The poignant magic of the holidays is a function of familiarity and repetition: once more we return home, visit family, and reengage in personal rituals of all sorts (placing your great-great-aunt’s china gravy boat on Christmas table; deciding to re-up with your therapist). The (metaphorical) baggage can get heavy. It’s best to reset your center of gravity in unfamiliar territory. Some refer to it as “Down Under” but it’s more fun to think of it as upside down: In Australia, tropical storms spin clockwise, you can’t see the North Star (earth is in the way!), and January means summertime.
One&Only Hayman Island, Australia
Northernmost member of the Whitsunday Islands archipelago, Hayman Island lies in Australia’s Coral Sea with the Great Barrier Reef fanning out behind it, stretching from North to East. The private island resort defines upscale luxury in Australia: Would you like the Yacht Arrival Experience, or the Private Helicopter Arrival? For dinner, will it be Pan-Asian from Bamboo, grilled Australian beef from Fire, or something from one of Hayman’s three other restaurants? Regardless, you’ll be dining in the open air under the Southern Cross. Your suite can look out over a lily lagoon or feature a dedicated terrace on the Hayman pool, but why not opt for a beachside villa with private pool? There are seaplanes and yachts to be chartered, infinity pools with daybeds for lounging, and small coves for strolling. And then there is the reef.
Things begin at $694 (for a an ocean-view room) and end with $8,800 (three-bedroom owners penthouse), with many options in between. Visit
oneandonlyresorts.com/one-and-only-hayman-island-australia for more information.