It’s a big call, we know.
Though just last month, a Byron Bay resort earned bragging rights when it was recognised among the world’s top 25 coolest hotels—and only one of two in the country—in an article published by acclaimed magazine, Forbes. Sound like a damn fine reason to see what all the fuss is about? We thought so, too.
Metropolist braved the double whammy of a school holiday and long weekend crowd. After battling bumper to bumper M1 traffic into Byron Bay, the tranquillity emanating from Elements of Byron was uncanny. Uncannily awesome, and a peace and ease that, with every passing year, seems harder and harder to come by.
We lucked out with blissfully perfect weather. The kind of balmy spring sunshine that screams lay by the pool and get boozy on canned ciders and fruity cocktails served in melamine pool-friendly vessels. We’re totally crushing on the hanging pod-like day beds—we may or may not have wasted a few hours suspended here. Followed by more languid hours spent by the lagoon-style infinity pool, with drinks and all-day bar snacks delivered to our cabana by wait staff with cute accents.
Given Elements of Byron’s sprawling symbiotic-with-nature design, should we have been not so fortunate with the weather, we’d have had no problem lounging about all day inside our private freestanding villa. Fringed with eucalyptus trees and sand dune-esque brush, while each individual bungalow might seem somewhat understated from the outside, inside is a spacious split-level king suite with whitewash walls and wood trimmings that gel perfectly with the organic and rawness of the region.
It was love at first sight. Think: a roomy bathroom with stone stand-alone bath tub and Appelles products, L-shaped sitting area and kitchenette (hello BYO champers!), artwork and soft furnishings inspired by the surrounding wetlands, a plush king-sized bed with luxurious linen, and polished Blackbutt timber flooring throughout.
After another hectic week chained to the laptop, we were promptly seduced into the holiday vibe by the mediative sounds of native birds and waves breaking on deserted Belongil Beach. There was nary a hint of traffic noise. Yep, we were in heaven!
Dining options are at poolside Barefoot Kiosk or the resort’s sun-drenched restaurant, Graze. Though, let’s be real, with the ridic culinary offerings eight minutes’ drive away in the heart of Byron, it’s likely you’re going to doll up and venture into town to sample the nightlife. We’d caught word of Byron’s insanely stylish new Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, The Mez Club—which oozed characteristics of a luxe riad plucked straight from the medina of Morocco’s Essaouira, and then finished with a night cap at uber-trendy St Elmo, naturally.
After another hectic week chained to the laptop, we were promptly seduced into the holiday vibe by the mediative sounds of native birds and waves breaking on deserted Belongil Beach.
Guilty of missing the complimentary 7am salute the sun beachside yoga session, instead we opted for a Sunday sleep-in in our dreamy king-sized bed (oh, we are so trading in our queen one of these days). After a wake up splash under the rainforest showerhead, it was a short stroll past the lily pad-strewn lagoons and Pandanus palms to breakfast at Graze. A re-energising continental buffet is included for all house guests, though we elected for a hot brekky off the ethnic-accented al a carte menu—the spicy Shakshouka baked eggs and Yellow Dahl with coriander chutney.
Our most memorable moments staying at Elements of Byron? Aside from the absolute spoiling of our private eco-friendly villa, the gong must go to sunset’s “magic hour” spent at the resort’s intimate beach club, where we snuggled up together on a double day bed atop the powder-soft white sand of Belongil Beach and gazing across to Cape Byron. With a bottle of chilled Moet we’d brought from home in hand, it’s those moments of quiet reflection that make you wanna pinch yourself knowing this is all less than 3.5 hours from the Sunshine Coast. It’s really not that far!
So, is this the coolest place to stay in Byron Bay? While we’re yet to road test all the local offerings, we reckon it’s certainly deserving of its spot among the region’s ultimate places to stay. And because a day trip to Byron is never enough, next special occasion you’re looking to spoil your lover or whisk away your best gal pal, we’re confident you won’t be disappointed with a weekend escape at Elements of Byron. We’ll see you there!
Where: 144 Bayshore Drive, Byron Bay
Image Credit: Brooke Darling for Metropolist