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At a glance

  • You'll love

    Well-dressed villas

    Rousing Reef views

    Your clued-up concierge

  • Kids will love

    Action-packed days

    Wildlife spotting

    Exploring the Reef

  • Don’t expect

    Baby-listening

    Low-cost excursions

    Humdrum days

Overview

Set beside a yacht-dotted bay and a buzzy private marina, Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villas overlook Catseye Beach – a sliver of white-sand – the glinting blue Dent Passage and the Great Barrier reef beyond. Each secluded, sea-facing family holiday home is tucked between palms, with a private garden and spacious kitchen. At the southern tip of the Whitsundays, it's serene indeed, but never boring: a short golf-buggy ride whisks you to a nearby resort, where villa guests can enjoy a wide range of watersports by picturesques beaches, leave their little ones in safe hands at the kids clubs and even cuddle koalas in the wildlife centre close by.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villas with us:

A bottle of Robert Oatley wine on arrival

Parent-approved

‘Whether you charter a handsome vessel from the marina or simply pick up a volleyball from the beach-sports centre you'll be joyfully immersed in the kind of territory David Attenborough dreams about.’

Smith & Family

Facilities

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Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villas – Great Barrier Reef – Australia

Need To Know

Rooms

35 four-bedroom villas.

Check–out

10am. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from £723.10 (AU$1,180), including tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates include VIP airport/marina transfers, fruit platter and wine in your villa, concierge service, use of a four-seater golf buggy, catamarans, paddle skis, windsurfers and snorkelling kit, priority booking for Hamilton Island Golf Course. Breakfast is not included in room rates, and a minimum three-night stay is required. Children Cots for under-3s can be added to all villas for free.

Also

The hotel has no disabled-access rooms and is not suitable for wheelchairs. If arriving with a buggy, you can stash it in your golf cart and drive it to your villa door. Your personal concierge will be happy to provide assistance. Feeling overwhelmed by the vast array of activities on offer? Download the Hamilton Island App for tour updates, resort maps, restaurant opening times, flight arrival and departure information and more.

At the hotel

Restaurants, bars, swimming pool, marina, spa, hairdressers, golf course, beach-sports centre, gym, photography studio, kids club, boutiques, gardens, concierge, parking, free WiFi in villas and some parts of the resort.

In your room

Miele kitchen (oven, microwave and dishwasher), barbecue, washing/dryer, flatscreen TV, DVD player, Aesop toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

We love Villa 15, which has a games room on the ground floor that’s just as sleek and stylish as the rest of the house. Kids will thrill over the ping-pong table, cinematic TV and super-size sofa, as well as the ocean-view garden and easy access to the lagoon pool. Villa 19, which sleeps up to six, has a large outdoor entertaining area that’s perfect for family barbecues. Beach bunnies should opt for Villa 22, where guests have access to their own private beach; there’s also enough space to sleep eight guests and the fourth bedroom’s king-size bed splits into twin beds.

Poolside

The unheated 25m lagoon pool is a crescent-moon-shaped sliver of turquoise, that’s petite but perfect for play; swimming aids are on hand for less-confident swimmers. If this pool is packed, hop in the golf buggy and trundle along to the shallow Bougainvillea Pool or the heated Pool Terrace pool (at the Reef View Hotel), which has a sloped entrance.

Spa

Bedecked with dragonfly motifs and blessed with tranquil tropical views, Spa Wurmurdaylin’s treatments are inspired by the natural surrounds. Indulge in heavenly-scented body scrubs, facials, a range of massages, body wraps, couple’s treatments and alternative therapies such as naturopathy and reiki. The spa has six treatment rooms and is open from 9am to 7pm. Children are welcome and some tot-tailored treatments – mini manicures and gentle massages – are offered on request. Island Hair and Beauty salon offers facials, body polishes, manicures and pedicures (including the ‘Little Princess Polish’ for under-10s), waxing, tinting and spray tanning, alongside lotions and potions to keep your locks beachy and beautiful.

And…

A mid-stay clean is offered for bookings of five nights or longer, or make an advance request for more regular cleaning for AU$636 a day.

Book ahead

A month before arrival, your personal concierge will email to arrange VIP airport transfers, restaurant bookings, excursions, spa treatments and babysitting; it’s recommended to book in advance.

Food and drink

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Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villas – Great Barrier Reef – Australia

Dining

Find surf-grazed tables on the sand at Beach Club restaurant, and Bommie’s caught-that-day fish dishes allow parents some child-free dining downtime. En famille, take an après-18th-hole lunch at the golf course-adjacent Clubhouse Restaurant or tuck into gastropub-style steak, pasta and snacks at Marina Tavern. Fabulously fresh sea bounty is dished up on decadent platters, in a bouillabaisse or Thermidor-style at Mariners Restaurant, and Romanos brings fine Italian fare to the table: osso bucco, perfectly prepared pasta and delicious dolce. Breakfast can be enjoyed by the beach or poolside. Each villa also has a gourmet kitchen with Miele gadgetry and a barbecue on the terrace, for self-catering flexibility.

