luxury wellness retreat

Moments for me

Editor Kate experiences balance, beauty and bliss during her five-day stay at the luxury wellness retreat Elements of Byron in Byron Bay.

I had been counting down the days until my stay at Elements of Byron in Byron Bay. After a busy month at work, running around after my active toddler and dodging daycare bugs, I was craving some “me” time. The luxury resort’s Rebalance package caught my eye, promising to reset the mind, body and soul, creating a foundation of positivity that fuels optimal living.

Elements of Byron is an award-wining beachfront resort based in Byron Bay, NSW. With more than 200 apartments across 50 acres, Elements is the Northern Rivers’ largest eco-resort. What makes this resort so special is its unwavering commitment to sustainability and the ecosystem in which it resides.

As I walk through the main pavilion, I’m mesmerised by the view — a cosy firepit is blazing, guests are enjoying drinks nearby and the sun is setting across an infinity pool. Cabanas are dotted around the edges of the pool; swings sway in the breeze over the pool and rainforest foliage is everywhere.

I jump on a buggy and head to my villa, driving past a giant chess game, beachfront daybeds, exercise areas and lily-pad lagoons. As I open the door to my villa, a glorious king bed and white fluffy robe await. I make tea, run the bath and jump in. A bath all to myself — no monster trucks digging into my back, no unwarranted splashes to the face. It is heavenly. I begin to unwind, thinking about the healing qualities of warm water and the soothing sound of rain outside.

One of the biggest perks of the Rebalance package — and there are many — is that it’s a self-guided retreat. Considering my life outside of this luxury wellness retreat starts at 6 am and is go-go until 7 pm, I was craving freedom and having time at my own dispense. The beauty of the Rebalance package is there are no time constraints, no pressure to get up for yoga, no reason to get out of bed, no need to be asleep by 8:30 pm — my time is my time and I can spend it how I wish.

The next day, I spent lounging poolside in a cabana and reading. Occasionally, I’d take a dip or soak in the spa. I appreciated the accessibility of Elements. With wheelchair access all around the resort and even into the pool, those requiring extra care can enjoy the delights of Elements of Byron without any issues.

Later that afternoon, I walked to Osprey Spa, located inside Elements’ main pavilion. I was booked in for an almost two-hour treatment, the Reflection Ritual. I met my therapist Sophie in the beautiful, airy space and she led me towards my treatment room. First, I enjoyed a warm foot soak and scrub, and chose an intention card, massage oil and crystal. Then it was time for my massage. Sophie’s touch was firm yet therapeutic as she teased knots out of my shoulders, neck and back.

It is then time for my facial but, fi rst, Sophie spreads a thick clay mask on my heels and feet, then wraps them in warm towels. Using beautiful products from La Gaia, my skin is gently and expertly moved through a journey of exfoliation and hydration. My mind is completely relaxed, my gaze soft and my body unwound. I fl oat out of the spa and back to my villa before tucking into bed early for a deep, restorative sleep.

The next morning, I wake early and head to yoga at the Heart of the Bay. Flowing through a gentle yet invigorating class, I watch the sunrise over the expansive ocean and think about how special this location is. Looking to the right, I spot the lighthouse standing tall, its guiding light at rest. To the left, vast mountains and valleys wake up slowly in the morning light.

After yoga, I am hungry for Elements’ breakfast spread — a buffet-style breakfast that showcases the fresh, local produce of the region. With so much to choose from, I try to eat light each morning, but it is impossible. I love the self-juicing station, the creamy scrambled eggs, pastries and fresh fruit. It is hard not to go back for seconds.

In the evening, I dine at Azure Bar and Grill, Elements’ fine-dining restaurant. There, I order the lamb and mushroom ragu and a glass of chilled red wine. My dish is packed with fl avour, and I savour every mouthful. There’s something powerful and freeing in dining by yourself. I put my phone away and settle in, watching the stars shine across the water and the fire dance shadows through the night sky.

My days are spent in awe of the resort, the Northern Rivers region and of this land. I deeply honour myself — as a woman but also as a mother. I lean into the spaciousness and silence.

On the second-last day, my darling son and husband came to stay the night. Despite loving the solitude, I am beside myself with excitement — I had missed them both.

That evening, after a big day of fun, sunshine and food, we cuddle up together in bed. I am so content falling asleep next to my family. With a full cup and heart, I remind myself how important it is to take time for me. For the betterment of myself and for my family.

Visit their website to learn more about this luxury wellness retreat

Kate Duncan

Kate Duncan

Kate Duncan is the Editor of WellBeing and WILD. She loves surfing, creating raw desserts, flowing through nourishing yoga sequences and spending time with her new pooch, Maribou.

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