THE BEST PLACES TO STAY IN BYRON BAY
Today’s question – where to stay in Byron Bay?
For a relatively small town, Byron sure packs a punch. Visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful beaches, bars and restaurants.
And there are almost as many accom options as there are cars trying to get a park at Wategos.
So where to stay when you’re lucky enough to be in this extra-gorgeous part of the world?
Here are our 2 favourite options, both set in stunning natural surrounds. One – high end, the other fantastically budget friendly.
We’ve been staying at both of these places for years now and we always have great experiences at both.
Byron at Byron Resort and Spa
First up, let’s go high end with the Byron at Byron – a 5 minute drive south of town heading towards Ballina.
This property is definitely more resort than hotel, with boardwalks weaving their way though 45 acres of subtropical rainforest.
The grounds are truly beautiful. They make for a calming and welcome respite from the busyness of town. Especially over Christmas-New Year when it feels like half of the East Coast is holidaying in Byron.
The resort was actually once the site of an amusement park, which introduced exotic plants to the area. Now the focus is on regenerating native species, like these lush Bangalow Palms.
Technically it’s a flood-plain rainforest – which means that some surface water won’t drain away. While this can be a little swampy in parts – it also provides a home to pretty lillypads and water lilies.
It also means paperbarks are happy – and who doesn’t love a good paperbark tree?
They’ve done a great job with the resort design. Folding doors let the outside in and the use of timber brings plenty of natural warmth.
Here’s the calming vista that will greet you at reception –
The main resort building has beautiful wide verandas overlooking the pool.
I know you want another look at the pool area –
Now don’t get me wrong – we are ocean people.
Even on a cloudy day we’re about a thousand times more inclined to swim in the actual sea rather than than sit by a pool. But I’ve got to say this pool is pretty impressive.
Nestled beside the rainforest, I think it’s the scent of the beautiful native trees that makes it so lovely.
All your hotel dining staples are available pool-side. Our pick? The salads – seriously they are amazing.
Go ahead and order yourself another blood orange margarita.
You can work it all off with complimentary yoga on the verandah in the morning (always very good). Or the lighthouse walk, which gets our vote for the best way to start any day.
The rooms are in double storey blocks dotted around the rainforest, overlooking the trees.
They’re cleverly designed. Full height doors slide across to separate the living/ kitchen area, bedroom and bathroom.
Enclosed balconies at the front and back of each room keep the breeze flowing in and the mozzies out. So you can leave everything open and wake up to the calls of the whipbirds, which is lovely.
There’s a nice little kitchen with all the essentials, so you can even cook should you feel so inclined. There’s even a washer-drier.
The rooms are perfect for a girls trip – you can request 2 single beds and the large sofa can be made up as a bed for a third person.
For families – 2 adults and 2 children are allowed per room.
The bathrooms are are enormous. Featuring wooden floors, timber louvers and a huge freestanding bath it’s very sophisticated-beach-chic.
Things to note
If you’re planning to spend a decent amount of time exploring Byron, a car is definitely preferable. There’s a shuttle to town, but it won’t get you everywhere.
Another thing to note if you’re planning a beach holiday – the resort is not exactly on the beach. The closest beach is Tallow, which is about a 10 minute stroll away, through the rainforest. It is a very pretty walk.
While Tallow is beautiful, it’s not good for swimmers unless you walk to the far south where there is a patrolled beach in summer.
And finally – in peak season, the resort can get pretty busy and pretty noisy, much like the rest of Byron really at that time of year.
Rates start at around $360 a night. There are often packages on offer – like the current spring package which comes with breakfast, room upgrade, a bottle of wine and 10% off spa treatments. Up to date rates can be found here.
Christmas-New Year rates are upwards of $600 a night. We love to visit in Spring and Autumn – this is when you’ll get the best value and when we think the resort’s the most relaxing.
Byron Bay Farmstay
OK – it’s time to let you in on one of the best kept secrets in Byron – the Byron Bay Farmstay.
Located less than 10 minutes out of Byron, heading towards the gorgeous little town of Bangalow – this is an incredibly beautiful, incredibly good value accommodation option – especially for families or groups of friends.
It’s a an enormous working cattle farm in the hinterland right behind Byron. That means rolling green hills as far as the eye can see.
There are a handful of basic, pretty cottages overlooking a beautiful lake.
This will be your breakfast view –
You can even take a rowboat for a paddle out on the lake.
It’s perfect for fishing and swimming too.
Even in peak season this place feels wonderfully peaceful.
One and two bedroom cottages are available. All have modern bathrooms and good kitchen facilities.
In the cottages, you’ll find a great little guide about walks you can take around the property.
The best one leads you up the hill and across the road where you’ll find a picnic table overlooking all of Byron Bay. You’d be hard-pressed to find a nicer picnic spot. The view is breathtaking.
Our favourite places to eat just a short drive from here are Town in Bangalow and Harvest in Newrybar. You’ll love them.
You will need a car to stay here, but it’s amazing value (rates can be found here).
Prices start at around $170.00 a night midweek for one bedrooms. Pretty great value for a property with views like this –