Since its charting in 1770 by the British explorer James Cook, Australia’s Hayman Island has led many lives. The 726-acre expanse in the Whitsunday Islands has served as a marine-biology research laboratory, a film set, and, beginning in 1950, the archipelago’s foremost beach resort. Last July, in its most impressive metamorphosis yet, the Great Barrier Reef retreat reemerged as One&Only Hayman Island (oneandonlyresorts.com).
The Dubai-based One&Only’s $80 million renovation has reinvigorated Hayman Island with a breezy new style that emphasizes its tropical environs. Guests take up residence in a collection of 160 accommodations ranging from suites with private decks that line the resort’s sprawling pool complex to villas with glass doors that open up to a banana-shaped beach. In keeping with One&Only’s over-the-top style, the property abounds with indulgent amenities, including seven restaurants, a lavish 13-treatment-room spa, and a second, newly constructed swimming pool. Much of Hayman’s appeal, however, remains in its convenient access to the Great Barrier Reef, for which the resort’s custom-designed yacht stands at the ready.