From budget backpacker hostels to bed and breakfasts, quaint cottages to cool cabins, Byron has all sorts of accommodation to choose from. But if you want to push the boat out and pamper yourself, here are five of its finest boutique options.
Set in a perfectly quiet pocket of the Bay, Raes on Wategos is a Byron institution – and after a recent refurbishment, it is dreamier than ever. The most private of all the local hotels, Raes is rightly so a favourite with local and international celebrities alike. The Spanish Mission-inspired complex features one villa, two penthouses and four suites, meaning it’s quite the low-key affair. The service is personalised and discreet, and it won’t be long before the staff know your name, your coffee order and, by the evening, your favourite cocktail. Its award-winning restaurant overlooks Wategos Beach and is all about contemporary Australian with a Mediterranean influence, showcasing local and seasonal produce.
The larger and newer kid on the block, Elements of Byron Resort & Spa has quickly become one of the Bay’s favourites. Located along Belongil Beach and surrounded by 50 acres (20 hectares) of native bushland, Elements of Byron is a place of true respite and tranquility. And it’s big on style. The spacious villas are airy, with timber floors and all the mod cons you could need. Meanwhile, other highlights of the hotel include its swim-up tequila bar at the adults-only pool and beach lounges surrounding the gorgeous lagoon pool, which is the jewel in Elements’ crown.
A strong contender for Australia’s best luxury resort, Byron at Byron is the benchmark five-star hotel in the area with its 92 suites, infinity pool, award-winning day spa and restaurant. It’s pure luxury at its core while still at one with nature, being in the middle of the magical subtropical rainforest for 45 acres (18 hectares). It’s a must-visit for foodies as well, with new executive chef Matt Kemp bringing his Michelin pedigree to the Asian- and European-style menu.
The Bower is built on one of Byron Bay’s original properties and founded on the pillars of beauty and simplicity. With a grey and white colour palette running throughout, it’s a minimalist’s paradise and a place of serious home inspiration. When not soaking up and snapping pictures of the interior, its mineral swimming pool surrounded by tall palms is where you’ll want to spend the bulk of your time. Keeping it casual, there’s no sit-down restaurant, but gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner hampers are prepared on request with goodies like goat cheese and pumpkin frittatas.
The perfect mix of style and comfort, The Villas of Byron is a private oasis – designed and furnished to a modern Balinese theme. Located right in the heart of Byron among the natural rainforest, you’ll find private courtyards and heated mineral pools, pop-up candlelit dinners prepared by a personal chef and signature pamper treatments. The Villas offers an unparalleled guest experience, making it the perfect place to retreat and recharge. And for something extra special, there’s even a Romantic Turndown service, in which staff will light 100 candles, run a rose petal bath and serve up champagne on ice. Cue Marvin Gaye…