I love Hamilton Island. Ever since I was lucky enough to visit as a kid it’s had a special place in my heart as one of those happy places that just gives out good time tropical holiday vibes. You step off the plane and just know you have escaped reality for the duration of your stay.
For many people, the Reef View hotel is the best choice for accommodation if you don’t want to cook your own meals, as it is a Hamilton Island owned hotel so most stays can be booked directly with Hamilton Island as a package with free breakfast and non motorised water sports plus it has its own pool that is heated in winter and cooled in summer.
The sun did come out on this trip, however, I took a lot of my photos on the day we arrived when it was grey (but still so warm and nice compared to winter down south).
Reef view Hotel Lift (Elevator)
The lift at the reef view hotel is an experience in itself. With rounded floor-to-ceiling glass windows it’s worth taking a sneaky ride in the lift to enjoy the views even if you’re staying at the Palm Bungalows instead.
Coral Sea View Room
The Coral Sea View Room View & Balcony
I paid for the slightly more expensive Coral Sea View Room (see prices directly with Hamilton Island), it’s one up from the cheapest option, the Garden View Room, and it came with 2 x Queen Beds for up to 4 people – there is a limited number of Coral Sea View King rooms as well but these were booked out.
In my opinion, Hamilton Island is one of those places where it’s totally worth the extra cost to upgrade to the Coral Sea View Room.
If it’s in your budget sitting on the balcony enjoying the view with a coffee in the morning or beer/wine in the afternoon is one of my favourite parts of the holiday.
Hamilton Island is one of those places where in my opinion it is absolutely worth paying to upgrade to a Coral Sea View Room. Unless you like a low floor because you don’t like heights or are travelling with kids I think the view is worth the upgrade price. If you can’t afford it, the garden view room is still nice, and some have filtered ocean views but I would definitely book it again just for the view.
Don’t forget to close the balcony door, cheeky cockatoos will 100% trash your room (there’s videos online) or steal any unaccompanied balcony snacks!
Coral Sea View Room Ammenities
When my parents stayed in covid in 2021 they were pretty disappointed with the dated rooms (it is an older style building like most accommodations on the Island), however luckily by the time I visited in September 2022 the majority of the renovations were finished and we got a nice newly refurbished room!
There’s new furnishings like comfy armchairs, outdoor furniture on the deck and plenty of bench and table space to store all your stuff (great if like me you prefer to keep your stuff close and handy instead of away in cupboards lol). All the soft furnishings have been upgraded like curtains and bedding and the room freshly painted.
The rooms and bathrooms are also a really good size so you don’t feel like your tripping over the end of the bed or squeezing past travel buddies to move around.
The bathrooms were the older style spacious layout remained but I was happy with this as I love a wine in the bath and there is also a separate toilet and shower.
Other Room Options at the Reef View Hotel
Reef View Hotel Pool
The Reef View Hotel has its own pool for guest of the reef view and palm bungalows.
I really liked the reef view hotel pool, you can get poolside service during the middle part of the day (although I wish it ran later and they didn’t discourage you from swimming after dark). In winter the reef view hotel pool was definitely the warmest of the pools available to use (th adults only Beach Club has its own pool too).
I finished nearly every night of my trip cocktail in hand in the reef view pool, surrounded by tropical gardens. Such a relaxing way to end the day.
Keep in mind the Terrace restaurant does look over the pool but it never really felt weird as its set back several meters from the pool.
The only bad bit about the pool? Looking up at the outside of the building that’s long overdue paint (which obviously affects your experience in no way, it just annoyed me ha).
Reef View Hotel Buffet Breakfast
To enjoy breakfast make sure you choose a rate or package that has breakfast included.
I have written some notes with photos of the buffet breakfast but the TLDR is its very good with lots of choice and options for vegans and some other dietary requirements. Expect to pay extra for Barista Coffees like most buffets.
Reef View Hotel Terrace Restaurant – Lunch and Dinner
I enjoyed my meals here. I think they describe it casual, family friendly dining. When I visited I found it was a step up from pub food but not as fancy as some of the specialty restaurants. A great close option, especially after big days on reef tours when you can’t be bothered to wander too far from your room, and as its a large restaurant it can be easier to get a booking than some of the other restaurants
TIP ON HAMMO: 100% book dinners at your must-visit restaurants in advance to avoid disappointment!