English, despite its huge vocabulary, can’t express everything. It’s the latest linguistic trend to find foreign words to express an idea or notion that would take the English language a small thesis to communicate: think ‘Hygge’ or ‘Fernweh’.
Well, we have a new one for you: Qualia. Hailing from Latin, Qualia means ‘a collection of deeper sensory experiences,’ which is our new favourite tagline for wellness travel.
Embodying and curating these sensory experiences is the Australian retreat Qualia, a high-end luxury destination resort offering a range of restorative packages. CompareRetreats.com checks in to see if it can live up to its romantic name.
Situated on the secluded northern tip of Hamilton Island on the eastern edge of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, Qualia is a true oasis. Located in the Whitsunday Islands on Queensland’s tropical coast, the retreat is accessed by air via Hamilton Island Airport, which is less than five minutes from Qualia. There is also a private helipad on the resort, for those travelling by helicopter.
Built within the retreat’s 30-acre tropical garden landscape and comprised of 60 private pavilions that overlook the Coral Sea and Whitsunday Islands, Qualia’s luxurious accommodation is world class. Mindfully constructed to complement the surrounding lush tropical bushland, each pavilion features natural materials such as rough-hewn rock walls and hoop pine, and incorporates subtle tones of timber, stone and glass.
Light-filled and fresh, the interiors emanate elegant, understated style with contemporary décor that adds to a relaxed beach house vibe. Floor-to-ceiling windows look out onto spacious sun decks, private plunge pools, and the turquoise water of the ocean beyond.
Describing its approach to food as a ‘culinary celebration’ the cuisine at Qualia is top notch. Adopting a fine dining approach, the menu consists of an à la carte menu and signature tasting menu, where guests can choose from options of four, six or eight courses. Incorporating exceptional local produce, including newly-picked organic vegetables and freshly-caught seafood, each dish is a gastronomic work of art. The retreat isn’t just for health-lovers, so expect to see some decadent desserts on the menu.
The wellbeing programmes at Qualia seek to rebalance and uplift tired, depleted guests. The resort’s Mind, Body, Soul Packages fall into three categories: ‘Detox & Renew’; ‘De-stress & Reconnect’; and ‘Recover & Rejuvenate’. Running over three days, each package includes a naturopathy consultation and integrated health screening, along with an array of remedial therapies and daily yoga classes. Geared towards those seeking to be pampered, Qualia’s purpose-built spa also has an assortment of luxurious treatments including a range of facials, massages, indigenous rituals and signature ceremonies. The resort also runs regular wellness seminars and offers personal training for those with specific fitness goals.
Expect to feel… like stress is a distant memory. Packages are designed to be restorative, and there are plenty of corners for isolation, reflection, and relaxation in this stunning location.