Family fare

Under-12s eat for free at five of the island's restaurants and cafés when dining with their parents (until 7.30pm): Sails Steak & Seafood Grill has petite portions of grilled fish and mini minute steaks, Manta Ray Café serves gourmet pizzas and pasta dishes and the Pool Terrace Restaurant has a sophisticated menu for smalls. Coca chu's zingy, Asian-fusion flavour alchemy – dishes include sour pork with ginger rice, mint chilli and baby cos, and deep-fried star anise and cassia-bark ice cream – is better suited to tweens and teens. Trade passé teddy-bears' picnics for breakfast by tree-clambering koalas at Wildlife Hamilton Island Park Café.

Hotel Bar

Under-18s are allowed in the Marina Tavern until 9pm; here, they’ll happily whip up a mocktail or proffer a plate of miniature snacks. When the children have been entrusted to the caring kids club staff, parents can take their pick of seven sublime tropical bars: sundowner cocktails can be sipped on Hamilton Island’s One Tree Hill lookout post, pre- and post-prandial drinks can be taken at the Reef Lounge, the buzzy Verandah Bar specialises in long drinks and languid evenings, the Boungainvillea Bar serves up poolside libations, the Island Bar is a thatch-trimmed swim-up affair. The Bommie Deck by the orchid-shaped marina lets you watch gently bobbing yachts as you imbibe, and the Captains Club caters for late-night shenanigans.

Last orders

Sails Steak & Seafood Grill serves breakfast 7am to 10.30am, lunch 11.30am to 4pm, dinner 5.30pm to late; Manta Ray Café serves coffee and cake 10.30am onwards, lunch 12 noon to 3pm, pizza and side dishes 3pm to 10pm, dinner 5.30pm to 9pm; the Pool Terrace Restaurant serves breakfast 6pm to 10.30am, lunch 11.30am to 3pm and dinner 5.30pm to late, Wildlife Hamilton Island Park Café serves breakfast 7am to 10am; and Coca chu opens from 5.30pm to late.

Smith Insider

  • Top table

    Lounge under capering koalas for a lazy family brunch at Wildlife Hamilton Island Park Café, or tuck in as a twosome at Beach Club’s elegant linen-topped sand-perched tables.

  • Also

    Your personal concierge can arrange for groceries to be delivered before or during your stay from grocers Coles; fear not if you find yourself lacking in baby kit: they have a huge range of nappies, baby food, formula milk, purées, baby wipes and snacks. Craft mouthwatering fish dishes in your tricked-out villa kitchen with a delivery of fresh catches from Fishi fishmongers; get your caviar and lobster fix from the aquatic-critter filled menu or sample island specialities: Moreton Bay bugs, mud crab and Kinkawoonka mussels – the perfect accessories for your villa’s barbecue.

Childcare

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Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villas – Great Barrier Reef – Australia

Parent approved

‘Whether you charter a handsome vessel from the marina or simply pick up a volleyball from the beach-sports centre you'll be joyfully immersed in the kind of territory David Attenborough dreams about.’

Smith & Family

Kids Club

The brightly-hued Clownfish Club Junior Childminding Centre rests on the resort side of the island –a short golf-buggy ride from your villa – it's a safe and scoiable space for children aged six weeks to four years old. The Clownfish Club Senior Adventure Room (also in the resort area) is equally tropical in tone and offers indoor and outdoor activities, and space to play, for five to 14 year olds. Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villa's guests can leave up to four children in the hands of the friendly staff: morning or afternoon sessions run from 8.30am to 11.30am or 2pm to 5pm (AU$48–120 each – depending on the number of kids – including snacks); half-day sessions run from 8.30am to 1.30pm or 12 noon to 5pm (AU$68–178, including lunch and snacks); and full-day sessions run from 8.30am–5pm daily (AU$95–252, including lunch and snacks). Alternatively you can buy a user pass (AU$240–600) for five three-hour sessions, including one free upgrade to a full or half-day session. Baking, face painting, arts and crafts, mini golf and swimming are among the activities offered, with toys and books for hire for the tinier Smiths. Parents must accompany any under-2s booked in for their first full or half-day session for three hours. Parents must provide nappies, bottles, baby food, hats, sun lotion and spare clothes. Bookings are essential, be sure to book when you arrive on the island.

Babysitting

Babysitters must be booked at least 12 hours in advance.

Baby-listening

No baby monitors are provided. Several villas are spread over four floors, so it’s advisable to bring a baby monitor; however, restaurants are placed too far away to pick up a signal.

