April 30, 2024

The Ultimate Byron Bay Travel Guide

The Gritty Pretty guide to what to see, eat and do in the Northern Rivers beachside town. 

Byron Bay is famous the world over for its beautiful beaches, relaxed lifestyle and hippie aesthetic, so it’s likely that even if you’re reading this travel guide you’ve been there before. But the best thing about Byron Bay is that it’s constantly evolving: its bohemian nature lends itself to a transience that sees changing landscapes—new restaurants, a coffee scene that challenges the big cities, and hotels that only get better and better. Here, the Gritty Pretty guide to the best of the best in Byron. 


Hotel Marvell

Situated right in the heart of Byron Bay (on Marvell street), Hotel Marvell is the town’s first and only five-star hotel, offering understated luxury in what is truly a picture-perfect location. Hotel Marvell is relatively new—it only opened in August 2023—and is situated off the main strip. Offering a boutique experience with only 24 luxurious rooms, the staff are able to truly look after each and every guest (think: a knock on the door to see if you’d like an afternoon cocktail by any chance?). 

Each room follows a design sentiment that is focused on the guest: open layouts, plush king beds with luxury linens, a personal balcony and amenities like Leif toiletries, Bemboka furnishings and Eadie robes. It has hands down one of the best mini bars we’ve ever experienced, full of rich local chocolate, natural wines and decadent treats. (You won’t even need room service…).

As for the dining options? Hotel Marvell is home to Bonito, a restaurant led by chef Minh Le, which offers modern Asian cuisine with a focus on seafood and plants. Guests can enjoy oysters in a Japanese dressing, delectable Hiromasa raw kingfish with Thai flavours, or squid ink spaghetti. 

The best part about staying at Hotel Marvell though is enjoying the rooftop pool: the perfect place to sun yourself while lounging on Baina towels and enjoying a margarita.



A local favourite, Bayleaf will become your go-to place if you’re staying at Hotel Marvell, because it’s right next door. Our personal favourite spot for coffee, they also have a seasonal brunch menu packed with options that hero local ingredients. 

High Life

Another option for breakfast/brunch/lunch, head to High Life for a truly “Byron” coffee menu (life-changing chai, an expansive range of alternative milks, and ceremonial cacao to die for). The avocado toast comes with kraut, or try the corn tortillas for something heavier.

Ciao Mate

If you’ve already dined at Bonito at Hotel Marvell, Ciao Mate should be second on your list. Located a little out of town at Bangalow, it serves a Byron twist on Italian fare. Be sure to order the anchovy toast, pepperoni pizza and the pasta special, before finishing it off with the tiramisu. 

Bar Heather

Hidden in the Johnson Lane precinct, Bar Heather is a must-visit for a casual glass of wine with friends. Or book a table for dinner and enjoy a modern share-style menu that caters for every palate.



The Johnson Lane precinct is also home to the Nagnata flagship store, so it’s the perfect place to stock up on your Byron uniform (read: Nagnata knitted shorts and a matching bodysuit). For those who aren’t looking to expand their activewear range, there’s also Venroy and Deiji Studios right next door.

Cloud Hidden Tea

This one’s for those craving a quintessentially Byron experience. Sit in stillness with strangers, drink tea and let your mind wander in this very special tea house near the industrial estate. 

The Banya Bath House

If you have a car, make sure you pay a visit to Banya in Mullumbimby. This is a cool-girl take on a traditional bath house, complete with Instagram-worthy marbled mineral pools, wood-fired sauna and a delicious cocktail menu. 


This unassuming space is home to some of the best massage therapists in the country. They keep it simple with a signature massage designed for everyday life in a space that’s as calming as it is design-forward. 


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