Brad Stevens : Austin, TX

AUSTRALIA - HAYMAN ISLAND, GREAT BARRIER REEF
... An experience at one of the leading resorts in the world

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After the yacht moored at the private marina of the resort, a gang plank was extended to the gunwale of the yacht. A sporty looking young man dressed in white walked onto the yacht and came directly to me extending his hand as he said "Mr. Stevens, welcome to Hayman Island". Turning to my friend, he extended another appropriate welcome. The crew of the yacht must have radioed ahead and gave the person a heads up on what I looked like or something because he obviously knew exactly who we were. Small attention to detail like that is the mark of an excellent resort. All of the other guests kinda stared as they seemingly wondered why were getting preferential treatment.

While the rest of the guests were ushered onto to a minibus, we were escorted to a waiting limousine, obviously reserved for those guest who were willing to extend their wallets to purchase the finer things the resort had to offer.

The young man took us on a short tour of the island, that is, as much as he could get to by automotive. He then pulled up in front of a bridge that extended over a body of water. On the other side of the water was the resort hotel. Standing at attention on the bridge was a dozen or so staff members, all dressed in white. After the driver opened my door and I climbed out of the car, all the staff on the bridge stated in unison, "Mr. Stevens, welcome to Hayman Island". I swear, it was like something one would see on Fantasy Island. If Tato and Mr. Roark would have appeared, I don't think I would have been too surprised. I peeked my head back into the car and said to my friend "My friend, were going to have a very, very good time!"

We were introduced to the staff, each of which extended his/her personal contact information. By the end of the introductions, we had a handful of business cards that gained us personal access to the management function of every portion of the resort on a moments notice. The last staff member we were introduced to was our personal butler. A gorgeous man, the resort immediately fell into my good graces for assigning this impeccable human specimen to us for the duration of our stay.

The resort has 9 specially designed penthouses, each with their own motif. During our stay, we were treated to a tour of several of the penthouses. I must say in retrospect, if we had our choice, we most likely would have chosen something other than the two bedroom English Penthouse. Mind you, there was nothing wrong with the penthouse ... it was incredibly well appointed. Its just the foo-foo, frilly, yellow motif did not exactly meet my fancy.

Our butler made sure that we were made additionally comfortable and I took particular delight in the gift offering of the beautiful chocolate arrangement the resort's managing director had waiting for us on a library table in the living room.

The penthouse was well appointed. A gorgeous master bedroom and bath covered a massive piece of real estate. The penthouse was made complete by a second bedroom, a kitchen, living and dining area, and a butler's pantry that offered our personal butler his own private entrance and workspace so he would not disturb us when he came and left. And I made sure he came several times <smile>.

The stay at the resort was unlike anything I had previously experienced. The grounds were exquisite, offering candy for the eye. Animals that only live in the remotest of tropical environments made strolling through the resort a very pleasant and adventurous experience.
At the resort's private marina, a number of toys were made available to guests. I decided to take a couple boating trips. One day I selected a glass bottom boat to venture out to a reef to snorkel. The assortment of tropical fish were amazing. I ate lunch on the boat while watching fish swim underneath the boat and along the top of a reef.

There are a number of very small islands that dot the area. Some islands are about the size of only a hundred square meters or less. There may only be a tree or two on the small dot in the sea. The resort makes these islands available to guests for the day. We had the resort pack a wonderful lunch basket and assign us our own private island. They provided a map to get to our island along with a speedboat equipped with GPS. We found our own little piece of paradise and spent the rest of the day frolicking in the water and soaking up the sun with nothing on but a smile.

I wish I could convey more information about the restaurants that the resort offered. However, we took fancy in the delight of our own personal butler serving us dinner on our private balcony.
We took advantage of the resort's spa ... nothing extraordinary ... just your normal, upscale spa.
We didn't encounter any unpleasant experiences while at the resort. Overall, the experience was quite pleasurable indeed.

If your looking for a unique getaway to a tropical paradise that feels like its miles away from miles and miles, then open your wallet and head to Hayman Island. In my opinion, you just cannot go wrong.


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LAST UPDATED: FEBRUARY 14, 2006

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Copyright 2000 BRAD STEVENS all rights reserved worldwide
Austin, Texas