*Watch the above video to see two of Australia's most exclusive celebrity getaways: Port Douglas and Byron Bay
What the stars say:
Byron Bay. It's beautiful. It's gorgeous.
I actually thought about getting a place there.
I have been there once or twice. I take that back. I've been there twice, but would go back in a heartbeat whenever I have fourteen hours to fly half-way across the world.
Hollywood celebrities and other well-known people have a soft spot for Byron Bay
. On the northern NSW coast, it began life as a haven for hippies and surfies, but over the past 30 or so years, it has transformed into being one of the most cosmopolitan towns in Australia.
There are still people enjoying alternative lifestyles and others seeking the perfect wave, but that's probably not why Byron was voted the No.1 destination in the world by European travellers in a poll by TripAdvisor.
Catriona Rowntree enjoyed hanging out with some of the colourful locals. It's part of the true Byron experience.
Then she went to The Byron at Byron, the town's largest five-star property. It's on 18 hectares of subtropical rainforest and has attracted the likes of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Elle Macpherson and Delta Goodrem. They spend their lives in the spotlight and when they want to relax, they usually want to go somewhere they ensure privacy.
The Byron at Byron can provide that, but if you don't need to be away from prying eyes, there's lots to do.
The nine one- and two-bedroom suites each have a kitchen and separate lounge and dining area, two enclosed balconies and are air-conditioned. Bathrooms have deep, free-standing tubs and separate shower, and California king beds ensure blissful sleep.
The Resort Spa has a holistic philosophy offering a place for relaxation, restoration and revitalisation of body, mind and inner-self. The Rasual Steam Room (a cleansing ceremony of clay, intermittent steam and rain shower rinse) is recommended in preparation for body treatments.
There are lots of those on offer, including wraps and polishes, hot stone massages, water therapies, algae milk and floral baths, facials, Swedish massage, aromatherapy, nail care and pedi-spa and holistic consultations. Spa packages can be enjoyed in the privacy of your room and there is even double outdoor bathing.
Yoga classes are held on the beach each morning, and after that you can have a hand in designing your dinner under the watchful eye of head chef, Gavin Hughes. If there is something unusual you would like to add, off you go to the market.
It's a great way to contribute to the meal, pick up some culinary hints and mingle with locals at the market. Much of The Byron at Byron's fresh Northern Rivers ingredients are sourced there and menus are changed with the seasons.
The indoor restaurant seats 70 and the verandah, overlooking the pool and rainforest, seats 90. Snacks and full meals are available, there is room service and spa cuisine will be provided on request. Cooking schools are held throughout the year.
The Byron has a 25m-long lap pool, sauna and gymnasium, personal trainers are on call, there are power walks along Tallow Beach, mountain bike tours, diving at Julian Rocks, walks to the Lighthouse at Wategos and scenic flights.
Byron Bay on the north coast of NSW.
Rooms at The Byron at Byron Spa and Resort start at $285 a night. A daily yoga class is included. A Gourmet Getaway package is $1815. It includes three nights' accommodation in a Superior Suite, full breakfast, $130 gourmet lunch voucher, five-course degustation dinner with wines, a French Champagne and cheese platter on arrival and daily yoga class.
Virgin Blue has one-way flights to Ballina driving distance from Byron from:
- Sydney $95
- Melbourne $159
- Adelaide $179
- Perth $299
There are limited seats, which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares quoted are one-way booked on the internet. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at April 21, 2011, and are subject to change.
Prices correct at April 21, 2011.
For further information
Ph: 136 789
The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa
77-97 Broken Head Road
Byron Bay, NSW 2481
Ph: 1300 554 362
Fax: 1300 554 371