Learning and luxury go hand in hand during a weekend of discovery at Qualia.
For sensory indulgence, it's hard to match Qualia's sublime island location, guest pavilions - each with an infinity plunge pool - serene spa and beachside restaurant. For a chance to "connect with the region through a series of deeper sensory experiences", though, the resort has devised a program it's calling Weekends of Wonderment, which will bring experts in their fields to lead small groups of guests through hands-on activities.
The inaugural Weekend of Wonderment in June was headlined by chef Mark Best, of Sydney's Marque and Melbourne's Pei Modern, who created a four-course dégustation at the resort's Pebble Beach restaurant with wines matched by Marque sommelier Simon Curkovic. The menu was based on the day's catch of mud crab, which involved guests rolling up their sleeves and heading to the island's crab pots. (The biggest catch weighed close to two kilograms.)
Guests had the chance to pour their own soy-wax candle during a session with artisanal candle-maker Elise Pioch Balzac, of Maison Balzac, and to smell the roses in a flower-art workshop with Grandiflora's acclaimed florist Saskia Havekes.
Qualia's next Weekend of Wonderment is 28-30 November. Guest experts are yet to be announced, but Hamilton Island's brand and events manager, Nicky Tindill, promises "bespoke experiences" with international figures. "We hope by interacting with each expert throughout the weekend, guests will connect with the beauty surrounding Qualia," she says. Stay tuned.
Weekends of Wonderment are $1,040 per person; pavilion accommodation from $995 per night.