Modern Family cast members said it, meeting planners are saying it, and delegates are most definitely feeling it – the Whitsundays is one destination that is full to the brim with awe-inspiring experiences. By Brad Foster
Those lovable characters from the hit U.S. sitcom Modern Family reportedly didn’t want to leave One&Only Hayman Island when they wrapped up filming of their special Australian episode earlier this year. And for anybody who’s been to the region in recent times it’s not hard to understand why.
Already experiencing a spike in business event opportunities in the last half of 2013, strong enquiries have continued in the lead up to the end of financial year with Whitsundays Business Events manager Leanne Zeid saying she has been overwhelmed by the growing interest from business event planners.
“The amount of event opportunities that the bureau is working on has doubled in the current financial year. This can be attributed to significant developments happening within our region, both within island resorts and the Whitsunday Coast and the increase in flight access to our region,” Ms Zeid said.
“On the Whitsunday Coast, Airlie Beach is growing as a conference destination with a new multi-purpose event centre, The Palm House, opening in July and we will also see the official opening of One&Only Hayman Island in July.
“Over the past six months, air access to the Whitsundays has significantly increased with new direct services between Melbourne and Hamilton Island, Sydney and Whitsunday Coast (Proserpine) and the re-introduction of Qantas services between Sydney and Hamilton Island.”
Adding to the beauty of the stunning Whitsunday islands has been the beautification of the mainland township of Airlie Beach which has just put the finishing touches to a $23 million dollar facelift.
New restaurants, cafes and bars have opened up, spilling out onto the new Main Street and creating a contemporary al-fresco dining scene. From Moroccan flavours, Spanish tapas and breezy cocktails to tempting chocolate fondues – the new creations will be sure to keep delegates’ tastebuds happy.
The other big exciting news is that Hayman Island becomes One&Only Hayman Island next month (July 2014) following a multi-million dollar renovation.
Hayman is One&Only’s first resort in Australia, and is in keeping with its exclusive and opulent brand focus. One&Only Resorts offer an unparalleled commitment to the finest holiday experiences on every possible level, catering to the most discerning travellers around the globe. Each award-winning One&Only resort offers memorable experiences through a distinctive style and personality borne of its local culture, genuine hospitality and vivid energy.
Showcasing the natural elements of the iconic location, One&Only Hayman Island will present a number of unique guest experiences, enhanced accommodations, new culinary options and signature One&Only service throughout the resort.
The Pool Wing has been redeveloped and features new all-suite living spaces offering either one or two bedrooms. Some suites provide direct access to the pool, allowing guests to swim out straight from their private terrace. The iconic pool offers a renewed life and energy, complete with cabanas and day beds. New Hayman rooms and Hayman suites, featuring ocean and lagoon views, will be introduced with reimagined interiors and amenities.
The exclusive Beach Villas, with secluded second bedroom Retreat rooms, as well as the one, two and three-bedroom Penthouses, including the Owner’s Penthouse, will continue to offer the ultimate in exclusivity, privacy, personalised service and experience.
True to the brand’s heritage, One&Only Hayman Island will offer a variety of world-class cuisines overseen by internationally acclaimed chefs. The resort will also house an indulgent One&Only Health Spa incorporating the incredible natural environment by utilising elements that are represented in the surrounding botanical gardens in addition to offering the latest in health and beauty. A new Beauty Salon concept will be introduced adjacent to the spa. In keeping with the latest fitness advancements, a state-of-the-art fitness centre with expert personal training will be added for a comprehensive health and wellbeing offering.
As with all One&Only properties, One&Only Hayman Island will cater to couples and families, and will have a major focus on the conference and incentive travel market.