Great Barrier Reef Hotels

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Hamilton Island Beach Club

At a Glance

    Pros

  • beachfront location
  • free Wi-Fi
  • reasonably priced lunch menu

    Cons

  • service standards vary

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

Hamilton Island Beach Club Review

The upscale amenities and no-kids policy mean this hotel swarms with couples, who can cool off in the infinity-edge pool, enjoy meals poolside, or admire the Catseye Beach and Coral Sea views from their balcony. Rooms have chic modern furnishings, high-end entertainment systems, and private balconies or courtyards; public areas are spacious and stylishly appointed. Nightly rates include the use of the 24-hour "buggy chafffeur" (including free airport and marina transfers); a library stocked with magazines, books, and games; all nonmotorized watercraft; and sports-fitness facilities. The staff is friendly, but don't expect them to go that extra mile. Ask for a higher-floor room to get Coral Sea views.

    Hotel Details

  • 57 rooms.
  • Rate includes breakfast, no meals.
  • Credit cards accepted.
Updated: 01-16-2014

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
  • Room  
    Décor  
    Service  
    Value  

    Good (But Not Great) Stay

    My spouse and I stayed at the Hamilton Island Beach Club for four nights in mid August 2012. Our first choice was Qualia, however, it was sold out, because unbeknownst to us when we chose our travel dates, Hamilton Island was hosting its annual Audi Race Week during our time there. Truth be told, the $900+ per night rate that they were charging at Qualia was probably beyond our reasonable tolerance, too, so at least the decision was taken out of our hands.

    The Beach Club has a lounge, where we were led and asked to sit down so that we could register. We were welcomed with a complimentary non-alcoholic drink and canape. The lounge contains attractive seating groupings, as well as a small library (with newspapers) that contains a computer for guest use. We wish that the Beach Club treated their lounge like an executive/club lounge, whereby they offer a happy hour (even if customers buy their own drinks) with some complimentary food items. It would make the guests feel like they were staying somewhere more exclusive. The lounge area is adjacent to the restaurant, which has both indoor and outdoor seating.

    Breakfast (included with the room rate) consists of a cold buffet, followed by a hot entrée item ordered a la carte. We thought that the breakfast entrees were creative and nicely presented (and that comment is coming from two people who do not generally eat breakfast at restaurants because it is usually the same boring ingredients laid on a plate in the same boring way). Be careful about the birds stealing your food - they are quite cheeky and will go to any lengths to steal a snack! Very entertaining! The outdoor seating area can be sealed off (the louvered roof can be closed, and the plastic sides can be rolled down in inclement weather. On the Beach Club grounds, smoking is permitted only across the driveway from the reception desk. Guests cannot smoke on their private balcony/patio, which makes sense to some extent. As a non-smoker, you do not want to be outdoors enjoying your private balcony while the guest in the room next to yours is on his balcony smoking; however, by placing the smoking area in front of the building, it ensures that all guests must pass by it every time they enter and leave the hotel, which seems just as bad as the balcony situation.

    The front desk is not staffed 24/7, although there is a telephone on the desk where you can call someone for a ride into town on one of the golf carts (or “buggies”). We thought that it might be difficult to catch a buggy ride because we visited during busy Race Week, but it did not seem to be a problem; however, we would generally forgo a ride because we enjoyed the walk to town. Buggy transfers to and from town are complimentary.

    The Beach Club’s infinity pool is attractive, although the deck area surrounding it is somewhat small and does not hold too many chairs (perhaps 12 chairs at most, with 6 chairs on each side of the deck). The pool is not fully in-ground, but rather halfway in-ground, where the deck around the pool is built up so that the pool appears raised; you must go up a few steps (4 or 5) to reach the pool deck. The pool area is right in front of the restaurant, so there is not much privacy for either bathers or diners. The beach is wide when the tide is out, and there are lounge chairs and unmovable palapa umbrellas between them. Another hotel’s pool is adjacent to one side of the Beach Club property, and the other end of the property borders the Resort Centre’s pool.

    All rooms at the Beach Club are contained in a single two-story building, with the rooms on the second floor connected by a long wooden walkway/catwalk. We requested (and received) a ground-floor room at the end of the building (we believe that our room number ended in -01), which was a quiet location, but did not yield us a larger room or a room with an extra window. Our room was a nice size, with a sofa, bed, nightstands, and wardrobe, but without a desk (they must figure that you are on vacation, not on a business trip!). Our room had a mini-refrigerator, which we filled with our own drinks and snacks that we bought in town at the General Store. Our patio contained a tiny table and two chairs, all with appropriate cushions. The bathroom was large, with a separate shower and soaking tub and dual vanity sinks. The bathroom contains a window that you can open to let the steam out, which is a thoughtful design touch. Our room did not exactly resemble the main photograph online on their website that shows the unique “humpback” chair and matching “humpback” sofa; our sofa was worn and stained and was more of the futon type.

    Our room rate at the Beach Club included additional amenities such as non-motorized watercraft use, daily newspaper (which is a misnomer: there are newspapers to read in the lounge, but one is not delivered to your doorstep each morning), and fitness center admission (the island fitness center is located across the street from the hotel near the mini-golf center). No guests under 18 years of age are permitted at the Beach Club, so the atmosphere is rather sedate. The Beach Club can pre-book restaurant reservations and activities for you; restaurant reservations were a necessity during Race Week.

    Our stay at the Beach Club was acceptable, but we think we would have been just as happy to stay at the Reef View Hotel as at the Beach Club, thereby saving approximately $200 per night. For nearly $600 per night, the Beach Club is really just is a glorified motel without any truly special amenities.

    by fluffnfold, 3/14/13

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