Planning a five-star getaway on the NSW North Coast? Read our guide to the most luxurious resorts and hotels, fine-dining restaurants and indulgent spas in Byron Bay.
Sleep in style
Only seven design-driven suites comprise Raes on Wategos, an exclusive beachfront oasis that has hosted the likes of the Rolling Stones and Elle Macpherson. This may well be the best hotel address in Byron, with rooms offering sweeping views over Wategos Beach, where dolphins regularly ride the waves. Unwind in the day spa, then enjoy mod-Australian-meets-Mediterranean fare in the applauded Raes Dining Room.
Absolute beach frontage also awaits at Elements of Byron Resort & Spa, where some 200 rooms and villas interweave native forest to the north of town. When you’re not sipping wine beside the firepit or reclining in an over-pool swing, book a treatment in Osprey spa, salute the sun in a yoga class, or join a guide for rainforest hikes.
Travel straight to Indonesia when you check in to one of the five Balinese-style lodgings at Villas of Byron, each replete with heated pools, spas and outdoor rain showers. Or head back to the 1970s – with a modern twist – at The Bower, a classic motel-turned-luxury-hotel with a Mediterranean vibe. Or The Atlantic, a grand palm-laced property, home to four original Byron Bay cottages given a designer makeover.
If the setting of Crystalbrook Byron – amid swathes of rainforest – doesn’t immediately inspire calm, then the sound of the ocean from your room, or the spa, certainly will. Located steps from Tallow Beach, the retreat offers its guests complimentary yoga classes and nourishing paddock-to-plate fare in the restaurant, aptly named Forest.
Opened in mid-2023, Hotel Marvell is the first five-star hotel in the centre of Byron. It has just 18 rooms and six suites, all styled with the town’s signature blend of bohemian luxury. The rooftop pool is a great place to watch the sunset. Another new addition, Swell Hotel was once a standard roadside motel but has been reborn as an adults-only, 70s-inspired boutique hotel with 16 individually designed suites.
For more retro vibes, head to the hinterland and Sun Ranch. Styled as a chic Californian ranch, this 55-acre property has both rooms and freestanding barns as well as eclectic communal spaces like The Pool Club, The Badminton Club, The Field House outdoor dining space and The Lair, a sunken lounge set around a sculptural fireplace. Nearby, The Brooklet has six luxurious villas plus a three-bedroom house tucked into lush green hills, complete with a magnesium pool, tennis court and a range of exclusive experiences.
For a fun take on Asian cuisine in a beautifully designed setting, head for Light Years. In the trendy new Jonson Street laneway precinct, it’s all peachy tones, cosy banquettes, quirky cocktails and delicious eats. Pixie is another light and bright diner in Jonson Street, popular for long lazy lunches or cocktails on the terrace. If you prefer moody and intimate, try Moonlight, a chic Japanese hibachi restaurant with a biodynamic wine list.
Be transported to the Mediterranean at The Mez Club, a stylish restaurant and cocktail bar that draws inspiration from the Greek Islands, Spain and Morocco. The food is beautifully presented and the décor makes for an enviable Instagram post. Perched above the main street, Balcony Oyster Bar subscribes to Byron’s sandy feet ethos but takes its cuisine very seriously. The seafood is exceptional, as are the steaks, and the cocktails flow late into the night.
Beach Byron Bay’s setting, amid dunes overlooking Clarkes Beach, offers quintessential North Coast holiday vibes. Pull up a seat in this whitewashed, sun-kissed restaurant to enjoy ocean views, creative cocktails and a modern Italian-style menu that heroes local produce.
Also shining a spotlight on the surrounds is Three Blue Ducks at Newrybar, celebrates foraged produce, much of it native and plucked from the estate’s kitchen gardens. Or head into Bangalow for a meal from seminal no-waste chef Matt Stone at his new bistro You Beauty., set on a working estate you can tour before sitting down to the freshest (and arguably prettiest) meal you’ll ever eat. Nearby in
Being amid nature makes you feel good – we’ve known it for centuries, science now proves it, and Byron Bay delivers it. For an immediate dose of positive vibes and a great outlook, join Toast the Sun to soak up early-morning rays – the first in Australia, given this is the mainland’s most easterly point – over a three-course breakfast at Cape Byron Lighthouse. If you’re indulging from May through November, you might even spot a migrating whale.
For a bird’s-eye view of the rising sun before landlubbers’ daybreak, sign up for a dawn flight over the coast with Balloon Aloft Byron Bay, your sky-high adventure ending with a sumptuous paddock-to-plate breakfast served up at Three Blue Ducks. For more adventures at altitude, book a private flightseeing tour with Air T&G Helicopters. Cruise along the coast and up into the hinterland, then stop for a picnic at a secluded freshwater lagoon.
Byron Bay’s sleek luxury resorts all boast on-site spas – the kind where you could lose yourself for hours. But for an extended dose of pampering, head into the hinterland to Gaia Retreat and Spa. Packages at this holistic haven range from two to seven nights, with everything bundled, from gourmet meals and treatments to morning yoga, wellness consultations and fitness classes.
If you can’t commit to such a lengthy stay, venture beyond your resort and find bliss at other standalone Byron Bay day spas, including Comma and Kiva Spa, the latter just outside of Byron proper, in Mullumbimby.