Jump on a plane to Byron Bay for some soul searching this winter, writes Solveig Walkling.

Normally I’m the kind of person who can’t wait to get to their hotel room – just to get out of it again quickly and start exploring the surrounds. Most hotel rooms are configured around the dark void they call the TV and it doesn’t take long to get sucked in. Not so the Byron at Byron. While my room has a modern flat screen TV (and working remote control), I haven’t even thought about turning on the telly yet. Nor am I on my way back out. Lying in my light-flooded room, I’m listening to the sounds of birds through the front and back fly screen walls. Clothes and bags strewn liberally around the wide, open studio-like space, I feel like a nap. My body is melting into the bed and I feel a touch light-headed. In fact, on my way from the reception, I had to stop several times. I made it look as if I was admiring the beauty of the surroundings but really, I just felt as if I needed to drop and melt to the floor like jello.

And putty is what I had been in remedial therapist Liz Nichols’ expert hands straight after arriving. Loosened up by the vapour of the steam room, Jacuzzi and a scented tea while waiting in the spa’s relaxation room, I was expecting the usual relaxing massage. Enjoyable, nourishing and over way too quickly. I was only right on the latter. Even though my lithos stone massage lasted one and a half hours, it was over way too quickly and at the end of it I felt like begging Liz to continue working her magic for the rest of the afternoon.  From the first deep breath of fregonia, orange and eucalypt  I could feel my mind slowing down. The stones, strategically placed along my spine, neck and hands weighed me down and quickly gave me the feeling you have just before you fall asleep. Falling or melting into the mattress you are lying on, ready to step into another realm. Accompanied by relaxing music and Liz’s rhythmic working of oil and hot and cold stones into my body, my body felt as if I was becoming one with my surroundings. Not only did the stones relax me, but they felt as if they were part of me. The sensuousness of the massage aided by Liz’s knowledge of anatomy and her gentle touch and soothing voice felt almost like a forbidden pleasure. Too good to be delivered by one stranger to another.

The rest of the day is spent soul searching, not unlike my first trip to the Byron at Byron about a year ago when I was lucky enough to model for their new marketingv campaign. My first exposure to the resort’s calm and relaxing atmosphere proved life changing, as it put me in the right headspace to make lasting decisions about my life. A year on, I again feel as if I am removed from all stresses and pressures of this world and at peace. The uber friendly staff at the resort, soul warming winter menu sourced entirely from local produce and greenery right outside my hotel room again work their magic. By the time I go for a morning run to Byron’s lighthouse and join the resort’s morning yoga class, I have surrendered to the energy of Byron. And I haven’t even been to town yet.

Solveig Walkling travelled courtesy of REX Regional Express and the Byron at Byron. For more information on the resort, head to www.thebyronatbyron.com.au.