Elements of Byron Review: The Mecca Of Relaxed Australian Luxury
— Updated on 19 January 2022

Elements of Byron Review: The Mecca Of Relaxed Australian Luxury

— Updated on 19 January 2022
John McMahon
John McMahon

When Elements of Byron Resort & Spa opened in 2016, it made a serious splash in the easy-going coastal town of Byron Bay. This absolute beachfront paradise was, at the time, considered one of the most highly sought and valued places to stay in the country. The fact that it still holds onto that reputation, despite considerable competition in the area, is a testament to the experience.

Found on the shores of Belongil Beach, Elements of Byron is a five-star standalone brand with 203 rooms in total, 99 of which are luxury two-bedroom villas perched on the banks of the estuaries or hiding within the rainforest of the town’s outskirts.

Naturally, our abode for the weekend was of the latter example – an expansive dual-bedroom pad that was just a stone’s throw from the Adult’s-only exclusive pool (we’ll get to that in a little bit) and a short buggy ride from the resort’s main house.

The New South Wales resort was private, quiet, and boasted one of the most well-appointed amenities offerings I’ve ever come across for a self-sufficient, serviced apartment-style property. Add on some truly stunning modern Australian beach architecture, excellent food and beverage options, and exceptional privacy for all resort guests, and you’ve got one of the best barefoot luxury resorts in the state. The phrase “luxury awaits” springs to mind, but there’s something more going on at this absolute beachfront resort – a stark reminder of how important authentic hospitality is, even more so than those private villas, morning yoga sessions, pristine room service, comfy deck chairs, the awarded Osprey Spa, and welcoming poolside cafe.

Do note that Elements of Byron Bay used to be an MGallery by Sofitel property, which meant behemoth hotel group Accor used to operate it, in partnership with owners Brian and Peggy Flannery. Towards the end of 2020, Elements of Byron Bay left the Accor staple so Accor Plus members no longer have direct access to the associated benefits.

It was clear almost immediately upon arrival that Elements of Byron embraced the surrounding nature to its advantage, rather than attempt to overpower it, a motif that rings true across the resort’s mission towards sustainability. The villas are dotted around the massive property, linked by driveways similar to what you’d find in your classic Aussie caravan car park. The nostalgia of your younger summer days is immediately recalled and then almost instantly forgotten as you slip into the aforementioned Adult’s-only pool for a swim-up cocktail.

The 850,000-litre main pool just beyond the check-in area is impressive, but it’s the watering hole ‘Summer Salt’ that’s the real relief from both the heat and the splashing kids during peak holiday periods.

Massive cabanas line the water’s edge, waiting for you to make them your home – either for a brief dip or the entire afternoon – the discretion is entirely yours. During the warmer months, those guests wanting to feel the sand between their toes can enjoy their weekend evenings at the Botanic Beach Club.

After the sun puts itself to bed for the day, we’d highly recommend those staying in-house for the evening to give the Azure Bar & Restaurant a proper nudge. You may as well have not stayed at Elements if you didn’t indulge in the deconstructed strawberry cheesecake dessert from this Elements of Byron restaurant.

If you’re prone to cabin fever, especially when the weather will most likely be on your side, a short 30-minute stroll along the beach will get you to the town of Byron itself. If that doesn’t take your fancy, why not tick off a ride on the world’s first-ever solar train? Running on the hour a stone’s throw from Elements’ front door, the old-school locomotive costs just $4 each way and will drop you off at North Beach station in the heart of town.

Wind down from a salty, surf-filled day with a soak in your freestanding bathtub that commands an entire patio within some of the villas. We ordered a selection of in-room eats before we got settled (the goat’s cheese and honey pizza is a strong choice), as when we got out of the tub we didn’t want to be going anywhere. You’ll likely feel the same.

The bona fide pride and joy of Elements isn’t one that you can put in a drop-down menu on a website or list in a room inclusions breakdown. The resort itself met my expectations, but it was honestly a combination of the service and friendliness of the staff with the amenities on offer that were the standouts of our stay.

If you needed it, it was there, if you wanted it, it was effortlessly found for you. Elements of Byron Resort & Spa achieves a unique balance that few destinations in the country can lay claim to. From the poolside bar to the tennis court; sunken fire pit, to the central pavilion, there’s not a moment at Elements Byron where you wouldn’t feel completely taken care of.

From $650 per night, you can snap up your own luxury villa – one that scales expectations but isn’t overbearing on your relaxed and quintessential Aussie beachside experience.

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John McMahon
John McMahon is a founding member of the Boss Hunting team who honed his craft by managing content across website and social. Now, he's the publication's General Manager and specialises in bringing brands to life on the platform.


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