Byron Bay’s new $100 million Elements of Byron Resort at Belongil Beach, just north of Byron Bay township, has successfully hit upon a barefoot luxury formula that is distinctly its own and admirably place-sensitive.
Inhabiting 20 hectares once owned (but never developed) by Club Med, it comprises 94 villas and three main pavilions shaped to mimic the dunes. In fact all design, a collaborative effort between owner Peggy Flannery, Shane Thompson Architects and Coop Creative, was driven by the four “elements” of the landscape: rainforest, dunes, eucalypt trees and wetland.
The open-air main pavilion houses reception, plus the bar and dining areas, where subtle creativity pervades in bespoke sculpture and light installations. Colours are those of those natural elements and the bright staff are pure Byron in their cheery welcome and smart casual uniforms.
Reception and dining looks out across a fire pit and large lagoon pool surrounded by plenty of cabanas and daybeds, a handful of those suspended above the shallow adults-only end.
The other pavilions house a beautiful Osprey spa and a casual poolside eatery.
The villas sit among mature native trees and are similarly furnished with elegant nature-themed decor. Some overlook a lake, others Belongil Creek, others are close (as allowed) to the beach. Some have semi-open air bathtubs, fireplaces or kitchens. Each has parking.
The resort is right next to a protected bird habitat and the adjacent section of beach is a wide, white sand estuary where the tea tree-stained Belongil Creek empties each evening. There’s a lawn with sun loungers and a movable bar for sundowners overlooking all that, and plenty of pathways to stroll the grounds.
The resort is also super technically advanced with state-of-the-art power management systems installed.
But the real power here, is in the sublime sense of relaxation it engenders virtually as soon as you drive through the gates.
Villas from $380 a night, including complimentary “Farmers Market Continental Breakfast” for two and complimentary yoga class daily.