There’s a calm that washes over you as you arrive in Byron Bay.
The sky appears to open up, the warm, salty air starts playing with your hair and there’s an immediate urge to kick off your shoes and walk around barefoot. Barefoot luxury is exactly what we found during our first stay at Elements of Byron. I say our ‘first stay’, as Byron’s newest luxury resort quickly became somewhere we would come back to over and over again.
On check in, the lovely girl at front-of-house asked what we had planned over the course of the weekend. I was still distracted by the incredible lagoon pool area that opened up to my left and the fact that she had just told me they had just started shucking fresh oysters by the fire pit for a dollar each. Clearly, we didn’t need to go anywhere else all weekend, I told her. She smiled and I got the feeling that’s what Elements was all about.
As the name suggests, the design of the resort has incorporated elements from the ecology of the site, the climate and natural materials. The result is a beautiful property accented with Australian hardwood, paperbark, glass and stone in a very organic way. Elements is impressive, without being imposing.
The grounds at Elements were quintessentially Australian; a blend of bushland, beach, wetland and rainforest. The 94 villas were very unassuming, nestled into the natural environment. On stepping into the sunken living area of our Beachside Villa, touches of understated luxury begin to jump out. There was a feeling of authenticity to the space; beautiful without the flashiness that can come with very opulent hotels.
A closer look and high-end features you expect from a five-star resort present themselves; a Bose sound system, a personal tablet, 42” flat screen television, a bar featuring top-shelf pours, a gas fireplace and luxury skin care products from Appelles Apothecary. The villas were clearly designed with luxury retreat and relaxation in mind.
A comfortable king-sized bed, casually cradled a soft woollen throw on one corner. The light and airy bathroom opened up to one side with large vanity, a large rain shower behind and robes hanging at the read in the closet. My favourite part of the villa was the Private Bathing Deck. A free-standing bath sat by itself with air flowing in through windows to one side, giving it an al fresco feel. I made a mental appointment with that tub for later in the stay and loved every indulgent minute.
Our villa was a few steps from the beach club at the sand which offered the perfect spot to sit back and watch the sunset. By climbing a few steps to higher ground, we went to spot whales breaching just off-shore. As a spot for a romantic getaway, Elements of Byron ticked all the boxes.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the Byron Bay foodie scene has become a very competitive one and careful meal planning comes in when booking a trip to Byron. We had lofty expectations for Elements and of course they delivered on their promise of delicious, farm-to-fork fare handcrafted from local produce.
Fire Pit Fridays at Drift Bar are legendary around town; a couple of people mentioned them when we said we were staying at Elements. It’s easy to see why. Oysters for one dollar each, bushtucker inspired cocktails and a fun Friday night crowd is a great combination. We sunk into lounge chairs and sipped on G and Ts with a couple of platters of oysters, only vacating the comfort of the chairs to get some pictures of the sun setting behind us. I couldn’t think of a more relaxing introduction to both the resort and the weekend.
Graze Restaurant is where guests start their day at Elements (after sunrise yoga, of course). A continental breakfast buffet is included in your stay and there is an amazing la carte menu as well. During our stay we tried the Farm House Breakfast, the Shakshuka and the very Australia, Smashed Avocado on Toast. Each of the dish was fresh, colourful and delicious. The food is clearly crafted with a great deal of care.
You don’t even have to move from your pool chair should you feel like a snack or a skillfully built cocktail, by the water. Barefoot Kiosk is a relaxed, casual spot where you can come as you are; even straight from the gym, pool or beach. Healthy travellers might like the smoothies made from Bare Blends protein (produced just down the road) and there are even organic ice blocks for the kids on the menu.
Wellness is part of the holistic ethos at Elements of Byron. Guests are invited to asana as the sun rises at First Light Club Yoga on the beach. One-on-one yoga and meditation sessions are also available to deepen your practice during your stay. The resort also has a great fitness centre that used a few times during our stay. It is just near reception and the restaurant so you can’t miss it when walking back to you villa after that buffet breakfast. The beach is also a lovely place for a training session or a morning or evening walk.
For those looking to dial down rather than sweat it up, Osprey Spa has a full menu of indulgent and nurturing treatments for guests. The expansive lagoon pool has a number of different spaces for relaxation and is an ideal place to unwind during your stay. Nap in the sun in an overwater hanging lounge, paddle with the kids or retreat from the sun in one of the large cabanas. There is also a dedicated adults only area for those searching for a quiet spot.
Elements continues to expand in the coming year, from a railway line that links the resort, Sunrise Beach, the Byron Arts Estate and the town centre to almost an additional 100 villas on site. We look forward to checking in again then to see how the resort continues to take shape.
Elements of Byron, 144 Bayshore Drive, Byron Bay, NSW, Australia, +61 2 6639 1500
More About Skye + The Fit Travelller
Skye is a journalist, a former personal trainer, a freelance writer, photographer, intrepid traveller and a passionate advocate for helping others reach optimal health and wellness.
Skye created The Fit Traveller as both a beautiful online space where readers can feel uplifted but also a place that will inspire them to think differently, move differently and perhaps look at their lives a little differently.
After launching The Fit Traveller in November 2014, Skye decided she needed to launch herself fully into building The Fit Traveller community and creating the best quality content for readers. Skye and The Hubby hit the road in March 2015 to travel full time.
The Fit Traveller hopes to help you create a life you love by showcasing content that is both informative and inspiring – crafted from in-depth storytelling, beautiful imagery and authentic personal experiences.
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