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I’ve been lucky to have stayed at Crystalbrook Byron twice now. I love this 5 star hotel! Byron Bay is the perfect location for a luxury getaway. As a mum of three, I don’t often get to indulge in this sort of holiday, but I embrace the opportunity whenever I get chance. 

The Crystalbrook Byron, formerly Byron at Byron, is one of my favourite hotels in the world. It is breathtakingly beautiful with its rainforest setting, mouthwatering restaurant and luxurious raniforest villas. Not to mention the most stunning outdoor pool you’ve ever seen! I could spend all day in the infinity pool that looks onto the rainforest – alas on my recent visit it was pouring down the entire time so I didn’t get chance so will just have to go back again!

You can read about my first visit a few years ago this article. Thankfully, that time I did get to spend time in the lovely pool. 

This review of Crystalbrook Byron – a 5-star hotel Byron Bay – contains affiliate links. I paid for this recent trip (I received a small discount for being a member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers) I was hosted on my previous trip while writing a travel article for a magazine. 

Our recent 5-star Byron Bay getaway | Crystalbrook Byron 

The infinity pool overlooking the rainforest at Crystalbrook Byron

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I adore Byron Bay. I fell in love with it when we were backpacking around Australia many years ago. There is so much to do there for couples or families. The beaches are incredible – Belongil Beach, Main Beach, Clarkes Beach and Tallow Beach are all stunning. I love visiting Cape Byron Lighthouse. I love shopping in all of the little quirky shops, eating my way around the huge range of cafes and just hanging out to enjoy some seaside fun.

I am happy to take any excuse or reason to go, so when I was invited to an Australian Society of Travel Writers lunch at Crystalbrook Byron, I took it as a sign that I needed to come up with a plan to take my hubby with me! He missed out the last time I’d visited while writing a magazine article as he had to stay home with the kids while I went with a friend. He has regretted it ever since as I always talk about how amazing the hotel was!

Taking a child-free break isn’t easy when you live away from all of your family, but thankfully we have some amazing friends and our daughter stayed with one family and our boys with another so we could sneak off for our first child-free break in many years. All I can say is we are so lucky to have such amazing friends. 

If you’re looking for the best 5-star hotel Byron Bay offers then Crystalbrook Byron needs to be on your list! It was so worth the juggle to make it happen. 

5 star Byron Bay hotel: Crystalbook Byron review

The lobby at Crystalbrook Byron


Having stayed once before, I knew what to expect from this boutique hotel but was so excited to return and share it with Matt. This lush hotel is nestled within 45-acres of stunning rainforest and it really does feel like you’re stepping into another world. It’s a place to relax and rejuvenate and escape your hectic life. There is something about the experience of being surrounded by trees that is so calming. 

Hotel suites in this five-star hotel are tucked away from the main buildings along boardwalks that weave through the forest and palm trees. Your accommodation is a short walking distance from the main public spaces.

The accommodation villas offer luxurious accommodation with luxury private bathrooms. The luxurious villas are really like stylish boutique apartments – both times that I’ve stayed I’ve had upstairs rooms which make you feel like you’re up in the surrounding treetops. 

Walking on the boardwalk at Crystalbrook Byron

The air-conditioned rooms include tea and coffee-making facilities, a mini bar, dining table and chairs, a living area with sofa with flat-screen tv (plus TV in the bedroom too), a deep bath tub and the most amazing shower! You can see the room walk-through I did on Instagram here if you want to have a look around. 

The highlight of the villas really is the great floor-to-ceiling windows on both ends of the apartment. Both times I’ve visited we’ve had incredible storms and it is so lovely to sit in the warm, dry villas and look out at the rain in the trees – it just feels so lush and green! 

The sitting room in our suite at Crystalbrook Byron

The on-site restaurant – Forest restaurant – has a focus on local produce, and it’s full of inventive flavours. I attended the travel writer’s lunch on our first day and was treated to so many colourful, vibrant, flavoursome courses to sample. 

Karen and Jennifer from Travel Bug Within at the ASTW lunch

Click here for more of the pics from Instagram

After such a delicious lunch, Matt and I ended up eating there again for dinner too as it was so good. They don’t offer room service (with the rooms being set away from the main buildings, the food would be cold by the time it arrived with you) but to be honest, you need to enjoy the ambience of the rainforest with your meal anyway as it just makes it so much more special.

