Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Elysian Retreat

Rates per night from$696.07

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (AUD1,000.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Worthy of the gods

Setting

Rainforest ’n’ reef

Welcome to Elysian Retreat: the most secluded stay in the Whitsundays. Patches of paradise don’t get more private – there’s only space for 20 lucky guests (and zero mini Smiths). Outside, everything shimmers in shades of blue, but Elysian Retreat is green at heart: it’s the first solar-powered resort in the Great Barrier Reef, after all. The talented chef pays tribute to the sparkling local waters (and the rich bounty of marine life that darts inside them); the romantic villas riff dreamily on a couture-castaway theme, with plenty of sun-bleached white and wicker. Additional cues to cast anchor here include Lotus (the hotel’s boat), all-inclusive rates and reef encounters in Australia’s breathtaking aquatic playground…
 

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bottle of wine, if you're staying four nights or fewer; a scarf from Above & Below gallery if you're staying longer

Facilities

Photos Elysian Retreat facilities

Need to know

Rooms

10 oceanfront villas.

Check–Out

10am; earliest check-in, 2pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.

Rates

Double rooms from $696.07 (AU$1,000), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates are usually all inclusive. You’ll be treated to three daily gourmet meals, wine pairings, soft drinks and water, plus daily sunset cocktails and canapés. Use of the watersports equipment and snorkelling gear is free. Minimum two-night stay.

Also

Spoiler alert: each villa has a Pamela-worthy swing.

Hotel closed

February is the hotel’s annual month off.

At the hotel

Private cove; hotel boat; watersports equipment; greenery galore. In rooms: air-conditioning, ceiling fan, TV, iPod dock, bathrobes, organic bath products, minibar stocked with free soft drinks, tea and coffee kit.

Our favourite rooms

Here, all villas are born equal – though some have the added boon of a terrace.

Poolside

As if staying at Elysian Retreat wasn’t relaxing enough, the hotel’s alfresco, magnesium mineral pool is designed to relieve stress, detoxify the body, reduce aches and pains and re-energise muscles.

Spa

Inspired by the ancient Indian healing system of Ayurveda, the jet-set Jala Spa offers beauty-boosting facials, indulgent body rituals, hair masks and pampering massages featuring crystal healing, sacred stones and hot poultices. You can have an Ayurvedic consultation to determine the state of your doshas (energy patterns); private yoga sessions can also be arranged.

Packing tips

Bring crustacean-print beachwear and your sense of adventure. (Anything requiring electricity, mobile phone signal or WiFi can go to the bottom of the pile.)

Children

Sorry, Smith Junior: this island idyll is only for adults.

Eco‐friendly

Very – you’re looking at the Great Barrier Reef’s first fully solar-powered resort. Elysian Retreat also recycles, composts and grows its own organic produce.

Food and Drink

Photos Elysian Retreat food and drink

Top Table

They all have knee-weakeningly lovely views of the ocean.

Dress Code

Castaway-casual: linen layers, beachy tresses, floaty dresses.

Hotel restaurant

Elysian Retreat dishes up food that would wow Neptune and co: delicious ocean-inspired numbers that take their cues from the season and the region (we’re talking dishes such as Whitsundays Bay bug with seafood bisque and buttered beans). The menu’s enticing Asian influences hint at the well-travelled chef’s stints in Bali and Thailand, and the open-air dining hut has a low-key, fuss-free vibe – keep your eyes peeled for the visiting curlew, who likes to (s)wing by at dinner. The menu changes daily, so you’ll never get bored of mealtimes; dinner is a decadent, three-course affair. Successful anglers can pass their catch over to the chef, who’s sure to do it justice.

Hotel bar

There’s no formal bar, but you can enjoy drinks in the relaxed lobby area or in the dining area. Minibars are stocked with beer, cider, wine and sparkling wine.

Last orders

Breakfast is available between 8am and 10am; lunch is 12pm–1pm; dinner is served between 6pm and 8pm. Explorers heading out early can also request a packed breakfast (or picnic hamper) to go.

Location

Photos Elysian Retreat location
Address
Elysian Retreat
Paradise Bay, Long Island
Whitsundays
4802
Australia

Living up to its name, Elysian Retreat occupies a private cove on the southern tip of Long Island in the dazzling Whitsundays, just off the east coast of Queensland.

Planes

Swoop in, Bond-style, by hopping in a chopper from Hamilton Island, Whitsunday Coast Airport (Proserpine) or Airlie Beach. The journey takes 15–20 memorable minutes. A 15kg luggage limit applies (bring soft duffel bags, not chunky suitcases). Excess luggage can be stored safely while you’re at Elysian with all transfer options except the direct helicopter transfer from Hamilton Island Airport.

Other

Depending on arrival and departure dates (plus tidal variations and weather restrictions), boat transfers can sometimes be arranged in advance from Shute Harbour and Hamilton Island (AU$300 a person, one way).

Worth getting out of bed for

Punctuate your days here with morning and sunset yoga, plus a spot of guided meditation. Beach bunnies can nip across to world-famous Whitehaven Beach, 45 minutes away, on the hotel’s obliging vessel, Lotus. (Don’t expect a beach at your boutique basecamp: the hotel is perched on the rocks.) Go stand-up paddleboarding (keeping your eyes peeled for green turtles) and kayaking in a glass-bottom boat. Save some energy for a game of life-sized chess in the garden (well, naturally). Embark on a fishing expedition or hop in another helicopter to tour Insta-famous Heart Reef (take a gourmet picnic hamper with you). Don’t forget to meet the local marine life while snorkelling or diving. Set off on a day-long cruise on Lady Enid (a rare classic yacht) to visit Tongue Bay, Betty’s Beach and other local highlights. Alternatively, sign up for a Great Barrier Reef experience with Cruise Whitsundays (hotel staff will arrange the logistics).

Reviews

Photos Elysian Retreat reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this adults-only hotel in the Whitsundays and unpacked their goggles and pearls, a full account of their Australian island break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Elysian Retreat in the Great Barrier Reef

According to Greek mythology, Elysian Fields is the final resting place of the gods and heroes. If Homer’s to be believed, it’s on the western edge of Earth, by the stream of Okeanos; would-be visitors should keep their ears pricked for melodic music and their eyes peeled for dazzling displays of athletic prowess. Quite frankly, we’d rather rest up at Elysian Retreat in the heart of the sparkling Great Barrier Reef: here, the weather is supreme, the seafood is succulent and – thanks to Lotus, the hotel’s on-loan boat – bucket-list trips to Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet and other local headline acts are a daily occurence. Even better, Elysian Retreat’s generous all-inclusive rates cover gourmet food and drinks, marine adventures (snorkelling, diving, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and so on) and land-lubberly leisure pursuits such as yoga. This is island living, so don’t expect fuss or formality: it’s a family-run, relaxed and carefree kinda joint – and all the better for it.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Elysian Retreat’s Guestbook below.
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