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Sunday, 30 November 2008

qualia Opens Final Stage

qualia, Australia's newest world class luxury resort on Hamilton Island in the Great Barrier Reef, is celebrating its first anniversary by announcing completion of the final stage of development.

qualia, pronounced "kwaleea" and meaning a collection of sensory experiences, previously opened 27 Windward pavilions in October of last year, each with a private plunge pool on the expansive deck.

The elegant Beach House with a full length pool, extensive entertaining area and an additional guest pavilion also opened at that time.

The final stage includes an additional 33 Leeward pavilions, bringing the total to 60 Pavilions. The Leewards all have west facing views to capture the beautiful island sunsets.

These new pavilions echo the existing and distinctively Australian style of the resort, designed by local architect Chris Beckingham, including the natural stone and timber work which has been receiving high marks from the resort's guests.

In addition the helipad has opened for guests wanting to arrive directly to the resort by air or to take advantage of the numerous pursuits developed especially for qualia guests to explore the Great Barrier Reef and, the Whitsundays from up high.

The qualia boutique also recently opened with a beautiful array of accessories and clothing featuring labels Kenzo, Just Cavalli, Marc Cain, Camilla Franks, Bali and qualia ambassador, Collette Dinnigan.

During its first year, qualia has become known for its one of a kind "Sensory Experience Weekends". This began with a Masterclass from renowned international dessert and chocolate chef, Oriol Balaguer from Spain. The tradition continued recently when the Australian Ballet staged a spectacular outdoor performance of Wa at qualia. Wa was one of the pieces featured in the 2008 BodyTorque series. Paspaley also featured as a partner for the weekend and hosted a brunch with their leading designer who showcased their new Ribbon collection.

qualia's food and beverage has been a centrepiece of the resort. Guests enjoy the degustation and a la carte dinners and seafood barbecues which take full advantage of Queensland's finest local produce. Meals are served in qualia's two restaurants, Pebble Beach, a casual beachside dining environment for lunch and the Long Pavilion, a more elegant space for breakfast and dinner. Both restaurants offer impressive Coral Sea views.

Spa qualia also opened last October and has been a huge success, with guests booking the two signature treatments, each using Anoint aromatherapy oils developed in Australia. These have been complemented by a range of organic European treatments. The spa, which has four single treatment rooms and two couples rooms including Roman baths; a Swiss shower; steam room and a yoga and meditation pavilion is located at the pinnacle of the resort. It offers guests a whole mind, body experience focused on total wellbeing and pampering.

Since opening, qualia has become a popular short break stay for Australians, many of them returning time and again to enjoy the peace and solitude offered by the world-class resort which welcomes guests 18 years and over. Only two to three hours flight time from Australia's major east coast cities, qualia is an easy to access getaway.

This has also made it a popular stopover destination for international tourists predominantly from North America and Europe who are delighted by the distinctively Australian nature of the resort and eager to visit the iconic Great Barrier Reef and nearby Whitehaven Beach.

qualia has been lauded by the Australian tourism industry for adding much needed product to the luxury accommodation market. Tourism Queensland CEO Anthony Hayes commented that "qualia has set a new benchmark in world class luxury products. The opening of the final stage of the resort is great news for Queensland and for Australia and will help us maintain this country's competitive position in the international marketplace."

In recognition of the high standards found at qualia, the resort has recently been awarded best New Tourism Development at the 2008 Whitsunday Tourism Awards, Best New Accommodation by Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine and shared a win for the "Best Resort" category at the HM Magazine Awards. It also featured in the "It List" of the 30 best new hotels around the globe in Travel and Leisure magazine, USA. Conde Nast Traveler in the UK selected qualia as the only Australian property to put on their Hot List. qualia also made the hot list for the same publication in the USA.

qualia's pavilions can be booked for a two-night minimum. The rate for the Leeward Pavilions is AUD$1450 per night and the Windward Pavilions is AUD$1700 per night twin share. The Beach House is AUD$3100 per night. These rates include all meals and non-alcoholic beverages, non-motorised watersports and the use of a private electric two seater golf buggy throughout the stay. Prices are valid until March 2009 and exclude festive seasons.

For further information:

Booking website: www.qualia.com.au
Booking email: qualia@hamiltonisland.com.au
Booking number: + 61 (0) 2 9433 3349

About:

qualia, Australia's newest world class luxury resort on the Great Barrier Reef, is located on the secluded and breathtakingly beautiful northern-most point of Hamilton Island. qualia has 60 elegant one-bedroom pavilions and a Beach House, each set among eucalyptus trees with postcard views of the idyllic blue, green waters of the Whitsundays. Two superb restaurants and Spa qualia cater exclusively to guests of the resort. Hamilton Island can be accessed directly from all east coast international gateway cities in less than three hours. qualia is a member of Small Luxury Hotels and welcomes guests 18 years and over.

'qualia' is deliberately spelled with a lower case 'q' as it is a reflection of the relaxed, understated nature of this property.

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