The wine we enjoyed with our meal was just divine too. 

Dinner at Forest Restaurant at Crystalbrook Byron

You can also eat on the Verandah (great for cocktails or snacks) or at the Blue Pool Bar. Alas the pool bar was closed during our stay due to the weather and the fact nobody was in the pool but it looked fabulous for on a sunny day. 

The verandah at Crystalbrook Byron

If you’re feeling like a stroll, you can walk through the forest boardwalks to Tallow Beach (you need to remember your room key as you need to use it for the gate to get in and out – don’t do what we did and try to walk there after checking out as we realised we couldn’t actually get to the beach without a room key!). There is so much wildlife around you so keep your eyes peeled for lizards, birds and butterflies.

I’m not somebody that often spends $400+ on one night’s accommodation for two, but sometimes it is so worth it. It really is a lovely resort, and it is worth the higher nightly rate than I would usually spend because it felt special. I completely fell in love with the luxurious bathroom and now want a huge bathtub and giant shower head just like this one!

The bathroom in our suite at Crystalbrook Byron

There is daily yoga available for guests – I did yoga on the deck by the pool on my last visit. This time it was raining and I decided to sleep in instead! It’s a lovely location for it though. There is a fitness centre (again, I didn’t get time to explore it) and there are complimentary bikes too (although again the weather was against us). 

Just a walk away was a bakery – Matt popped out to pick us up breakfast during our stay as our accommodation price didn’t include breakfast and this meant I could laze around in my PJs as long as I wanted!

Now for the outdoor swimming pool! It’s such a beautiful space, with lots of beds all around. There are pool towels available from the pool area too so you don’t need to bring your own. The view from the pool really is so dramatic and breathtaking – I could sit staring at this view all day long. I was so disappointed not to be able to have a swim this time. It just means I have to come back again!

The hotel has ample free parking, and there are Tesla chargers too. If you didn’t bring your car, or you prefer to explore on day tours, the reception tour desk can book a wide range of day tours for you. 

Crystalbrook Byron may not be in the heart of Byron Bay but it’s not too far from the town centre of Byron Bay. It’s just a 10-minute drive away and we caught Ubers to take us to town and back so that we didn’t have to worry about parking – Byron is a busy little seaside town and parking can be challenging. There is also a shuttle bus that runs from the hotel at 11am, 3pm and 6pm (reservations required) but we didn’t plan ahead enough to use it. 

Crystalbrook Byron Eléme Day Spa offers a range of spa treatments, facials and massages. Alas, on this trip I didn’t get time to enjoy a massage but I’m sure it would have been just as awesome as the last time I visited a few years earlier when I had an incredible massage before laying beside the pool for the afternoon. 

The hotel is family-friendly although I think it is best suited to smaller, quiet families or older kids. On both of my visits, I saw people with one baby or toddler enjoying themselves and eating dinner in the restaurant. I know when my three were tiny, they weren’t quiet and calm – given our first kids were twins, our lives have always been chaotic and I’m not sure I’d have felt comfortable bringing my noisy gang here when they were tiny as I’d be so aware of them disturbing the quiet, calm ambience. (Not that we wouldn’t have been welcomed as I’m sure we would have been). Now they’re older, I’d be happy to bring them here and I know they’d love it, but let’s face it, this is really a luxury couple’s retreat, or a place for a girl’s holiday or group of friends looking to treat themselves! 

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How to get to Crystalbrook Byron

Crystalbrook Byron is just a 2 hr 15-minute drive from Brisbane down the M1. Don’t forget you cross a timeline as you travel so make sure you are aware of the potential time difference as you go in both directions! For half the year, the time jumps an hour ahead as you drive from Queensland into New South Wales. 

Crystalbrook Byron – final thoughts

Crystalbrook Byron is one of the best hotels I’ve stayed in. I love how it is surrounded by nature and wildlife – it’s not cold, modern and uninviting like some 5-star hotels can be. The rainforest setting is calming and the pool is just breathtaking. I could quite happily stay there for a week and not leave. We will definitely go back again in future. 

If you’re looking for luxury accommodation and a place to relax as a couple or with friends or family, Crystalbrook Byron is it! This 5-star hotel offers an unforgettable experience in beautiful Byron Bay.

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