Review - Koonyum Range Retreat
Hunkered on the top of a hill, nestled within the chirping hinterlands of hippie-infused Byron Bay, this free-standing mansion boasts stunning panoramic vistas of the surrounding rolling mountains and glistening ocean.
The walls are splashed with glass from floor to ceiling boasting open plan living areas. Heavy teak sound proof sliding doors rumble on their tracks as you reach multiple wrap around balconies. A gentle breeze flows through the airy and tastefully decorated home, embracing the natural surroundings. You know you have reached paradise, also known as Koonyum Range Retreat.
Showcasing five generously sized bedrooms sprawled across three levels with a media room (which can be converted into a sixth bedroom) housing state of the art mod-cons, this chic house for 12 is the perfect retreat for those looking to getaway, celebrate a special occasion or even to get married. This is the ultimate setting for romance.
The master bedroom, located on the top floor, features twin showers with an oversized bathtub in prime position gazing toward the ocean, as well as a fully equipped surround sound system and deep walk in robe.
Two other bedrooms feature on this top floor along with the media room and a spacious bathroom almost the size of another bedroom. The toilets on this top floor are straight from electronic-infused Japan, with their automatic raising seats and self-cleaning functionalities. They don’t quite fit with the flow of wooden textures and striking artefacts that feature predominately in the house, but are a great little novelty highlighting the international flavours that flow throughout.
The vast wrap around balcony on the second floor borders the gourmet kitchen which is fit for a chef. In fact we had a wonderfully talented chef come in and cook us an amazing Moroccan banquet one evening– just one of the many features that can be offered by Koonyum Range Retreat.
The open living room centred with a two way fireplace, another bedroom with private ensuite, oversized laundry, toilet, second balcony with a full sized BBQ and giant chess board also feature on this level.
The lower level, known as the gazebo level, is home to the breathtaking vanishing horizon pool. Looking out to infinity and beyond, this 12m pool and surrounding entertainment areas are the perfect place to chill under the thatched Bali hut or sip on sundowners as spectacular sunsets paint the sky before you. A quaint self-contained studio is also located poolside.
Boasting handmade teak furniture imported from Indonesia, with rich Persian rugs flowing throughout each room in deep reds and blues, stained glass rustic Moroccan lamps illuminate key living areas as the tinted colours dance on the ceiling. The ambiance of this house is truly exotic.
Offering a complete escape like no other, activities such as an in-house masseuse or private yoga instructor can also be arranged.
The service offered by the owners and their staff is truly on a level of its own. Nothing is too much effort and going the extra mile is an understatement. I mentioned earlier about the chef we organised. I must mention, I requested this service only two days before and even though he was catering for eight weddings the day prior and two the day of our meal. He happily smiled and chatted away as he prepared the most delicious meal even though he was probably exhausted. The staff at Koonyum were flawless in assisting with any request.
To reach this birds-eye paradise, you must have a car. Located half an hour from the touts of Byron Bay and 15 minutes from sleepy Mullumbimby, the road leading to the house is not for the faint hearted. Narrow, windy and did I say narrow? For the slightly less confident drivers, ensure you arrive in daylight hours. For those who are born to drive, get your WRC on!
The last few kilometres of the drive are up a gravel road in deep bushlands and when I say up, I mean up. One part of the road seems almost vertical. Our little Nissan Micra struggled but managed. Once you reach the house though, you may never want to leave again and the drive up to this piece of serene paradise instantly seems like a distant memory.
You are automatically swept up in the fresh Australian bush smell of eucalyptus and pine, the call of the kookaburras as the sun sets and kisses the deck with the taste of salt on the ocean breeze reaching you over the tree tops to your own private paradise. Truly a unique experience.
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