Photography by Elysian Retreat
01 September 2022
Indulge in the ultimate escapism at Elysian, the first 100-percent solar-powered island resort on the Great Barrier Reef. Set within a private cove surrounded by rainforest, only 20 guests can stay at a time.
Nestled against Paradise Bay on the southern point of Long Island, 14 km from Hamilton Island Airport and 20 km from Airlie Beach, Elysian is afforded one of the most secluded locations in the Whitsundays. Arrival by helicopter is de rigeur, although it is sometimes possible to arrive by boat.
Ten oceanfront island villas offer ocean, mountain and rainforest views. The large windows and private balconies afford uninterrupted water views. There are outdoor hammocks, day beds and outdoor showers. The cathedral ceilings, crafted from Australian hardwood, give a real sense of space.
The crème de la crème of accommodation is the 42-square-metre oceanfront villa with private plunge pool. This villa is the most secluded and boasts a divine deck both at front and rear and is located the furthest from the lounge area. Either king bed or twin single beds are available.
The stay at Elysian is all inclusive meaning the rate includes three daily gourmet meals, complimentary hot drinks, soft drinks and water all day long as well as pre dinner canapes. However what really resonated with me was that there was no menu. Being vegetarian it meant every meal was a wonderful surprise.
Many of the ingredients were from the island’s own vegetable and herb garden and from surrounding farming regions. Ingredients are usually fresh, local, seasonal, sustainable, free range and organic. You can even get a picnic hamper for lunch and dinner is a three-course affair.
Island life is not complete without a sunset and cocktails and the Elysian do this exquisitely with complimentary canapes from 6 pm next to the pool or around the fire pit. Non-alcoholic drinks are all-inclusive.
The gentle mineral resort pool water relieves stress and anxiety, detoxifies the body, reduces aches and pains, and induce a peaceful sleep
There is plenty to keep you occupied from yoga session held on the pool deck twice a day, SUP boards and glass bottom kayaks available for use as well as snorkelling gear. Opportunities for tours are boundless with Elysian’s location amongst the Whitsundays. Snorkelling, diving, sailing charters to Whitehaven beach or a helicopter tour to heart reef with a gourmet picnic hamper are definite musts.
Holidays must always include spas and Elysian has spa down to a fine art. Treatments use the organic range of Edible Beauty products created by naturopath and nutritionist Anna Mitsios. Subtle energies products are also used and these results-based aromatherapy solutions are founded on Ayurveda principles.
We’re not talking electronic. There are no locks for accommodation but it’s important to keep the screen door closed to keep out wandering wildlife. Everything in your minibar is included except the alcohol.
No children under the age of 16.
The retreat is fully solar powered with water use being granted by the heavens.
This place is pure heaven. No reaching for the wallet because everything is inclusive (except the alcohol and external excursions). Plenty of divine little surprises like Portuguese tarts that popped up at breakfast, a giant chessboard and the occasional celebrity. I will return.