You know the type of place where, the second you step over the threshold, you forget all your worries and cares from back in the “real” world? That magical place is Crystalbrook Byron, a luxury resort that feels like another land altogether.
Nestled among 45 acres of unspoiled (and quite frankly stunning) subtropical rainforest, the resort (formerly Byron at Byron) offers accommodation that celebrates its surroundings and takes a sustainable approach to luxury accommodation.
I am here both to kick back in what I now know to be paradise, and to attend Bliss with Crystalbrook Byron. These monthly full moon events invite guests to “unplug and dive into a deeper state of consciousness”. The specific events change monthly and include activities such as yin yoga, sound healing, chakra cleansing and meditation led by a series of Byron mystics. They all take place in the mystical sounding Lotus Garden, and I am super excited to experience it all.
VERY Byron, darling.
Arriving at Crystalbrook Byron
Stepping into the entrance pavilion is an experience in itself—high ceilings, open space and natural tones frame the calming vista of an azure pool and bar area surrounded by trees swaying in the gentle breeze. To the left, the Forest restaurant looks inviting and similarly relaxing.
Upon check in I am offered a chauffeured golf cart ride to my suite, because apparently it might be a little far to walk with bags. I also have the option to drive myself and I choose that (mostly to avoid embarrassment at just HOW much luggage I brought with me for a two-night stay).
And wouldn’t you know, even driving through the little winding track through the forest to my room is gosh darn magical.
When I arrive at the parking for my accommodation, there’s a tiny walk to my Rainforest Luxe Suite but I don’t mind because it’s so pretty. Suites here are connected to all other areas of the resort with a picturesque boardwalk among the trees. I am even more impressed when I notice the walkways peppered with filtered water refill stations to encourage sustainability.
The suite itself is the perfect balance of luxury and nature. Two “indoor outdoor” rooms are at each end of the suite removing the barrier between me and nature to just some invisible fly screen. I already can’t wait to curl up on the outdoor chair and read while listening to the bird calls.
The decor is light and airy, and the room is full of mod cons, such as an iPad with all the hotel info you need, and a Chromecast for streaming on the main lounge TV. Then there’s the decadent bath tub, and even a yoga mat, should you need one.
The full moon ceremony
After a little nap (because the plush bed called for it), I get on the requested flowy clothes, notebook and pen that the invite suggested and set out for the Lotus Garden. The whole resort is covered in criss-crossing boardwalks that traverse over rainforest and creeks and even the walk itself is exceedingly pleasant.
Following a few little signs along the way, I arrive at the spot and it’s quite breathtaking in its tranquility. It’s a platform with a small shelter surrounded by nature, in the middle of lilypad-covered wetlands. Yoga mats are arranged in a circle and a little crystal sits at the end of each mat. I look at a few of the crystals to see which one “calls to me”, because when in spiritual territory, one must also be spiritual. It’s the law, or something.
This month, the event is guided by Erin Rose, a light witch who asks us all what we’re expecting from the session and hands some oracle cards out to those
I definitely wasn’t expecting to be as emotional as I was, but I guess writing down the hardships of 2022 and then burning them is tough mental work! We did some sage smudging, chakra cleansing, and some sound healing and breath work. At the end of it all I felt somehow both exhausted and relaxed. I also got an oracle card that told me to cut out the negative thoughts and I have never felt so called out by a piece of cardboard.
I am not normally a super woo woo person so I wasn’t expecting to love the ceremony as much as I did. Regardless of whether you believe in the power of all this, reflection and letting go is extremely powerful on its own.
I stroll back to my bedroom as the sun sets and have the biggest bath imaginable. Outside it starts pouring rain and listening to the rain in a rainforest while drinking wine in the bath is now my favourite ever thing to do.
A day by Crystalbrook Byron’s stunning pool
I wake up refreshed and am thrilled to find the sun out and shining, ready for a whole day of me lying by the pool. I grab everything I need for a day of glorious nothing and set out on the short but picturesque trek to the restaurant for brekky.
A serve of eggs benny and orange juice later and I am basking on a pool lounger, staring at an infinity edge pool fringed by trees as far as the eye can see.
My day pretty much unfolds as follows: swim, read, cocktail, take photos to make friends jealous, swim, read, cocktail. I feel content in a way that I can’t remember feeling before and a way I’ve been trying to get back to (unsuccessfully) since.
The best part is that there’s deckchair service for poolside food and drink from the Veranda by Forest restaurant and Blue Bar. You just scan the QR code on your chair, order what you like and hey presto, it turns up next to you! I couldn’t resist a serve of cauliflower popcorn with harissa and lime.
Indulging for dinner at Forest Byron Bay
Abutting the verdant green of the surrounding oasis, Forest is an award-winning restaurant that puts luxury and sustainability on every plate. Using produce from local farmers, growers and artisans, the restaurant really sets the pace when it comes to contributing to their community. Couple this with their sustainably sourced seafood, on-site herb gardens and four beehives, and it’s clear this restaurant and executive chef Jordan Staniford care about the environment.
I start with a sweet (and very Instagrammable) cocktail called Fairy Dust that’s super pretty in pink, poured tableside and topped with fairy floss. For the main, I select the lamb rump with black garlic, spring vegetable panache, anise myrtle jus and gremolata. When it arrives, it’s both a feast for the eyes and the mouth. Juicy lamb is seared to perfection outside and delicately pink inside, and sliced alongside a rainbow medley of beets. The duck fat potatoes I order as a side are crispy and loaded with flavour. They’re also the perfect accompaniment to mop up any cheeky leftover jus.
My savoury stomach may be full but my sweet stomach is still hungry so I go ahead and order dessert: chocolate and hazelnut mousse with macadamia praline and strawberry salsa. The mousse is smooth and creamy and perfectly contrasted with the crunchy praline and acidity of the strawberries. Definitely another win for Forest.
I thank the heavens that I decided to drive up to the restaurant for dinner afterwards, so that I didn’t have to waddle back to my room full of this much delish food. I fill the tub once more, and finish my book while marveling at the serenity of this magical place.
And yes, I know this might be the fourth or fifth (or maybe sixth) time I’ve used magical but it’s definitely the most fitting word. Crystalbrook Byron feels like a magical place that somehow otherworldly in its tranquility. It’s a place to reflect and relax and soak up some nature, eat the very best food and forget all your troubles.
And, if you’re lucky, a place where you can take part in a full moon ceremony, do a bit of yoga and really become at one with yourself. I can’t wait to get my witchy woo on again and come back next full moon for a bit of spiritual healing in the lap of luxury.
Book now to attend the next series of full moon events, starting with February 6th, 2023. Tickets are available here.
Crystalbrook Byron, 77-97 Broken Head Road, Byron Bay NSW.