The Sunseeker is a meticulously reimagined ’80s brick motel. It took six months of restoration for that vision to come to light. The result is one of Byron Bay’s most transportive stays, which evokes the nostalgia and simplicity of childhood summer holidays.
The first thing you notice when you enter the lobby of the Sunseeker is a blue-and-white ceramic thong by the South Australian artist Gerry Wedd. In its fusion of high design and the relaxed Australian lifestyle, the flip-flop embodies the unique appeal of this Byron Bay accommodation – in one of its oldest motels.
Married owners Jess and Dave Frid took a distinctly family friendly approach to refurbishing the motel. They wanted to evoke memories of family holidays spent down at the beach. But it’s very much a place for adults, too.
From the swaying palm trees beside the kidney-shaped pool to the communal fire pit, hibachi grill and Tiki-meets-brutalist bar, a distinctly mid century California vibe pervades the property – all designed to recall endless summers.
That bar features a drinks menu by local mixologist Pete Windrim (from Byron’s Supernatural and a playlist curated by the team at Playlister.fm, which also created the tunes for iconic Los Angeles properties including the Chateau Marmont and the Standard Hotel.
Art in the rooms includes handmade ceramic sun faces by Amy Lee Worthy, fabric wall hangings by Sarah Harvey and framed poster art by Lila Theodoros of graphic design studio Muse Muse.
Kitchen benches by Five Mile Radius are made from excess concrete from construction sites that would otherwise go to landfill and, this being Byron, are embedded with a range of crystals. The recycle/reuse philosophy extends to the paving in the hotel lobby, which was created from the original ’80s slate tiles salvaged from the hotel rooms. They each have a private patio or balcony overlooking the lush tropical gardens and pool.
There’s an on-site coffee cart selling brews, pastries and savoury baguettes, and a cosy library filled with more than 100 art and design books and magazines. And as it’s a motel you’ll still find ice machines in the hallway and a communal laundry to wash your smalls before you check out.