By EM RUSCIANO
A few weeks ago Mia asked me if I’d be interested in writing a review for a luxury retreat in Byron Bay. After considering it for negative 1 seconds, I decided to accept the challenge and last weekend jetted off to stay at the ‘Byron at Byron’.
Scotty (my other half) and I, were greeted at Ballina Byron airport by the impossibly groovy Chrissi. Resplendent in black leather-look jeans, groovy cowboy boots and glamourous grey hair – I instantly felt at ease as she showed us to the hotel’s courtesy Tarago.
Chrissi is the guest relations manager and bloody great at her job. She’s a true asset to the place and I hope the boss man is reading this and gives her a little somethin’ somethin’ in her next pay.
The drive to Byron at Byron from Ballina airport was a quick 20 minutes along the stunning coastline and the warm temperature in Byron a welcome change from the sub zero arctic vortex (aka Melbourne) we had just left.
The first thing you notice about the Byron at Byron is its size. That – and it seems to be in the middle of a magical rainforest! There are 92 one-bedroom suites, set within 45 acres of trees, birds and hobbits*. The circular driveway is most attractive and from the moment we entered I felt relaxed.
The front desk staff were rad and Chrissi showed us around The Byron’s impressive site. The “infinity pool” was a highlight. I like how it’s called the “infinity pool” – it made me think that no matter how haggard I was before I dipped in, I would emerge from its waters looking shiny and new.
We strolled to our cabin along a lovely boardwalk; there was an option to score a ride in a golf buggy but we wanted to fully immerse ourselves in the aforementioned magical rainforest.
Our cabin was epic, the spa bath alone excited me! Although calling it a cabin suggests wood, dirt and wild life – I’d go with “mini luxury beach chalet” myself! The rooms were equipped with a kitchenette and magnificent views of our surroundings. Also, it was just a 500m stroll down to the pristine Tallows beach. (SCORE for my surfer husband!)
At about 5:30 two women knocked on our door bearing chocolates and water, offering to “turn down the bed”. Being Italian and a control freak I politely declined but decided that the next night I would totally live dangerously and let them!
We had dinner at the resort restaurant headed up by Gavin Hughes and took ourselves on a food safari with the degustation menu – it was AMAZING.
Many knives and forks were involved, lucky I remembered that part in Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts gets told to work from the outside – in. The staff were fabulous, always there when you needed them but not too pushy.
The next day it was beauty spa time y’all. After a DELICIOUS breakfast at the hotel restaurant, I swanned over to the day spa. Melinda, the manager of the at Byron at Byron spa and wellness centre, welcomed me with a soothing cup of jasmine tea, a soft fluffy robe and a secret garden complete with corner spa. The ladies were dressed all in white floaty linen – think what Superman’s Father Jor-El would swan around Krypton in, meets a friendly desert cult. I had the “Waterlily Chill” relaxation massage which promised to leave me with a deep sense of calm and wellbeing (it totally did) and I also had a “Paperbark Spirit” facial. This was 2 hours of pure indulgence and I loved every second of it. If you go to stay at the Byron then I INSIST you all partake.
In fact, if you guys stay for two nights at the Byron at Byron you will receive a complimentary 30min facial when you book a 60minute relaxation massage and also receive a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine on arrival. **
The resort offers a free yoga session each morning at 8am, I’d like to tell you I attended one of the sessions… I’d like to tell you that. At any rate I think it’s a pretty ace idea and next time I go I will DEFINITELY be getting some yoga action in.
After my zen spa experience I decided to hire a bike from the front desk crew and ride into town, the path was picturesque and easy. 5 kms later I was in the centre of the Byron Bay township contending with hippies, buskers, hippy buskers, tourists and locals – HEAVEN.
After spending a of couple hours in town, I rode home and went for a swim in the infinity pool. I didn’t come out looking like a Victoria’s Secret model but it was lovely and refreshing nevertheless. A staff member appeared with a towel for me OUT OF NOWHERE – as they’d noticed I’d forgotten to bring one with me. I was so impressed and grateful I almost burst into tears.
My husband returned from surfing at Tallows all day and we decided to order room service that night and watch some movies. The ladies again appeared to turn down our bed… I felt apprehensive but gave in and allowed them to fluff our pillows and disperse more chocolate.
The room service arrived looking like my Mother had sent it over, it was so damn charming. The food was wrapped in foil on hot plates. Not a pretentious bay marie in sight, I loved it.
I highly recommend The Byron at Byron. Save up, get a babysitter if you need one and go away with the girls or your boy. The staff were fantastic, the surroundings near perfect, and Byron Bay itself is great of course. I can’t recommend it enough.
Well played Byron at Byron, well played.
*No actual hobbits.
**offer valid for travel until 27th September. Conditions and block out dates apply. Please quote mamamia when booking.
Em was a guest of The Byron at Byron.