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Where to stay in the Whitsundays – an accommodation guide made especially for dreamers and night owls

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From clean but basic backpacker hostels to one of the very best six star resorts in the world, the Whitsundays has it all. There’s accommodation on the mainland and accommodation on the islands; there’s even accommodation at sea if you can’t bear to be out or away from the water for long. 

Tammy Smith

My Destination local expert on


Airlie Beach


Airlie Beach is the hub of the Whitsundays and for good reason. This is the resort town where you’ll find excellent food and a great variety of restaurants, there’s buzzing nightlife, fun in the great outdoors and plenty of opportunity for activities and relaxation. From here you can get everywhere, there are excellent transport links, and as you would expect, all around the resort you will find a huge choice of accommodation from hostels to villas.


Accommodation in Airlie Beach


If you’re travelling on a budget Airlie Beach has a good choice of hostels; clean, cheap and places to meet travelers from around the world. Family oriented holiday parks, sites with everything from mobile homes to chalets, with all the entertainment and facilities thrown in are also dotted around. But if you prefer a hotel or apartment there are plenty of 3, 4 and 5 star options. Some of the best resorts in town, with amazing views of the coral Sea and islands can be found on Golden Orchid Drive, like the Mediterranean resorts, Martinique, Pinnacles and Toscana and if you prefer to be in the Hub of Airlie Beach on the Foreshore, Airlie Beach Hotel is our top choice and for those who are budget conscious, we recommend Downtown Airlie, in the Main Street of Airlie Beach, opposite Mama Africa Night Club.


Hamilton Island


Home to Hamilton Island Race Week and a championship golf course, Hamilton Island is the choice of active guests; visitors looking for luxury and people with families who like to be on the go. This is where you will find qualia, one of the best resorts in the world; it’s also where you will have the opportunity to travel around by golf buggy.


Accommodation on Hamilton Island


The island has six different types of accommodation; Private homes and apartments offering great flexibility for families and groups. There are luxurious waterfront Yacht Club Villas or the Palm Bungalows, an affordable option close to the facilities. Hotel style accommodation includes the 4 star Reef View Hotel, and the Beach Club, boutique accommodation particularly appealing to couples. Finally, there’s qualia; 6 star luxury, secluded, private and amazing.


Hayman Island


Hayman is the resort of choice for celebrities and guests looking for total relaxation and pampering. This island is a 5 star resort, exclusive, luxurious and wonderfully indulgent. You arrive here in style by luxury yacht, seaplane or helicopter, and the luxurious experience continues with unique services and Hayman Moments, excellent facilities and incredible dining options.


Accommodation on Hayman Island


Hayman accommodation comes in three types: the Hayman Pool Wing, the Hayman Beach Wing and the Hayman Lagoon Wing; water babies love the pool suites, especially at ground level giving direct access to the world famous Hayman pool. Whilst there are no prizes for guessing what views you’ll get from the first two room types, the Hayman Lagoon Wing with its suites and penthouses overlook the Coral Sea, the Lily Lagoon and the beach.


On the water


There are two choices when it comes to staying on the water; you can have your own yacht, or a pontoon under the stars, yachts can be chartered through Sunsail, with a skipper and crew, or if you’re suitably qualified you can sail yourself. The other option is Cruise Whitsunday’s Great Barrier Reef Sleep, is a unique place to spend the night. Climb into your swag under the stars and let the waves rock you gently to sleep.