Babymoon in Paradise at Hamilton Island Posted by Anne Stroud - 24 November 2016 When I envision paradise in my head, I think of palm trees, azure clear waters, gentle sea breezes and warm sunshine. With this in mind I formed the necessities for the location I wanted to be to celebrate my second pregnancy with my husband. We wanted to spend quality time away from daily parenting of a toddler and life in general…. even if it was just for a long weekend. Catseye Beach turns on the sparkle for us. We’ve been to a lot of international destinations but for some reason we hadn’t been to Hamilton Island before. I promised myself a long time ago when I saw photos of the island and qualia, in particular, that there would be an occasion for us to go. So, it seemed fitting that before we embarked on the tremendous journey of having two small children, we might as well take up my parents offer of minding our son and treat ourselves to this trip, before our family becomes four. DAY 1 Flying from Sydney, the flight is an easy two and half hours and then you’re there! We found the transfer from the airport to the hotel to be effortless and the service amazing. We were delighted to be welcomed to our room with a “Babymoon” gift of chocolates (yes please), pregnancy massage oil, a chilled bottle of sparkling water (ahhh) and a sweet letter from the Manager to wish us an enjoyable weekend. The Reef View Hotel looks over Catseye Beach and has incredible views of the Coral Sea and surrounding islands. We found it to be a fantastic base for our first day and for us to enjoy the nearby beach, marina, shops and restaurants. We instantly felt welcomed and relaxed. The view out to Catseye Beach at Reef View Hotel. We took the opportunity to explore the island using the complimentary shuttle service. The driver was hilarious, informative and entertaining about the island’s history with fun facts to share. We had sunset drinks at One Tree Hill followed by a delicious seafood dinner at Mariners and a night cap at Bommie Deck. Sunset drinks at One Tree Hill. Mocktails included. Day 2 It is a fact that when you’re a parent sleep becomes a luxury rather than necessity. So, there was little doubt we were going to take the opportunity of the elusive ‘sleep in’ on this trip. We awoke at the very late time of 10am (parents will know how amazing this is!) and feeling more then refreshed we were ready for our transfer to our next destination on the island… qualia. We were whisked swiftly away entering into Jurassic Park style gates and lush tropical greenery. There is nothing like stepping out of your vehicle and stepping into the Long Pavilion for the very first time. It is jaw dropingly beautiful and the view is absolutely breathtaking. The delicious cooked seafood platter from Pebble Beach. We were greeted with Champagne by the General Manager, shown our personal buggy and invited to explore the resort, while we waited for our room to be ready. We decided to have a leisurely long lunch at Pebble Beach with an amazing cooked seafood platter for two and then spent the early afternoon by the pool reading, relaxing and enjoying the scenery. When our room was ready, we were escorted to our stunning Windward Pavilion overlooking the Coral Sea. It was everything we had hoped for and more. The design was modern Australian, fully equipped with everything we could ever need and of course we were most excited about our own private plunge pool…. bliss. Needless to say we didn’t leave our room until our dinner that evening at Long Pavilion. Our room with a view. Dinner was an exceptional degustation of Australian grown ingredients; our favourite was the wagyu beef cooked in front of you over binchotan charcoal. We were so impressed by how thoughtful the staff, were with “pregnancy” dietary requirements. When we returned to our pavilion we were grinning ear-to-ear and rather satisfied. There waiting for us was a lovely surprise of handmade chocolates and a special note to celebrate our babymoon. Another very thoughtful gesture. Day 3 Waking up the next morning to the sound of chirping birds and the sun shining through our panoramic windows is what dreams are made of. We decided to participate in the daily yoga, which is hosted at Spa qualia and then we made our way to breakfast. Breakfast was a kaleidoscope of colours, with tropical fruit and a huge range of options to select from. Our taste buds were very much looked after and spoilt. Coffee was on point and so was my French omelette, which could rival any restaurant in the mainland. Breakfast was a rainbow of colours at qualia. After a few purchases at the well-appointed qualia boutique, we made our way to the resort’s heli-pad for what may be one of my most unforgettable rides I’ve ever had. It was exciting right from the start with our friendly pilot greeting us and making us feel welcome. Leaving for our adventure! Once in the air the experience was amazing, we really didn’t know where to look, the colour of the ocean, the white sand and the lush tropical greens were so vivid. I was so mesmerised by everything that I forgot for one moment that I was 30 weeks pregnant and was slightly scared of heights. We landed on Whitehaven Beach and the cool soft sand greeted us. The beach is amazing and the azure coloured water was calling us to have a swim. It was so magical to share this experience with my husband, the whole beach felt like it was all for us and amazingly we didn’t see a single person while we were there. Landing right on Whitehaven Beach was amazing. The qualia staff had packed a gourmet picnic hamper for us. It was filled with juicy chicken baguettes, fruit salad, chocolates, Champagne and sparkling water. After enjoying this we had a lazy siesta under our umbrella and we relished feeling the warm sunshine on our backs (which for us, was some respite from the chilly Canberra winter we had escaped from). Time flew by and before we knew it, our pilot magically reappeared to take us back to qualia, where the rest of the afternoon awaited us. Our castaway picnic on Whitehaven Beach. Once we arrived back we couldn’t help but continue our indulgent theme and just lingered by the plunge pool watching boats and yachts pass our pavilion. We both agreed that it felt like we’d been there for a week already. We felt so energized and knew we would be going home feeling refreshed. However, luckily for us our holiday had not ended yet and even better I was scheduled for my “maternal goddess” pregnancy massage at Spa qualia that afternoon, while my husband was to join the sushi and sake tasting. Watching the world go by at qualia. I can say the massage was one of the best I’ve ever had and I loved that I actually got to face down despite my baby bump because of the special table they had. I highly recommend Spa qualia for an absolute sensory treat and the maternal goddess massage for anyone that is pregnant. Afterwards, I joined my husband at Long Pavilion. He had met some fellow babymooners who were also parents having a break from parenting (thank you grandparents!). My husband had thoroughly enjoyed the sushi and sake tasting master class. Loving the location and happy to mingle a while longer we stayed on to enjoy sunset drinks and canapes. The impressive "Talk and Taste" setup ready for tasting. Photo by Kara Rosenlund. That evening, we ordered room service, ate ice cream, enjoyed movies and a long hot bath. We found ourselves wishing our stay wasn’t coming to an end but knew we’d be back again one day. We truly babymooned in paradise and this getaway is one of the most exceptional experiences I’ve shared with my husband. Hamilton Island delivered so much more then we could have imagined. We'll be back one day... hopefully soon! About the Author Anne Stroud is a midwife and a mother of two. Anne enjoys cooking and hosting dinner parties in her Scandinavian and mid-century styled home in Canberra, where she lives with her husband. She has a passion for photography and loves capturing special family moments. They travelled to Hamilton Island before the birth of their second child.