//by: José Berrocoso//


Halcyon House, one of Australia’s most unique beachside hotels, is a former surfer motel turned luxury hotel, situated at one of the country’s best surf breaks and in one of its most idyllic beachfront towns – Cabarita Beach, Northern New South Wales.

The story of Halcyon House is a tale of family, innovation and premier Australian design. When sisters Siobhan and Elisha Bickle purchased the former surfing motel (The Hideaway) in 2011, they had the intention of creating a refuge to house their families on holidays. It wasn’t long before the sisters decided to alter their holiday plans, allowing others to share the experience of their beachside treasure.

The positioning of a boutique hotel in a quiet costal surfing village has not been tried in Australia before. “We believe Halcyon House will hit the right note – luxurious with a low key Australian feel, whimsical rather than formal and a relaxing retreat in a location, otherwise known to those in the know, as a little pocket of paradise’’ said Siobhan Bickle.

Halcyon House is located just 15 minutes south of the Gold Coast Airport and 30 minutes north from Byron Bay in an extraordinary region that remains one of the country’s best kept secrets. While Cabarita Beach boasts surfing hot spots, spectacular coastal walks and a pristine beauty, you may not want to leave your room. Each of Halcyon House’s suites has its own individual aesthetic lovingly crafted by Anna Spiro, the hotel’s interior designer. Many of the vintage pieces and furnishings, such as John Derian sofas, Madeline Weinrib rugs and drawings by Wayne Pate, were personally sourced by Anna, Siobhan and Elisha.

The interior designer, along with the owners of the hotel, have ‘curated’ a collection of antiques, furniture and art they hope will grow and stay within the walls of Halcyon House for years to come. Many of the vintage pieces as well as furnishings, designers and artists, such as John Derian sofas, Madeline Weinrib rugs and drawings by Wayne Pate, were sourced on a trip to America. A team of bespoke craftsmen from Northern New South Wales and Brisbane, including lampshade makers and furniture restorers, were also engaged to bring to life many of the vintage pieces.

These pieces sit alongside Australian treasures such as antique seascapes collected from around the country creating a décor that looks and feels as if it has been collected over a long period of time, as though it has always existed.

The exquisite fabrics chosen for the walls of the rooms came from England. As did the upholsterers, who travelled to Australia to complete the job, thus is the level of attention to detail that has gone into every inch of Halcyon House.

Paper Daisy, Halcyon House’s hatted poolside restaurant, was named after the distinctive wildflower on Norrie’s Headland and awarded 2016 Best Regional Restaurant by Australian Gourmet Traveller. Jason Barratt, who is an Attica alumnus, began at Halcyon House as Executive Chef in 2019 and is excited to be part of the next chapter of Paper Daisy.

The 90-seat dining experience at the restaurant is a celebration of Halcyon House’s unique part of the world. Confident coastal cooking in a relaxed setting, the food expresses the very best of the region’s unique produce and bourgeoning culinary reputation.

Set against the luminous Pacific Ocean on the northern coast of NSW is Halcyon Spa, a holistic approach to uniting mind, body and spirit. They offer personalised spa journeys using products from iconic Australian skin care brand Sodashi.

Photography: Kara Rosenlund

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