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“Truly Magical”

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SummerHills Retreat Byron Bay
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bangalow
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Truly Magical”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 May 2014

We stayed in the Cabana last year and we went back again this year, but this time for a longer stay. Same adorable cabin. Same surreal views. Same excellent service. This time though we had the side by side massages and wow, they were fabulous and some of the best massages we’ve ever had. We also had the breakfast basket each day this time which was packed with great produce, which meant we didn’t need to go anywhere when we just wanted to stay in as the baskets were so abundant! We love waking up to the sound of the birds, and coming from the city, we just love how peaceful it is down there. the fresh country air down there is simply sublime. We’ve had some stress lately and it was just the break we needed. The morning walks were also a treat and on one of the days we saw the resident koalas which were cute to see in the wild. A big thank you again to the hosts who would do anything for you. Nothing is too much trouble for these guys, we ran out of peppermint tea one evening and after ringing Francesca, she was at our cabin in 5 minutes. You can’t ask for better service than that. We used the bbq alot which was nice to use the local farmers produce. Francesca recommended we go to the farmers markets which was a great tip as there was heaps of great stuff there. The cabin had an excellent range in the mini bar and well priced. The Cabana had everything at our finger tips that we could possibly need cooking wise, even salt and pepper grinders and oilive oil and balsamic vinegar, so we didn’t need to bring anything else but food. And of course the open air spa is the best spot ever overlooking that big mountain view. We simply love this place, it is truly magical and we’ve decided it’s our “home away from home”.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sarah P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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155 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 May 2014

We’ve been visiting the byron bay hinterland for a few years now because we have friends that have moved to that area. We tried a few other accommodation places at the start, but since we found summerhills, we would never go anywhere else now. This time (last weekend) we had a friend’s 60th birthday in a town close by called Mullumbimby and so we spent most of this trip with friends, but what we did appreciate was having a spa on our own veranda at the end of each night. The night sky is truly spectacular and I hadn’t quite noticed it so much before, but sipping champagne under the moon and stars in our own private open air spa bath, it’s just something we could never appreciate in Sydney due to all the light pollution in the city. We take it for granted but the night sky up there in the fresh country air is really quite spectacular.

We have been choosing the cabana on our last few trips because it’s located by the pool and we just love that spot, we love to alternate dips in the pool followed by a hot spa, it’s exhilarating (smiley face). We travel alot and summerhills has one of the biggest mini bars I’ve ever seen and is very reasonably priced. The free wifi is outstanding (9 networks to choose from and exceptioanlly fast) and so we can skype our kids at night, watch a movie online or catch up on business quickly without waiting for a slow connection that most hotels give you. The cabin is decorated simply but tastefully and elegantly. It’s fresh and modern and not too flouncy (the way we like it) with crisp white linen and beautiful white doona, its very comfortable and its’ got all that you could ever need. Even the plasma tv on the wall is on a swivel so that you can swing it around and watch it from the lounge or the bed.

But its’ the spectacular views and handy location your paying for. And the service which is always fabulous and never skips a beat. Being busy with our own business and kids we are always on the last flight out so we’re always checking in quite late which is never a problem for the manager. Franchesca always insists on waiting for us even though we suggest a key drop as we know our way around now, she always insists on greeting us personally even if its 11pm. We always feel so welcomed and I love that they have a return visitor discount.

We’ve stayed in 6 star hotels around the world as our business takes us global but the service at this private retreat in the back hills of byron bay can’t be beaten. We always feel very well taken care of whether it’s taxis or airport shuttle that we need, a massage at the last minute or a fresh lime to squeeze into tea, summerhills retreat byron bay is a small retreat with very big service. Last weekend we stayed four days but we are returning for a week in the spring so that we can enjoy all the facilities on offer as we haven’t even tried everything yet! I am looking forward to taking some personal yoga sessions and the bushwalks next time....

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JPB916
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2014

This retreat was great and far surpassed our expectations. I stayed with a group of girlfriends in the 2 bedroom tuscany villa and we loved hanging out there.
The views, the spa. the service. ...the tranquillity!!!

