Make the most of your Byron holiday by staying right on the sand.
The best Byron Bay beach houses are the ones that are as understated as they are elegant, relying on ocean views or proximity to a toes-in-the-sand sort of luxury to dial things up. From a treehouse set against a bush backdrop to retro beach shacks that wear their modesty with pride, here are the best Byron Bay beach houses and apartments.
Tallow Beach Treehouse
All four bedrooms at Tallow Beach Treehouse have en suites, which means there’s plenty of space for a group of family and friends to stay here, ensuring privacy and relaxation is at the forefront of the experience. This imposing ‘treehouse’ has vast floor-to-ceiling windows, a covered alfresco area for outdoor dining and plenty of couches for lounging around on. The main attraction, though, is the stretch of beach accessed via the bushland in front of Tallow Beach. The dog-friendly house is also considered a great location for those with four-legged friends as it’s directly in front of the one-kilometre section of beach deemed dog friendly.
You can indulge in complete isolation at Bamboo Cottage, which sits squarely in front of Tallow Beach, just metres from the powder-soft sand dunes. This simple and unpretentious cottage, hidden in a dense pocket of bushland, sleeps a maximum of two people and can be rented as part of a package with Tallow Beach Treehouse. You don’t need an infinity pool here; the French doors open onto a wide verandah that leads down to the beach via your own private track. Bamboo Cottage is the little sister to Tallow Beach Treehouse and is also dog-friendly. The peaceful property will help you reset before you return home to your responsibilities.
You won’t be able to stop your heart from tightening when you have to hand back the keys to Palm Cottage and return to your job as a corporate schmo. The all-white décor, the oh-so-sexy sunroom, the fire pit, the heated magnesium mineral pool and ample places to hang – indoors and out – is what makes this dinky little cottage such a standout as a base for the best beach holiday you’ve ever had. The character-filled cottage, which has four bedrooms and two bathrooms and can accommodate eight guests, is just a two-minute stroll from The General Store, one of the best cafes in Byron Bay. Shoes optional.
Living out of the back of your camper van while surfing Byron Bay’s beaches is perfectly acceptable. But if you want to shake off the shackles of your faux-hemian lifestyle, why not sell the van and treat yourself and your mates to a few nights’ accommodation at The Cabin. Who are we to judge? The term ‘cabin’ is underselling this architecturally designed two-bedroom luxury home, set in the treetops in a quiet position just a few minutes walk to Clarke’s Beach and the iconic Top Shop café. In short, The Cabin is for those who like to surf and enjoy a bit of Byron buzz and comfort on the side.
The Surf House Hotel has good bones, housed as it is in the heritage-listed former Byron Shire Council Chamber building. Conceptualised by co-owner Margaret Millett and Sydney-based Holy Cow (the creative agency behind Sydney’s industrial-chic Tramsheds), the interior of the hotel has a kind of beach-chic “hostel in the Hamptons’ vibe”, with communal spaces, including a large, shared kitchen, laundry facilities and lounge area and Byron Bay’s only rooftop bar. The hotel, which has private and shared rooms, is just 50 metres from the beach and has a quiver of complimentary surfboards.
Shambhala @ Byron
You will sleep long and late when holed up in one of the four cottages at Shambhala @ Byron, as the breeze off the sea tumbles straight into this oasis located in the exclusive enclave of Belongil Beach. The dog-friendly two-storey cottages, Samadhi, Shanti, Sarita and Shiva, are sandwiched between the white sands of Belongil Beach and Belongil Creek, which snakes all the way into the sea. These are some of the most sought-after homes in this haute hippie enclave so book ahead.
The Sunseeker is one of Byron Bay’s hippest new hangouts. And that’s saying something. Although it’s not right on the beach, what caught our eye was the access-all-areas location of The Sunseeker, a refurbished motel built in the eighties that is a five-minute drive to both Tallow Beach and Byron Bay.
The well-thought-out restoration of the former motel enhances its evocativeness, calling to mind the carefree beach holidays of your childhood. In addition to The Sunseeker’s kitschy details in the bedrooms, there are swaying palm trees, a Tiki bar, hibachi grill, communal fire pit and kidney-shaped pool. There is also an on-site coffee cart selling brews, pastries and baguettes. Mullet haircuts are most welcome.