In the spotlight: Hamilton Island ( Whitsunday Island)
Hamilton Island is very close to my heart as my family had a string of businesses way back in the 80’s when the tourist trade was in its infancy. I remember being so excited when mum would fly me up for the school holiday breaks.
Those were the glory days when Keith Williams still owned the place. You would step off the plane into the open air terminal and be greeted by friendly guest relations staff. Music played, bags were whisked away and you hopped on you bus to your accommodation. Keith and his team made you feel like you were someone really special.
That was then .. 25 years later
On my recent trip to the island, I noticed that things have changed quite a lot from the early days. The airport is still friendly but it’s a lot more commercial and designed for quick efficiency. Once you take your bags off the trolley and get marked off, you hop on the bus to your nominated hotel.… sadly no welcome reception, island music or a welcome cocktail and cold towel!
I arrive at The Reef View hotel, the hotel looks a little tied and in much need of some TLC. The rooms are enormous – very popular with families and American guests – but the lobby is not quite the glamorous ‘Fantasy Island’ extravaganza it used to be.
After check-in, i decided to head out and walk down to the “Main Pavilion” the hub of the island where once, all the action happened. The lobby would be buzzing with music playing, guests checking