The walking track was excellent for a morning run. Brilliant food for the soul...we saw echidnas which was a buzz. it was rather delightful actually, spectacular gardens. I loved the maca grove but my favorite thing was the Love Tree. Two trees cuddling. Just magic.

The food in the area was astounding, not just bangalow but through out the hinterland. liliana’s cafe was our favourite in one of the back streets, we went back there twice for the home made bread and incredible produce, tomatoes never tasted so sweet. yum!!!
Even the country drives and the fresh air to get to these places was fun. highly recommend summerhills retreat as it's so close to everything, cabs were easy to get into the village for dinner and Francesca was amazing, so friendly and warm. All we had to do was ask and she was a font of all knowledge, she seemed to know everything there was to know about the hinterland which helped us alot.
we will go back for sure... next time I want to go for longer!!!

Room Tip: I didn't see all of the rooms but the Tuscany room was gorgeous. My best advice would be just as...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Danielle C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Adelaide Central
Level Contributor
29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2014

Having stayed 11 months ago it was absolutely wonderful to return to SummerHills Retreat this time with my husband. The 'Forest Retreat' became our home for 7 glorious nights and was worth every cent we paid. Tucked away from the main building we were surrounded by avenues of macadamia trees (complete with koalas). The views were amazing and being able to go for lovely walks on this large property was a real treat away from the hustle and bustle of Byron Bay and the surrounding area. We had come to the area for the Blues Festival and it was so enjoyable to have leisurely time until early afternoon before setting off to get crushed in the crowds. In fact two days I refused to leave this tranquil location and just totally chilled out.
The weather was just perfect - normally it rains non stop at this time of the year another blessing for our stay.
Our main sleeping/living area was huge and so comfortable with beautiful interior decorating done by Francesca. Our little kitchen was well equipped and apart from one meal in town at Bangalow we were able to be self sufficient especially with the great bbq on hand. It meant we were able to entertain friends that were also in the area for the Festival
The bathroom whilst having to go under cover outside was great - huge spa bath which we did not have time to experience, beautiful views and a total sun trap. It was simply amazing to be able to stop and enjoy the sky and stars and moon in the middle of the night when nature called.
Being away from home for so long it was wonderful to be able to use the laundry facilities on site and not have to worry about finding a local laundromat
The whole grounds are just so beautifully landscaped by the gorgeous live in 'Gnome Graham' he really does have green thumbs - everything he plants just thrives - it brought us so much pleasure seeing so many species of plants in the one garden - almost better than the Botanical gardens anywhere in the world
Again we thank Francesca the hostess with the mostess, Graham and Santy for sharing their paradise with us and we so look forward to returning again next year with friends for another escape at heaven on earth - the closest to the Pearly gates we will ever get to
Luv
CC & Ian

Room Tip: For total privacy this is certainly the best location at SummerHills Retreat
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Celia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
88 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 May 2014

The rate of four hundred and fifty dollars per night led us to believe that we were paying for more than an average (fibro) granny flat. The great photos of the Cabana on the net implied a substantial building. No doubt with a great view, but our stay in the 'Cabana' was disappointing in all other aspects. Fortunately for us, there were no other guests so we didn't have to share the pool area, or risk having anybody staring at us in bed or into the lounge.

Francesca was very kind and professional, pointing out the 2km and 4km walks available, before showing us to the Cabana. We did not see her after the check-in despite being there for two days.

I could not find the 4km walk as the path indicated by her led back to the main road and I didn't fancy walking along there. The 2km walk was covered in cow pats, to the extent that literally every second step was another cow pat, swarming / covered with flies. I soon gave up all hope of a nice walk and we spent the two days driving around the countryside.

The Cabana itself is modern and spotlessly clean. The fridge is full of minibar items, all of which were overpriced. This included three dollars and fifty cents for a bottle of water. I'm not being overly critical but for that sort of tariff one tends to expect more than K-Mart and A-Mart furnishings. Even down to cheap crockery, cutlery and glassware - all seemingly straight off the shelf at Woolies I'd guess. For that price one would even expect enveloped teabags. The timber blinds around the bed made it difficult for one to sleep-in after sunrise - heavy curtains are needed. The spa on the balcony is a bit corny and anyway too small for two adults.