Other Services

Each villa’s fourth bedroom can be set up as a twin room, and cots, buggies and prams are available for hire. The concierge can rustle up a memorable birthday – with a little notice – filling your villa with streamers and balloons, acquiring a cake and entertainment.

What's there already?

For babies

• Highchairs • Travel cot • Cot bedlinen • Baby bath • Bath thermometer • Pushchair • Infant car seat • Baby carrier • Soft toys • Sand pit • Crayons • Board books

For toddlers

• Highchairs • Cot beds • Cot bedlinen • Toddler backpack • Buggy • Stair gates • Swimming aids • Toddler-proof toys • Sandpit • Bike helmets • Crayons/pens • Craft materials • Picture books • U-rated DVDs

For older children

• DVD library • Bikes to borrow • Board games • Craft materials • Giant chess • Ping-pong table • Wetsuits

Activities

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Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villas – Great Barrier Reef – Australia

Things to do

The white wisps of Catseye beach taper off to turquoise waters, and palm-tree strewn surrounds set the scene for swimsuit-clad adventuring. With a golf buggy to pootle around in, island exploration is a breezy affair. Swimming and splashing can be found at the resort’s lithe lagoon swimming pool; however the beach-sports centre – a treasure trove of watersports equipment – and the marina’s many sea-faring vessels up the aquatic ante; marooning yourself on your beach towel is far from frowned upon though. Little landlubbers can carouse in the Clownfish Club or the Bougainvillea marquee kids’ fun zone, while parents don their gym-bunny gear for a sports centre visit, raise a racket in the tennis and squash courts, or get the (blissful) brush off in Spa Wurmurdaylin; or expertly coiffed in Island Hair and Beauty. The marina bars and boutiques also offer grown-up quality time.

Sunny days

Beatific days are spent in bikinis and board shorts on this action-packed isle. With more than 60 activities to choose from, there’ll be something to float your boat, not least chartering a luxury vessel (motorboat, yacht or the Thomas Sopwith sail boat) from the marina for the day. Commandeer a catamaran, kayak, dinghy, windsurfing board, surfboard or paddleboard from the beach sports centre, or indulge in heart-racing high-seas hijinx with adrenaline-rush sailing (for kids aged 8 to 17), a spell on the Jetryder boat, parasailing, wakeboarding or jet skiing. More pacific aquatic pursuits include deep-water turtle spotting, snorkelling, aqua aerobics, open-sea fishing and tubing. Back on dry land rouse yourself from sunbathing to play beach volleyball, soccer or cricket (or stay flopped on the sand if you prefer). Immerse yourself in the island’s natural habitat with a bushwalk or cuddle up to koalas at the wildlife centre, play golf and mini golf among spectacular views, or bimble about with the resorts’ Bumperz (wearable plastic bubbles), while playing games. If adventuring hasn’t left you too knackered, speed into full-gear fun with quad biking and go-karting.

Rainy days

This tropical paradise is a stranger to sodden skies, but if you need to cool off there are plenty of shady activities to partake in. Flourish a brush at kids and adults art classes, punish some pins at the bowling lanes and finesse your firing at the target range. Get sporty in the gym, or tennis and squash courts (coaches, racquets and balls are available on site). A funky neon-lit disco lets 13 to 17 year olds mingle and kids can cultivate a bold look before boogeying with on-site hair braiding and a temporary tattoo artist.

And there's more…

Marina Buzz is a live-music event by the bay. Families can ask their in-house concierge to put a picnic together, then perch on the lawns for some tranquil time spent together.

Local Guide

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Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villas – Great Barrier Reef – Australia
Smith tip

Make the most of your golf buggy: this quirky chariot is perfect for a joyride past bushland, palm groves and beaches. Fill up the cup-holders, pack your children's favourite toys and away you go…

Don't miss…

A one-day beginners' sailing lesson with Sunsail. Lessons are AU$190 a day, from 9am to 5pm; the more dedicated sailor can opt for a week-long course.

It’s possible that after exploring under the sea, riding the waves on crafts both lightweight and luxury, quad biking, and even firing off a few rounds in the rifle range, you’ll still be seeking out new thrills and spills; Hamilton Island’s cheerful concierges are more than happy to oblige. Take to the skies with a helicopter highlight tour, to get an aerial view of vibrantly coloured reef. Or combine sea and sky adventuring with a helicopter trip, over Whitehaven Beach, Heart Reef and the Great Barrier Reef stopping at the Reefworld pontoon – a mid-ocean fun factory with snorkelling, underwater sea walks, submarine rides and scuba diving (lessons must be booked at least 48 hours in advance); the trip is suitable for children aged three to 14 for AU$349, adults for AU$399. Alternatively you can cruise to Reefworld past petite islets for AU$225 an adult, AU$99 a child and AU$583.20 for two adults and two children. Fancy a day trip a deux? Parents can take a chilled-out sky ride – as long as you keep the Indiana Jones stunts to a minimum – by arriving at pristine Whitehaven beach on a seaplane (AU$499 an adult, including a picnic with sparkling wine). Take mini sailors to the high seas (well almost) on a custom-made catamaran, or cruise to Whitehaven beach in air-conditioned comfort (AU$99 an adult, AU$49 for 5–15 year olds and AU$266.40 for two adults and two children).

