The story of the estate. São Lourenço do Barrocal has been in the same family for more than 200 years, and it was José António Uva (who is eight generation of the same family) who had a vision to turn the family property into a farm retreat he could share with others. The passion and dedication behind José António’s dream, and what he has created, is incredibly inspiring.
The interiors. Perfectly simple and calming. The interior design was led by José António’s wife Ana’s design studio, AnahoryAlmeida (also responsible for the interiors of many of Lisbon’s finest restaurants) and it is a dream.
Hortelão, their outdoor restaurant. The most beautiful place to dine between Spring through Autumn, this slow-food, farm to fork restaurant is located next to the pool, right by the organic kitchen garden, and is the perfect place to enjoy a dinner under the stars.
HAMILTON ISLAND, QUEENSLAND • LUXURY HOTEL • SLEEPS 2 | 1 BEDROOM | 1 BATH
The ultimate in luxury, qualia is my favourite place to stay in Queensland's Whitsundays. Sitting beautifully in the northernmost part of Hamilton Island, surrounded by the natural wonder of the Great Barrier Reef and with views across the Coral Sea and Whitsundays, qualia offers an oasis of Australian style, luxury, and intuitive, friendly service. It is a very special place.
Having always wanted to visit qualia, it wasn't until recently (back in July this year) that I was lucky enough to stay at this island paradise. It certainly lived up to (if not far exceeded) the hype. With service that is hard to find in Australia - personalised, intimate, friendly, intuitive - together with incredibly harmonious design (by Australian designer Chris Beckingham), qualia offers a truly luxurious accommodation experience. As a guest you feel a unique sense of space, openness and harmony - the design honours the unique and very beautiful surrounding natural environment, while at the same time protecting and respecting it. If budget allows (it is definitely not cheap), this is an experience I would recommend to anyone wanting a big treat and a splurge.
qualia is exclusively for guests ages 16 or over.
Why I love it
I loved qualia from the very second our ferry pulled into the island (from Airlie Beach) and we were greeted by the friendly qualia team. From there, it was a quick drive around the island to the retreat. Walking in (champagne in hand), we were completely dazzled by the expansive views out through the reception pavilion, over an infinity pool and native bushland, to the ocean. It was all blue on blue, with a good dash of sunshine thrown in as well.
I absolutely loved (and can recommend) qualia’s Windward Pavilions with their beautiful private plunge pools and stunning Whitsunday views. With hardwood timber floors and floor-to-ceiling glass windows, unbelievable ocean views from the big king size bed, as well as an amazing free-standing bath, this is some serious relaxed beach house luxury.
I also loved the delicious breakfasts each morning (breakfast is included), the main swimming pool down by the beach, the sunset sailing session, and our sake and sashimi tasting evening. Oh, and the spa as well. Spa qualia is so peaceful and serene, and the treatments are incredible.
It's very beautiful here.
About the owners
The Oatley family are the owners of qualia (and Hamilton Island itself). A passionate family who believe in sharing their love for Australia’s incredible natural beauty and unique lifestyle with the rest of the world. It is these qualities that have established qualia as a significant destination.
qualia was conceived by the late Bob Oatley, renowned Australian winemaker and patriarch of the Oatley family, whose legacy his son, Sandy and the Oatley family uphold today. Together they have created a luxurious sanctuary where the natural beauty of this secluded part of the island with its spectacular and tranquil environment can be enjoyed in total peace and relaxation.
What to do nearby
Hike around the island
What to bring