The Wi-Fi signal didn't quite reach the Cabana, so we had to walk out toward the main house to get sufficient signal on our ipads. Not great when the temperature outside is around 8 degrees!

My wife is now in hospital undergoing a major operation and last weekend was my attempt to treat and distract her, as she was quite nervous in anticipation of the operation. Unfortunately, the very average accommodation did nothing for either of us.

Fortunately we enjoyed driving around the countryside and loved Bangalow - which is 4.5kms down the road. Dinners at the Bangalow Hotel were excellent, as was the shopping there generally. Lunches in Newrybar were also well worth the drive. The Byron Bay market was bigger and better than most, so well worth the drive!

I don't mean to be negative but simply wish to prevent others from suffering the same disappointment. When Francesca rang me the afternoon after we checked-out I did mention to her that I felt the Cabana was overpriced and I felt it was worth half of what we paid i.e. around two hundred and fifty dollars per night. And that I'd say is being generous.

Room Tip: We had no problem with the room - just felt that the rate for the Cabana was exorbitant.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Warren D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Noosa, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2014

We booked a 3-night stay at Summerhills, having searched high and low for a place in Byron Bay over Easter weekend for the BluesFest. Thank goodness there were no places down there! From the moment we arrived on 'the hill' we were spoilt by the views, the peace, the spa on the deck, sunken saltwater pool, not to mention the sumptuous basket of local goodies left in our room to feast on.

The location is nothing short of stunning - only a short drive to Bangalow, which has upmarket cafes, antiques shops and rustic charm in spades. Host Francesca & her husband have done a marvellous job of the grounds (complete with orchard to wander though) - not a leaf out of place!

I was in the "cabana" room, with views over hills as far as the eye can see and the most wonderful spa back on the deck, from which you can lie and gaze at the stars or the cattle in the fields below. There is a kitchenette and plenty of space and storage. The only slight downside is that noise carries from the pool area (outside the bedroom window) which can make afternoon nap-time challenging!

As a party of 3 (booked 2 rooms) we found the communal areas and kitchen very useful and well-appointed if deservedly under-used: there is not much need to cook unless you are intent on a proper 'retreat'. We spent a large portion of our days at Bluesfest (18 min drive away) but enjoyed Summerhills so much we found it hard to wrench ourselves away.

Being Easter the prices were well-inflated but overall we found it justified. Fabulous location & wonderful hosts. Highly recommended and I very much hope to be back.

Room Tip: The view from the Cabana room is stunning, as is the spa on the back deck, but you may get noise fro...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank alicehv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2014

The rooms are very clean. On site Manager is very friendly, passionate about the area and full of knowledge of where to eat and what to do. We had a great time staying at the property. We will definitely be coming back to explore more of the hinder lands.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank diva1212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about SummerHills Retreat Byron Bay

Property: SummerHills Retreat Byron Bay
Address: 100 Binna Burra Rd, Bangalow, New South Wales 2479, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Byron Shire > Bangalow
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bangalow
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — SummerHills Retreat Byron Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Private Sanctuary Retreat, this beautiful Bangalow accommodation is set on 113 lush acres in the picturesque Byron Bay Hinterland, cocooning just 4 sets of guests at one time. Offering self-contained spa cabins & spa villas, each suite has either tropical garden or mountain views, air conditioning, personal spa bath, own kitchen/kitchenette, bathrobes, beach towels, LCD TV, DVD player and access to a gas bbq and outdoor timber setting. Facilities on-site include a 12 metre Saltwater Swimming Pool, Yoga Room, Massage & Beauty Pamper menus and Nature Walks at the Retreat (2km & 4km). This tranquil Bangalow accommodation is close to the vibrant village of Bangalow (4 minutes) and near the heart of Byron Bay (14 minutes). Close to excellent beaches and surfing, world class shopping and outstanding restaurants, this convenient Byron Bay accommodation also has free Wi-Fi and free movies for all guests, a 24 hour front desk reception and mini bar in most suites. There are golf courses and tennis courts close by as well as beautiful scenic drives throughout the hills above Byron Bay. This is Byron Bay Hinterland accommodation at its best. ... more   less 
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