The iconic Byron at Byron Resort and Spa has gone from strength to strength since its 2004 opening, winning accolade after accolade
During this time, under the guidance of seasoned hoteliers Lyn and John Parché, the resort has maintained a mantra of ever-improving its offering of service and natural luxury. The majestic location and award-winning design are fitting backdrops for this offering, which is the real Byron at Byron experience.
Not that the resort’s location and aesthetics wouldn’t alone draw a crowd. Set within a stunning 45-acre rainforest just moments from the beach and a short drive or cycle to the Byron Bay township, location doesn’t get much better. The resort itself sits lightly in its environment, allowing an endless showcase of lush green to soothe and heal. All activity centres around the six-metre-wide timber verandahs and heated infinity pool, with guests congregating to chat, conduct business or simply be.
The resort offers 92 suites, a gymnasium, tennis court, sauna, restaurant, bar, state-of-the-art conference facilities for up to 180 delegates and a sumptuous Spa and Wellness Centre. Each suite contains a kitchen, separate lounge and dining area, plasma television and two separate enclosed balconies. Luxurious bathrooms have deep free-standing bathtubs and separate showers, and California king-sized beds ensure dreamtime really does exist. Every suite is private, offering a unique rainforest experience.
The units are designed to offer the guest a private retreat. Considerable care has gone into fashioning a unit that allows a large amount of flexibility in a restricted space.
The units are arranged into two: two-storeyed strings of 30 units on an east-west axis. The south-facing units address the everglades canal and the northern units face the Bangalow palm fringes of the site. The designers made an early decision not to run continuous walkways along the rear of the units and instead placed stairways serving a group of four units — two up and two down. That means guests never have to cross the rear of someone else’s unit. This planning decision “liberated” the design of the entry deck and has allowed that space to be a private one — one where the sliding entry doors could be left open safely to catch prevailing breezes.
Flyscreen mesh was used to fully enclose the decks so there’s an effect is of a sheer stocking stretched from ceiling to floor, while keeping out the local insect population, offering clear views of the outside spaces.
Within the unit, the designers have treated the room as being the full six metres wide by making the bathroom and bedroom walls semi-transparent through the use of a contemporary shoji screen, with sliding doors to open up the space. The room sleeps two adults on the king-sized bed as a couple or two singles when the two king single beds making up the bed are pushed apart. The configuration can be extended to allow two children or even an adult to sleep on the large divan in the living room, which is bed-sized. There is also a daybed in the bedroom for daytime naps or small children.
The room may be opened up to be viewed as one large hotel room or it may be turned into a one-bedroom apartment by closing the screen doors to the bedroom. There is also a dining area seating and a kitchen that has been designed as a piece of furniture that opens up to reveal a fridge and a washer/dryer.
Opposite the sofa in the living area is a desk that contains internet connections. Above the desk is the plasma screen TV that also will screen video games.
There is a generous walk-in closet with a bureau and luggage areas. The bathroom is a four-fixture one with a slipper freestanding bath, a vanity, toilet with concealed cistern and a large shower. The bathroom is naturally ventilated with the end of the shower having a full-height louvre window that opens on to the entry deck for exhibitionists.
The materials used in the unit reflect the sophistication of the planning. Walls are white plasterboard, all floors are timber and there is white gloss panelling used in the bathroom for wet areas. Predominant colours are blue and taupe with white bedspreads and towels.
Lighting is discreet, with reflected light off surfaces creating a tranquil mood.
The restaurant, with its soaring ceilings and wrap-around bi-fold timber doors, produces locally sourced, largely organic fare. Here, fresh is king.
The Spa and Wellness Centre is a haven for healing and wellbeing, with six treatments rooms crafted from rich timbers, a steam room, relaxation area, Vichy Shower and spas. The extensive Spa menu includes tarot reading, astrology and meditation, reflecting the resort’s ethos of healing by restoring balance through nature. The finest products are used in facial and body treatments by staff who receive continual training in skin care, body work and spa etiquette.
In recent years, the Northern Rivers region, in which Byron lies, has become recognised internationally for unique food produce and award-winning restaurants. Resort guests take full- or half-day trips into hinterland villages, where they access the unique cultures of the region’s alternate communities. Closer are charming villages such as Bangalow, with its array of upmarket eateries and boutique shopping.
From complimentary yoga daily and walks on endless timber boardwalks through the rainforest and out to Lake Tallow to early morning expeditions to the farmers market with Head Chef Gavin Hughes, relaxation and inspiration are part of the Byron at Byron package.
BATHROOM FACT FILE
Bath Special Helsingor with enclosed base — free-standing as per design of Tivoli, Bath Taps & Spout Chrome Plated Ram; Basin set Gem basin set with 200mm Park wall sink/spa spout; Shower mixer Chrome-plated Ram; Gem shower mixer Toilet Vitreous China Villeroy & Boch Omni toilet pan; Pro Back wall-faced S-trap ground-floor, P-trap first floor; Concealed Grohe Dal inwall toilet cistern; Chrome Grohedal Skate toilet flush button; Vanity Vitreous China Streamline — Roco — Kalahari Accessories Double towel rail in polished chrome from Barben Industries special SQ-600mm length; toilet roll holder in polished chrome from Barben Industries — RE-1309; hand towel rail in polished chrome from Barben Industries — special SQ-300mm length; shower shelf in polished chrome — HRe – 9993; bath soap shelf in polished chrome from Barben Industries — SQ 107; coat hooks in polished chrome from Barben Industries — SQ-105S; toilet brush holder in polished chrome from Barben Industries — M-7888; wall0-mounted towel rack in polished chrome from Barben Industries — special
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