3 Best Hotels in North Coast Islands, Great Barrier Reef

Bedarra

$$$$ | Bedarra Island, QLD, 4852, Australia Fodor's Choice

Billing itself as "the ultimate in barefoot luxury," the laid-back, exclusive, child-free Bedarra Island Resort hosts no more than 20 guests in modern, eco-friendly accommodations, spoiling them with fine food and service, and upscale amenities. All 10 villas have large private balconies, comfy king beds, ceiling fans, minibars, espresso machines, and LED TVs; some have outdoor showers, daybeds, and plunge pools. Guests congregate in the open-sided restaurant for tropical buffet breakfasts, varied lunch offerings, and multicourse dinners that showcase seafood and regional produce. All meals and drinks are included in the rate. Nature-based activities and use of water-sports equipment are complimentary.

Pros

  • Relaxed but attentive service
  • Sailing trips can be arranged
  • Secluded, spectacular environs

Cons

  • Wi-Fi can be slow and cell phone signals intermittent
  • Reception only open 7 am to 7 pm
  • No room service
Bedarra Island, QLD, 4852, Australia
07-4068–8233
hotel Details
10 rooms
Rate Includes: Closed late Jan.–early Mar., All-Inclusive

Quick Facts

Lizard Island Resort

$$$$ | Lizard Island, Lizard Island, QLD, Australia Fodor's Choice

Beloved by honeymooners, divers, and well-heeled travelers, this outer Great Barrier Reef resort ticks all the high-end tropical-island vacation boxes: luxurious beachfront accommodation, fine food and wine, and world-class diving and fishing. The beachside rooms, suites, and sumptuous villas have sail-shaded, furnished decks and views of the turquoise bay. Simple but comfortable rooms reflect the beachy environs with restful oceanic blue, sand, and white color palettes, polished wood floors and blinds, tropical ceiling fans (as well as air-conditioning), and private, furnished verandas. A freshwater swimming pool, day spa, a compact gym, a small boutique, and a guest library and lounge are just some of the facilities that await guests.

Pros

  • Superb diving and fishing
  • Quality food and wine (included in the rate)
  • Use of nonmotorized watercraft and dinghies

Cons

  • Successive cyclones have damaged the island's vegetation
  • Lighting inadequate for reading
  • No cell-phone coverage
Lizard Island, Lizard Island, QLD, Australia
07-4043–1999-resort
hotel Details
40 suites
Rate Includes: All-Inclusive

Quick Facts

Orpheus Island Lodge

$$$$ | Orpheus Island, QLD, 4850, Australia Fodor's Choice
James Walshe Photography

This unpretentious, eco-friendly resort epitomizes laid-back luxury, with sleekly appointed beachfront rooms, suites, and villas; romantic alfresco dining; boutique wines; and numerous outdoor activities included in the rate. Beachfront rooms come with sleek modern furnishings and private patios, air-conditioning, and plenty of creature comforts, including well-stocked minibars, coffeemakers, iPod docks, and flat-screen LED TVs. The property has a maximum of 28 guests, so no one competes for watercraft at the beaches or sun lounges around the infinity pool. Rates, discounted for longer stays, include all meals, select Australian wines, beers and soft drinks, unlimited use of dinghies, nonmotorized watercraft, light fishing tackle and snorkeling gear, and one nature-based island activity a day.

Pros

  • The signature alfresco "Dining with the Tides" experience
  • Free Wi-Fi in public areas
  • Excellent underwater sites nearby

Cons

  • No in-room Internet
  • Occasional geckos and insects indoors
  • No fitness center
Orpheus Island, QLD, 4850, Australia
07-4777–7377
hotel Details
14 rooms
Rate Includes: All-Inclusive

Quick Facts

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