Great Barrier Reef

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Reef View Hotel

Address: 12 Resort Drive

Neighborhood: Whitsunday Islands

City: Hamilton Island

Phone: 011-61-2-9433-0444

Website: www.hamiltonisland.com.au

Expert Review

The 72-isle archipelago Whitsunday Islands – all but seven uninhabited – represent Australia’s finest sailing waters. Development is concentrated on Hamilton Island, where a small airport receives jets from Sydney, Brisbane, and Cairns (making it the most easily accessed Barrier Reef island). There are five lodging options on Hamilton, all owned by billionaire Bob Oatley, founder (and former owner) of Rosemount Wines. We like the mid-priced Reef View Hotel, a 20-story tower with rooms sized like junior suites, great vistas (especially from upper floors), and a broad pool suitable for laps (other pools, including a freeform, jungle-wrapped oasis, are a short walk away). Hamilton is small enough that a rental car isn’t necessary; shuttle buses ply the main roads every 15 minutes, leading to more than a dozen restaurants and a collection of retail shops that keep things bustling. The beaches aren’t ideal, but outstanding ones are on neighboring islands, and sailing between them is a yachtie’s dream. Great splurge: A visit to gorgeous Whitehaven Beach by float plane (don’t forget the champagne!).

Tags: moderate

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