Thank you to my mum and dad for the best combined birthday present ever – a night at The Byron at Byron for Sime and I. Plus to my sis who offered to stay at our place and look after the twins. We missed our boys but what an amazing full night’s sleep and such a relaxing trip! So here’s a few notes on the highlights of our night in Byron.
As someone who has worked in (and stayed in a lot of) 5 star hotels it takes a lot (!) to impress me. We arrived at the porte cochere, I walked in and was greeted by a very warm and friendly team member (the Assistant Front Office Manager) who took the time to talk to me and instantly made me feel relaxed. We drove through the forest, parked and walked a little way (we were offered help with the luggage which I declined) to our room. The boardwalk and one way roads wind their way through the forest which feels in harmony with the natural environment. The highlight was our room – two covered balconies, L shaped couch, kitchenette with full size fridge, dining table, deep spa bath, amazing shower, walk through robe and a king size bed. Plus of course two TVs. On that – I don’t get to watch TV now I have two babies so just lazing on the couch watching TV these days is GOLD. Also the room shape was different to any configuration I had ever seen, difficult to describe but well laid out with sliding doors used for bathroom and bedroom.
We were offered a free yoga class and some hot chocolates at the bar, we glimpsed the pool which looks amazing, but with only one night we didn’t get to explore the resort’s facilities. I would love to go back there for 2 or 3 nights and just spend a whole day enjoying the resort. Plus the chef does tours of the local Farmer’s Markets with guests on Thursdays, what a great way for a foodie to spend a morning!
So yes it’s pricey but I’d say it’s worth it (and I don’t say that often about accommodation..).
Last time Sime went to Lennox he discovered Marius and fell in love with the place. He and the owner had an extended coffee nerd conversation which ended up with Marius shouting the boys some double espressos. It’s not just the coffee though, the menu is mainly Hispanic – Latino flavours with tapas at night. This means a more traditional style of Mexican which we are huge fans of. Mexico is on my list of places to revisit, because of the natural beauty, historical attractions, lovely people and of course, food!
So yes, I can vouch for their coffee. The beans are Single Origin, a roaster from Sydney. I can honestly say this was the best coffee I’d had in ages.
As for the food, well, on the day we were there the owner (Marius) wasn’t there, so yes it was pretty good but Sime reckons if the same chef was there as last time plus Marius it would’ve been better. We had some Prawns with Mexican accompaniments, but I really liked the Breakfast tacos with scrambled egg and goats cheese. Yum!
You will find Marius in one of the buildings along the front of Lennox tucked at the back of the arcade on the right.
We enjoyed a pre-dinner drink at The Balcony. I have to say it’s hard to find somewhere nice to get a drink in the afternoon in Byron (OK it was a Tuesday, but still). I thought I’d give the Top Pub a try, but the only sparkling they had was not something I’d drink. On that note, why don’t more pubs sell better wine? Why!? The Top Pub is an iconic venue and a great place to sit. Sigh.
The Balcony still have happy hour, so we both had a cocktail each for $10. We did enjoy Tapas here during our last trip to Byron but online reviews and friends confirm the food’s a bit hit and miss. Still, such a great place to while away a few hours with a drink (or three).
We visited St Elmo during our last Byron trip. This time I wanted to try Targa but they were closed; actually, now I’m glad we went back to St Elmo. Great service and awesome food again. We enjoyed the Beef Cheek, Pork Sliders, Pea and Egg Salad and a special which was pretty much French Fries topped with Jamon, Fried Egg and Aioli, but delicious! (heart attack here we come) Here are a few pics of our meal – make sure you visit St Elmo when in Byron.
A groovy little place at the top of a hill that seems to be frequented by locals. Simple menu of burger and toasted sandwich type fare, serving Single Origin beans. Good coffee, and an amazing brekky burger. I was full until 2pm, I’m never full for that long! Definitely recommend a visit.
Sharpes Beach, Lennox Head
This beach is past Lennox on the way to Ballina. When we got there Sime said, “Oh, I always see whales and dolphins here”. I thought, yeah right. While he was surfing I strolled along a deserted beach and heard the slap of the dolphins bodies as they surfed the empty waves (the surfers were all at the north end of the beach). Then I saw a pod of whales about 300m off shore. To top it off a swim in the chilly but refreshing ocean, with the beach to myself. This is a lovely spot, and not just for surfers.