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Byron Bay resort Rae’s on Wategos

Byron Bay is right up there on my ‘must visit’ list. So you can only imagine when I saw the incredible renovation of Rae’s on Wategos.

Managing Director, Jordy Catalano, said the resort hadn’t been renovated since its original owners, so it was time to take the resort ‘to the next level’. As Byron Bay continues to attract visitors from across the globe, accommodation businesses can hardly rest on their laurels. Hotels’ and resorts’ ‘brands’ – which includes their interiors – are key to attracting discerning holidaymakers.

The Rae’s team engaged Sydney based interior designer Tamsin Johnson to reinvent their boutique resort, which is also home to a spa and restaurant, located in a secluded corner of Byron Bay, footsteps from Wategos Beach.

“The overall intention was to pull it right back and start a fresh with a natural and beachy palette,” said Tamsin of the refurbishment.

The 1960’s Argentinian style building is now full of bespoke pieces, and is blessed by gorgeous curved walls and natural light. I love that it doesn’t feel ‘trendy’, but rather it references different eras – particularly the 60s and 70s, to create a unique aesthetic that is exactly where we’d want to kick back and relax. The seven rooms (a villa, two penthouses and four suites) have a consistency to their aesthetic, yet a unique personality too.

Raw and natural materials and fabrics were key to the fit out, including the amazing solid dip dyed concrete bedside tables, rattan woven furniture in one-off designs and the Sisal rugs. All of the upholstery was custom made, including the sofas and ottomans that are loosely covered with pleated bases and the sculptural designs for the bedheads. Meanwhile, a total of 63 wall lights were designed and custom made in a plaster finish and sculpture design, along with giant sculptural concrete white shells replacing the existing lights in the common areas.

Tasmin even sourced and imported a few items from an antique fair in Parma, Italy, including the wrought iron chandelier and the carved concrete face that sits above a sea of agave plants in the entry. But my favourite piece is the table by Den-Holm in Melbourne, which weighs a HUGE 500kg and had to be craned into the Penthouse!

Rae’s is also collaborating with designer Lucy Folk who is designing new uniforms for the hotel and restaurant staff as well custom towels and games for guests.

Next to be reimagined is the interior of the restaurant, which seats 50 diners and overlooks Wategos Beach. I must say, the food looks divine, and includes Moreton Bay Bug ravioli and daily sashimi, but I can’t wait to see the new interior, with design slated to commence in August. I’ll be bringing you that in due course, but in the meantime, take a look at the the renaissance of Rae’s on Wategos in Byron Bay…

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