At this boutique hotel at the water’s edge, you’re sure to experience a luxurious and memorable holiday to put last year’s seaside escape to shame
The next time you find yourself worn down and weary from the daily grind, daydreaming about the sound of lapping waves and the feel of sand between your toes, you might want to consider booking a respite at Halycon House. A mere 15-minute drive from the Gold Coast to the south or a 20-minute drive north from Byron Bay will get you to its location at the marine mecca of Cabarita Beach on the New South Wales North Coast. Here you’ll find spectacular surfing conditions, a climate where ‘endless summer’ can be taken literally, and outstanding fresh produce, making a stay at Halcyon House an experience, not just a place to rest your head.
Nestled between the vibrance of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and Northern New South Wales’ idyllic hidden pockets – which also boast some of the country’s best culinary talent – it’s ideally located, with Byron Bay, Bangalow, Newrybar and Brunswick Heads all within easy reach.
Not your run of the mill
You may have already noticed that Halycon House isn’t your average boutique hotel. Sure, it has the requisite small number of rooms and a design that looks about as far from a chain hotel as you could muster, but it is so much more than that. The owners consider the accommodation ‘Australia’s most unique beachside property’, and it came about following a complete overhaul of what was previously the surfy Hideaway Motel.
When Brisbane-based sisters Siobhan and Elisha Bickle got their hands on the building in 2011, they had humble plans to make it a family holiday house. This quickly changed, and under the inspired direction of architect Virginia Kerridge and interior designer Anna Spiro, Halcyon House emerged from the ashes in 2014 with its 21 individually designed rooms and suites. 20+ awards and nominations later, the hotel has become a destination celebration to Australian and international visitors alike.
Perhaps this is because it has one of the most impeccable interiors you have ever seen.
This is Australia
At Halcyon House, no two rooms are the same, and no room is more beautiful than another. The hotel is simply an aesthete’s dream – a “tastemaker’s” paradise. Every room is furnished with wall upholstery unique to that room, antique furniture, deluxe king-size bedding, beautiful English tapware, marble vanities and handmade floor tiles.
Colour and texture abound at this seaside retreat, where prints and colours clash and collide to create a miraculously cohesive interior that’s a whole lot of fun. The hotel’s eclectic style incorporates endless fabrics, photographs, art and prints making it tactile and charming, detailed but not busy. Each room has been individually curated by interior designer Anna Spiro alongside the hotel’s owners, who travelled the world finding art and antiques for every room. As a result, a guest can stay at Halcyon House a few times over the space of a year, and never have the same experience twice.
A modern take on a bygone era, Halcyon House is proudly, and for the most part, quintessentially Australian in its style, paying homage to the hotel’s surf-and-sea history. Outside, the hotel’s white exterior walls are a crisp backdrop for the alluring turquoise pool and wooden deck, while ahead the Aussie trees burn orange in the setting sun. But there are traces of other influences here, too. The thematic nautical blue and white is unmistakably Hamptons-inspired, and there’s also a nod to 1970s LA with the vibrant, vintage-inspired interior that hails colour, prints and fabric as King.
But don’t be fooled by its whimsical interior – this hotel is every bit as luxurious as its 5-star rating suggests. Ocean Superior Rooms have a private furnished balcony overlooking the pool with ocean views, while the two crème-de-la-crème Suites each have bedrooms with a separate living and dining room and pool, beach and ocean views. Apple TV, Foxtel, complimentary mini bar and use of the bikes and surfboards is available to all guests, not to mention unlimited WIFI and a-la-carte breakfast at on-site restaurant Paper Daisy included in the nightly tariff.
There is also a strong emphasis on locally sourced and supported products in everything from the restaurant menu to the mini bar snacks and the Evo toiletries in the rooms.
An experience, not a hotel
At Halcyon House you feel like you’re in a family establishment – you can see the love that has gone into every nook and cranny to create a cozy and comforting home away from home. And while Halcyon House is bound to tap into every guest’s sense of nostalgia, the present day experience is pretty unforgettable, too. Whether you pass the hours lying on the beach or sitting on your balcony with a cuppa and the sun on your face, Halcyon House will ‘take you back’ for a moment, but in the now is where you’ll want to stay.