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Qualia, Hamilton Island 

See the Great Barrier Reef Guide ›
Hamilton Island
Tel: 61 2 9433 3349
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

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.

—2008 Hot List

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.

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