Daydream Island Resort Review
Just spent four nights at Daydream Resort & Spa and came away with mixed feelings. While the management and staff do most things right, there are a few downsides that spoil an otherwise great stay.
The things I Liked
Right from the moment you step foot on the wharf, a band plays a welcoming message, making you feel very special. You are met by a resort host who drapes a welcoming necklace over your shoulders and follows this with a refreshing complimentary drink to enjoy, while telling you a little of what you can expect on the island. You are then chaperoned to reception for booking-in while your luggage is taken to your room.
After booking in you are left to your own devices to find your room and begin your holiday. It's a fabulous way to be greeted.
The island has a north and south end with pools, bars and other attractions at each end. The southern end is for day trippers, staff accommodation and various activities such as mini golf, tennis and the fabulous outdoor cinema. There is a bakery, shopping outlet, Gilligans bar by the pool, a wedding chapel, kids super playground and the Fishbowl Bar and Grill.
The northern end of Daydream Island holds the main resort building, with pools in the centre of the different accommodation types. On the tip of the island is Mermaids Restaurant, serving the most delicious a la carte meals equal to anywhere in the world. There is a very well furnished gym, the luxurious Rejuvenation Spa plus Splashes swim up bar by the pool.
Also at the north end, there is a small beach which is home to the famous Daydream Island Mermaids. Water activities at the north end include catamarans, kayaks and wind surfing.
Snorkeling is good at Daydream Island, the best spot is Lovers Cove, which is on the western side facing the mainland. The fringing reef is just meters from the shore and the coral is superb. Many varieties of colourful coral can be seen easily from the surface while snorkeling. Low tide is of course the best time for snorkeling anywhere, but you can still see quite a lot of fish and coral anytime at Lovers Cove. I have some underwater photos taken while snorkeling at Daydream Island as an example.
Loved the food at breakfast and in both Mermaids and the Fish Bowl restaurants. Watched movies at the outdoor cinema under the tropical moon. Enjoyed the pool and the staff were excellent at everything they did.
One of the highlights is the unique "Living Reef" where you can watch stingrays and sharks being fed by hand and even take a guided tour, feeding them yourself. The Living Reef really is a great attraction and the heart and soul of Daydream Island Resort.
You can book cruises to the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach, go diving, parasailing, glass bottom reef viewing and a host of other fun things to do at the Activities Desk near reception. There's a kids club if you need a bit of time away from the children and of course a well stocked gift shop for a bit of retail therapy.
It's hard not to enjoy yourself, as they have just about everything covered to make for a great time on Daydream.
The Thing I Didn't Like
To me, there was only one major thing that would make me not return to Daydream Island Resort & Spa in the future. The musty, mouldy smell in the room was horrible. I fully realize the difficulty that resorts have trying to keep mould at bay in the tropics. Nevertheless, it is not good for guests, but you do get used to the smell after 10 minutes or so, if that's any consolation.
If you are an asthmatic you could have a problem.
One other thing I couldn't understand was why guests had to go to the south end of the island to dine on movie nights. There is the "call and collect" takeaway type option, but if you wanted a sit down meal in a restaurant setting, you had no choice but to travel down to the south end on movie nights, whether you want to watch the movie or not. It is probably a resource management thing. No big deal to me, but puzzling all the same.
Enjoyed the four nights very much and there were plenty of activities to fill in each day and night of the visit. Daydream Island Resort and Spa really does some things right, such as the personal greeting and necklace gift. The "Living Reef" is great and the staff very friendly and efficient.
I would have to think hard and long before I would stay again, simply because of the mould smell in the room. Otherwise it was a very enjoyable visit and something that I am truly glad to experience.
Our Daydream Island Review was made the week after two cyclones, Anthony and Yasi, had battered the Whitsundays. All credit to management and staff to present the island in such a beautiful state. You would never had known that a cyclone had occurred. The grounds were immaculate.