I had high hopes for this holiday. I’d waited 10 months since my last one. I know there are people who haven’t been on one in years or ever, but for me it’s a long time. 13 nights split between Hamilton Island and Daydream Island. What could go wrong?
My family is what.
The fun started when we lost Floyd at the airport. Thousands of people trying to leave Sydney all queuing up and Floyd goes missing. We could hear him but not see him. I have a real fear about one of my children vanishing and never seeing them again which started a panic attack. We hadn’t even been at the airport for 5 minutes and we lose a kid I start freaking out. We heard Floyd before we found him, and he got returned. By a man who I am confident may never reproduce. Then – the baby started looking funny. On the 2 hour flight she went downhill fast. Hand, foot and mouth – a severe case. She had sores on sores. They were everywhere. 4 days of being room bound with a screaming mess who couldn’t sleep.
Welcome to Queensland.
As for the others, they injected themselves before we left home with a massive dose of “let’s test mum and dad as much as humanly possible.” They fought non stop. One daughter decided to take up break dancing and continually made up weird routines. She started miming and camouflaging herself wherever we went. In the walls, furniture, the floor. Floyd – he raided whole mini bars and went on sugar induced benders. He sculled red jelly for dinner, lost the plot daily and visited other people’s rooms. He called reception 745 times complaining about mum and dad. He played with fire hydrants, tried to swim in a living reef with the fish and a shark and renamed the hammock outside his “curtain”
I worked out this holiday the following – 1 child you’re sweet. 2 kids you’re clever. 3 kids you’re average. 4 kids – you’re an absolute freak and on display for everyone to watch. So when you have a breakdancer, a whiner, a baby who clings to you like a koala 24/7 and Floyd, you’re the entertainment for everyone.
So did we had good times? Yes. The three times we left them in kids club were awesome. Our one dinner kid free was the best. My facial where I left everyone for an hour was bliss. Are you noticing a theme? The kids drove us insane. I need a holiday after my holiday.
Without a doubt the best thing to come of it was watching my husband spend 13 days 24/7 with the kids at their best. By the end he was LOSING it. And I loved every second. I’ve asked him for a raise. Triple. And I got it without a blink.
Now for the nitty-gritty. I have to confess I don’t read travel blogs. Mainly because I think they’re getting free stuff or money to write good reviews and therefore I don’t trust what I read. I can assure you I paid in full for my holiday and every opinion is my families. Which will be obvious when you read it.
On Hamilton Island we stayed at the Reef View Hotel. It’s 19 floors high and we were on the 17th. The view was fantastic, the rooms were clean, big and well set out. The buffet breakfast was to die for. Lunch and dinner in the same restaurant was average. I recommend hiring a buggy and visiting the marina to eat where you’ll find a range of restaurants. If you don’t you’ll walk or wait for the bus which is painful. Be warned: the kids club is pricey at $50/Kid per 4 hour session. Would I go again? Yes.
Daydream Island: This is a 4.5 star resort. Supposedly. We paid a fortune to come here. In short I don’t recommend it at all. Rooms are old and in need of a serious update. The food is well below average – you pay $50 a head for a buffet you have to queue up for like you’re on a school camp. The beach is rocks. The kids club was $170 a session for 4 kids and everything is very overpriced. I imagine families getting here and being unable to afford their meals.
The absolute corker for me was the second last day. We sent the kids burnt lunch back, and when mine came out burnt I asked a manager if they were real chefs out the back. Which he couldn’t confirm. I don’t know who was cooking my food for 8 nights but they were terrible.
The good points are the staff who are great, the living reef located on the island, the wildlife and the proximity to The Great Barrier Reef. Make sure you visit that. And Whitehaven Beach – which is spectacular.
In summary – Hamilton Island is awesome, Daydream Island is an overpriced disgrace, and you should leave your kids with their dad and go on your own.