Byron Bliss

When you already live in paradise, it’s hard to justify holidaying on someone else’s sand and surf. Deb Caruso discovers a haven where luxury meets laid-back and every moment will leave you in your element.

by @ on Thursday, 15 Sep, 2016

There’s always been a connection between Noosa and Byron Bay – both have superb beaches backed by a stunning hinterland; a strong and loyal love of the environment; a sustainable approach to development and are desirable destinations for tourists.

Elements of Byron, which opened in February this year, combines all of these ingredients and more in a fifty-acre beachfront masterpiece that benefits from almost six years of planning, design and development.

This is a place for those who like things to be perfect, yet not pretentious; where attentive service is more friendly than formal; and accommodation is luxurious, yet authentic and at home with nature.

Time can be wasted or well spent amongst rustic tree swings and hammocks or in a luxury poolside bure, overwater swing or party cabana; chillaxing with a cocktail or on the beach at the Beach Club; indulging in spa treatments; or partaking in much-needed rest and relaxation simply listening to the waves and the calls of nature from your own eco-cabin.

Around every corner a new element is unearthed that you mentally add to the list to revisit -either this trip or the next. The resort is like that, it immediately feels like a home away from home yet at the same time, an adventure of discovery – to be savoured and enjoyed. The resort inspires you to slow down, look around and find the luxury of simplicity; to recalibrate and refocus on what is important.

Everywhere you look there are small surprises – a swing under a leafy tree; feature lighting around the paths at night; sculptures that capture and reflect the natural environment; interpretative signs about the flora and fauna – bringing you closer again to the feeling that you are a positive contributor, rather than an intruder, to the natural environment.

The passion and respect for the site by owners Brian and Peggy Flannery is obvious in the attention to detail. Peggy held tight reins during the planning process to ensure that nature, not buildings, was the dominant experience, citing Mother Nature as the project’s Creative Director.

The design by Shane Thompson Architects pays homage to the resort landscape, which encompasses littoral rainforest and natural lakes and ponds supporting a diverse array of wildlife. The “nature first” approach led to the installation of over 65,000 new native trees and plants and single storey spaces showcasing the nature that surrounds them.

Interior designer Rowena Cornwell from Coop Creative achieved her agenda of delivering a sense of wonderment and ensuring that while the overall experience was relaxing, there was a good dash of excitement and magic thrown in. The cabins are compact and minimal yet spacious and luxurious with the free-standing bath and raindrop shower as hard to resist as the custom-made king-size beds and sun-soaked balconies. The technology in the rooms is state-of-the-art with an in-room tablet; high speed WIFI; Bose audio system; in-room movies and entertainment; and dual-function air conditioning that measures different air pressure. Not that you need the latter with the clever design and orientation of the villas maintaining a comfortable inside temperature.

Elements of Byron boasts 94 villas (a further 96 will be built in Stage 2), each abutting ocean, rainforest, lagoon or pond; an 850,000 litre infinity lagoon pool with bespoke fire pit, private cabanas and day beds overhanging the water; the light filled Osprey Spa with five therapy suites opening to private garden courtyards; and a plethora of dining options.

On Belongil Beach guests can relax in the private Beach Club with views to Cape Byron Lighthouse and out to Julian Rocks. The Club also offers a range of activities which celebrate the elements including kayaking, surfing, beach volleyball and horse riding. Join the First Light club for sunrise yoga with one of the Elements Angels and don’t miss Fire Pit Fridays featuring complimentary canapes – perfect with one of the bespoke cocktails as the sun sets over the pool and the beach beyond.

Executive Chef at Elements of Byron, Justin Dingle-Garciyya has earned his stripes in various hatted restaurants, spending the last sixteen years working across the globe in luxury brand hotels in London, New York, India and Sri Lanka where he generated a strong following with his own cooking show Healthy Kitchen on CNN. He’s cooked for the Royals as well as musical royalty and he knows his stuff. Upon taking the role, he fully immersed himself in the local scene spending the first few weeks meeting local producers and establishing supply lines to ensure the freshest, local ingredients. This up-front effort shows in the simple yet delicious soul food that pays homage to the surrounding region.

Graze restaurant offers all-day dining with an emphasis on shared experiences with spectacular food showcasing the freshest local ingredients; Drift Bar and the Barefoot Bar and Kiosk offer a more casual option; or for a special occasion, try the private dining room.

Like the food, the staff are real and authentic – sourced locally with little or no prior hospitality experience; you can feel the gratitude in their warm smiles and friendly attitude.

Many people wouldn’t book a beach holiday in winter but Elements proves to be the perfect venue and while at times you felt you had the resort to yourself, cars parked outside each villa and the tables full of relaxed revellers at meal times told a different story. Exclusivity with inclusiveness – a hard feat to manage but with the right elements, anything is possible.

Elements of Byron’s story is just beginning with the owners planning to provide a rail link from the resort into town using the existing rail tracks and heritage train; expanding on Elements Aviation which offers chartered helicopter rides for purpose or pleasure; and doubling the accommodation capacity.

Complementing the leisure facilities is the regions’ largest conference and event venue with the resort already playing host to the Fashion Festival, Byron Bay International Film Festival, the Byron Bay Writers Festival and a number of whole resort buyouts for prestige launches.

Elements of Byron has all of the ingredients for an experience that refreshes, recharges and re-energises the soul.

EXPERIENCE THE ELEMENTS – READER OFFER

Elements of Byron offers IN Noosa Magazine readers 15% off accommodation! Simply enter the promotional code INNOOSA to display the discounted rates atwww.elementsofbyron.com.au; or call the resort on (02) 6639 1500. Offer valid for any stay dates and bookable until 31/12/16.

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