Wave riding and underwater wandering can build up an appetite; book a babysitter and head to Qualia hotel’s oceanfront Long Pavilion restaurant (+61 (0)1300 780 959) – easily reached on your golf buggy – to feast on almond gazpacho and scallop ceviche by sunset-lit islands. Sharing a daiquiri under a glittering night canopy, tearing into a four-course meal as moonlit waters drifts by, dining on a Denison Star cruise can be a leisurely, loved-up experience, or you can bring the kids for a memorable family meal – as long as they can sit still for three hours – AU$69 for children aged six to 12, AU$89 for 13–17 year olds, AU$147 for adults; a family ticket (for two adults and two children) costs AU$420.

+ Enlarge
Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villas
Hamilton Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland 4803, Australia
Hotel setting

Tree-topped island idyll

Getting There

Sitting pretty at the southern tip of the Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island is an easy-to-reach tropical idyll perched atop the Great Barrier Reef, overlooking the Dent Passage.

Planes

Flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane depart regularly for Hamilton Island Airport (www.hamiltonisland.com.au/airport) with Qantas (www.qantas.com.au), Virgin Australia (www.virginaustralia.com.au) and Jetstar (www.jetstar.com). Once you've touched down, it's a 10-minute drive to the Yacht Club Villas, but there's no need to hail a taxi or arrange a car: room rates include a personalised concierge service, offering guests a VIP meet and greet on arrival and return airport/marina transfers.

Trains

If travelling inland from Brisbane, take the high-speed Tilt Train or the Sunlander, which run between Brisbane and Cairns. However, you’re looking at around 25 hours in the saddle. Book via Queensland Rail (www.traveltrain.com.au).

Automobiles

From 7am to 11pm, the free Hamilton Island shuttle bus ferries guests between the Marina Village, Catseye Beach, resorts and One Tree Hill.

Other

Fantasea Cruises (+61 (0)7 4946 5111; www.fantasea.com.au) operates daily between Hamilton Island and Shute Harbour on the mainland. Each run takes about 35-55 minutes, depending upon the weather. Charter a chopper or seaplane through Hamilton Island Air (www.hamiltonislandair.com) for flights to Whitehaven Beach or other sublime spots.

Parent travel tip

If you’re not native to Australia’s east coast, consider breaking up your trip with a mini city break en route. A spell on Sydney’s beautiful beaches can be combined with a visit to the Powerhouse Museum, Wet 'n' Wild water park and the Tower Eye; Melbourne’s also beach-blessed, and the Luna amusement park, Scienceworks Planetarium and Werribee Open Range Zoo will counteract the family’s travel fatigue. In-flight Qantas offers colouring books, Crayola kits and activity packs for 3–11 year olds, and Disney and Nickelodeon channels on demand; Virgin has an impressive selection of films, a children’s backpack, a considered kids menu and the required baby kit to get a squirmy child from A to B.

Reviews

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Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villas – Great Barrier Reef – Australia

Smith & Family  Parent Panel reviews

Every property featured in the Smith & Family collection – including Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villas – has been selected and approved by parents.

Hamilton Island first appears as a glimpse of green caught in a bezel of brilliant blue – the Great Barrier Reef; it's the poster child of pitch-perfect holidays. Villas sit in seclusion among drowsy palms, overlooking the Dent Passage; each one is styled to get an enviable eyeful of tranquil turquoise waters, with wall-sized windows and open-air terraces. Serene it may be, but hop in your golf buggy – not exactly a James Bond-worthy ride, but it takes you to the heart of the action in a jiffy. Hamilton Island's activity programme runs the gamut from hair braiding to parasailing – with everything from go-karts to target practice in between. Whether you charter a handsome vessel from the marina or simply pick up a volleyball from the beach-sports centre you'll be joyfully immersed in the kind of territory David Attenborough dreams about (koala petting and turtle spotting are also on the agenda). When your little ones are worn out after a day of riding the waves, bushwalking or quad biking, throw some of Hamilton's finest catches on your in-villa barbecue and settle by the sunset.

Smith & Family

The Guestbook  Smith member reviews

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith & Family hotel, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what real-life family guests had to say about Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villas in the Guestbook below.

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