The secret to a successful girls’ getaway is location and delegation; and with our annual get-together coinciding with a milestone birthday something special was required. An organising committee (OC) was appointed who promptly took care of the first priority; booking the hotel at the top of all our wish lists – Halcyon House.
WORDS Gill Whelan | DESIGN Anna Spiro
Located at laid-back Cabarita Beach in northern New South Wales, Halcyon House has evolved from its beachside motel past to a bonafide jewel of the region. Nestled between the caravan park and the surf club, the 5-star hotel is a design standout that still manages to seem right at home in its surroundings.
Anna Spiro’s playful yet sophisticated interior design style pairs vibrant wallpaper with padded headboards, curated artworks and handmade tiles to evoke a setting that could be described as the guest bedroom of someone with impeccable taste.
The true hero of the resort is Paper Daisy restaurant – not just for the food but for the sublime location, framed by the pool and palm tree views to the beach. Chef Ben Devlin showcases the region’s fresh, unique produce in a luxurious yet laid-back space – perfect for light refreshments or a decadent dinner. The private Banksia room accommodated us for a lively dinner on the first evening.
The following day offered a chance to explore; a brisk walk along Cabarita Beach and up to Norries Headland, or a 30 minute trip south to Byron Bay for a retail fix. Others hopped on a complimentary cruiser and headed north along the bike track, which offers glimpses into backyards of gorgeous coastal mansions – suffice to say, the views are enviable.
Back poolside for the afternoon, we lazed on striped lounges and ordered mojitos from the always affable Rafael. Chilled rose at dusk was complimented by surprise tarot readings organised exclusively for our group by our inventive OC. In fact, the only thing missing from the resort was the opportunity for an onsite spa treatment – but that has since been rectified with the Halcyon Spa opening in December.
Deciding to venture offsite for dinner that night, we sipped gin and lavender cocktails at beachside gem Taverna in Kingscliff, before joining locals in the packed dining room for Greek-inspired share plates.
If the itinerary wasn’t special enough, the extra details from our clever OC (in collaboration with hotel staff) made our stay truly memorable. Turn-down gifts like personalised beach bags and hangover kits were much appreciated, as was the printed schedule for the following day. The greatest gift for a group of busy women is to have someone else organise everything for you.
Just 20 mins from the airport and on the doorstep of great beaches, dining spots and outdoor activities, it only took a short trip to cement Halcyon House as one of our favourite accommodation destinations in Australia. Forget the milestone birthday – we may have to make an annual pilgrimage!