The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa, Byron Bay
Our wedding. Why Byron Bay?
In the early 90s, Byron was my destination of choice. I was drawn by the surf couture, with next to no money and even less common sense. My friends and I would jump into my canary yellow car and make the 14 hour pilgrimage from Sydney.
Trying to fit into the permaculture was a struggle though. I was still mildly brainwashed by fast food chains. I crossed the border with a KFC burger in one hand and a Diet Coke in the other.
I was met with snobbery by my nouveau hippy friends as I struggled to determine what exactly a lentil was and why no one had any Ketchup.
These same people successfully won a protest against McDonalds setting up shop in the village. A legacy that still stands today. Byron is one of the only vibrant towns in the modern world where you will not see the golden arches. Ronald was sent packing, not only by the picket lines, but by a mayor with an eye for a useful loophole. I can’t say how exactly Jan Barham and her friends pulled off what the rest of the country has not been able to do. Something to do with not allowing drive through food service.
Not feeling the love in activist circles. You’d think I would have gotten along better in the cannabis counterculture, but no. I was, and still am, a ‘wannabe’ hippy. Never made it to the big time! My underarm hair never got past a stubble. My hair was never braided by tree fairies and I never ran around a campfire naked.
Byron has an effect on you. It’s the feeling that you are returning home. You somehow feel a little closer to God and are more spiritually aware.
The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa
The Byron at Byron is nestled in dense rainforest.
The hotel was built with the collaboration of Gerry Harvey, his wife Katie Page and hoteliers: John and Lyn Parche. For American readers, Gerry Harvey is a very popular big cheese with a lot of wacky big cheese buddies.
The previous plans for the site had no sympathy for the location and, like Ronald McDonald, the developers were sent packing. Byron Bay would have lived happily ever after in the ‘too hard basket’.
However thanks to this unique meetings of the minds and Gerry’s check book we can all have the opportunity to perch ourselves in the treetops… like anti-logging protesters… but in lux accommodation. The sensitivity of the hotel, set inside this spectacular site, will make you completely relaxed and happy.
It’s unpretentious, sophisticated and really well managed.
With Byron on Byron, it was a million times easier to plan our beach wedding, the reception for 60 people and the accommodation for our family than other hotels we tried. We also had another 60 guests with special needs in the form of RHOM TV crew.
The couples’ rainforest massage was like no other. I had expected the normal dark spa room, scented oils and the Benedictine Monks on iTunes shuffle.
Instead, you are taken outside, through the maze of elevated pathways to a netted room in the middle of the rainforest! The chatter of Australian native birds in the breeze through the trees lets you take the leap into complete relaxation.
You feel a little closer to God when you are in Byron.