AT reader Sancha Markson spent some time in Byron Bay and raves about the bizarre lodgings she came across on her hostel stay at the Arts Factory Lodge.

With its chilled out atmosphere and funky Buddha Bar Restaurant, its famous Byron Lodge Cinema and their highly spoken of themed rooms, The Arts Factory Lodge utterly captures Byron Bay: it’s a one-stop shop. From yoga classes and juggling lessons to didgeridoo making and fire twirling demonstrations,  the Arts Factory offers something for everyone, even for the less “arty farty” type.

The on-site and increasingly popular Buddha Bar hosts live DJ sets which draw lots of younger crowds, and the renowned Byron Lodge Cinema has regular screenings with a good variety on show appealing to all walks of life.

I believe it’s the themed rooms, however, that makes the Arts Factory so unique from any other accommodation provider or youth hostel. You can stay in a renovated double-decker bus, Indian Teepees, island-style, beach themed bungalows or camp in the jungle. Only when I realised I was using a bongo to do my make-up in a teepee did the bizarre-ness of my surroundings hit and I took time-out to truly appreciate the unusual accommodation style.

The friendly staff are always around to point you in the right direction — be it to the pool or internet cafe. The only downside to Arts Factory is if the weather isn’t up to scratch then the outside rooms can get quite chilly at night. However, on the upside there are always plenty of extra blankets are available. You shouldn’t be let down!

This hostel is incredibly well equipped — you could easily never leave, though the main strip is only a ten-minute walk away which, as a girl, is always a drawcard.

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