9. Victoria's at Ewingsdale
Byron Bay Hinterland - Peace and Tranquility
Byron Bay is known throughout the world as one of the finest beach destinations on the planet, but it also has a lot more to offer, with great produce, green rolling hills and tranquil retreats nestled along Byron's inner coastline. Victoria's is one of the finest examples of this type of retreat, especially if you still want the beach at your fingertips but want to escape the more frequented beach villas and backpacker apartments closer to town. Set in it's own grounds and just a short drive from both Byron and Belongil beaches, it is an ideal location to explore the local surrounds, markets and restaurants.
Victoria's houses just a small number of suite's and cottages (cottage pictured above), and seclusion is almost guaranteed. Breakfast can be taken by the pool, amongst the birds of paradise or in one of the other communal areas. You are pretty much left to your own devices. A small staff will help should you require anything but it's very much self service when it comes to the amenities. The kitchen is equipped with a few staples to help you on you way, but the over all feel is that of a welcome guest at dear friends country house..... albeit a dear friend who's a bit too busy to actually spend time with you, so just leaves you the keys.
Some of the suites have spa baths and decorated in a mix of colonial heritage and country estate stylings, they are clean. spacious and private - Very suited to the old school traveller indeed. The grounds contain many beautiful plants, a chicken coop and many other forms of local wildlife, and as soon as you pass through the electric gates, and swan up the long elegant drive, you will immediately feel a wave of relaxation wash over you, ... even before being greeted at the door by Victoria herself.... It's that kind of place.
The critically acclaimed 3 Blue Ducks Cafe at The Farm, Byron Bay (pictured below) is an agreeable walk from Ewingsdale and is a great way to work up an appetite for an amazing breakfast, should you choose not to have breakfast at Victoria's itself. You will also walk along leafy lanes, past grazing horses and friendly nodding locals.
Victoria's also has other accommodation in Byron, most notably at Wategos Bay, if you want to be on or nearer the beachfront. This, I can also highly recommend, but it is for the individualism of the property, the level of relaxed attention to detail and the uniqueness of the property, particularly for this area, that makes Victoria's a welcome inclusion into my Top Ten for 2016.