The One & Only on Hayman Island experienced crushing damage during Cyclone Debbie, so the resort is closed for renovations and repairs until 2018—devastating to us, as its’ otherworldly sunsets and unfettered access to the Great Barrier Reef make it one of our favorite destinations anywhere. Historically, One & Only resorts are all about the experience, meaning that a stay on this private island at the northernmost tip of the Whitsunday archipelago isn’t just part of a trip, it is the trip. Of the 150+ guest rooms, a good chunk of the suites are designed so you can roll out of your four-poster bed and step directly into a private pool before heading out to snorkel nearby Blue Pearl Bay or hopping a seaplane to explore the reefs from above. The four on-property restaurants can quell just about any hankering from Italian to Pan-Asian, but to really up the wow factor, ask for a gourmet picnic to-go and enjoy it on a remote island. Thanks to a recent top-to-bottom overhaul (the property has existed in various incarnations since the 1950’s) this is also one of the more modern-looking of the One & Only outposts, a huge plus for those with a minimal aesthetic.

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