The new $100 million Elements of Byron Resort has been hailed a “game changer” by tourism boss Sandra Chipchase, Chief Executive Officer of Destination New South Wales.
“The picture perfect setting at Belongil Beach is unsurpassed,” said Ms Chipchase. “The Elements of Byron Resort is a game changer for the Byron region. Congratulations must go to the architects and owners for creating this wonderful new addition to the local visitor economy.”
The ‘slow architecture’ venture, which is currently under construction, stretches along the beachfront sand dunes at Belongil Beach in Byron Bay. The form of the dunes themselves is celebrated in the contoured roof of the three main resort pavilions. A collaborative effort between owner Peggy Flannery, Shane Thompson Architects and Coop Creative, design was driven by reverence to the four landscape ecologies present on the fifty acre site – rainforest, dunal, eucalypt and wetland.
“The vision was to let nature, not buildings, dominate” outlined Development Director Jeremy Holmes. “Each landscape has its own story”. Specific native landscaping, furnishings and colour palettes reflect the ecology or landscape in which each particular villa lies.
The 94 villas were meticulously sited amidst mature native trees, which weave in middle-earth like fashion up walls and over corrugated iron roofs. Whilst the trees provide shade and privacy for guests and habitat for wildlife, the canopies prevented the effective use of solar panels on the villas. This is compensated to some extent by the 500m² array on the drive-through housekeeping facility, which generates power for daily operations.
A state of the art energy management system enables guests to monitor their carbon footprint in real-time via iPads in each villa. The system controls power and temperature using motion detectors to respond to human presence. Upon checkout guests have the option to offset their carbon footprint with funds contributing toward habitat restoration.
Resort guests can ride the Elements of Byron Train to and from Byron township, or alternatively enjoy the walk along the beach. The resort is investing $1 million to reinstate the train, including repairing the track. “Cars will be unnecessary” said Jeremy Holmes.
From the “found” objects adorning each villa to the sensual design of the business and leisure pavilions, which curve around the central lagoon pool, sunken fire pit and five suite garden spa, the experience is authentic barefoot Byron Bay.
Elements of Byron Resort and Spa have launched their website www.elementsofbyron.com.au and will be taking accommodation bookings in September. The resort itself will open in Summer. Bookings and enquiries for weddings and other events can be made now.
Elements of Byron will join AccorHotels’ MGallery Collection of memorable hotels and can also be booked via www.accorhotels.com this September.