Elysian Retreat is a luxury Whitsundays resort on Long Island offering an eco resort island stay with 10 private villas curved around a beautiful bay on the Great Barrier Reef. Expect fine dining, spa pampering and relaxing under the palm trees around the pool after kayaking in the bay.
Relax at a luxury Whitsundays resort at Elysian Retreat villas
There’s a curving bay fringed by palm trees and backed by a mountainous landscape with villas, a luxury pool and guest lounge nestling close to the waterline. That’s what you see when you arrive at Elysian on Long Island in the Whitsundays by boat or helicopter.
Operating with solar power and rainwater, this secluded Whitsunday luxury island retreat is also the Great Barrier Reef’s most eco-friendly island stay.
Owner-operators Wayne and Laureth Rumble of Sojourn Retreats set out to create a relaxed beachside living on this Great Barrier Reef island with an exceptional guest experience, and they have succeeded. They call it barefoot luxury and that works for me.
Sleeping at Elysian Retreat
Edging the Paradise Bay waterline, the thatched roof villas outfitted with the ultimate in eco resort barefoot luxury. It’s a light and airy coastal chic ambience with plenty of twisty texture with macramé swings and wall hanging and luxurious bed linen.
The sun rises on the other side of Long Island, offering guests a sleepy sleep in. Leave your curtains open to wake up to a view of Paradise Bay but keep the screens shut to keep out pesky insects.
They have thought of everything when it comes to the minibar. There is a Nespresso machine for
that early morning coffee, sunscreen and insect repellent, and a fruit platter that is replenished daily with premium seasonal delights.
The large television on the wall opposite the bed almost seems like a waste. We didn’t turn it on apart from checking what’s available – which is free to air television.
The bathroom includes a toilet and shower, with a large wood-fringed mirror over the vanity and plenty of fluffy white towels. There’s an outside shower too, protected by a tall wooden fence, so all you can see is blue sky and trees, and the odd curious bird.
Feel like sunset drinks in your room? There is a table and chairs on the front deck plus a swing where you can release your inner child or a swinging chair for a more sedate swing. Wooden loungers on the grass overlook Paradise Bay if you want to take in the sunset lying down.
At night it was too pleasant just listening to the waves rocking against the foreshore as the tide ebbed and flowed. This is barefoot luxury at its best.
Have an eco resort holiday
With a resort edged by national park on land and sea, Elysian’s owners were determined to be very careful about their eco-footprint to preserve this Great Barrier Reef island. The eco resort runs off the grid with solar power and rainwater. Solar panels on every roof run the hot water system and multiple banks of panels supply power to the resort. It’s all backed by a generator but is only turned on for regular maintenance.
There is plenty of power to run the resort’s edgeless pool, airconditioned rooms, state of the art kitchen with fridges and the luxury spa. It truly is an off-the-grid holiday, although you can still access the internet at the guest lounge.
Should the solar system run out of juice, staff will be the first to find out as their quarters have the lowest power priority. Guests are encouraged to conserve sustainable power and water by being mindful when showering and conscious of their lighting requirements. Soaps and toiletries on the island have been carefully selected to ensure they don’t upset the three-stage greywater recycling plant while table and bed linen goes back to the mainland for laundering.
Sustainability also extends to produce with the resort’s own kitchen garden. Chef Josh has found water-loving vegetables and herbs flourish in the tropical environment and has plenty of micro herbs and flowers on hand for his intricate plate decorations.
This really is an off-the-grid holiday at an eco-conscious luxury Whitsundays resort.
What’s on the menu
The open-air guest lounge is the resort’s focal point for food and communal relaxation. Seating ranges from comfy couches to solid cane swinging chairs and you’ll often find guests here just enjoying the view.
The menu changes daily and to ensure your dietary preferences are covered, Chef Josh will check your needs and wants before you arrive and follow up with a chat on the island.
Breakfast starts at 8 am with seasonal produce served with great coffee. You’ll be surprised by Chef Josh’s breakfast bowl designed to simulate the island with a sea of blue coloured ‘water’ created with dehydrated blueberry powder mixed with coconut milk and yoghurt.
There’s always an extra surprise with breakfast and lunch like Portuguese tarts hot from the oven or shortbread biscuits.
Dinner starts with a cocktail and continues with a carefully selected wine paired menu with wines from a mix of well-known and emerging labels in Australia and New Zealand.
What to do at Elysian Retreat
Well, nothing much really, but in the best of ways!
You can swim in the magnesium pool (which relieves stress and detoxifies the body), paddleboard or kayak in the gentle waves of the bay or play chess on the giant board.
Feel like stretching out? There are guided yoga and meditation classes morning and evening to suit your skill level.
There are books and games in the guest lounge, and the bar is generally open for service.
For me, the best activity was simply swinging on the deck, watching the sunset and listening to the waves. The simple life of barefoot luxury at its best.
Day trips exploring the wonders of the Whitsundays or another Great Barrier Reef island are available from the island should the urge strike you to explore.
Getting to this luxury Whitsundays resort
The best way to get your body into an Elysian Retreat villa is to make a rock star entrance on a helicopter. Boat transfers are available but are limited by the tides as the bay is quite shallow.
The Whitsundays is also a good spot to view the annual Great Barrier Reef coral spawn in October or November.
This is an all-inclusive Whitsunday island, so you won’t be putting your hand in your pocket until you are heading off on a day trip to Whitehaven. (Recommended) When Chef brings out his pre-dinner canapes, gourmet main meal and dessert, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the fine cuisine.
HOT DEAL – Elysian Retreat is offering 15 per cent off accommodation for a minimum of three nights (limited offer) with the exclusive Wonders of The Whitsundays code. Use the code WOTW upon booking to redeem this offer. Prices start from $1,333AUD per night for a Villa South Room.
Check out the other Sojourn Retreats property, Pumpkin Island in the Keppel Island group.
More about Elysian Retreat
Disclaimer: EdbK was a guest of Elysian Retreat and Tourism Whitsunday.