Australia is blessed with some of the most magnificent lodges, resorts and spas in the world. There are countless famous brands that you know, and most likely love – from Tasmania to the Daintree, from The Margaret River to the Sunshine Coast. There’s a myriad of beautiful places that dazzle the senses but still allow you to relax and unwind.
But there is one such place that you may not know. It’s discreetly nestled in rainforest on Broken Head Road as you wind south out of Byron Bay.
Blink and you miss it.
It’s unpretentious and understated…and isn’t that the best kind of ‘luxury’?
It’s the Byron at Byron Bay Resort and Spa.
Set in approximately 45 acres of subtropical rainforest that is both manicured and wild, this place has a way of taking you by surprise. Your first thought is:
“How long has this been going on, and why haven’t I been told?”
It’s easy to think you’re at Palm Cove (except here you can swim in the beautiful blue water all year round), it’s hard to think that you’re just an hour south of the hectic glitz and faux glamour of the Gold Coast.
Australia’s East coast is a series of spectacular white beaches and Tallow beach is only short stroll away from the bush surrounds of the resort. Its seclusion makes it feel like a private beach – just you and 7 km of pristine white sand and clear turquoise water. Most mornings you can spot dolphins playing in the surf.
Deluxe spa suites are more like private villas, with ample space to relax. Each is set in, and surrounded by natural rainforest, so it’s easy readjusting the psyche from ‘daily grind’ to ‘I never want to leave’.
Private balconies are nicely screened to allow as much serenity in as you require. (Don’t get us wrong, we love nature, but in its place!) These cocooning suites let you capture private moments as you reinvigorate.
Fitted with galley kitchens the suites are spacious with a relaxed beach house feel designed for maximum de-stressing. Then there’s the spa baths!
Breakfast and lunch are at your leisure either in the restaurant or on the pool deck. At dinner, chef Gavin Hughes showcases the best local produce including Bangalow Pork, Yamba Prawns and Alstonville Chicken. Every Thursday, resort guests can join Gavin as he sources the freshest ingredients at the Byron Bay Farmers Market.
The new Spring menu is modern Australian – combining the best of Asian cuisine and European favourites. There are both à la carte and degustation options. Whiting fillets are crisped with panko and chives with a light daikon sprout salad with ponzu and miso purée. Juicy Smoked duck breast is given the star treatment with almond, blood orange and heirloom beets.
Roast loin of Coorabel pork sits atop a lush crush of broad bean, peas and prosciutto with a glistening jus. Meltingly tender grass fed New England eye fillet is partnered with fabulous kipfler chips, a little garlic purée, onion jus and beans provençal.
There is a dessert for everyone on this menu, with dark chocolate marquise, house made ice creams and a warm apple and raspberry strudel dotted with Pedro Ximenez soused raisins and honeycomb ice cream.
The passionfruit parfait is a triumph with contrasting textures and flavours of coconut sorbet, ginger, pineapple and finger lime syrup.
At the Byron at Byron Resort and Spa there is both a tangible and intangible difference to other resorts to be discovered …
The entrance isn’t grand with towering ceilings, extravagant floral arrangements and sweeping staircases; the foyer, restaurant and pool are not disconnected and disjointed like other resorts.
There is no 5 star chest-beating.
Possibly the best way to describe it is as if you have arrived home to a magnificent sweeping ‘back deck’ that effortlessly spills onto a pool in one direction and a beautiful entertaining area (the Byron at Byron restaurant) in the other. Breezes are captured, drinks are enjoyed and the whole thing feels like a very large, relaxed, welcoming home, run by old friends.
TML has been hosted at resorts where you couldn’t forget that you were in a resort. In other words, it was a privilege for you to be there.
At Byron Bay Resort and Spa, the feeling was more that they felt privileged to have you stay.
And that’s the way I like it.