Design Destination: The Atlantic Byron Bay

You don't have to be a surfer to love Australia's Byron Bay. Along with its impressive swells, the area offers incredible nature preserves, a laid-back bohemian lifestyle and a varied, international community. Smack in the heart of this vibrant blend of nature and culture is The Atlantic Byron Bay, a boutique hotel without the attitude.   

Clustered beneath a thicket of palm trees and overlooking a rainforest reserve, the constellation of charcoal guest cottages washes a wave of simple, modern design over classic surf shack decor, creating a soothing spot to park your board and your bod that immediately feels like home. Credit goes to the owners, Kimberly Amos and Stephen Eakin, the couple who came to Byron Bay for a year's sabbatical with their three young sons and never left. They transformed a rundown guesthouse into these very inviting lodgings.  

There are rooms to suit every level of chilled-out traveler, whether you're looking for the zen calm of the simple, the luxury of the tropical with its private deck overlooking the hotel’s gardens, or the nostalgia of the Airstream with its aura of glamour, mystery, and adventure. A simple palette of white, black, grey, and brown is the backdrop for an eclectic mix of colorful accessories and the lush greens of the landscape. Works of art from the artisans who have stayed or exhibited here hang from the walls. And, all around you are reminders, from bouys to shipping rope, of the nearby sea.      

Shared spaces, including an outdoor shower, a lap pool, hanging chairs, and bean bag perches encourage outdoor lounging and mingling. Stretch out for some yoga, sunbathe on the lawn, or curl up in a lounger with a book. The open plan kitchens are the perfect excuse to visit the nearby Thursday morning farmer's market to sample some of the area's incredible produce.  

While it's easy to just vibrate between the Atlantic and the sea, the area's great cafes and organic farm-to-table fare beckon. Pop into 100 Mile Table for a bottomless cup of filter coffee, wind down the day with cocktails at The Roadhouse, dig into a burger at The Top Shop, or fresh Italian food at Italian at the Pacific, or cruise over to Newrybar to Harvest, to sample their award-winning cuisine. Don't worry if surfing's not your thing: there are waterfalls to visit, creeks to explore, and trails to hike. There's even a giant maze, the Amaze N Place actually, to get lost in. Culture buffs will find plenty of art galleries and artists' studios to visit and boutiques to browse in. It's easy to stay here and hard to leave.   


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