Par­adise found

The Chiva Som ex­pe­ri­ence at Qualia Re­sort in Hamil­ton Is­land is a mix­ture of great in­dul­gence and ab­so­lute com­fort. Words by Jonathan Jack­son: Pho­tog­ra­phy by Show & Tell Im­agery

Business First - - CONTENTS - by Jonathan Jack­son

In a gated com­mu­nity, just a short drive from the very small Hamil­ton Is­land air­port, where the run­way quite lit­er­ally runs into the Co­ral Sea, is a re­sort that makes you feel like you are one of the rich and fa­mous. Around the cor­ner from the re­sort is Bea­tle Ge­orge Har­ri­son’s for­mer abode and the is­land it­self is lit­tered with the homes of some bet­ter-known busi­ness own­ers, en­trepreneurs and celebri­ties.

For those who don’t own homes on the is­land, Qualia is the re­sort of choice; in­ti­mate, tran­quil, it is the get­away for those who like their ser­vice supreme and their pri­vacy un­en­cum­bered.

Our stay at Qualia co­in­cided with Cy­clone Ita. It didn’t mat­ter though. This is one place where the staff is con­fi­dent that no mat­ter what the con­di­tions there will be some­thing to en­joy in this safest of havens. Even dur­ing the eye of the storm, when the winds blew over 100kmh and the bam­boo bent to the ground, the glass pan­els that sep­a­rated the in­side of the lux­ury rooms from the out­side storm stood firm.

While you may say any port in the storm, Qualia is the port to be.

Our stay at Qualia co­in­cided with the Chiva-Som ex­pe­ri­ence. Part of gen­eral man­ager, Matthew Tav­erner’s edict is to treat Qualia guests with a range of lux­ury ex­pe­ri­ences.

Spa Qualia is placed at the heart of the re­sort and is per­fectly sit­u­ated to catch the soft sea breezes and take in the tran­quil views of the Whit­sun­days.

Their spa treat­ments are thought­fully de­signed to re­bal­ance the syn­ergy be­tween mind and body and to cap­ture the essence of Aus­tralia and the Great Bar­rier Reef. Treat­ments in­clude fa­cials, a range of mas­sage op­tions, men’s re­gen­er­a­tion treat­ments, cou­ples treat­ments and a day spa in­dul­gence.

It is pam­per­ing to the nth de­gree, how­ever the Chiva-Som treat­ments brought an en­tirely new ex­pe­ri­ence.

For those un­fa­mil­iar with Chiva-Som, it is the only des­ti­na­tion spa in the world to have con­sis­tently ap­peared in the top three of the Conde Nast Trav­eller (UK) Reader’s Travel Awards. Cho­sen as the “World’s Best Des­ti­na­tion Spa” in the 2009 Travel+Leisure Reader’s Travel Awards, Chiva-Som is also a mem­ber of the Des­ti­na­tion Spa Group and Heal­ing Ho­tels of the World. It is the per­fect march for Qualia.

I had the op­tion of four types of Chiva-Som mas­sage: 1. Man­ual lym­phatic mas­sage - ideal for any­one on the Chiva-Som Detox or Weight Man­age­ment pro­gramme and for pre and post-sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures. 2. Maya Mas­sage (50 min)

This treat­ment is a so-called the deep colon-cleans­ing mas­sage. This Maya Mas­sage is de­signed to help the colon re­bal­ance it­self through gen­tle yet deep man­ual mas­sage. It is the per­fect ad­junct to colonic ther­apy. 3. Pos­tural In­te­gra­tion (50 min) Good pos­ture is es­sen­tial to your health and well-be­ing. When our bod­ies are per­fectly aligned, we move with ease and free of pain. As soon as we lose our per­fect align­ment, all of this change, ten­sion ap­pears, move­ment be­comes awk­ward, and pain sets in. Since we are born with­out pos­ture, we must de­velop it and then main­tain it. 4. Stress Re­lease Ther­apy (50 min) Fre­quent use of a per­sonal com­puter and sit­ting still for ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time can cause chronic phys­i­cal prob­lems. These com­mon ail­ments af­fect many people who work long hours and don’t re­ceive the cor­rect ther­a­pies and treat­ments. Stress Re­lease Ther­apy has been cre­ated to re­lieve these stressed mus­cu­loskele­tal ar­eas. Us­ing our my­ofas­cial re­lief tech­nique, soft tis­sue re­lease and up­per body mas­sage with su­per­fi­cial heat ap­plied on the whole arm, we help to in­crease blood circulation and re­lieve ten­sion that man­i­fests it­self in the up­per body. The treat­ment ends by ap­ply­ing an herbal com­press to the eyes and fa­cial area to re­lax soft tis­sue around.

Given my pro­fes­sion, I could well have cho­sen the stress re­lief op­tion, but due to small back ail­ments, I chose the pos­tural pro­ce­dure. It was one of the best mas­sages I have ever had. The masseuse was also a phys­io­ther­a­pist and put me through some se­ri­ous ther­apy. I’d rec­om­mend this to any ex­ec­u­tive, who spends most of their time cooped in an of­fice in front of a com­puter.

The mas­sage fol­lowed the Chiva-Som lunch. This was clean Thai food; a three-course flavour sen­sa­tion that took me back to hol­i­days in Thai­land (mi­nus the al­co­hol). Fish, seafood, soup. It was a great meal. We fol­lowed that up with a five-course Chiva-Som din­ner, which also hit the mark. Take a look at the pho­tos they speak for them­selves.

I’d rec­om­mend any hard work­ing ex­ec­u­tive try Chiva-Som. You’ll feel re­freshed.

On the sec­ond day of our two-day stay, it was like Ita had never been through. The blue skies and is­land views were post­card per­fect. We as­cended over the is­land in a he­li­copter to take in the scenery and get a sense of the Whit­sun­days. If you have no aver­sion to he­li­copter rides take the trip. It gives you a great sense of the reef and the small is­lands.

The pool at Qualia over­looks the sea; in fact there aren’t too many ar­eas where you can’t see the ocean. The mid level rooms have their own plunge pools – pool wa­ter to ocean pro­vides a stun­ning view. Room six is one of the most mag­nif­i­cent rooms, you could ever stay in. We didn’t get to see the pri­vate house, how­ever the plunge pool pavil­ions are noth­ing to sneeze at. It is al­most the per­fect room.

The ser­vice is im­pec­ca­ble. It is far from in­tru­sive, how­ever your ev­ery need will be catered for no mat­ter where on the is­land you are. As a side note, one of the great things about Hamil­ton Is­land and Qualia, is no mat­ter where you are on the is­land you can charge ev­ery­thing back to your room.

This is a friendly, re­lax­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. It can be ex­pen­sive, but you get what you pay for and you re­ceive a great deal.

The view from room six.

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