When I decided to come to Australia I had no set plans except that I was going to fly in and out of Sydney. Everything from there on out was up in the air.
After arriving in Sydney and narrowing down the few specifics of where I wanted to go, and who I wanted to see, I knew everything would just work out from there.
And for the record, it did.
As a child of nature, one thing I knew I had to do during my first trip to Australia was to go and swim at the Great Barrier Reef. I didn’t know exactly where that was, how I was going to get there, and where I was going to stay, but after talking to a few friends and doing some research I found an incredible getaway that took care of all my questions.
One & Only Hayman Island Resort came up when asking one of my travel savvy friends where would be the best place to stay to visit the Great Barrier Reef. I had never heard of this gorgeous resort, but once I saw a few pictures I knew I had to have a “treat-yourself” pre-birthday weekend at this piece of paradise.
If I’m being honest, I very rarely treat myself to luxurious experiences because growing up my family struggled financially. Yes, I travel quite often, but I tend to do everything on a budget. However, as I head into my final year in my 20’s, I knew that this was something I had to do for myself, especially being that I was going to be able to fulfill one of my top bucket list items.
So I did.
A quick train ride from The Gold Coast to Brisbane, a flight from Brisbane to Hamilton Island, and BAM, I landed at the beginning of my One & Only experience. I knew that I had set something very special up for myself, but I had no idea how truly special One & Only would turn out to be.
As soon as I got off the plane I was greeted by one of the incredible staff members from One & Only Hayman Island Resort. Sarah helped collect my bags, and brought me to the yacht, yes yacht, that would take me the hour long ride from Hamilton Island to Hayman Island. I, along with the four couples aboard, was treated to champagne, snacks, and an interesting conversation with a younger couple from The Sunshine Coast celebrating their 4 year anniversary while riding this beautiful boat.
As we approached the island, a team of One & Only staff members waved us in, and greeted each of us personally before being taken on a private tour of this exotic resort.
Think the jungle meets island luxury, and that is where I found myself in awe.
After being escorted to my beyond gorgeous suite, I started my “treat-yourself” weekend with a delicious sashimi lunch at the resorts main pool, and then was off to a Swedish Deep-Tissue Massage that was insane. My masseuse, Dheeraj Shrestha from Nepal, and who has 10 years’ experience had the hands that were made to heal. I left feeling beyond relaxed, and decided to go for a sunset swim in one of the resorts salt watered pools.
A feeling of peace just kind of followed me from there on out while at One & Only.
My first day was concluded with a delicious dinner at the resorts Italian restaurant, Amici. A glass or two of Rose, lobster pasta, and the fish of the day left me feeling perfectly satisfied as I made my way back to my suite to quickly fall into one of the best sleeps I have ever had.
Waking up on day two to the sound of Cockatoos singing was truly magical. The alarm on my phone usually plays a gentle jungle bird symphony, so to wake up to the real life version was simply enchanting.
Once I dragged myself out of bed, I had a beautiful breakfast at Pacific, and a casual paddle board session that left me reflecting on how truly grateful I was for what I’ve made my life to be. After watching giant Trevally fish feed at the resorts Marina, I escaped to Blue Pearl Island by speedboat to snorkel around the Great Barrier Reef.
I could try to explain how unbelievable this experience was, but words and pictures could never do justice to how magnificent seeing the Great Barrier Reef with your own two eyes truly is. It’s an experience of a lifetime, and I will forever remember the colors, patterns, and amazing creatures that roam around this natural wonder of the world.
A hike to the top of Whitsunday’s lookout point, and a session of meditation on the beach, left me feeling beyond grateful for the days exploration.
As if things couldn’t get more eventful, I was treated to an indulging Chef’s Table experience that happens only once a week at the resort. This dinner, which I had the pleasure of experiencing with 13 other resort guests was a decadent immersion into fine dinning. This by far was one of my favorite activities during my stay at One & Only. I left this dinner having made new friends from around the world, and engaging my senses on multiple levels.
The night concluded with some of us heading over to Aquazure for a night cap, which lead to some incredible conversation amongst this highly diverse group of people.
Before I knew it my third and final day had come. I wrapped up my stay with one final breakfast accompanied by two of the hotels amazing senior staff, who gave me some great insight into island living and things to do in Melbourne. An hour long ride back to Hamilton Island on the resort’s luxury yacht perfectly wrapped up one of the best weekends of my life, and just like that I was off to Melbourne.
I can honestly say that my final weekend of 28 was perfect, and that this was all because of One & Only Hayman Island.
I’ve always said it isn’t so much what you see, but who you meet along the way that makes travel so interesting, and my stay at One & Only solidified this thought for me. The resort sprinkled an indescribable magic with its welcoming and relaxing vibe that allowed me to interact with some truly inspiring and beautiful souls.
I met a gorgeous newlywed Indian couple, whose “small” wedding of 600 people in Bali sounded beyond incredible, and we made a promise to see each other again. I received an open invitation to dinner whenever I’m back in Sydney by a CEO and his stylish wife, who were beyond welcoming. I connected with a younger couple, who moved out of the city to a more rural part of Australia to breathe a little easier, and give their two adorable boys a better life. I befriended the most beautiful, friendly, and successful couple I’ve ever met. Finally I had the pleasure of dining, exploring, and hiking with a woman, who made my stay all the more amazing, and reminded me that I’ve got this weird sixth sense for understanding people.
Overall I couldn’t have asked for a better “treat-yourself” weekend, and I will forever remember all the adventures I went on, the people I met, and my overall stay at this piece of paradise.
28 you were truly great!