THE BYRON AT BYRON
BYRON BAY ZEN
As a Sydney sider, Byron Bay is ideal for a short getaway to feel separated from life in the city. Landing after a smooth 1 hour 15 min flight, a relaxed atmosphere awaits enriched by sub-tropical greenery, long powdery beaches and gourmet local produce. A quick half hour transfer from Ballina Byron Airport with coastline glimpses we arrive at The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa, a 45 acre rainforest retreat that celebrated 10 years in December 2014 and is minutes drive from the centre of hip Byron Bay.
Greeted by the sweet Wilhelmina and humble new recruit Ben, our bags were swiftly taken care of as soon as we arrived. We moved towards a timber infused grand open space that gave an instant feeling of coastal calm which is created from both reception and restaurant glass doors being drawn back. An inner courtyard usually segregates them in cooler or rainy periods. I knew as I first stepped foot in the resort that it would be hard to leave. Check-in was thoughtful, being quietly acknowledged as VIPs including a pleasant upgrade to a Deluxe Spa Suite. It had just passed 9.30am so we took a few steps to the long open-air verandah overlooking the sapphire tinted pool to sit with a morning coffee and a tea accompanied by teeny yet delectable coconut macaroons. Guests early on in the morning begin to secure their day spot in mint and white striped cushioned cabanas near the irresistible infinity pool that will also win over any lap swimmers. The pool service is fab with complimentary fruit chilled water and for the sun smarts SPF50+ sunscreen.
SUITE | The Cypress Deluxe Spa Suites are located in a more quieter part of the resort on a boardwalk heading towards Tallow Beach. Our suite was a welcome ready shortly after 10am, substantially before the ‘guaranteed’ check-in time of 3pm to completely transition to relaxation mode. Ben zipped us through the rainforest by golf buggy so we could find our resort bearings quickly. Entry to the suite is by a partly enclosed balcony where you can lounge while listening to the wildlife and watch the occasional guest walk by on their way to the beach. Shōji inspired sliding doors can create additional privacy to separate the king bed and walk through ensuite from the relaxed living areas. Open the louvres in the sleek stainless steel shower to feel closer to nature or soothe any remaining city tension with a soak in the deep spa tub. Those requiring less pampering can find a kitchenette containing all the necessities to host a private dinner date. For a reprieve from air-conditioning and a peaceful spot, laze with a magazine on the daybed in a second partly enclosed nook, a mere step from the living room in the midst of the rainforest. The suite is designed to be your mini home away from home.
EAT | Inspired by nature the dining at The Byron at Byron was fresh and flavoursome. Breakfast is a stylish buffet with selections like mini chia pots, yoghurt sprinkled with muesli, cured meats, fine cheeses, French toast and pikelets with a dash of maple syrup, poached eggs and fresh omelettes. My favourite part was grazing till 11am when breakfast drifts towards brunch as no one wants to feel rushed on a break. We sampled all the dining options by booking dinner at The Restaurant, lazing with a pool service lunch and of course ordering a bit of room service. Not usually favouring game type fare, my impressions have now changed by Chef Gavin Hughes’ Honey, soy and cinnamon glazed duck for two, a dish neatly presented on a wooden board accompanied by mini pots filled of steamed lemongrass rice, bok choy and Davidson plum, lime and chilli jam – make a reservation now!
TO DO | The resort offers some complimentary activities and we took advantage of the Rainforest walk with knowlegable Graham to ease into our stay. Cruising the rainforest boardwalks we admired the untouched and regenerating flora and strolled past the friendly bush turkeys scouring the foliage to transport to their mountainous nests. An hour long walk took us past blooming lotus gardens and Bolli Point where Tallow Creek opens to the sea. Early risers whose stay falls on a Thursday can book a seat in The Byron at Byron mini van and head to the Byron Farmers’ Market with Chef Gavin. We were shouted a morning caffeine fix before hearing some tips on top local produce. Keep an eye out for Black Garlic to have a little taste and do not hesitate to buy a clove, it’s a delicate treat for even a home chef. Gavin also took some extra time to drive a few of us guests to Cape Byron to check out the northern New South Wales coastline and most easterly point of Australia from the light house.
SPA | A resort stay is not complete without a visit to the intimate spa. After changing into a robe, get cosy in the relaxation area, flick through a health book and cleanse your senses with one or two of the herbal teas. Arriving super early before your desired treatment also allows you to chill on the private open air deck and slide into the spa.
IN SUMMARY | What you need to know….
– SUITE – Deluxe Spa
– NUMBER – Cypress 80 on the second floor
– VIEW – Rainforest
– BED – King size
– BATHROOM – Deep spa tub and shower with optional rainforest glimpses
– BATH AMENITIES – Organic Sanctum
– BREAKFAST – Gourmet buffet brekky
– MINI BAR – Range of gourmet snacks, juice, soft drinks, beer and wine. Complimentary bottled water and mini Cherry Ripes at Turn down
– ROOM SERVICE – A smaller selection of The Restaurant’s favourites
– WI FI – Complimentary all around the resort
– SPA – Recommend the Idyllic Imprint Foot treatment, Waterlily Chill Relaxation massage and Acacia Elixir Neck, back and shoulder massage
– OTHER – On the main verandah is a Gift shop where you can purchase items accidentally left at home or local trinkets like a Byron Bay deliciously scented candle
– NOTABLE GUESTS – Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Elle Macpherson, Moby and Delta Goodrem
– PRICE TAG – Luxe
– SPECIAL THANKS TO – Wilhelmina, Ben, Graham, Gavin, Chrissy and Heath for extending check-out till 12pm
– SHE LOVED – Lounging by the pool with pool service and Spa treatments
– HE LOVED – Close walk to Tallow Beach, Nespresso coffee machine and tour to the Byron Farmers’ Market
BOOK | Message me below and I will connect you with lively Chrissy at The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa to help ensure your own stay is as relaxing and seamless as possible or if you want to organise something special
Originally booked a Superior Suite – Upgrade to a Deluxe Spa Suite courtesy of The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa
Our package at $395.00 per night included Full Buffet Breakfast, Complimentary bottle of wine when dining in The Restaurant (1 per day), $20 Spa voucher per adult to use during stay (1 treatment per voucher), Complimentary daily yoga at 8.00am and unlimited Wi Fi throughout the resort
77-97 Broken Head Road, Byron Bay Australia
TRANSFERS | xcede Ballina Byron Airport transfers $32.00 per person return if booked online
Photos by Mel McLeod ©