports, on-site meals (though not alcohol), and dining at Hamilton Island's best restaurants--perhaps wise, as Qualia's island-time service can be spotty.
Address: Hamilton Island, Australia
Tel: 61 2 9433 3349
When to go: September and October to avoid the intense humidity and the jellyfish.
Which room to book: Pavilion No. 6 for its views, seclusion, and cute walkway to the beach; or the Beach House for a private lap pool and guest quarters.