First published on 12 Feb 2010. Updated on 24 Apr 2013.
A short drive from town and a quick stroll from Tallows Beach, the Byron at Byron Resort and Spa has the perfect location for those who like Byron, but don’t actually want to stay in Byron. Spread out over 45 acres and surrounded by lush vegetation, you could be excused for thinking you were miles away in the Hinterland. The rooms in the 92-room resort are spacious and well appointed, particularly Time Out’s pick, the one-bedroom Deluxe Spa Suites, which feature kitchens, dining tables, sofas, more than the usual tech (two TVs and a DVD plus Foxtel and Wi-Fi), a bath and separate shower, and a balcony. While the Byron stands out for its rooms, it’s the service – under the watchful eye of legendary hoteliers John and Lyn Parche – that exceeds expectations every time. When you do decide to head into town, we say head to the Beach Hotel for a late-afternoon ale, while a great cuppa is had at the Top Shop. The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa, 77-97 Broken Head Rd, Suffolk Park 2481. 1300 554 362.
www.thebyronatbyron.com.au. Rates: from $305.
Scottish-born Gavin Hughes leads the team in the kitchen at the Byron’s the Restaurant and, with a plethora of top-notch local produce nearby, it’s no wonder he’s putting together some of the top dishes in the district. The Byron Bay pork scotch fillet ($34) and the Bangalow free-range duck ($42) are the stars on the menu overall, but do make sure you also consider the char-grilled octopus ($20) or grilled quail ($24) if you’re up for a starter. Order a Byron Bellini ($10) before dinner, and wine buffs will appreciate the Restaurant’s decent wine list, including the great-value Logan Weemala Pinot Gris from Orange ($6 a glass). A short drive away in Bangalow, the degustation on offer at Uptown is the must-do in the region. Five courses will set you back $85 per person and matching wines are another $55 a head. It’s worth it though, and right now it’s all about kingfish, scallops, snapper and beef. The Restaurant, address as above. Uptown,
33 Byron St, Bangalow 2479. 02 6687 2555.
Time Out Tip
Flying? Don’t just consider Ballina Airport. Flights from Sydney to the Gold Coast are more frequent (more time in Byron!) and cost less on average. Get there on Qantas (www.qantas.com.au) for under $100 each way and get the hotel to arrange transfers on arrival.